Music Misanthropist Dragged Into Sunlight
The elusive Dragged Into Sunlight are a UK extreme metal act, with a collective of members, of whom some have maintained their involvement with profiled acts throughout the preceding decade. The band have carved a unique sound established in 2006 and an underground following akin to a vast spread of bands active in the late 90s extreme, doom, death, black metal and harsh noise genres. Dragged Into Sunlight cite no specific influence other than the depression, isolation, abuse and calculated violence abundant in contemporary society. In 2008, the band released a limited edition tape known as ‘Terminal Aggressor’ which was heavily traded, eventually selling out and never re-pressed. In 2009, the band released their debut full length ‘Hatred for Mankind’ on the then resurrected Mordgrimm Records, known for artists such as Anaal Nathrakh, Eagle Twin and Attila Cshir. The record, mastered by Billy Anderson (Eyehategod, Weedeater and Sunn) and produced by Tom Dring (Magpyes, Horsebastard and Wizard Of Misery) summoned an immediate cult following setting the benchmark for what is an ultimately unique and extreme sound. The band’s sound is best described as ‘a blistering void of total negativity’ having drawn comparison to fellow lifers Incantation, Rudimentary Peni, Wolves In the Throneroom, Eyehategod and Beherit. Having gained notoriety for their exclusive, vicious and ritualistic live performance, Dragged Into Sunlight went on to tour in Europe with Eyehategod, Weedeater, Black Cobra, Rwake, Today is the Day and Soilent Green.
HMA: Thanks for this interview and for your interest in Heavy Music Artwork.
Dragged Into Sunlight: It is our privilege.
HMA: I wanted to start straight on the artwork on your two full-length release. Justin Bartlett our May artist of the month depicted the artwork for your first record Hatred For Mankind, an astonishing piece. What is your relationship with the Justin in terms of direction?
Dragged Into Sunlight: Justin Bartlett possesses an exceptionally rare talent. As an artist, creativity is a necessity, however, the band’s sound and direction should not be diluted or misrepresented. Dragged Into Sunlight value an interpretation of its sound. Justin conveyed the ritualistic hatred and raw aggression of Hatred for Mankind with minimal input. The cover art for Widowmaker is Sindre Foss. Sindre’s depiction of life’s repeat cycle with what is also a manic approach is very fitting to the experimentation found in Widowmaker.
HMA: They hold very distinctive characteristics and are full of symbolism and meanings. Can you share some of the mystery and content?
Dragged Into Sunlight: Much of the mystery lies with the artist in each instance.
HMA: What came first the art or the music? Or was it developed in parallel?
Dragged Into Sunlight: Much like chicken and egg, one preceded the other. A wiser question is whether they can exist independently, to which the answer is negative, despite being crafted independently, both are interdependent.
HMA: Part of Dragged Into Sunlight is the anonymity that surrounds the musicians. Why is this important and will we ever know who you are?
Dragged Into Sunlight: There is no chest worthy of beating. We do what we do. Identity is not a necessity. The issue is whether listeners require a face to the name or whether contemporary musicians require the adulation of their audience or whether it is simply the norm. Dragged Into Sunlight do what we do and it is what it is. You do not need to know us and we do not need to know you.
HMA: Another recent band that adopted the same concept is Ghost. Do you think we will see more of this happening?
Dragged Into Sunlight: Grown men dressed in fancy dress is hardly anonymity. It is an image. Dragged Into Sunlight exists independently of the ‘main’ stream. It began playing to the walls and we still play to the walls. Our vision is somewhat blinkered, however, it may be that extreme metal bands do take to playing dress up when the media is bored of them. This is cold marketing. Dragged Into Sunlight is art and will maintain its integrity.
HMA: Part of your lyrical content is hatred, misanthropy and depression. Why is this important to Dragged Into Sunlight?
Dragged Into Sunlight: The world is a fucked up place.
HMA: Where is this animosity come from? Any specific life events that made this such an important part of your music?
Dragged Into Sunlight: It is a release. Animosity snowballs from the extreme frustrations of daily life. There are limited options. Writing and recording music or heading outside with a hammer.
HMA: The artwork has certainly a ritualistic feel to it, would you say that your music has the same quality?
Dragged Into Sunlight: Akin to a ritual, every note and cymbal is absolutely necessary. There is pre-meditation, a manner in which to conduct proceedings and sense of fulfillment.
HMA: Are your performances “rituals” in essence?
Dragged Into Sunlight: A ritual is repeated; occasionally however there are different spirits and the unknown becomes known. Dragged Into Sunlight shares a similar volatility. Dragged Into Sunlight is an exorcism and as with any ritual, the result is self-affirmation.
HMA: There voices samples on your albums that are very unsettling. Where are they coming from? I hope is not from my head when I listen to your music?
Dragged Into Sunlight: The samples are very human. The words are spoken by those who have committed to living outside the norms of society. Richard Kuklinski, Jeffery Dahmer and Richard Ramirez are but a few of those represented. There is something very fitting in the words spoken and to interpret the varying insights would be at the expense of the listener. A great mind speaks for itself.
HMA: Thanks for this interview and great to have you on Heavy Music Artwork.
Dragged Into Sunlight: Thanks.
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