Photo Credit: Kevin Ward of Evil Twins Photography


Updated: 09/27/02

Dead To Fall have just returned from touring with Incantation in support of their new album Everything I Touch Falls To Pieces. On Victory Records, this Chicago based band is definitely for those who like emotionally driven hardcore complete with a nightmarish metal edge. Vocalist Jonathan Hunt tells Highwire Daze about the many pieces that make up the mighty metallic puzzle known as Dead To Fall.

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Dead To Fall, and how long the band has been together.

I'm John. I sing in Dead To Fall. The band's been together for 3 ˝ years. I've been in since the beginning of 2000.

Tell me a little bit about the Chicago metal scene.

It's kind of on the rebuilding stages it seems. It'll come in waves. It'll be really good and there'll be a lot of venues and really good shows. Lately a lot of venues have been closing and new ones are trying to open. A lot of the all ages places have been closing, so it's in a rebuilding stage. But it's still really great. It seems that touring bands do better than local bands. There really aren't a lot of local bands that have great draws. But when a touring band comes around, they have a pretty good show.

So why did you guys wind up playing so early at the Milwaukee Metalfest this year? I saw like two songs…

We weren't originally on the Metalfest. We had been on tour with this band Kaliban for the past month and we were leaving to go on tour with Incantation and Impaled that same day. Like one tour ended and one tour started. We were already scheduled to play one show in Chicago that night. So we got added to the Metalfest and we had to play early. We asked for like a little bit earlier time and they ended up putting us at the very beginning. I think it was also that we were a late addition to the fest.

Everyone was just waking up at the hour when you were playing!

Exactly! I don't think we were the first band to play even. I think there was one band before us on the other side at the other stage. But we were one of the first two bands. It was interesting - they were still trying to figure out how to run everything. I think we were kind of an experimental thing with the sound guys too. But it ended up sounding okay.

How did it feel being the guinea pig at Metalfest?

It was a little frustrating at first, but it was okay. I realized they have a lot of big bands coming through and they had a lot of stuff to work out. It's probably pretty stressful to put a huge fest like that on.

After that, you did the Incantation tour. How did the tour go?

Oh, it went really well! I was really nervous about how it was going to go, because there were a lot of older bands - bands that had been around for awhile. Especially Incantation - they've been around for quite awhile. And Decapitated is an amazing band - they're really good musicians. So we were kind of nervous about that as well. We were nervous about how we would be treated, because we're not really your typical metal band I guess, because none of us really have long hair. We're kind of like hardcore kids that play metal - that's the label that we've been stuck with. We don't really like to label ourselves. As far as the other bands go, they were really nice to us. We felt really welcomed after the first couple days of the tour. The shows could have been promoted and booked a little better. Like a couple of them - we got there and found out they had been booked like a week and a half in advance. Some cities there were like only 30-40 kids. I think it could have done a lot better. Besides that, I think the tour went really well.

What is the best and worst part of touring?

The worst part is having to live with four other dudes in close quarters for like two months at a time. We had a couple of pretty big fights in the van. Especially if you're in the van in the middle of an eight hour drive - you can't stop and try to get away from the other person - when you need some time to yourself when you get into a huge fight with someone else. Me and the drummer Dan got into a little bit of a scuffle - we didn't talk for like a day and a half afterwards. But eventually people just talked about it and it got worked out. But the best part is just playing shows and having people come up to you and tell you how much they like your band for sure. And seeing amazing bands every night like when you're a tour with a really great band and you're able to see them for free every night - it's just awesome. There's a lot more best parts - but definitely I think the worst part is when you fight with someone and you can't get along with band members. It's a lot of stress - when you like not doing well with merch and money. Or a performance doesn't go well and people haven't slept in two days. Nobody is really eating very well and everybody is kind of crabby - little things just get blown out of proportion. I really know, looking back on it a couple of weeks later - it was a little thing and it shouldn't of been huge - it just ended up being that way.

At The Gates is listed as one of your influences. When you guys opened for The Crown, was Tomas Lindberg performing with them?

Yeah, that was when they were on tour with Dark Star. That was the only American tour he did with them because he wasn't in the band very long. That was definitely another nervous experience for me - having him see us play.

Did you get to meet him and did he comment on your band at all?

I had a short discussion with him afterwards and he said he was into it. I don't know if he was just saying "Oh, yeah, your band is good," just because I went up and talked to him or if he actually meant it. But either way, I was about to crap my pants when he said it. But it was definitely awesome.

So did just do that one show with them in Chicago?

Yeah, we just did the one show. Our guitar player Bryan was still in school at the time, so we weren't touring full time yet. We're pretty much full time now.

Everything I Touch Falls To Pieces - why such a depressive title for the CD?

It's taken from the first song on the CD Memory. It's the second track but the first song. And the song is kind of like when you're at one of those points in your life that you feel like you can't do anything right - everything you do is wrong. And everything you touch falls to pieces I guess. One type of thing after the other just kept happening and it's a good way to deal with it - writing the song. Sometimes I feel that way, but it's not an all the time kind of thing. Memory was the first song I ever wrote with the band - it's probably like a two-year-old song. We still play it all the time so we decided to put it on the album. The Balance Theory - the last song - is another way I dealt with when a lot of negative things happen. I realize that everything that's bad that happens in your life is balanced out by something positive that happens. It's impossible for someone to live their entire lifetime feeling all positive or negative feelings - everything is all balanced out. Sometimes you'll have a couple months or a year where everything just goes really well for you. That just means that some point in your life you're gonna have an equal amount of time where everything doesn't go well for you.

The producer of your album Barry Poynter has worked with a lot of Christian hardcore bands such as Zao and Living Sacrifice. How influential, if at all, is Christianity in your music?

Inside of the music, it has no influence whatsoever. We have Christian members and they strongly believe in Christianity and we have some that strongly don't believe in Christianity. That's kind of one of the big conflicts we have in the band. There are Christian bands, but I personally just don't believe that Christianity should be forced on people through music. But there are other bands that do it, and I like those bands. Like Living Sacrifice is one of my favorite bands. They have tons of Christian lyrics. I don't really have too much of a problem with it, but I just don't think for me it would feel right to do that. And I don't think anybody else in the band would really feel right doing that. We try to not have too many belief oriented lyrics that would cut that song off from someone who just doesn't believe in that. Cuz once you write a song specifically for one audience or one small group of people that believe in something, then nobody else can relate to that song.

What are the future plans for you guys? Are you getting ready to go on another tour?

We have a few little weekend and weeklong stints in September here. Then we're looking at some things in October and November. We plan on just being on tour full time. None of us have jobs or go to school or anything, so we're hoping to do this for at least a year straight and try and tour as much as we can.

How did you wind up getting signed to the Victory label?

Jonathan: Our old guitar player Matt knew Kathi who worked at Victory. We recorded our demo and gave it to her, actually hoping that she would help us get on to another smaller label just to start out. Just seeing what she thought of it - just trying to give it to people and pass the demo around. And she started listening to it at work and some other people liked it and it got passed around and people were all into it. They came to a couple of practices and a couple of shows and checked us on. We started talking and of course we would definitely be into being on Victory - it's a great label to be on. That all started in September and in January we ended up signing the contract and it all got finalized.

Do you have any messages for people who might be interested in checking out your music?

Well, we have a new mp3 off the album up on - we have out website, which is It hasn't been updated in a while, because the guy who was updating it has kind of gone missing and he really doesn't talk to us anymore for some reason. So we're getting a new website built right now. We should have a ton of mp3's up. Really if you want, just download the whole thing off the new album. I just want people to hear it. I definitely don't have a problem with it. I would like it if you really liked the album if you came and bought it or went to the store and bought it. But just having people listen to our music is good enough.


DEAD TO FALL: Their Official Home Page!
VICTORY RECORDS: The Record Label for Dead To Fall!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!
EVIL TWINS PHOTOGRAPHY: Kevin Ward's Kick Ass Photography Site -- Thanks To Kevin for the use of the Dead To Fall photo!!!

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