Recently I had the chance to talk to Dan Boyle (Vocals) of NJ Progressive Metal core act Sirens. Currently the band is unsigned, but they have toured, released full lengths and gained a strong following. This is a band that bleeds DIY and does it well while bringing off a fresh sound.
For the readers please introduce yourself and what you do in Sirens?
Dan Boyle – Vocals
How did Sirens start, Can you give us a quick background story?
Sirens started with our guitarist, Dank Bill, and our old drummer, Dan Haggerty. Around 2008, they began writing some songs together which eventually became our first album “The Gates”. Dan was going to play guitar originally but we couldn’t find a drummer, so he did that instead and recruited our buddy Pat to play guitar and Ari to play bass. We had a joke breakdown band with Dan,Pat and Ari. One day, I had a conversation with Dan about dropping the joke band and actually playing the stuff that he had written a few years ago with Bill. I could hardly scream at that time, Ari had never played bass before and Dan hadn’t played drums in years before Sirens. So we took a few months to get good and we recorded our first album.
You guys have toured before, what states or cities stood out to you and why?
I remember Jacksonville,FL being awesome to us. We were in the middle of a summer tour of the southern states and as expected, a lot of the shows were busts or near busts. So despite the awesome time we were having on tour, we were kind of bummed about how the shows were going. When we played Jacksonville, there was a good amount of kids and people knew about us. It was crazy to see kids who live in a state that I had never been to prior to that night, singing lyrics that I wrote in New Jersey. That was really the coolest experience to me. As an unsigned band, the first time that happens to you when you’re 1000 miles away from home, you remember it for sure. Being down south in general was memorable. We met some incredible people who we still call friends today. They really are a lot nicer down there.
Out of your two full lengths ( The Gates & For What Remains), Which one means the most to you and why?
“The Gates” was the first and that was really my first recording experience and screaming experience. It was a first time for a lot of things for me, so obviously that one is going to be special. But that’s too easy to say. Musically, “For What Remains” is a better album, I was really able to start experimenting with my vocals and was able to write some really personal lyrics. As a band, we were really getting weird. Weird is good. We went into that album thinking that we wanted to try new stuff and we actually did. But the new EP that we are writing is my favorite stuff so far by a long shot.
Can you give us some more info about the new “EP” (Title/structure/date/etc)?
The name of the EP is A.D. We recently released the title track off of it in a lyric video done by our main man, Scott Rudd. It was recorded by Mike Menocker at Silent Owl Studios. That dude is awesome, he just did the new My Bitter End track as well. We are recording the rest of it very soon and should be releasing it around the fall probably. No set date yet. It’s going to be A.D., probably 2 or 3 new songs and maybe a few instrumentals.
If you could sign with any label, who would it be and why?
I really can’t say. Metal Blade has hosted some fucking crazy bands. We all love Black Dahlia, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, BTBAM. They had/have such a ridiculous roster of metal bands that it’d be hard for any aspiring metal band to not want to be a part of that.
That’s all well and good ,but in reality, it comes down to which label we would be able to work best under. Whether that be a brand new upstart label, a strong indie label or even if it means staying DIY. We aren’t in the business of making rash decisions, so it’d have to be someone or a group of people that we feel comfortable working with.
Do you have any DIY suggestions for bands starting off (Tips/Tricks)?
Work harder than everybody else and play as many shows as you can. I feel like the Internet has ruined work ethic. Sitting behind a keyboard and promoting is tough, I understand that, but the real work gets put in on the road. It’s also excellent practice. If you can’t hack it on the road, you need to rethink this whole “being in a band” thing. It’ll make you much closer with your band mates when you’re all scrounging change for Mcdoubles together, trust me. Touring and even just playing shows is vital towards lasting as a band. It’s great to have a strong Internet following, but it’s even better to have a strong real-life following.
In closing, is there anything you would like to add for the readers?
Thanks to anyone who actually listens to the music.
Interview By: Tim Morris