Hot on the heels of the release of their new album Loved to Death, synth metal masters Dance With The Dead are currently burning up the road, leaving a trail of 80’s action and horror inspired destruction in their wake. Weaving horror visuals, face melting guitars and tunes that would do John Carpenter proud, Dance With The Dead’s Tony Kim and Justin Pointer are certainly gaining fans everywhere they stop.
Recently I was able to catch up with Dance With The Dead during a stop in Columbus, Ohio and pick these two metal and horror loving fiends’ brains. Below is a Wicked Horror exclusive interview with Dance with the Dead.
WH: You guys are both on the road right now, supporting your new album Loved to Death, how has the road been treating you so far?
Tony Kim: Good man
Justin Pointer: So far good
WH: Have you guys ever played Columbus before?
Tony Kim: First time
WH: Is the Buckeye state treating you good?
Tony Kim: Yeah minus the White Castle we just had
WH: You are both from Orange County, CA. you have been friends for quite a while, how did you first meet?
TK: Well, we have two different stories, I’ll do my version. I must have been 13 with a girlfriend of mine at the time, my girlfriends’ friend, is the house that we all kind of hung out at. He just happened to swing by, what were you like 3 years older than me?
Justin Pointer: Uh yeah, I am still three years older than you
Tony Kim: No it was like high school years, I was like a freshman, you must have been like a junior or senior, which is a huge gap when you are a freshman I guess, they seem that much older. But yeah, I knew you as a really good drummer in town. I think I had mentioned that to him and he was a complete asshole so..that’s my version. I was like that guys a dick [laughs]. That was how many years? And here we are.
Justin Pointer: I don’t really have a version, I don’t really know how I know him. But I know I’ve known him for over 20 years. That’s all I remember.
WH: Your music has such a unique sound that incorporates many genres like metal and synth. How would you guys describe Dance with the Dead to somebody who has never heard you?
Tony Kim: I mean usually just narrow it down to electronic rock.
Justin Pointer: To me that’s kind of what it is.
Tony Kim: Obviously there’s influences of metal, rock, electronic music, synthesizers and all that, but I mean there’s so many terms out there. Darkwave, vaporwave, it’s too much *laughs*.
WH: You’ve done several remixes, Kickstart my Heart by Motley Crue, Queen’s We Will Rock You, Metallica’s Master of Puppets, do you have any plans of doing a strictly cover or remix album eventually?
Justin Pointer: We can only do those for fun, just because of publishing rights.
Tony Kim: Yeah, we can’t ever release those.
Justin Pointer: So, we really just do those for fun and throw those out there on the internet and we don’t make money off of them. Matter of fact they actually make money off the plays. But we just do them for fun we would never, we could never, release an album.
Tony Kim: But if we did have the opportunity to then, yeah that would be amazing.
WH: The horror genre obviously is a huge influence on you guys. It in can be seen in the album artwork and the band’s name. You’ve covered the A Nightmare on Elm Street theme, Gremlins theme, John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13. With Halloween just around the corner, what is on your essential Halloween viewing list?
Justin Pointer: We kind of watch horror movies year-round. Halloween’s great and were super festive, but we don’t really get more into horror during Halloween.
Tony Kim: I think for me during this time I always bust out like Monster Squad and stuff like that. More old school ones. Because like Halloween, obviously they’re all great, but we’ve seen those a million times, so it’s like eh. But like Poltergeist, all the good ones. But it’s especially hard when we’re on the road, we can’t just you know, binge watch movies.
WH: Is there a specific horror film that still scares you no matter how many times you watch it?
Tony Kim: Well my favorite movie is The Exorcist, at this point it doesn’t scare me. But I mean it still has a gnarly impact visually, just like wow. This was literally from the 70’s and people had never seen anything like it at the time. I don’t think I’ve seen one that has scared me in a while but, in my opinion The Exorcist is still one of the scariest movies of all time.
WH: What has been your biggest challenge to overcome as a group?
Justin Pointer: I don’t know, that’s a good question. I’d have to think about that one. We’ve never really hit any roadblocks or speed bumps for that matter, as far as like writing music is concerned.
Tony Kim: I mean if this was a question you asked us 2 years ago the challenge would have been “oh it’d be nice to tour the world” but gradually that started happening in the last few years. I’m pretty grateful that we’re not only the second time around on the North American tour, I’ve been to bigger parts of Europe as well. I mean a lot of bands don’t get that opportunity, especially being an unsigned band. But as a challenge I don’t think there is really been one. Just kind of going day by day.
WH: Musically who do you guys count as influences?
Tony Kim: This could go forever….
Justin Pointer: I’d say growing up the two bands that I loved the most were White Zombie and Pantera, because they had groove behind their metal. They were heavy as hell, but you know they were groovy. Nowadays I listen to a lot of like Hans Zimmer, Chris Martinez. People who score movies and stuff like that.
WH: What’s your favorite song to play live?
Tony Kim: For me, I think, it would be right now probably “Go” off the new record.
Justin Pointer: I like playing “Salem” a lot, because that is one of my favorite songs that we’ve done. So, I really sink into that one.
WH: Finally, I’m hoping you can settle a debate, is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
Tony Kim: I’ve actually have encountered this question before [laughs]
Justin Pointer: NO! Like, not at all. [laughs]
Tony Kim: It just takes place during the holidays, but I don’t think it makes it a Christmas movie. But I think it became a classic “well it’s during the holidays”. It’s Christmas day at a company party so it just became a Christmas movie. So, people just automatically think “oh it’s an action Christmas film” I don’t think it’s a Christmas movie.
JP: Yeah, it’s an action film.
By the end of the show our ears were ringing and we were all a sweaty mess. We didn’t want it to be over, it couldn’t be over! We needed more! I have been to quite a few concerts in my life but this one is definitely in my top best live performances. Be sure to check out Dance With The Dead when they decimate a town near you and make sure to get a load of Dance With The Dead’s new album Loved to Death, or any of their music catalog for that matter.