By MIKE CHAIKEN
Opus, the drummer for Connecticut metal band Dead by Wednesday, was no stranger to the guys in renowned metal merchants Shadows Fall.
Opus used to be in the band Gargantua Soul, which made a great deal of noise across Connecticut and across the nation. While Opus was in Gargantua Soul, he said he had a chance to make friends with some of the musicians he met along his travels. That’s when he struck up a relationship with Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachand.
Additionally, said Opus, Shadows Fall drummer Jason Bittner also has been friends for a long time.
Opus said Matt and he spoke about Dead by Wednesday and Shadows Fall possibly doing some local shows together. But because Shadows Fall typically was off playing big time gigs, there just wasn’t time in their schedule to make it happen.
But then the stars aligned.
A hole opened up in Shadows Fall’s schedule, said Opus. And Dead by Wednesday was ready to play some gigs behind its new EP “Death of The Rockstar,” which is released next Tuesday.
However, Opus said Matt said Shadows Fall wasn’t available to do the ground work of finding shows for the two bands. So, Opus said he went to work finding possible gigs, hitting up some of his contacts in the promoter/ club world for a Dead by Wednesday/ Shadows Fall touring juggernaut.
By the end of his legwork, said Opus, club owners were clamoring for a Dead by Wednesday and Shadows Fall combination. Opus said there was so much buzz about a tour with the two bands, Shadows Fall had no choice to set out on the road with their Connecticut-based metal buddies.
Dead by Wednesday (which also includes Joseph Lee Morbidelli on vocals, Mike Modeste on bass, and Joey Concepcion on guitars.) and Shadows Fall come to City Limits Café on the Thomaston/ Waterbury town line on Saturday. The tour continues through July 6.
Connecticut has a passionate underground metal scene. And Massachusetts, from which Shadows Fall hails, is the king of metalcore with such acts as Killswitch Engage calling the commonwealth home.
Asked if there is any rivalry between the two New England neighbors that might manifest itself on stage with Shadows Fall, Opus said that isn’t the case. He said his band’s mission on the tour is to promote “Death of the Rockstar” and to win as many fans as possible. Dead by Wednesday’s mission never is to “blow away” their tour mates.
“It’s about camaraderie and brotherhood.”
If anything, said Opus, being on the same bill with Shadows Fall will inspire both bands to play that much better each night.
“We help each other push it to the limit.”
“Death of the Rockstar,” said Opus, marks the band’s continuing efforts to get better with age. Each album the band releases, he said, Dead by Wednesday tries to do things better than before; that means better production and better songwriting.
The band’s previous album, “The Last Parade,” marked better production than its previous release. And “The Last Parade” earned the band tons of kudos.
The new album is a five song EP. Although, Opus said, the band wanted it to be a full-length.
Initially, things were looking for it to be the best Dead by Wednesday LP yet, especial thanks to the arrival of producer Nicholas T. Rage of Toxic Holocaust (who has worked with Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow, and Jasta).
However, Dead by Wednesday was thrown for a loop when founding guitarist Ross Raguta decided it was time to settle down and live a more stable life.
Rather than release a record with two different styles of guitar playing, Opus said the band decided to wrap up what it had already finished, pulling in a few hired hands to add some finishing touches. And “Death of the Rockstar” was unleashed on the world.
In a way, he said, the five song EP is ideal in today’s music world. The attention span of the younger audience is better suited for an EP. It also means the album has nothing but hits, and no filler.
For the tour, Opus said the band has hired guitarist Joey Concepcion (who Opus called, “The Michael Jackson of guitar.”)
“He’s quiet, shy and humble,” said Opus. But on guitar, said Opus, “He knocks your socks off.”
Whether Concepcion joins the band permanently, said Opus, waits to be seen. The band wants to see how he does on the tour with Shadows Fall.
But, said Opus, Concepcion brings a lot of energy to the band that had been missing.
If Concepcion works out, said Opus, you can expect Dead by Wednesday to release a full album in the near future.
Dead by Wednesday and Shadows Fall come to City Limits, 2627 Thomaston Ave., Waterbury on Saturday, June 21 They are part of Axe Fest, which features 12 bands and begins at 1 p.m. Admission is $20 with $50 VIP packages available. For tickets, call Ticket Boss at (203)506-0184.
For more information, go to DeadByWednesday. com
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver. com.
By MIKE CHAIKEN