Dirge Within: Interview with Shaun Glass

I got the chance to sit down with Shaun Glass of Dirge Within, and formerly of SOiL, and get to know what his new band is about, along with a taste of what life on the road is like.

Shaun Glass: Are we recording now?

Flocked Media: Yeah.

SG: We’re on! Live, in Grand Rapids!

Did you get a chance to see the city at all?

SG: Na. Ya know, touring really is a lot of “hurry up and wait”. We got into town early AM; actually checked into a hotel today; just kinda crashed at the hotel; got up about 1:00pm; all took showers; got some food (went to Chili’s), headed over here and waited for Trivium to get done with their daily routine (sound check and all). Then basically, gear comes in the room, and we go. But no, we don’t get to see a lot of the actual cities. I’ve been touring for a while, and you don’t get to see much of the actual towns. Sucks, but I get to see this lovely venue! This is a great room. I like the Orbit Room. Cool club.

FM: What hotel did you stay at?

SG: We stayed at a Super 8. I don’t remember what street…35th or 68th? No, no! 29th street!

FM: Oh ok, out in the shopping district.

SG: Yeah yeah, totally. Which is great. It’s really what you want so you can walk to everything. If you need underwear on tour, and socks… That’s what you go through most on the road. Like, I’ll throw out socks and underwear every other day. Just because you’re so fucking lazy and you don’t want to wash your clothes.

FM: Do you even get a chance to wash your clothes?

SG: Some of the guys are doing laundry today and I’ll throw a couple pieces in. Like my stage shirts and whatever in there. I got like, two shirts I rotate every week.

FM: You guys are based out of Chicago, but apparently one of you lives near Wisconsin?

SG: Yeah, I live near the Wisconsin border. I live pretty far north. I definitely do a lot of traveling to Wisconsin. And actually funnily, oddily enough, tomorrow we are in Milwaukee. So it’s kinda like our home show. It’s weird because the first show we ever played was at The Rave. So the first show we ever played as a proper band is where we’re playing tomorrow. It’s got a very homey feel. Definitely looking forward to that. It’s gonna be wicked, can’t wait.

FM: How did the band come together?

SG: Basically, I was in another band for a long time, (SOiL) and I wanted to really get back to my roots and play heavier music with more musicianship, more solos, and more fucking fast stuff and aggression. So, I knew I was kind of burnt on that whole world. Ya know, I don’t get into my car and listen to Creed and Nickelback all day. So we were just kind of separating. So I started talking to Jimmy, the drummer, and some ideas just started going, and we started jamming. We wrote some songs and moved away from everything that we knew in the past in our old bands and just started fucking jamming metal. We wanted to play heavy, brutal stuff but really melodic too. We found the singer when he came to a show of my old band and gave me a demo of his band, and it really spawned off. We did a demo for “Forever The Martyr,” (which oddly enough is the first single off of “Force Fed Lies”) is just me, the drummer and Jerms the singer. I did all the guitars and bass because we didn’t have Matt and Paz yet. So we put that up on MySpace and started getting tons of acceptance. So we needed other members. I wanted a lead guitarist and I wanted somebody who was really, really skilled at shredding, so I found Matt. And then Paz was good friends with him, so he came along. And so we became a band.

FM: What bands influenced the sound of the direction you wanted to take this band?

SG: I really like Machinehead, Hatebreed, Slayer, Pantera, Megadeath, those are really some of my big influences.

FM: Machinehead is one of the bands responsible for me even getting into metal.

SG: I agree. That’s great to hear.

FM: What other bands have you toured with?

SG: We did a few runs with Hatebreed and Type O Negative and we were on with Dope for some shows. And then we went out with Static-X in July or August.

FM: Did you play The Orbit Room with them?

SG: Yup, that was a great show. Killer show and oddly enough the first show of the tour that we started with Static-X, was Grand Rapids.

FM: How do you like playing in Grand Rapids?

SG: It’s awesome man! Ya know, Flint’s cool, Detroit’s cool, but I think Grand Rapids has a pretty hip scene. Kids know what’s up.

FM: Grand Rapids is kind of an artsy town, whereas the east side is more hardcore. And Grand Rapids is pretty notorious for being cold towards opening bands. But tonight, it seems like the love is there.

SG: It great to have that acceptance. I think that’s the proof of touring. I think a lot of the people here may have saw us with Static-X and came back for another taste. Where, maybe they were totally new to us last time, they came out tonight to see us again. It’s great. It’s the proof of touring.

FM: So, I was expecting a bigger crowd tonight…

SG: Well, you know why?

FM: Gwar.

SG: Yes. I think whoever put Gwar and Job For a Cowboy in the same city as this tonight was an idiot. And both shows probably suffered. Guaranteed, Gwar has fewer people there because of this show.

FM: I came across this quote of yours while reading another interview: “I can turn on a garbage disposable on and let it rip for an hour with a blast beat on top of it, and get the same result as music that has no melody”.

SG: You need melody, man. I don’t understand why anyone would want to listen to a band that has no melody. I need melody. I need something I can remember. It’s pretty sad if you go see a fucking band and leave their concert and don’t know the name of one song. Why would you like that band? Bands that I grew up on, Kiss, Megadeath, all had melody.

FM: That’s the essence of music.

SG: Amen.

FM: Any stories from the so far?

SG: It hasn’t been crazy! I wish I could throw the fucking a-typical, stereotype at ya. We really just focus on playing gigs and making sure we get some sleep, take some showers, and eat well, ya know. After being in SOiL for ten years it really helped me teach this band the ropes. Because these guys all are new to this. And they’re having the time of their lives, so that’s great. So I’m kinda like the father figure. [Laughs]. They’re happy as shit man. It’s work, but I have a lot of fun. Like me and Cory from Trivium are really good friends so we hang out every day and rip on a guitar, or listen to music, talk shop. It’s great dude. I love Trivium. I couldn’t have asked for a better launch tour.