Here is the original english version of the interview we did with Sonja and Yessica from the Dutch Death Metal band Dictated. You can find the french version in our fourth issue, in its paper version or online !
Hi guys, thank you for answering these few questions for the fourth issue of our Hellzine. I thank you in advance for your answers. First of all, could you simply introduce yourself and sum up the story of the band to our readers ? Hi Isabelle! Thank you for the questions for the Hellzine ! Our names are Sonja and Yessica and we are the founding members and guitar players from Dictated. We have started Dictated some years ago, but made the new start for Dictated in 2010. We have had the pleasure of touring Europe in 2012 with Origin and Psychroptic, released our album “The Deceived” through Metalblade in the summer of 2014. We are currently writing on our new album and will be hitting Europe again with a tour with Lividity and Dead Infection in June 2016 !
How did you choose the band name “Dictated”, what’s the idea you had behind this name and does it hide any concept in relation with your music / lyrics ? We’ve heard the name/expression “Dictated” a couple of times. It always came across as a very strong and powerful expression, exactly how we wanted our music to sound. Rather to what people might think, it has nothing to do with dictatorship or being dominated. But also, the domain of dictatedmusic was still available ????
By the way, you’re evolving in a Brutal Death Metal style, but there’s something more in the sound you play, something fresh and modern I, personally, could not properly qualify. How did you catch this particular style ? Were you searching to make something different, or did it come naturally, by mixing the band members influences, for example ? Thank you for your compliment. This is actually our favorite part of having a band. Like you say yourself, it has everything to do with the different musical influences of every band member. Different qualities and tastes makes Dictated to what it is now. We don’t sit down and decide on what kind of style we want to write. For example; I was riding my bike at night one day (how Dutch can you be…) and had this melody stuck in my head. I grabbed my phone and started to hum the melody so I wouldn’t forget. The next day I started recording it and created the basis of our new song. Over the last years, our personal tastes have changed as well, but combined in Dictated, I guess into something fresh and modern, as you say.
Also, you’re still a quite young band and you already managed to get a deal with a label, how did it happen ? Do you think it’s a matter of luck or it’s more complicated… ? By the way, if you had a piece of advice to give to younger bands who would like to find a label, what would it be ? We were very lucky to find Metalblade ! It’s an amazing label to be on and they have done so much for us ! We have worked for many years to grow in our music writing, energetic performances and finding the right members. If you combine these ingredients with some luck and good advice, we were able to sign with Dictated. Advice to younger bands : As cliché as it might sound; Fight for it. Be the best you can be and better. Put in the energy into your music and make it your best you ever did. There only has to be one person who will notice you and it’s start rolling from that point on.
It seems that you’re currently working on a new album, what can you tell us about it so far ? Ah yes, the new album ! As you might have seen on our Facebook, we have recorded a couple of songs in the studio, three full songs and an instrumental track to be precise. We pre-recorded the songs to see if we are on track with our ideas and how it all sounds together. As every band would do, we strive to be better than our former album just to challenge ourselves every time again. And as for so far, it will take Dictated to a higher (musical) level !
And, in a more general way, could you tell us how you work on an album ? Who writes the music, who writes the lyrics, and so on ? The guitarists (Sonja and Yessica) create the riffs. Together with the help of Frank, we add the drums and let our bass player be creative in what he does best. When we have a ‘skeleton’ for the song ready, our vocalist writes the lyrics (together with Sonja). We create everything ourselves. From the music to the artwork. We all have a saying in the music, the riffs and the way we want to sound and everybody puts in their own qualities.
Also, you’re working with Frank, who seems to be a session drummer, can you tell us a little bit more about this fact ? Will Frank officially join the band one day ? We have been working with different kind of drummers, from solid to session. Frank is now our session drummer and this construction works for all of us. Frank has his own drumbusiness (Skillpero Drums) and is very occupied with drumlessons, clinics and session work for (other) bands. For us, Frank is a part of Dictated even though he is a session drummer. Maybe in the future he might join us, but for now this works for every one of us.
You seem to tour a lot, would you have any funny story to tell about something which happened on stage one day, something embarrassing or just fun ? And do you already have a best memory on stage so far ? Hahaha we have so many stories! We could write a book with the experiences we got on the road so far. Hillarious situations from birthdays in thongs on stage, racing our cars in Portugal and almost losing the top of our campervan crossing a bridge in the UK. We also have a lot of frightening memories. For example broken campervans (read: heading backwards for the highway with the engine broken), stolen instruments, water damage and hospital trips during touring. When we are on the road for a long period, we always write our experiences down. This way we can learn from every moment and come more and more prepared. Best memories are always being made on stage and for now that is the Origin tour with the last show on the Neurotic Deathfest (R.I.P). There is always room for more experiences and memories because after all, these are very memorable times in our lives.
Also, you seem to really get on well with the band Izegrim Could you comment the Dutch metal scene in a general way, according to you ? Are all the bands close and supportive to each other ? And do you think The Netherlands is a good place to be for a Metal band ? Wish we could say that, but unfortunately with the experiences we got from and with Dutch metal bands we think it’s a hard place to start out. There are so many bands in Holland and therefore a lot of rivalry. It’s hard for bands to be noticed or find the right people to work with. Our opinion has always been focused on helping each other out and allow good stuff to happen to others. We learned from the beginning that there is no room for rivalry, hate and jealousy in any way. That’s why we are good friends with a lot of bands, Izegrim for example. We have been supportive towards each other from the beginning. Those guys (and girl) deserve it so much. It’s not that hard to be supportive towards other musicians and band. If everyone would lose their jealousy and buy a CD instead from time to time, it would be a much better place to share the metal dream together!
Finally, you’ll play at our event in December in Belgium with Izegrim, among others, for “Les Filles à l’Honneur” (a special event to highlight female musicians, not especially singers), what do you think about this kind of event ? And do you think it still hard today to be a woman in a metal band ? We don’t get this question often (even though you would expect it haha) but you have a good point here. We don’t really care what kind of sexes are playing in a band but from experience we can say that other people do seem to care about it. We found out that the (death) metal scene isn’t always that tolerable as they claim to be. We have had cancelled record deals because of our sexes, venue employees mistaking Sonja and Yessica for groupies or girlfriends from the other band members etc. But it also has benefits to be a woman in the metal. There aren´t a lot of metal bands out there who have two female guitar players on stage. Besides that, they/we also look alike so usually it´s an instant recognition. Therefore we think it’s great to see these kinds of events happen more and more often. As you said, it’s not about the female voice, but about the fact that we can destroy a place with music just like anyone else and give you guys a very energetic/kick ass show you have come for !
An to really finish, do you have a final word for your Belgian fans ? And also to incite people to discover Dictated in case they have not yet ? We are very looking forward returning to Belgium! We are going to destroy the place and hopefully present you guys with the new album! Last year was freaking great and we will even have a bigger party this year! And of course, we expect everyone to sing along so check us out on Spotify/iTunes and get practicing. See you guys there ! Thank you for the interview !