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Interview (Musik)Blättern: Vorheriger Artikel | Nächster Artikel

DOUBLE EXPERIENCE: Let´s talk about Nerd Rock!

During my work for SLAM alternative music magazine I discovered Double Experience, a Canadian rock band that describes their own sound as "Nerd Rock". The new album Alignments - title connected to the Dungeons & Dragons RPG rules system - will see life at April, 24th via Drakkar. For SLAM I did an interview with the band to write a story about them. As the guys had much more to tell then I could put into that print issue, the rest of the interview can be read here:

Funny thing: I would consider myself a "nerd" as I played RPGs, TCGs and all that stuff all of my life and owned a game store in a "former life", but never heard of "Nerd Rock" before. So could you specify that genre to me a little bit?

Nerd Rock is simply rock music that has all the hooks, sing-a-long parts, riffs and guitar solos that you expect a rock band to have, and then smashes that with the nerd world of video games, comic books, television, and other fandoms for lyrical content.

"Metal, the most masculine music on the planet, is dominated by nerds."

The cover artwork of Alignments shows a D20 with some colourful, winded stripes at the top, but without any numbers. I´m sure there is a deeper meaning behind, isn´t it?

When I sent the art brief out, Keenan was the one who really understood what we were going for. We didn’t want to simply parody the classic Dungeons and Dragons packaging because we felt that would be too alienating. The cover we ended up with shows the main idea of the album refracting the nine different beams of light that shine through it. Nine alignments, one title track, then visual elements. And there’s your cover.

Having fantasy RPGs in mind most people would think of Metal bands like Manowar or Blind Guardian - what do you think and feel about that kind of music?

Honestly, most metal bands can probably be labelled as nerd music because a lot of the themes like adventuring and fighting mythical creatures have been present in metal music for a long time. It’s amazing when you consider Blind Guardian and Manowar! Blind Guardian are considered Speed Metal gods but from a musical standpoint, why not nerd music gods too? Nightfall in Middle-Earth is a seminal nerd record and one that I used to crush repeatedly in my teens. I think Manowar are a great example of a nerdy band - they have that quirky aspect to them and write about epic adventures far and wide, they check all the boxes of what nerdy bands are. The crazy thing is, most fans of these bands wouldn’t consider them to be nerdy bands but you can bet fans of these bands read fantasy fiction, play tabletop RPGs and more. Metal, the most masculine music on the planet, is dominated by nerds. Death to false metal!

In your whole gamer´s career, what is the most exciting and/or funny RPG experience you remember?

It happened just recently. Double Experience did an interview with a Canadian rock radio station that framed the entire interview in a one-shot campaign. It was genius. It was thoughtful. We purged the town of mischievous Kobolds, killed the big boss, explained our new record, and even had a couple of critical hits out of less than ten dice rolls. It was lightning in a bottle.

Besides your nerd side of life: What have been the most important sources of inspirations for Alignments?

A lot of RPG games and high fantasy elements were kicking around in our heads as we were considering how to write the songs. Dungeons and Dragons being a classic point of reference but games like Baldur´s Gate, Divinity, even the Diablo franchise acted as source material as we tried to wrap our heads around some of the trickier alignments. We used some characters as direct references; writing songs about Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones, and the Punisher from the Marvel universe. Some alignments are easier than others to write about. Consider most people fall somewhere on the good scale and you realize that things like Evil are incredibly foreign ideas. Lawful Evil had us vexed for a long time because it was something that was just so different to what either Brock or myself could understand.

How do worldly problems like climatic change, Coronavirus, Trump or the lack of superheroes affect your music?

Our job as musicians is to crystalize complex emotions or concerns of our community. This could mean our community of musicians, our community of gamers, or anything. Because if we won’t address song topics like automation in the workplace, violent video games, or toxic incel culture at comic conventions, who will?

Looking back - how did you start making music?

Ian’s the first person I feel like I’ve actually written songs with. Everyone else I have written with writes songs chronologically - starting from the first downbeat, and getting a little further on each pass of the song until somebody claims it is done. That’s how it was for years, even when Ian and I first started playing together. I guess we assumed that was the only way. Gradually, he and I learned the ability to actually work toward a common idea or desired endpoint. So I feel like I’ve only been "making music" the correct way since 2015.

Where do you see Double Experience and yourself as humans within ten years?

To us, "success" is a ticket anywhere in this world with our names on it that allow us to play to a packed room of any size to people who enjoy our music. The fine details aren’t that important to our band. It’s never been cooler to be a nerd either - about time, if you ask me.


Art des Interviews: Email
03/29/20 by Otti

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Weitere Beiträge zu DOUBLE EXPERIENCE:

04/02/20DOUBLE EXPERIENCE: Video of "Your Biggest Fan"(Video: Musik)
05/14/21HÖRST: 8-bit(Rezension: Musik)
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