When music is you goal, nothing will stand in your way. Dystopian I, shows that adversity can be over come even on the biggest stages.
Caleb Burger (Vocals), Mike Piper (Guitar), Hooch (Drums), and Adam Subtractum (Bass) make up Dystopian I. The band started out in 2013 and is making their second appearance at Dirt Fest. Mike had a few free minutes to discuss that and a few other topics with us.
NRR What’s been going on with the band in the last year since you played at Dirt Fest 2014?
Mike Piper: Last year we replaced our original vocalist literally two weeks before the festival. Our new vocalist, Caleb, did an excellent job incorporating himself into our sound and existing material in that short period of time but we decided it would be a good idea to put the winter months to use working on new material and spending time evolving together, musically, as if we were a brand new band all over again. Once the ground thawed we started booking around Flint and Detroit and now the next thing on our agenda is Dirt Fest.
NRR: Hopefully you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at Dirt Fest 2015?
Dirt Fest 2015 Teaser
Mike Piper: Anything and everything! We all have a lot of friends and family who came last year and who will be coming back this year so it’s kind of like a party for us. Even though we treat band work as work we will probably enjoy ourselves there more than the average ticket holder.
NRR: What are some of the influences that make your sound distinctively yours?
Mike Piper: We’re all at least a few years apart from each other in age so naturally we’ve all been influenced by different types of bands while growing up and learning to play music. I believe that gives us a bit of diversity and works out to where we sound like a lot of things at once and keeps us from being able to pick out single bands that we may sound similar to. Megadeth, Primus, A7X, Emmure, The Black Dahlia Murder, Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage… I would need a pie chart to list all of our influences.
NRR: Is the crowd at Dirt Fest the largest you’ve played in front of, if not what show was bigger?
Mike Piper: Last year’s crowd was probably the largest crowd we have seen to date. Being a relatively new band last year and first-timers at Dirt Fest with the one pm time slot we were not expecting the number of people who came over to check us out.
NRR: What’s your most current EP/LP, and if it’s been a while for new music, anything on the horizon?
Mike Piper: We currently have plans to spend this coming fall and winter in the studio putting our first official EP together.
NRR: What can we expect from DI camp in the coming days after Dirt Fest is a fond memory until 2016?
Mike Piper: We have a few events around the Flint area in the works we are planning for in the next few months. One show is in Lansing that we are particularly excited about that will be announced soon. Other than that you can expect a single or two followed by an EP, hopefully by the time Dirt Fest comes back around again.
NRR: Is there a band or bands on this year’s Dirt Fest line-up that you are looking forward to seeing as fans?
Mike Piper: We are probably most excited to see Upon a Burning Body, Coal Chamber, Psychostick and Mushroomhead. It will also be really cool to see legends like Phil Anselmo, Vinnie Paul and of course Fred “F**k her right in the P***y” Ferguson.
NRR: How important is selling merch for a band like Dystopian I at a festival like this, and is it a better way to fund band related needs then, say, an Indiegogo campaign?
Mike Piper: In the beginning Indiegogo came up in conversation and we decided that we didn’t want to go the route of asking for donations so merch is the life-blood of the band. Every dollar we earn selling merchandise or playing a venue is invested back into the band and has been used to keep a good stock of merch on hand as well as pay for things like artwork, banners and things to display our merch in and on so far. Dirt Fest this year will be a great opportunity to raise funds for studio time and production of our planned EP.
NRR: For anyone that might not have heard your music before, what can they expect to get from your sound on stage?
Mike Piper: We are not a radio friendly band. You will not likely comment that Caleb has a lovely singing voice as he will likely be screaming at your face and you can expect seven string guitar and five string bass tuned down to “Drop Q”. You have to like down-tuned heavy music to like us.
NRR: If your feet were held to hellfire, one song not in your genre you’ve seriously thought about covering would be what?
Mike Piper: You would not have to hold our feet anywhere, we are ridiculous in the practice room. It’s not uncommon to hear Hooch and I bust into Michael Jackson or the Beetles spontaneously. Last year at Dirt Fest we covered “Now You’re a Man” which is a mock ’80s rock song written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park, and used in their movie, Orgazmo.
Thanks for the interview and we appreciate what you guys do for us at National Rock Review.