DEAD AGENTS (from l-r): Geoff Fry (drums), Adam Furmage (bass/backing vocals), David James Foster (vocals/rhythm guitar), Adam Beddow (lead guitar/backing vocals).
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Considering themselves to be the “lost boys” of alternative rock, West Midlands four-piece Dead Agents specialise in a gritty, fast-paced, but at times, melodic sound, topped off by vocals that are both catchy and riddled with angst.
The band formed last summer, as part of a collective desire to return to their musical roots, and having already unveiled a few well-received singles, they will be bringing out a self-produced, self-titled debut EP later this month.
Talking to us about how they put together the upcoming offering, what to expect from it, along with much more related to the quartet, was their vocalist/rhythm guitarist, David James Foster.
How did the band form?
We formed Dead Agents back in June last year. It was born out of the ashes of another project that we’d been involved with, which was quite different to what Dead Agents have now become.
We felt we’d lost our identity and were not staying true to who we are, so the four of us decided to break away, go back to our roots, and do what we do best, rock’n’roll riffs.
I have to say, in such a short space of time since we formed, we have grown together very fast and most certainly found ourselves again.
From where did the name Dead Agents originate?
We did what all bands do, I suppose, when looking for a name, trying to think of or remember things that seemed interesting, and of course, that hadn’t been used already.
I remember reading an article about the tactic of Dead Agent-ing someone – using all your power to discredit someone who opposes you using misinformation and propaganda, therefore, they would become a Dead Agent.
It jumped out as a phrase and stuck, so we used it.
How would you describe your sound?
Gritty rock n’ roll riffs, fast-paced, chest-crushing drums, and angst-lathered vocals that are not afraid to go seriously melodic, with a slight twist of electro. We definitely go for those catchy vocal lines.
What are the band’s main musical influences?
This is quite hard for me to narrow down, but one band that blew my mind and reawakened my calling for dirty rock was Royal Blood. They definitely have become an influence collectively on the band since they appeared.
Other collective influences I’d say are Nirvana, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro, and a splash of The Police as a curve ball.
What inspires you all lyrically?
The relatable trials and tribulations of personal everyday life. Relationships, aspirations, and even social commentary in a track like ‘Haters’. Stick it to the man! The lyrics do tend to be loosely hidden in metaphor.
What is the band’s approach to songwriting?
Almost every track we write will start with a guitar riff. We’ll jam around the riff in the rehearsal room until we come up with a full song structure that we are all happy with.
Our drummer, Geoff, will usually go home and demo drum tracks in his home studio, send them over to us at our studio where we’ll lay on all the guitars, and from there on, it’s down to me to come up with the melody and the lyrics.
We’ve got it down to a fine art already and know exactly what we need to do to produce a song quickly. All it takes is that one riff at the start and we’re away.
On April 27, you will be releasing your self-titled debut EP. How has the recording process been?
We loved every second of the recording process as it was genuinely a voyage of discovery. We are blessed to have our own recording facilities and a genius engineer and producer in our lead guitarist, Adam Beddow, who has cut his teeth on recording rock albums already for Diamond Head and The Bad Flowers.
The songs came quickly, it was just a matter of perfecting the production as it was all self-produced. You can be your own worse critic, which I do think took its toll at first with speed, but I think the time getting it right was worth it in the end.
And what can be expected of it?
You can expect to find dirty rock riffs and hooks at every musical turn. Maybe not what you are looking for, but exactly what you need.
On the same day that the EP comes out, the band will be playing a release show for it at The Flapper in Birmingham. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?
Like letting a wild animal out of its cage. We are raring to go, as we’ve been waiting so long to get out there and play live. It’s what we do, it’s what we live for, and we love every second of it. We know people are going to love the EP even more live.
From the few shows we’ve done already, we’ve proven ourselves, and fans having music in their hands is an even more exciting prospect. Good times ahead.
What are the band’s plans for after the EP’s release?
To reach the masses, to play live as much as we can, and get this music into the hands of everyone who loves some good rock n’ roll, those who are not afraid to push the boat out, support brand new music, and listen to something a little bit different.
Aside from that, we already have new material being written, and it won’t be long before we’re back in the studio recording what will either be a second EP or maybe even an album.
THE SELF-TITLED DEBUT EP FROM DEAD AGENTS WILL BE RELEASED ON APRIL 27.
ON THE SAME DAY, THE BAND WILL BE PLAYING AN EP RELEASE SHOW AT THE FLAPPER IN BIRMINGHAM. FURTHER DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:
MORE INFO ON DEAD AGENTS CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: