Fireworks Magazine Online 70 - Interview with Dendera

An interview with DENDERA

Dendera are a five piece band based on the South Coast, they've been building up a dedicated fan base over the last 5 years and this summer sees the release of their second album 'Pillars of Creation'. Helen Bradley Owers briefly caught up with singer Ashley Edison as they prepared for the album launch in London on 18th June.

Dendera Fireworks-Interview

For those who have not yet found Dendera can you give a brief "this is where we're coming from"?

Well, we started in 2010 and since then have been lucky enough to tour with and share the stage with acts such as Saxon, UFO, and Dio's old band members in Last in Line to name a few. We are a Heavy Metal band that smashes together elements of classic and modern styles of Metal. Our first album called 'The Killing Floor' came out in 2013 and we are about to release our second album 'Pillars of Creation' this June.

Introduce the band for me in your own words?

I'm the singer, my brother Bradley is our bass player, Andy Finch is on drums and we have Steve Main and David Stanton on guitars.

Dendera has a very distinctive style, was that a deliberately thought out plan or did it naturally fall into place?

I think it just fell in to place really. We just set out to be a Metal band and then the style just naturally happened as we have progressed.

The second album can be notoriously difficult, given how well 'The Killing Floor' was received how did you set about 'Pillars of Creation'?

We were very happy that a lot of people liked the first album, 'The Killing Floor', but we were sure we could improve on it. We set about making it a more "modern" sounding album, so its angry, fast and we feel a stronger album all round. From day one really we wanted to draw influence from bands like Machine Head and Trivium, as well as our favourites such as Metallica and Maiden.

Which song from 'Pillars of Creation' means the most to you?

'Edge of Tomorrow', for me without doubt is the song I am the proudest of, not just on this album but with any song I have had anything to do with. It's just the type of song I have always wanted to play in a band, and it gives me goose bumps when I hear it.

How do you set about writing? One main writer with contributions from the band or is it a whole band effort?

Well we all contributed towards the album. The guitar work on this album was mainly Steve coming up with riff ideas and then things just went from there. Once the music was written me and Bradley would go away and write lyrics together and we bounce off each other with ideas.

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Where do you draw the inspiration for the lyrics from?

All sorts really, a lot of our previous stuff was very character and story based, not so much on this album. We used personal experiences and things that are going on in the world today. There is still the odd bit of "story telling" though.

The album was recorded at The Ranch in Southampton but you went further afield for the production, tell us about that and how it came about?

We wanted a very modern sound for our new album, our first choice was Lasse Lammert [in Germany], who had previously worked on the Alestorm records. While touring with Gloryhammer we heard good things about him and we wanted him to do our next album. Then after we contacted him we weren't sure he could fit us in, but he managed to and I believe he's done an incredible job on this album.

Dendera and Iron Maiden/Bruce Dickinson often come up in the same sentence, how do you feel about that?

Flattered mainly. I have no issue with people saying I sound like Bruce, in my opinion he's one of the greatest singers ever. I mean it can get a bit annoying when people say we "copy" them, but we never set out to do that. We are just proud of the songs we write and if people want to compare us to one of the greatest bands ever, we are okay with that.

What is inspiring you at the moment?

At the moment we are getting quite a kick out of bands like Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God and Machine Head. We are definitely a band that appreciates a good riff and those heavier bands have tons of them. We are into so many styles of music though, but at the moment we are really into the heavier stuff.

Things are moving for you on the live front, where can people catch you over the following months?

We have a few things that we can't announce yet, we have the album launch mid June. After that we are touring the UK with Anvil in July, and we have a couple of dates with Queensryche and Death Angel in August too. Keep an eye out for a few more things to be announced soon.

What else is coming up for you this year?

Well it's mainly touring and festivals for us this summer but we are already thinking about the next record too, so I imagine that we will start some bits on that as well.

How difficult do you think it is for South Coast bands to advance "up country"?

I do feel it's difficult for a band that doesn't put the work in. You have to really want to do it to progress and do well. If you don't put the effort in then you can't really expect to get to the level you want to be. It's a lot of hard work but it's also a lot of fun and a great thing to be a part of.

What do you think is most important in progressing a band in the current climate?

I think it's a combination of different things: hard work, motivation, dedication, and passion for the music. But most importantly, I think a good friendship amongst band members who all share the same vision is paramount in progressing further as a band.

What iconic music venue past or present do you wish you could play?

I know me and Steve have always dreamed about playing the Hammersmith Apollo, there are plenty of Arenas I would love to play, but there is something magical about that place.

And finally, what is the question you never get asked but wished someone would... and what is the answer?

Good question, I would say... probably something along the lines of "who would you like to collaborate or write a song with?" and the answer for probably all of us would be John Petrucci of Dream Theater. We are big fans of them and he is arguably the best Metal musician in the world.

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