"some music was meant to stay underground..."


An Interview With Dead Horse Trauma Vocalist Eric Davidson

Photo of Dead Horse Trauma

Band Photo: Dead Horse Trauma (?)

Iowa metalcore act Dead Horse Trauma unleashed their new full-length album "Infestation" on November 6th, 2009. The band is currently streaming three sample tracks from the album via their official MySpace page. Dead Horse Trauma's vocalist Eric Davidson took some time to explain to me how the band came together, the meaning behind their distinctive name, and the themes in their music.

xFiruath: Tell me about the origins of Dead Horse Trauma. How long has the band been going and how did it originally form?

Eric: Matt Wingerter and I have been jamming since high school. I was, at the time, by first choice, a guitarist. I had moved to Ames, Iowa to avoid the shallow musician pool Grinnell is, to find new members. After going our separate ways since high school I found out Matt's number from tracking down his mom and pitched him the idea of starting a metal band. We then worked the streets of Des Moines, Ames, and surrounding places looking for members that had the same drive we did. While looking for members we had recorded rough tracks so we could show people what kind of sound we were going for. We eventually had started the band with Matt on drums, Jesse Stamper on guitar, who I met randomly at work overhearing that I was looking for musicians, Josh Laville on bass, formerly of Inhale the Elipses and God Blessed Ignorance, and me on vocals. We later decided to add Seth Peters on guitar and Joey Vice on samples, and that added a whole new dimension. Josh was replaced by "bad" Brad Koehler when he left to make time for his other projects. That was when the band recorded the first EP entitled, "The Unmerciful Infliction.” Then after a few line-up changes, the band was finally complete with Jason Handy replacing Matt Wingerter on the drums, Seth remaining on the guitars, Jarrod Mienke replacing Brad Koehler on the bass, Joey on samples, and me on vocals. That's today's line-up that's featured on "Infestation.”

xFiruath: You’ve got an interesting band name to be sure, is there a story behind it?

Eric: "Dead Horsing" is a term used to describe when someone rapes a person who is unconscious. The name "Dead Horse Trauma" describes the aftermath an act like that. Dead Horse Trauma does not promote, encourage, or glorify rape in any way. The term is used to explain how our minds are constantly being taken advantage of while we are lulled to a constant lack of consciousness to the happenings around us. Religion, our education system, television, and all other forms of media puts us in a sedated state while the powers that be take everything we have. We like to bring our listeners more than they expect with secret tracks, hidden messages in our music and album art. We have many websites out there that we will soon be initializing.

xFiruath: Are you involved with any other bands right now outside of Dead Horse Trauma?

Eric: I am not, but Seth plays guitar in Autocrat.

xFiruath: Who are your biggest musical influences?

Eric: We all like different things, but I like Pink Floyd, Marilyn Manson, American Head Charge, Tech n9ne, Nothingface, Job For A Cowboy, Bone Thugs n Harmony, lots of different metal, rap, and other stuff.

xFiruath: Your music break down on MySpace is listed as “Metal / Industrial / Hardcore,” which covers quite a bit of ground. How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard the band before?

Eric: A dynamic post-metalcore.

xFiruath: Where did you guys record your debut full-length “Infestation” and who did you work with for production?

Eric: Infestation was recorded at 660 studios in West Des Moines, it's located not too far from where I live, so that made for convenient late-night sessions for vocals. It was mixed and mastered by InnerLight records and Ari of Destrophy. He took it with him on the road when Destrophy went on tour with Otep. Overall it was an awesome experience, we love the sound they gave us and they were very open to our ideas.

xFiruath: What do the lyrics deal with on “Infestation” and is there any sort of theme that continues between the various tracks?

Eric: It's a story of an imaginary uprising, recurring nightmares that I've had growing up, and my views on what I think is happening to us as humans. I want this left open to different perspectives and interpretations so I don't want to elaborate too much.

xFiruath: Before “Infestation” you put out an EP titled “The Unmerciful Infliction.” How has your music changed between the EP and the full-length?

Eric: It's a different line-up, and one less guitarist. The sound of Infestation is so much mature than “The Unmerciful Infliction.”

xFiruath: You guys had a record release party not too long ago. How did that turn out, and what is your local metal and hardcore scene like in general?

Eric: Our fans packed the House of Bricks in Des Moines. Heroes End had opened it up, they tore it apart, and then Divided We Stand played before we did. All the bands make it an awesome show to be a part of. We are proud to be part of The Des Moines music scene. It consists of lots of bands like, in no particular order: Agony of Defeat, Cirrus Minor, One Fate, Fatal Fall, World Under, Heroes End, Mindrite, The Boston Hellmask, Index Case, Facecage, Junk Poet, Black By Dawn, Drop Dead Last, Calous, Dark Mirror, Autocrat, Absolute Power, and lots of other upcoming bands that set the bar high for newbies on the scene. I often go to many local shows to check out new bands to set up shows with. I think that more record labels should canvas the area more and give some of us a break, there is more talent in the midwest than some signed bands possess.

xFiruath: What’s up ahead for Dead Horse Trauma? Do you have any live shows currently scheduled for the future?

Eric: We will open for Otep, Bury Your Dead, Through The Eyes of The Dead, Destrophy, and Heroes End on February 24th at Peoples on Court Ave. Tickets are available thru IowaTix.com for $15. We're super-excited about this show. Other than that, we're going to go to tour to California and back. We meant to do it last year, but decided to be more prepared this year. Now we're ready. We're looking for bands that draw well in their cities that are looking for shows in Iowa that would be willing to trade shows with us. We're enlisted the Boulevard Agency to assist with booking and they've been awesome to us so far. They do a lot for the Midwest scene. We've already started tracking rough mixes of songs for the next CD which, at this rate, will be our best yet. That's all I'll say about that. It's confidential.

xFiruath: What albums are you personally spinning the most these days?

Eric: The new Between The Buried and Me and Mindrite: The meaning of the word Love have been alternating in my CD player lately.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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