Hello Eric and Kris! Welcome to the site. Let’s start up with a warm-up question. What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Dread Risks: First, thanks for the interview and the support over the years. It’s beyond appreciated. We’ll break the album lists by member:
Eric: Faith No More's “Angel Dust” is my favorite album of all time. I was new to buying CD’s and this was about my fourth selection, and everything from the cardboard CD sleeve (dating myself) to the myriad of dark and heavy jams album-over-album was a bit scary or dangerous feeling. Candiria's “The Process of Self-Development”. This is musicianship at its finest with a NY hardcore / jazz / metal fusion. There is nothing like this band and it’s my favorite of their catalog. NIN's “The Downward Spiral”. This is the perfect soundtrack to your high school years and will always hold a special place in my heart.
Kris: Katatonia's “Night is the New Day” is at the top of my list. Perfect blend of dark rhythms and enchanting melodies. Everything from these guys is an immersive listen, but this one moves me from start to finish. Godflesh's “Songs of Love and Hate”. This one just crushes. I have been into Godlfesh for their entire catalog, but this one in particular has such a range of grind and groove over pounding live drums, hard to deny it. Covenant's “Sequencer” I love this album. 'Stalker' is a fucking fantastic song, and everything else is just innovative and moves me every time it comes on.
Tell us a little bit about the history of the project. Where did you two first meet and where did the idea for Dread Risks come from?
Dread Risks: We met about 20 years ago through an ad in the Austin Chronicle for a frontman for our metal band back in 2001. We had a decent amount of local success but then the band ended and we reconnected randomly at a bar in 2018. We both were still interested in music but not necessarily playing live or reliving the band experience. Some songs happened and we put it up in the form of our self-titled debut on Bandcamp/streaming in December of 2018 without any expectations.
Where does the name stem from?
Dread Risks: The name and the term is more relevant than ever these days with fragile mental defenses against the state of the world. Dread Risks is a fear of the what if's, the stress and anxiety of the anticipated but slim consequences versus the actual outcomes; doing damage that is far worse than the real end result. Low probability, high consequence.
Your first release came out in December of 2018 and was a self-titled album. It gained some steam in the community and even some glowing reviews from fans. Were you expecting such praise for the album or did it hit as a shock? Did you meet your goals?
Dread Risks: Honestly, we had no goals till it got some attention. The attention came from researching industrial news and review sites since our background was in metal promotion. We found Brutal Resonance who was generous enough to publish about us, which created some buzz we didn’t anticipate, since this was merely a passion project or outlet from the daily grind. Instagram was a big factor in gaining attention to help promote the self-titled. Thank you again for your work in the scene, by the way.
In October of 2020 you released a cover of Eyehategod’s ‘Sister Fucker (Pt I)’. Why did you choose to cover this song? Does Eyehategod hold a special place in your heart?
Dread Risks: We participated in a tribute album to Mike IX on Industrial Coast, and it was a great experience with the project supported by the man himself. We are big EHG fans as well as others in that southern sludge / metal scene: Acid Bath, Soilent Green, Crowbar, Pantera. We dig groove and those bands deliver it in excess. 'SFPT1' was chosen simply because the guitar hook on that track is just amazing. We were ecstatic to learn that Mike IX liked our spin on it.
In February of 2021, you released the split EP “Possession Therapy” with Fact Pattern. It’s pretty good; I’d give it a 7.5 out of 10. Tell me a little bit about this union. How did you meet Fact Pattern and why did you release with them?
Dread Risks: We appreciate the score and kind words for sure (despite any jokes). Fact Pattern and Dread Risks were featured in a MetalSucks segment called “Unsigned and Unholy” that happened to be geared towards industrial in that column. We had heard of Fact Pattern from their tour through Austin and really enjoy their brand of industrial metal / doom. Reached out to Ian from Fact Pattern via Instagram and there was chemistry and talk of working together in a collective along with the talented BARA HARI. It’s our musical family and we share ideas, collaborate, and support each other diligently as fans and as friends. The split was an idea very early in the friendship, and we are glad it was well-received.
Up until recently, you were entirely independent. Now you’re signed with the wonderful lads over at Re:Mission Entertainment. Was there ever a plan to get signed to a label or did it all just fall in place?
Dread Risks: While being independent offers many perks, we had a drive to partner with the right label and if there wasn’t a proper fit, we would proceed with our release strategy independently. The main advantages we saw were around promotion, reach, camaraderie within the roster, and physical distribution, but you might be noticing, our release strategy isn’t standard with the maxi-single pre-order. Wes at Re:Mission saw the value in our strategy and that was critical. We had a short list of labels we were interested in and Re:Mission was on there; no label promotes harder and it caught our attention. Loads of talented dark acts on there as well.
Your label debut is the EP “Trauma Ties”. Tell me a little bit about the title track. What is it about?
Dread Risks: “Trauma Ties” felt like an appropriate lead single based on a few factors, namely it bridged the rawness of the debut with our concentrated efforts towards song cohesiveness. It’s best to think of it thematically about psychological and external terrors, in part inspired by a Dan Simmons novel, and is open to the listeners’ interpretation between the video and lyrics. Erik Gustafson (Erik Gustafson Cinematography) did an incredible job capturing the aesthetic in his filming, direction, and editing.
How have you guys improved your skills since your debut came out in 2018?
Dread Risks: As we know, there’s always room for improvement so we have spent our efforts learning, whether it be on mixing, or diving deeper into our preferred VSTs and synths. Migrating from self-production, with really no expectations, to a world of audio engineers has forced us to learn more, and we love it. It’s great being able to work with people like Erik, Ritch Napierkowski, and Ian Flux if we have any technical concerns or just need a tip from a generous hand.
You have MORIS BLAK, Moaan Exis, Suffer Ring, :Waijdan:, and GRIEFGIVER remixing the title track on the EP. What did these musicians or bands bring to the track?
Dread Risks: We could have gone several directions with the remix vibes, but we love how this turned out with everyone offering their own dark or heavy spin on 'Trauma Ties' and 'Places You Fear Most'. So, you get a nice mix of industrial bass and witchy / dark electro with aggressive vocals. We wanted to hear it, and we were not disappointed. Of special note, all of these artists were extremely easy to work with, and all the remixes are fantastic. Pro experience start to finish in working with these four acts. GRIEFGIVER is the name for our in-house Dread Risks brand for remixes, so track six is our own remix of 'Voidhost' from our debut, which seemed to resonate with the audience.
And what else have you in store for 2021? Any other singles, EPs, or albums in the works? Any live shows coming up?
Dread Risks: All of the above thankfully. We’ve written a lot of new material and have been working on recording and mixing all year. We’ve had a ridiculous amount of helpful insights from other artists, labels, and key contributors in the scene along the way, which we really appreciate. The releases are very intentional / deliberate to try to maximize and feature all, or most, songs from a release. To answer your question, look for our second single with some amazing remixes in October and full length probably in mid November. It's also been great getting back on stage for live shows, and the next one is in San Antonio supporting Dallas act Circle Burn with two dates booked in 2022 tentatively.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for your time. I wish you the best of luck and leave the space below for you to mention anything I may have missed.
Dread Risks: Thanks for the time to put down some words. The band and songs are very important to us and we appreciate quality news sites like Brutal Resonance providing coverage to us and a ton of our friends, both up-and-coming and established acts. We didn’t release much last year, and 2021 kicked off great with the “Possession Therapy” split EP so we feel like human unboxing videos. Also, Wes at Re:Mission Entertainment has been the biggest help on a non-standard release. As a solo operation, it’s amazing what this gentleman can accomplish on a daily basis. Other than that, thank you again for the time and interest, and we look forward to dropping these tunes across the remainder of 2021.
This interview was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Sep 07 2021
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
Share this interview