By Jason Jordan
Dave Caswell, who are you?
Iím a guitarist from Tasmania, Australia who is the sole member of an instrumental atmospheric progressive metal project.
Why is When Day Descends a one-man deal? In other words, why didnít other musicians contribute to Transcend, and is that a possibility for the future?
I have recently come to the conclusion that a band works best when itís under a single guiding vision. In almost all my favourite bands, I can pinpoint a single member who defines the band. So I like the idea of being creatively completely in control of a project, but to make sure all aspects of the vision are perfect you really need other people involved. Iím certainly no expert drummer, and I canít sing, but for this first album the numerous people involved along the way were either too busy or not suitable, so I ended up doing the album myself.
Iíve been working with a vocalist for a future album and I would love to get a real drummer in there, but Iím not sure I ever want it to be a ďfullĒ band.
What disease, if you had to choose one, would you like to see ravage your body mercilessly?
Iíve had the sniffles for a few weeks now and thatís annoyed me enough, so no diseases thanks!
So we know quite a lot about Transcend. What are Ascension and Descendant?
is a single 40-minute track thatís neither prog nor metal. Think Dargaard or orchestrated film-score music, but a bit more personal, purely instrumental and driven by a single acoustic guitar playing slow progressions similar to ďDisposableĒ from Transcend
. It is already written, but when it is recorded and released remains to be seen.
is the more natural progression from Transcend
. The songs are structured better, thereís a lot more distortion happening and thereís not as much fancy acoustic guitar work. Vocals seem like theyíll also make an appearance on this one too. I like to make sure each album has its own ďaim,Ē and the Dark Suns's
albums inspired the defining idea for this album. I wanted an album with plenty of hidden detail, but at the core itís a smoother, easier journey from start to finish.
That album is mostly written except for small details, and will hopefully be recorded and released in the not-too-distant future. Describing oneís own music is often tricky, so the best bet is to head over to the website which has full mp3 demos from this album.
Which labels are you actively pursuing? Have any labels contacted you without being prompted first?
The label hunt is only just beginning now, though in the past Lee Barrett from Elitist Records briefly seemed interested. Ideally Iíd like to be on a label like Inside Out or Laserís Edge as they handle both progressive metal and progressive rock (as well as having some of the best bands around). There are both positive and negative aspects about the project in the eyes of a label, so it will be interesting to see who is willing to take it on.
You hail from Australia. Whatís the local music scene Ė metal or otherwise Ė like in your area?
In Tasmania we have Psycroptic
and a host of other great metal bands kicking around. Australia has a bit of prog/power metal in the form of Black Majesty
and Vanishing Point
, but I think my offering is fairly unique in the scene. The quality of bands weíre putting out is ever-increasing. There is of course a bunch of worse music around too, but that can safely be ignored.
In what comes as no surprise to you after Transcend hits stores across the world, youíve been simultaneously asked to join the ranks of Pain of Salvation, Kayo Dot, and Opeth. Which one do you choose and why?
are a very unique and special band to me, but I would have no desire to taint my enjoyment of their creations by being a part of it, nor do I feel I necessarily have anything to add to such a band. Opeth
I have fairly strong opinions about certain directions they could take, which would take them back to being an ultimate band for me, but I think Iíd end up choosing Pain of Salvation
just because Iíd feel more at home.
What inspires you on a regular basis? Which bands/albums had great impacts on you either before or during the recording process?
, Dark Suns
, Kayo Dot
Öthis is essentially a favourite bands list. Iím always inspired by music, from bands that are constantly great to bands that only do one little great thing, they all can provide me with a little spark of where to take my music.
was written largely without vocals in mind and worked really well that way, so thatís how I left it. Vocals can be a great thing, but I certainly donít think theyíre necessary, other things can provide the focal point instead. And, sometimes, instrumental music is nice because it paints the story but leaves the details to the listener. Magyar Posse, George Van Eps, Sepia Dreamer
and Al Di Meola are all examples of great instrumental music, Iíve recently listened to, that prove its worth in varying styles.
Does Australia have, like, a president or a king? I mean whatís up with that?
We have a little Prime Minister, John Howard. He tells our bosses to excuse us when we turn up to work looking tired after watching the Ashes, so I guess thatís goodÖ
Judging by your avatars on both When Day Descendsís forum and UltimateMetalís, seems like you have an affinity for Calvin & Hobbes. Iím sure you saw this coming, but Calvin or Hobbes?
Calvin of course. Hobbes is just a stuffed toy without him. It is certainly the best comic, though The Farside
is great as well.
Whatís the most significant loss youíve faced up to this point?
The biggest losses have been during last year when the family dog passed away and I lost two grandparents. I guess, so far in life, Iíve avoided the greatest losses people experience.
The buzz is that Nevermoreís This Godless Endeavor is perhaps album of the year. Your thoughts on this matter?
For me albums like Opethís Ghost Reveries
, Dark Sunsís Existence
or Dredgís Catch Without Arms
surpass it. But I donít really believe music can be judged on a single scale. Nevermoreís
latest is just about as good as it gets for straight-out metal.
Would you ever consider touring with session/live musicians?
Thatíd be a great thing. While I love the idea of having a full band for the touring aspects, I shy away from it for the writing side. A band can be a great thing, but it can also be a limitation (on what instruments to use, what styles you can do, etc.). Perhaps itíd be cool if musicians worked more like actors.
I would love to see When Day Descends
as a project where the other musicians change around each album as necessary, and that would lead perfectly into having a live band just for the duration of one tour/album. Itís a nice idea, not exactly an easy one to set in motion of course.
Including this one, how many interviews have you participated in?
If I say this is both the best and worst interview Iíve ever done, does that give you a hint?
Where should individuals go to check out When Day Descends, and how/where can Transcend be purchased?
has access to some full mp3ís and is also where you can buy the album with PayPal. To buy it somewhere else youíll have to hassle a label till they sign me.
I can be contacted by emailing email@example.com
. You could tell me about your recently deceased friend who has left $10 million in his will, which nobody has claimed and you just need my bank details in order to get itÖ
UltimateMetal's Review of When Day Descends - Transcend
Official When Day Descends Website