Diecast – Jon Kita (Guitar) And Eddie Barton (Bass)
Tags: day of reckoning > Diecast > Eddie Barton > Internal Revolution > Jon Kita > metalcore > Tearing Down Your Blue Skies
Diecast got their start in the late ?90s, coming up around the same time as bands like Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage. While they never matched the success of those bands, Diecast still carved out a solid career for themselves over the past 15 years. The band have been laying low since the release of their last album, 2006′s Internal Revolution, but are in the studio working on new material right now. After so much time away from the spotlight, Diecast is looking at 2012 as a chance to return to said spotlight. I had the chance to speak to guitarist Jon Kita and bassist Eddie Barton all about what Diecast has been doing these past few years and what fans can expect from the band on their next album.
What have you guys been up to since the release of Internal Revolution?
Jon Kita: We toured Internal for about a year-and-a-half in the states. The highlight of the tour with touring with Sevendust for about four months total. At that point, we started getting out of our contract with Century Media Records, so the only reason we haven?t put anything out is we don?t have the backing of a label. There was talk with other people, but a lot of the stuff has fallen through. There?s been more interest in the last couple of months though. It?s just been a lack of being able to get out there on a record label, and still now, it?s necessary, though you can put stuff on the Internet by yourself. We still doing touring at least two months out of the year, three to five shows a month in the New England area. We?ve been trying to maintain our visibility, but it?s kind of difficult when you don?t have a press release every month. It?s been different.
Did the band ever consider just going independent and not find another record label?
Jon Kita: We kind of defaulted into that, but we?ve been trying to find a label in the meantime. It?s been difficult. Labels have just been drying up, money-wise. It?s not out of the realm of possibility.
Eddie Barton: It?s kind of been our back-up plan. We?ve in the stage of writing the record and recording demos. We?re really trying to get the songs written. Once we can shop stuff around, and if we don?t really see too much of interest, we?re going to do it all on our own. It?s a give and take, seeing what?s out there and what?s going to happen.
Tell me a little bit about this new material you guys are working on. Have you guys been working on this stuff for years while looking for a new label or did you guys take some time off before you started writing this material?
Eddie Barton: It?s been accumulated over the years. Some riffs we liked back in the day we?re bringing back and mixing it up with new riffs. There?s new songs that we came up with off the fly. There?s a lot of new stuff and old stuff packed into a nice little package (laughs).
Jon Kita: Going back to the writing process on Day of Reckoning and Tearing Down Your Blue Skies and Internal Revolution, there?s a lot of material kicking around that?s never made it onto a record. A lot of the stuff is resurfacing, so it?s not necessarily something that, if you just got the last record or just heard one song from us, you come to expect. A lot of the stuff we?ve been writing lately is a lot heavier. It?s quite a wider spectrum of material. We?ve had so much time, we?ve been able to pick and choose as to what we want to do. We composite ourselves an album based off of what we?ve been able to come up with.
Can you compare this material to any of your past albums or do you see this as being something a bit out of left field for the band?
Jon Kita: The newer stuff has been a lot heavier, which is always fun.
Eddie Barton: We still keep to a melodic structure, but we want to punch people in the face at the same time.
Jon Kita: The thing is, we got a singer that can sing. The last thing we?ve going to do is bury him behind a bunch of screams. We got to let everybody do exactly what they shine at. We haven?t been able to release an album since Eddie joined the band. Eddie?s an amazing vocalist as well. If you?ve seen us live over the course of the last four or five years, you?ve seen him do the back-ups and all the harmonies as well. He?s added another dimension to everything, so the melodic aspect of the song have become a little bit more melodic. The heavier stuff is even heavier. If you?ve ever listened to a Diecast song and went, ?Wow, I like it,? you?ll probably like it. You won?t be disappointed. It is a spectrum of things, dating back to some riffs that we wrote 10 years ago that are surfacing in the material we?re writing.
Eddie Barton: The band is growing musically, but we still want to keep back to those roots. It?s a mixture of both.
Eddie, you came into the band only a few years ago. Did you find that you were able to fit in when it came to writing songs with the guys?
Eddie Barton: Absolutely. When I came into the project, everyone was welcoming of new ideas and new influences. I think that?s what is kind of cool with this new record, hearing all the different influences that are happening, whether it?s in life or music or somebody playing with us. We went through a couple of guitarists as well, filling in and having small little sessions. It?s pretty cool seeing the different dynamics happening.
Jon Kita: Myself and Eddie, we went to college together. We were roommates back in the day. So we?ve known one another for quite some time. We?ve listened to the same music and we?ve listened to different kinds of music, but always shared a love for it. There was a welcoming aspect to that. We?re approachable people. We?re dudes just like everyone else. We?re pretty easy to get along with.
The band has been through a decent amount of line-up changes over the years. How you do feel this line-up is, compared to other ones? Do you feel this is the strongest line-up that the band has had to date?
Jon Kita: Absolutely, 100%. The thing is, when the band started, it was a bunch of friends from Boston. We gelled over the love of old-school hardcore and old-school metal. It was a different dynamic. Now, when we?ve lost a member, we obviously looked to our group of friends who are a lot of talented musicians. ?Who would be a best fit and who would bring something dynamic to the band?? We?ve been very lucky with that. Like I said, with Eddie, he?s got an amazing voice.
He?s a drummer too, so his approach to music is unique in the way that he can just into an instrument and play any one of the parts. It?s an overwhelming universal aspect of it. So that comes handy in the writing process too because if he?s got an idea on the guitar, he?ll grab the guitar and toss it up there. He?ll come in with a song and be like, ?This is the riff on the guitar.? If he?s got an idea on the drums, he can hop on the drums and show Dennis (Pavia). It?s easier for a drummer to talk to a drummer than a guitarist to talk to a drummer. When you got somebody that can play all the instruments, it?s easier to get your point across when you?re talking the same language.
Is there a time table for this album? Is the band looking to get this out by a certain time period or are you guys being organic with the recording process?
Eddie Barton: Right now, we?re still in the writing phrase. We?re in the studio putting tracks down. We got so much material we have to harbor into one cohesive idea. It?s hard to put a time frame on it. We?re trying to shoot for summer, but we?ll see what we come up with and fast we can get everything together.
Jon Kita: We?ve been overwhelmed by the amount of people that want to hear new material. We want to get it out as soon as possible, but we want to find a good place for it. If that means putting it out ourselves, we will do that. It?s difficult out there. People can do it, but it?s time-consuming.
Eddie Barton: We want to do it right. We want to do it the right way and make sure that we?re punching people in the face with this new record.
With the long period of time between albums, is there any concern from you guys that you might have to work to gain back your momentum?
Jon Kita: Always. No matter, whether you put out an album every single year, just because you?re consistent doesn?t mean you?re popular. The thing is, people?s tastes change. The people we were playing to 10 or 11 years ago have grown up and have families and haven?t gone to a show in years. You want to be able to be relevant to people, but you also want to maintain that core set of people that have come out to the shows and supported you over the years. It?s a give or take there as well. You always have to consider that there might not be an audience for you, but we?ve been very surprised by the outgoing of people wanting to hear new stuff and coming out to the shows and vocalizing that to us. That?s very important, because without fans, you really got nothing.
Eddie Barton: We all like to play music together and write shit together. The thought has crossed our mind, but we just want to play and rock and put out a record and see where it goes. It?s more for us and the fans than it really is for anything else. Let?s hit the ball out of the park, you know?
Are you guys finding it easy to get a younger audience into your music? Do you find younger people coming to the shows or do you think it will still be a struggle to get that younger audience?
Eddie Barton: It?s actually quite cool. We see a very diverse age group at our shows. We see a lot of older folks, as well as younger cats. I think it?s a good medium, you know?
When you guys have been playing live over the past few years, have you been testing out new songs? What has the response been to them?
Eddie Barton: It?s actually been really, really good. We?ve had a couple of people asking us if we had demos and all that kind of stuff that they can have or somehow to get a copy of the new songs before the record came out. That?s another motivation to push this thing out as soon as possible.
Do you guys think you will play all the songs live first before you decide to go into the studio to record them?
Jon Kita: Probably not. There are certain songs that translate better on a record than they translate well live. It?s not one of those things where we have to test it by a trial by fire live before we put it on the record. We?ll wind up recording songs that we might not have played out live. There are certain ones that sound great to tape, but might not translate live. That won?t stop us from playing it out. If somebody?s got a request, we?re likely to bust it out.
How many live shows is the band looking to play in 2012 before you guys record the new album?
Jon Kita: As many as possible.
Eddie Barton: We love to play as many live shows as we can with the time that?s allotted for us.
Do you have any shows scheduled right now?
Jon Kita: We do. We got a bunch of local shows in the New England area, Tri-State/NY area. We got some buddies down in Virginia/North Carolina and we are talking about an East Coast tour around spring break, but nothing completely solidified. We?re working things out. We?re not going to discount any possibilities. We want to get out there. Above all too, we want to be able to hand out something to give to all the people that come out to the show. We want to give them something, instead of having them leaving empty-handed and disappointed yet again. We need to get something new out there for everybody.
If you could tour with one band, past or present, who would it be and why?
Jon Kita: At this point, I don?t know if it would be a band. It would probably be one of the festival tours. I love the community on those things. Being on a tour with a number of bands, you?re talking like 20-plus bands for three months, any one of those tours would be ideal for me. You get to meet so many people and you get to enjoy all these different places across the country with these people.
Eddie Barton: I would have to say Sevendust, because I came in right after they did the Sevendust tour. Sevendust is one of my favorite bands from when I was a little younger, so it?s a childhood fantasy of mine. So I would have to say Sevendust.
By Dan Marsicano