Profile: Kevin Keegan of Vancouver’s Dead Quiet

Dead Quiet, who are on the eve of their third full length Truth and Ruin, sit in a great spot between the type of heavy metal and hard rock that cuts deep and leaves its mark long after the music’s over. The band brings forth their love of the classics with an undeniable knowledge of what made it all work in the first place; heavy rhythms and riffs coupled with organ playing that sounds straight out of the 70s. Their first two albums stretched out a bit more and even meandered a bit in spots which lent more to stoner or psychedelic metal but this time out it’s clear the focus is to just get in, slay, and get out while still being catchy enough to stick the melodies deep in the brain cavity. Just ahead of the album’s release, we caught up with guitarist and vocalist Kevin Keegan armed with our set of Profile questions to dig a little deeper into the band, his history, and thoughts. Head inside to see how it went down and be sure to support them by hitting the links contained within.

How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?

I started off playing drums when I was 10 after my older brother handed me Kill em All on cassette and said, “study this.” Then around 16 I wanted to start writing music so I picked up the guitar. As for the level of success, not really haha. I always dreamed of being able to live off my music but that’s not easy to achieve. I definitely don’t take for granted the opportunities music has allowed for me though; getting to tour most of the world, record and share music I’ve written.

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

I think just generally having to kiss promoters’, those of whom are shitty, asses to get on good bills. I haven’t done that in a long time because it’s just pointless. Playing for twenty minutes, first of six bands, right at doors is never worth sucking up to a shitty promoter who will always take advantage of your enthusiasm for playing music. As far as embarrassing moments go, I once was very drunk and introduced us as a band I used to be in. The crowd was confused and my band was annoyed.

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?

I think there’s still a lot of sincerity in metal right now. I think the bands that are sticking with their roots but expanding on them is really cool. I’m pretty out of touch with a lot of what’s happening with current metal but is the Warped Tour metalcore style still a thing? That stuff was bumming me out pretty hard when it was really rolling.

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) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?

Up until recently we tried to keep our political views separate from the music but inevitably it presents itself. With everything that’s happening right now we are more conscious of the importance of taking a stance. We did a merch campaign where all profits went to Black Lives Matter and the Native Women’s Association of Canada. I’ve heard some criticism about bands doing that for publicity but for us it was about supporting something in a way we knew how. I find it hard for a bunch of white men to come out and say something when it’s time for us to shut up and listen so we did our best to support some causes financially while showing people that we do take a stand for things of vital importance. Lyrically, I’ve definitely touched on important social and political issues such as Indigenous issues in North America and as a long time vegan/vegetarian, animal rights issues as well.

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

It goes back to my older brother and sister feeding me music when I was very young. It started off with a lot of old punk rock but it was the metal stuff that always got my attention the most. My family was very supportive. I think because I had older siblings that were already into a variety of music my parents weren’t too surprised when I came into my metal ways.

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?

I’d say just try to listen to new music without a bias. The “For those who like…” often predetermines how you’re going to listen to things for better or for worse. I suppose I just hope that a music critic can engage with new stuff with objectivity and come up with a fair and balanced review.

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.

I think right now the goal is to try and share our new record with as many people as possible without being able to tour it. It’s a new era and bands need to start getting creative in order to get music out there. As soon as touring is possible again, I’d like us to get out there but who knows when that will be. A few of us have other musical projects in the works to keep us busy. Brock makes moonshine in his garage, which is pretty great.

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently?

I’ve been delving into the Turbo/Ram It Down era Judas Priest for the last while. Those are the records I avoided forever because of some of the 80’s production qualities; drum machine, borderline cheesy elements. I’m sure glad I finally came around though because they are great records and I’m ashamed I ever doubted something from one of my favourite bands. Other than that I’ve been listening to a lot of hip hop; Danny Brown and Freddie Gibbs at the moment.

What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?

It’s really hard to tell at the moment with how things are shaping up in the world. I’d love to say that we will be playing live again within that timeframe but who knows. Probably work on some new material at the very least. I’m going to be recording with another project at some point too.

Summarize your band in exactly one word.

Ambiguous

Many thanks to Kevin for his time!


Truth and Ruin will be available September 11 on Artoffact Records. For more information on Dead Quiet, visit their official website and Facebook page.

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