Deadlights are using music as an outlet to vent their grievances
Dylan Davidson can growl like no other. The second of two vocalists for metal heads Deadlights, the shadowy singer complements the melodic vocals provided by bandmate Tynan Reibelt with a rough tone carrying honest lyrics that reflect his experiences and emotions.
With songs like single Order Without Order on upcoming debut album Mesma, the band’s potential as a whole are clear, but it’s Davidson’s harsh vocals that capture the angst of many with an excellent combination of aggression and truth. “I guess I had some rage back in the day,” Davidson says.
We all get angry, and we all find ways to channel that anger into something creative and freeing – for Davidson, commonly referred to as ‘the angry vocalist’, his past grievances are addressed with his band, venting his frustrations through music. “I wasn’t a particularly happy kid. I was shy, I didn’t have many friends, and I went through some shit and needed to find a way to escape all that – singing in this band has helped in a big way.”
That’s not to say Davidson is totally Zen since the formation of Deadlights, he still experiences anger and frustration in his day to day life. “The state of people [angers me], how people are so stupid,” he says. “People are like sheep, really self-entitled and self-righteous and yet no one does the right thing by one another.
“It’s frustrating, sure. But if I can use the music to project how I feel about everything, relay a message, then that’s going to help me get through the day, and hopefully change up someone else’s.”
Deadlights certainly have had experiences of changing up people’s days, Davidson relaying an instance where a fan approached him after a performance to tell him how much she could relate to their music, proving the reception to Deadlights’ sound is more than positive, the band already making that change in the world they so sorely wish to see. “Literally [she] came up to me after one show to tell me the song we played spoke to her, completely captured her life and what she was going through and that we couldn’t really know how much our music helped her.
“It was like, ‘Wow, this is really happening, we’re making a difference and people are getting our music.’ That was an amazing thing, makes it all worth it.”
All Deadlights’ songs have incredibly catchy hooks – their debut album Mesma is full of post-hardcore tracks with an anathematic edge, difficult not to become ingrained in your psyche before the song is over, and for all that it seems intentional – simply crafted for the purpose of being memorable – the Brisbane four piece have been hard at work to prove they aren’t just another post-hardcore Aussie group.
Indeed, on first hearing Order Without Order, my response was ‘wow’. Preconceptions to tracks are puhed aside and the intensity of the vocals draw you in. This particular song has a heavy and somewhat disgruntled meaning for Davidson. “It’s like, we have all these rules in place, all these things we’re told to follow and yet we’re in such chaos.
“There’s discourse in the world – do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that. It’s all so confusing, we can’t do anything right, everything is wrong and we’re all sheep trying to please one another for no gratitude, no thanks. It’s frustrating.”
And so, Davidson takes to the stage to make an impact, create a change. “It’s all very weird, but a good weird,” says Davidson. “We get up there every night, do what we do, and hope it reaches someone out there, maybe we’ll make a change, maybe we won’t, but we’re loving it either way, and we’re not going to stop any time soon.”
By Anna Rose
Deadlights debut album Mesma is out on Friday April 21 via Greyscale Records. They’ll support Belle Haven at Workers Club on Saturday June 3.