By: Michael Del Vecchio
Washington State-based deathcore band, Enterprise Earth, are nearing the end of the
North American tour with headlining act, Rings of Saturn. I talked to Enterprise Earth singer
Dan Watson, and guitarist Gabe Mangold, about the tour, the band, and their recent record,
“We’ve had some van troubles, and I couldn’t get into Canada, but overall it was really good,”Dan said.
On November 3, their first Canadian date for the tour, while crossing the border for the
Canadian show dates, Dan and Enterprise Earth bassist, Rob Saireh, were stopped at the
border. On Instagram, Dan apologized to the fans for not being able to make the Canadians shows, and promised to be there next time the band has a Canadian run. That night, Enterprise Earth still took the stage with a modified line-up, and after the show ended, the band thanked the crowd for their intensity and enthusiasm.
“The shows have been great, the fans have been great, the turnouts have been awesome,”
Dan said. “When people come out and see us, they’ve always said we sound just like the
album. And, that’s something I love to hear, because when I used to go to concerts as a kid,
I’d be disappointed when the band doesn’t sound as good live as they did on the record. So,
to be able to have that compliment and maintain that standard, we take pride in that.”
Deathcore is a physically-demanding genre for vocals – singers deliver shrieks, screams and growls, night after night. I asked Dan how he maintains his voice, and where the balance lies between control and volume on stage.
“It’s something - your technique - that you practice and use every tour,” Dan said. “You learn pretty quickly that when you’re maxing out live, you can only max out for a couple of days before you blow your shit out. I’ve learned through trial and error - unfortunately, the hard way - that I have to bring it back a notch, and practice good vocal control in order to preserve my voice and sound good for the entire tour. Sometimes when you’re on stage, you just get excited, and you just want to put all the emotion into it, but you have to remind yourself to take it back that notch.”
With the recent setbacks and general life on the road, I asked them how they usually
keep up morale when they’re on tour. “Fortunately, we have a good team and vibe well together,” Gabe said. “Make sure you’re in a band with people that you like and get along with, because that makes things easier. Especially when you’re living together for months at a time.” Dan added, “not only that but also living together in a… tin can. When shit’s hard, we make jokes and, you know, make fun of each other. As long as we can all laugh, we can get through anything together.”
While aggression, intensity and power are abundant on Luciferous, there are moments
of Gabe’s clean-guitar voicings that broaden the atmosphere and give some songs even more contrast and depth. “I’ve always really enjoyed classical guitar and classical music,” Gabe said. “And of course, there’s a lot of crossover with death metal and classical music, melodically and compositionally. It just seemed to fit during the writing sessions, the idea came up and seemed to flow really well.”
Luciferous carries a lot of momentum between tracks, with blistering instrumentation
from rapid lead and rhythm work, to a laser-precise rhythm section, all coupled with Dan’s
vocals. You can hear this prominently in the middle of the record and up to final epic, There Is No Tomorrow. “When we were writing (the record), it’s not like we had anyone set thing in mind,” Gabe said. “We just try to write good songs, try to give each song its own character, its own vibe, while retaining an overall cohesiveness to the record. The songs weren’t written in the album order, they came out, and we decided what order would sound best. Putting Requiem in the middle - since it’s a transition, interlude song - seemed like a good place for it.”
Getting your message out there as a musician is usually tied to how many ears it hits,
which is then tied to how accessible the general public deems your genre. I asked the guys
how they feel playing deathcore affects their message, and what benefits and experiences the genre brings to the band. Dan said he knew that if they wanted to get really far in the industry and receive more widespread praise for their music, they wouldn’t be playing deathcore. “But I think the benefit is that we’re so passionate about the music,” Dan said. “Being heavy and aggressive - that’s something inside us all. With the lyrics, we wanted to be genuine, real, and not stick to any trends or clichés, and not, pretend to worship Satan or any of that shit. It’s all about reality and how hard life is - and getting through it in a positive way. And that’s what our music does - we bleed into the music, and when we play, we’re releasing all this negative energy, but in a positive way. That’s the benefit of the style for us, it’s therapeutic.”
Enterprise Earth’s last show on the Rings of Saturn tour is November 17. After that,
they play a headlining run of American show dates. If you’re finding yourself in Europe this
February or March, tickets for their European tour go out this week.