Interview by: Stephanie Roe
A negative reputation can supersede all when a band is trying to build a new brand for their name. But Design the Skyline is ready to show the world their new direction and do what they love above all else; play music. A band who has dealt with their fair share of online backlash and lineup changes, the old adage ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’ rings true for DTS. And if you don’t like it, feel free to take your headphones out. DTS is fresh off their recent Substream spring tour with Phinehas and It Lies Within and are ready to keep the momentum going with a new record due out in 2013 and plans to take the US by storm with an upcoming tour. Substream caught up with DTS’s Julian Reckless to find out more about their latest plans and when fans can expect more music from their new album.
Substream: Your single “Deathgaze” was released earlier this month. How’ve your fans been reacting to it?
Julian Reckless: Really positive. They come to me and tell me how much they love it and how much we’ve improved. They really like the sound and the direction it’s been going. But what I’ve been telling them is that there is more upcoming in this album than they even expect.
S: You and the rest of Design the Skyline have been working hard in the studio since last year. How close is the record to being finished?
JR: Very close. We are pretty much 95% finished, we’re just putting in the finishing details. We’ve been staying up all night just jamming away. It’s very dynamic and very diverse. People aren’t expecting what they are going to hear. They’re really going to have something to talk about.
S: Do you have a release day set for your album?
We would love to have it out by August, but at this point, I would say around December. It would make a nice little Christmas present.
S: Do you know what your next single is going to be?
JR: Actually we do, but we don’t have a name for it yet. But it’s really awesome. All of the tracks are really fun. It’s the second song we wrote after Deathgaze. I really want to release it. We would love to have that out by August.
S: Recently, DTS just finished up the Substream Spring tour with Phinehas and It Lies Within. How was that?
JR: I really enjoyed life with those two bands. Those guys are awesome and the run was really nice being on the east coast for so long. Being able to connect with kids around that area was great. They really seemed to understand what we go through and that helps a lot.
S: DTS has been touring a lot lately. What’s your favorite part of tour?
It would have to be going to all of these venues and meeting all the kids. It’s after the show and getting along with all of these new people. It’s a lot of fun.
S: Where is one place you want to tour you haven’t yet?
JR: I really want to cross over and visit Canada. I also want to go overseas and visit the west coast again. All of these places are just great.
S: Do you guys have any tour rituals or traditions?
JR: We give each other the metal horns and let each other know we’re ready. Then we just rock out.
S: Your band has also had quite a bit of lineup changes. How has going through so many different members impacted you as a band?
JR: It’s made us stronger. It’s been like spring cleaning in a way. But it’s not like we ever lost touch, it’s just things came up and we can’t be there right now. But here we are again together. The chemistry is still there and it’s only getting stronger. It’s been an achievement staying together.
S: Your drummer John recently got back into the band. What made him come back?
JR: We’re all really close friends. We started this band together in high school in our guitar class and it just happened that he had to back away for a year from the band. Now that he’s free, he’s back with us and he can tour.
S: Are you actively seeking a new bassist, or will one of the DTS current members step into that role?
JR: Ethan [White] is thinking about stepping up, but we do have a bassist that goes on tour with us. He’s always been there just in case. But right now it’s been difficult to find somebody, so we’re just managing without having a full band. It still works and it feels a lot cleaner having two guitarists, actually.
S: DTS has also dealt with a lot of negativity online. How do you and your band mates handle the negativity?
JR: We just let them know that it’s not their fault for hating it. There are people who still appreciate it and we still love it. We just handle it as best we can and let them know that is not everything we have to offer. And we certainly make up for it with our live performance. Before you know, people are like ‘wow you’re awesome, I totally misjudged you because [Surrounded by Silence] is all I heard.’ It’s really interesting because we all end up laughing about in the long run and before you know it we have a new fan.
S: What are you looking forward to accomplishing as a band this year?
JR: We really want to make a world for Design The Skyline. Something that people really love about us that others don’t have. Make a really wide base of material that people can love about us.
S: What’s the next step for DTS?
I’m going to head back to my laptop and keep working on all of the extra material and later have another practice. I want people to know that we are very dedicated and we are serious musicians. I want them to know that we’re not quitting any time soon. This isn’t a hobby for us, its how our heart beats. They don’t have to like us or hate us, it’s all for ourselves. We appreciate that people come out and hear us and understand what we’re doing.
S: Thanks Julian for your time!