EMQ’s with STEELSWARM
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Sydney, Australia based Post-Progressive Rock/Metal band, SteelSwarm. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Dane Simms for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Dane Simms and I play seven-string guitar, clean and screaming vocals for SteelSwarm. Jamie (Bass) and I started SteelSwarm back in 2013 as a Thrash inspired metal band. As our skills developed and tastes changed to more of a complicated progressive sound we acquired our current percussionist Zac Stewart who added a huge amount of dynamics and uniqueness to our sound to where we were able to release a film clip, two singles and ultimately our debut album “Aspects of Dissonance”.
How did you come up with your band name?
Jamie and I thought that we are the ‘Steel’ or ‘Metal’, and the audience is the ‘Swarm’. So, we just combined them together to make “SteelSwarm”.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from Sydney, Australia, the metal scene here is strong and the progressive one is even better. Melbourne tends to be the hot spot for music in Australia.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release is “Aspects of Dissonance” which is our debut album released on the 6th of August 2020.
‘Wasted Signals’ (Audio)
Who have been your greatest influences?
I would say the people who made the biggest impact on me as a guitarist would be Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, James Hetfield, Cliff Burton, Victor Wooten, Chris Broderick, Tosin Abasi and Shawn Lane.
What first got you into music?
When I was a teenager I was obsessed with System of Down, Slipknot and Cannibal Corpse. Seeing The System of a Down film clips ‘Chop Suey’ and ‘Toxicity’ made the first impact on me for music. As for guitar, it was hearing Metallica’s ‘Fade to Black’ for the first time.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with Plini or Tosin Abasi, I think it would be a thought-provoking meeting to say the least.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Currently we are aiming to play on “PROGFEST” in Melbourne, which is the kind of Avalon of the best prog bands in the country.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
One time I got a hug from a woman after one of our sets and she said “You make me want to become a better guitarist”
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Keep listening to music in general, and every now and then go exploring for a new Aussie band, you might get a big surprise.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Cliff Burton for sure!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I have a deep respect for music and being a guitarist, it got me out of my 9 to 5 job, and every time I sit down to practice or record a song, I get a sense of satisfaction like nothing else. Searching for riffs and melodies and new techniques on the guitar is so fun for me. Being a muso is expensive, that’s what they don’t tell you when you start out, you will be putting in more money than you will be getting back.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
In our band we have found it is tough to get shows sometimes because our songs don’t follow a specific structure and are very complicated, which we understand doesn’t cater to everyone. We feel though being able to branch out and do something really original is getting a lot harder, because of this feeling of conformity you have to have to get on a specific bill.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
System of a Down – “Mesmerize”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Whatever gives you a kick, go for it!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
The first show we ever did created the drive, so let’s go with our first gig back in 2013.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I love history, something to do with Ancient Egypt or the Maya, or even WW2 history.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Modern people don’t interest me much so let’s say, Nefertiti, Theodore Roosevelt, Shawn Lane, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong. That should be an interesting dinner party haha.
What’s next for the band?
Working towards getting on bigger and better shows, which will lead onto our second album.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They are Cakes! Made from Batter!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you, Ever Metal, and be sure to check out our debut album “Aspects of Dissonance”.
– Dane Simms
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.