Profile: M. Chvasta of Dead Register

Dead Register
Dead Register

When Atlanta GA’s Dead Register released their full length debut Fiber last year it was a runaway hit that literally no one saw coming. It’s an amalgamation of doom, goth, rock and new wave that hits hard and leaves an instant impression. It landed on many ‘best of 2016’ lists and was covered in these very pages, so it definitely resonated across the board. As of last month the band released a black vinyl version and Throne Records released a translucent sea-blue with sea foam speckles version — with that this album finally gets the treatment it so deserves. With this physical issue just in the rearview mirror we got the chance to ask M. Chvasta (vocals, bass) our set of Profile questions and as you will see he was straight to the point with his answers.

Dead Register Fiber

How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?

When I was young, I played crappy Metallica tapes at half speed while beating on a wooden footlocker, hitting an out of tune hammer dulcimer with a skateboard rail, and chanting bad poems and “freestyling” over the top of it — recording it all on The Fisher Price Tape Recorder. Painful. Utterly fucking painful. By the time I was nearly done with college, I figured playing a real instrument would probably be “a good idea,” instead of trying to just sing over somebody else’s music. I got a Peavey T-60 guitar, then quickly switched over to a Peavey T-40 bass because guitar’s tiny, puny strings were screechy and annoying. Bass is the place. Please see the next question’s answer about “success.”

What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.

I don’t get too embarrassed. I sidestep this answer with this photo.

It’s best that you look, like, and follow. Seriously, click the link.

What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

Oranssi Pazuzu’s 2nd & 3rd albums are utterly fantastic. We need more creative crushing genius akin to these guys. The worst? The HORDES of generic carbon-copy bands. Bands that if you made a playlist that you couldn’t tell apart from each other. Generic drivel is the worst thing happening in any scene, although it does seem to sell because it’s safe so the show continues to go on, sigh.

It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music? (This question is especially appropriate for you since your music is quite an outlet for your physical and emotional pains).

I avoid religion and most politics in my music. I write from what I know: feelings. Trying to relate and fit into the world. From the heart, or fuck off is how I generally roll. Be good to folks and share love when you can. The majority of the lyrical content on Fiber is about connectedness, or lack thereof.

What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?

Borrowed from Metal Recusants: “When I was in 4th grade (1984?), I tried to go to bed listening to the radio on my generic Walkman headphones… First, Van Halen came on, then Depeche Mode’s “People are People”… I was so put-off that I got out of bed and threw my Walkman on the ground—I HATED IT SO MUCH. Later that week, I was on the school bus with a Transformer in-hand (Sunstreaker?), and some skinny wild-beast looking dude was like, “do you listen to music?” I thought to myself for a second about pots and pans clanging in that fffucking Depeche Mode song, and promptly responded, “NO.”  He pulled out Iron Maiden’s Piece of Mind and was like, “You need to listen to this because it’s cooo-ooool.”  The cover art was absolutely brilliant… I was like, “I have to hear this,” and received a badly-dubbed cassette of it to blast on my Soni Walkerman. It was better than any of the utter shit on the radio, for sure. The toughest stuff I’d heard at this point was Kiss from an old neighbor, which was in my fat, sweaty, zitty 4th grade my opinion, not very tough at all—it seemed to me like wussy “dad rock.” Maiden was different. It was tough, but written like pop songs so it was instantly accessible.  I guess I could’ve listened to worse?”

What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?

Start CRUSHING bands. Pushing them to the edge. Like, start publishing zines dedicated solely to the bands you hate. Like, “Stalker.” This is amazing. Bring your hatred of bands to the NEXT LEVEL. I’d love to see you picketing our next round of shows!

What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

Every moment that I sit under fluorescent lights in an office environment is a dash towards death. So: More time on the road, sleeping on your floor, sleeping in your driveway, peeing in your shower (while showering, of course), drinking your French roast from your French press, watching the rest of DR drink your hipster-approved IPA’s, using your washing machine (so you can wash your fresh new Dead Register apparel), eating your food, “borrowing” your gas card so we can get to the next town. Fucking town-to-town breakfast cult. I’ll be the leader of said cult.

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)

This past year? The newest Rotting Christ is actually super-cute for religious music. As far as mainstream metal goes, Gojira’s Elephant Sausage is pretty fantastic, too. Lament Cityscape/Theologian collaborative LP is a mind melt, and Author and Punisher is pushing the boundaries of bleak-yet-accessible heaviness. Oranssi Pazuzu’s middle works still get pretty heavy rotation here. Hexxus, Weary Heads, Entertainment are my regional favorites. FVNERALS (Throne Recs Alum) are rad, too. I’m a sucker for delay and reverb tones on a record. An aural washing of my woes.  Avril’s been listening to Hélène Grimaud. Chad stays hip with all the new atmospheric black metal slabs.

Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication

In the words of multiple showgoers, we kid you not, “SEXY.”

Many thanks to Chvasta for his time!

Fiber is available now on digital and vinyl on the band’s Bandcamp page. The special edition vinyl release is also available now on Throne Records. For more information on Dead Register visit their Facebook page.

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