DENSE is a Leeds-based band comprised of Charlie Fossick (vocals and guitar), Dylan Metcalf (bass) and Sam Heffer (drums). Inspired by garage rock and post-punk, DENSE’s heavy latest single ‘Erased’ explores the anguish of losing who you are.
Ahead of their upcoming headline show at The Old Bus Depot as part of the ‘50 gigs around the sun’ project, I interviewed DENSE about their singles ‘Erased’ and ‘Reckoning,’ and their local music scene.
You’ve been a staple of the Leeds music scene over the past few years. What do you love about the music community in Leeds? And which upcoming Leeds-based acts have you got your eye on at the moment?
The effort to be inclusive and diverse as a community is something we really like about Leeds. You have labels like Come Play With Me and Clue who have a real focus on being progressive platforms that set a good example for other industry outfits.
You worked with Mixer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, Drenge, Pulled Apart by Horses) on ‘Erased’ and ‘Reckoning.’ What was it like working with him?
We love Ross. Working with him has been really great, it’s no-nonsense and he knows exactly the kind of sound you’re after when you go in there. Brilliant working with Ciaran too who engineers in the studio, a thoroughly lovely and knowledgeable guy. Ross also has impeccable taste in curry houses.
Which local acts or producers would you like to work with in the future?
For now, we’re happy with working with Ross until he’s sick of us. As far as acts go, we’d love to get on another show with our friends in Dim Imagery and Pop Vulture. Charlie lives with the guys in Brooders and they’re also cooking up something good with new material that’ll sound great live.
‘Reckoning’ is the first track that you recorded post-lockdown. It’s a song that’s filled with anger, dealing with the frustrations of modern-day life and pent-up energy post-lockdown. What was it like returning to the studio together after all that time away? And how had your musical influences changed over that time?
It was weird getting back into the studio because we recorded our EP ‘Abjection’ in January 2020 in the house Charlie now lives in and then Reckoning in the same place once we were able to get together and write when lockdown restrictions were in a relaxed period. The change in musical influences was the most notable thing in relation to that as we all had changed in what we’re into, for example, pre-Covid Charlie was really into neo-psych stuff and his taste involved into more experimental and noise-based music by the time we could get in together. I think it was a positive thing in that approaching a song felt really fresh when we got back to it.
I love the single artwork for ‘Reckoning’ and ‘Erased,’ and I feel the flame-like reds and oranges fit the anger and heavy energy of the tracks. How do you feel the artist, Liam Warr, captured your vision for the songs?
Liam Warr understands an assignment when you give him one! He did a really good job of using the colour palette and song themes we gave him and turning it into something that we feel represents the track quite aptly.
Since you’re known for giving electrifying live performances, we’re really excited to see you at The Old Bus Depot later this month. Which song of yours are you most excited to perform live in Nottingham? And why?
We have an unreleased song that’s going to be coming out at some point which we really enjoy playing. Probably one of our heaviest and most abrasive songs yet.
Grab tickets to DENSE’s headlining show at The Old Bus Depot on 20th August HERE.
Written by Anna Sykes