The music world is a hard place to thrive in nowadays – millions of bands compete for the short attention span of viewers online and try to pitch to producers overwhelmed with requests. Artists with great potential are lost in the whirlwind of content by good and so good musicians. And this sucks.
In this blog post I want to talk about one band which resorts to clever old-school means of promotion and is currently generating a large fanbase ready to take over the world together with them. Meet DND7 and hear their story. Learn about the inspiration behind the stunning kickstart of their career – the EP The Cure as well as their views on modern society and the music industry.
I will be forever grateful I opened an Instagram message by an unknown account a few weeks ago. The message was from Blake Bieker – the drummer of DND7. Resorting to old-school methods the band had been personally messaging hundredths of people who they assumed would like their style and by that they started cultivating a powerful community. DND7 probably had no idea this was going to grow into something extremely genuine and personal.
I gave the band a shot as I promised – why wouldn’t I? Some of the best music discoveries I have made were unexpected like this one.
Saying I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. What I witnessed was a band with obvious passion and pure dedication to music. A bold and modernized combination of Blink-182, Sum-41, and Palaye Royale vibes united into a beautiful and inspirational punk-rock delight which is memorable and recognizable anywhere.
The modern punk-rock sound filled with energy will guide you through the journey of getting to know the band. The first thing you notice when you play DND7 are the trademarked alluring solo intros – thundering rock instrumentals making a very good first impression. But what will make them your new best friend are the extremely personal and understandable lyrics. Those things are present during the entire duration of The Cure EP and are one of the many reasons you will fall in love with the band.
From Walk Away dealing with a toxic relationship which you need to take action against to The Cure which started as a suicide note and preserved the power of its emotion the band also has everything in between when it comes to personal experience and empowering punk-rock anthems – they are a vessel of emotional empowerment. Well-executed videos adding even more personality to their music only make things better.
This is the thing about DND7 – they are absolutely real from head to toe. Starting with the lyrics inspired by life events and serving as empowering and comforting messages to the close-knit community they managed to create and getting to their extremely genuine and kind-hearted personalities.
I was really impressed by what I heard and saw and I wanted to know more about those guys, their goals, thoughts, and views on music. So I asked them for an interview and several minutes later we were having a video call.
How many bands do you know that would agree to an interview with a person they don’t even know and give him a call immediately? I know only one.
Without further ado, let’s take a look inside Jonny Wilson’s (vocals) mind and appreciate the sincerity and openness he talks with.
Let’s start with an introduction – What is the story of DND7? When did you start the band and how did you decide to do it and go all-in into the music scene?
It kinda started when I was 16, going into my junior year of high school. A lot of things were breaking down in my life.
I was a football player previously and I was on track to actually play college and do this thing professionally. This was my goal and plan. But I got injured and I couldn’t play anymore. Everything I worked for was gone all of a sudden. I fell into a huge depression.
I also found out that my girlfriend at that time, which the song Walk Away is about, had been cheating on me the entire two years we had been together.
So I lost football and I lost my girlfriend. And it got worse – she spread many lies about me in high school to a point where people would harass and bully me daily over things that weren’t true. It was a huge bullying thing which threw me even deeper into depression.
To shorten it up – I had a really nasty ex-girlfriend, I lost everything that I worked extremely hard for and I felt like I was left with nothing – no friends or any support. I had to adapt and get out of that mindset and depression. So I turned to music almost as a medicine without any medicine, you know what I mean? It’s all mental.
Basically music was an outlet for me. I needed something to cure depression and suicidal thoughts. That was what it was really about.
I started a band with a couple of buddies from high school. The thing is I wanted it to be serious, but they didn’t really see things the same way. That was when I started going through a lot of people with the goal to find someone with the same passion and I found Ethan’s (bass) older brother – he was playing the guitar at that time.
At one of our first shows our bass player just didn’t show up. That’s when Trevor – our old guitar player – brought Ethan along. I asked him if he can play bass and he was like – “Yeah, I can technically… but not really cuz I haven’t played anything serious before”. So I asked him if he could play the show.
And he f*cking did – he played all the songs and we did the show and it was awesome.
You really need this type of medication sometimes and it’s the only thing that works. My next question is related to the band name. Why DND7 and what does it mean?
Yeaaah. So, I almost failed high school because I was so crazy about music. I wouldn’t do anything that wasn’t related to that.
I used to go to class and sit there for a while then just go out and make phone calls to record companies. I would ask them questions all the time – about the industry, how things work, what we should do as a band just starting out, and so on. I would get the worst responses ever – it was just horrible, honestly. Some people were like what the fuck is wrong with you calling me like that, I was in the middle of an interview, stop calling, give up, and all kinds of similar stuff.
The producer comes to me and straight up tells me how the band is gonna break up.
Not all of them were like that though. A lot of them were pretty nice and gave me the time and the information I needed to start out.
I eventually called a gentleman who owned his own record label. I had his number from when we played a show, someone at the show was the brother of a producer at that record label. So they told me to give him a call. I kept calling until he picked up and he was like – “What do you want, I’m in the middle of an interview, you have 5 minutes”.
“Sir, if you come out to Portland and check out my band you will not regret it”!
He was very skeptical but I insisted and kept telling him he needs to give us a chance. So he actually came.
And he showed up late which made us extra nervous. I mean – there was this man in a business suit in our garage and we had never seen a man in a business suit before so… All he did was walk in, look at us and he told us to go ahead and play. We finish and he goes – “Okay, next one”.
I was literally shaking, everyone was – this guy was evaluating us hard. We are done and he says he wants to talk to Ace – our manager. They go and talk and our manager comes back and tells us he is interested.
But then the producer guy comes to talk to me personally because I was the one who called him in the first place. What he does is he straight up tells me how the band is gonna break up.
“You and Ethan are going to be the only two people who will stay into this – everyone else is going to leave. That’s facts. Ethan is clearly as passionate as you are. But this band is gonna break up, for sure”.
Of course, I was like – nah, you are wrong, this is not gonna happen. But he was 100% correct.
A couple of weeks later he came back. We changed the name – we were called the The Southnders at that time. But it was just not so good, it just wasn’t appealing and fitting at all. So we came up with DND7.
The majority of pictures you see here are done by Elliot Hodgin – an amazing photopraher. Check her out.
I had a question planned for the end of the interview but you started talking about it now so I will just throw it in here. What do you think about the music industry? How do you feel about being a new band trying to make it?
To be honest, it’s really weird. With social media nowadays it should be easier but that’s not exactly the case. A lot of people think that compared to back in the day we have access to such a large network of people with the touch of a button it is way easier, right?
It might be easy for bands which are already established and have all those channels to reach their fans. But for bands which are just starting it’s a different story.
There are so many bands now social networks are completely oversaturated. You have wickedly talented bands – I can give you a lot of names just on top of my head – but they never receive the recognition they deserve. Because the market is oversaturated.
Let me ask you – how many times do you see ads from bands in social media? I see them all the time. And the problem of the digital age is that it is also the age of scrolling. We scroll so much it’s insane.
For example – I see an ad from a band, I watch their video, and I think “wow that’s really cool,” then I keep scrolling and scrolling and at the end, I completely forget what I saw in the first place. That’s how social media is made and that’s how it is designed to work.
Another thing – we have all those venues nowadays who have super high standards. We get this all the time – we find a venue and we contact them and we get all those unreal standards. They tell us “You guys need to have to be able to pull like 2, 000 people and do this and do that and so on”.
But, look, the thing is those venues can hold maximum 150 people – why the hell do they expect to pull in bands that can attract 2,000? And then they complain they are getting out of business.
Well, I don’t know, you are not even working with the local bands that can pull you out and promote your business… Good luck getting a big band to a small venue like that unless it’s a private acoustic set or something which guys like The Offspring or Green Day will occasionally do. But it’s rare. And there are soooo many venues around. Even coffee shops are having stages nowadays.
Nowadays bands don’t need a label. They need a booking agent.
It’s easy for bands because of the opportunities but it’s challenging at the same time. It’s hard to get the attention. Promoters and venues are receiving millions of emails. And most of the emails don’t even get a chance.
We have found out that if people give us a chance they actually like our stuff, but it’s all about getting that chance. That’s the hard part. It’s about dedication and persistence – being annoying even. Sending the same email over and over and over again. Until someone finally responds and tells you you are the most annoying band that can be found and asks you to stop emailing. But – you get a response, right?
We see those bands who have like 10 000 followers on social media and then there is the weird ratio between the followers and the reaction you get. Accounts with over 10 000 followers get 20 comments – it doesn’t make sense.
But a lot of people just follow you for the follow back and stay dead. They are not at all interested in what you are doing and the big number doesn’t do you any good. Because you can’t count on those people coming to shows or supporting you in any way.
The real way nowadays is the old-school way. Going out with flyers and handing them out to people. People’s attention span is so short you want to hand them something to trigger a memory. What happens is – you hand them something – they put it in their pocket and forget about it. But the memory will be stuck in there. You know when you put your keys somewhere and you do a little dance or something so you can remember exactly where you put them and you don’t forget. Its helps you remember the event.
It’s the same thing with flyers. You hand them the flyer and you create a memory. They might forget it at first but then they reach out for something in their pockets and they see the flyer and they are like – oh, that band. So they might check you out in the end.
I think this is the way to go. Social media is great and all but it is too oversaturated. A million people are doing exactly what you would do.
When was the last time a band came up to you and gave you a flyer? Probably never, right? But it was a huge thing back in the days. And it worked. For a reason.
Keeping it classy at all times!
I totally agree, I can see what you are talking about. Do you have any advice for new bands starting out? What do you think about being independent versus being signed to a label?
What I see as an outsider is that you, in a way, need the initial push and publicity of a label to build a foundation but being independent gives you the creative freedom and time to do exactly what you want. For example, While She Sleeps – the British metalcore reinventors – went independent after their second album and produced some of the best music they have ever made. What is your intake on this?
Nowadays, I don’t think you need a record label. Essentially what happens is record labels gives you an X amount of dollars for X amount of time in exchange for an X amount of product. There are pros and cons. You can sign a label to get a good studio without the cost but in reality, you are owing money because the label takes a percentage of your earnings anyway.
When it comes to being independent it might be better to choose this option because you can still get a booking agent and make it. A lot of people say they are independent and made it but there is still the factor of the agents and all other people involved in the different aspects of making music and being a band. It all comes to getting booked – and without a good booking agent, it’s quite hard. You need to play shows and get the attention of venues so you need a good manager and a good agent with the contacts which can get you the venues and the shows you want to play. They will of course also take a percentage of what you earn but it’s definitely more worth it.
Having a band is like running a company, you know? You need to have employees or people who do the job properly and make all the components work. There is no way you can do everything absolutely alone.
So when we say independent I see it as not having a record label. And I agree – you don’t need a record label. You can find a studio and record songs anyway and you would need half the money of what you needed some time ago. It’s easier now because we are in the digital age, it’s not all analog anymore – all those tape recorders and heavy equipment are highly reduced and everything is way more accessible.
We have all the pro tools available online you can make a record at your own home. Recording is not the biggest issues anymore it’s the booking and getting the attention of venues.
Let’s talk about The Cure a bit. Listening to the tracks I feel like they are all inspired by your personal stories and experience, just like you explained for Walk Away. Was there something that triggered the process of creating the EP?
It was me and Ethan – the two original members of the band when The Cure started forming. Ethan has been around for roughly three years so he was in when everything during high school happened. All the bullshit. Especially for Walk Away he was in on everything and he knew what was happening.
It was… Brutal. All the things which happened with my nasty ex-girlfriend were insane. I have stories man.
It was prom time and she wanted to go with a car. My family doesn’t come from the money side and I didn’t have a car so it was hard to make it happen.
So what my parents did to help me out was to get me a job – as a beekeeper down in Oregon at the West Coast. I told my then-girlfriend that I will work for the summer so I can get the money and get a car so we can go with it to school and shit.
So I was busting my ass all summer and it was quite rough cuz we were fighting all the time with her. She wasn’t really talking to me and it was just a super weird situation. We were just distancing ourselves from one another.
I come back after the summer and I have this car. It wasn’t a great car but it was a car, you know. It would get us to school and back. So I proudly show her the car and she is all like “Wow. We are gonna be driving in this?”
So I told her “Yeah, that’s what I have, that’s what I worked my ass off about”. I spent the whole summer so we can get a car and drive to school and she tells me “I would rather take the bus”.
I didn’t want to take the medications I was prescribed because they were making me a zombie so I had to find another way.
So on my birthday, we were at this park, we were just talking and all of a sudden she just starts crying. Turns out, apparently, she had all those things going on with a bunch of guys while I was away.
“I gotta be honest with you, I haven’t had feelings for you since the beginning. I was just leading it on because I could see you were so passionate and lovely”.
So it turns out she was pretending to like me and simulating every single emotion I though she felt for a year and a half. That was my relationship right there. She wasn’t even into me, she told me the first kiss we ever had she didn’t feel a thing. All the time she was lying about everything and on top of that, she tells me she had feelings for this other guy.
It was shattering, man. Because you know when you have your first love you really take a chance. You risk your heart and you go all-in. And I was pretty broken. I had lost football, now I lost my girlfriend, I was failing school and none of my friends were really talking to me much so I started falling into this spiral of depression.
What happens next? I was on the bus to school and all of a sudden she comes to sit next to me and holds my hand. Like what the fuck?
She tells me she is sorry and she loves me and the next day she does the same thing as before and breaks up with me again. Made me feel like shit basically and this kept going on for another year.
I was falling into a spiral of depression
Then all the rumors and stuff she said would lead to people talking about me in the hallway at school. She told people all those lies and made me look like a total asshole – people were coming up to me saying they should kick my ass and shit. It was crazy.
Another weird thing she would do is make her girlfriends come up to me and try to make me start liking them. The goal was for me to fall into them and open up so they could talk all those shit and play with my emotions. This was just wicked.
The worst part is I got super paranoid because of this and I didn’t know who I could trust and who she talked to in order to deceive me. So I couldn’t talk about that stuff with anyone. I got extremely stressed out my body started giving up. My doctors literally prescribed me to stay away from this girl because it was dangerous for my health.
It took me an entire year to finally put my foot down and tell her to fuck off and get the hell away from me. What she did was bullying, I was miserable my entire time in high school.
So you can see where Walk Away comes from – I needed to take everything from this relationship and put in on paper to get it out of my system. I didn’t want to take the medications I was prescribed because they were making me a zombie so I had to find another way. I had to find a way to take control of my own life again.
What’s really ironic is that when we finally made the song our music teacher played it with the choir. She was in that choir.
So when it comes to The Cure it is about more or less moments like that. It was personal, more of an outlet for myself and a form of medication – I just took my feelings and put them on paper.
Several years later I met another girl, things developed and I fell in love. We decided to get a place together and let’s just say I should have seen the signs before that happened.
The first month we were dating she went out with this dude she didn’t tell me about and came up with the excuse that it was just a friendly hang out. If I give the whole back story anyone would see it is completely wrong and why would she hide it if it was just a friendly hang out but whatever.
So six months in the relationship I find out about that by her mother who was like “oh when is your friend from the military coming”? I obviously knew nothing about that.
Turns out she went on a coffee date with this guy that was going to the military and never mentioned anything about. So why didn’t she tell me about it? Because he was just a friend and nothing was happening. Yeah, right. With my history which I told you about, this sounded super fishy and I got very suspicious.
What I did next was what basically no one should ever do. I got into her phone and I read all her messages. So I find the guy and I discover that while they were both in relationships they were seeing each other. That had been going on for four years. And it wasn’t casual hanging out or being friendly they were saying how much they miss each other and how much they love each other all the time.
I had to find a way to take control of my own life again.
That shocked me because I already experienced similar shit in high school and it started happening again. And of course, she twisted that on me because apparently I didn’t trust her and went into her phone and all. So I was the one to blame. And at that time I didn’t see it really clearly so I started apologizing and taking the blame and everything.
We eventually moved together and agreed to split costs and all. I was working as delivery and she was working at Jamba Juice and some other place – she had two part time jobs. The idea was to split equality because we couldn’t afford the place otherwise. We sign the contract and she tells me, after we already signed, that she quit both her jobs. So it’s all on me all of a sudden – I am making 180 dollars per month and I have 220 dollars bills. How would that work out?
The relationship immediately started going down from this point. I had to literally work the entire day – wake up at 6 am and come back 7 pm. I overworked myself a lot and I damaged my hands because I was doing heavy lifting job and it was super exhausting. What she would do during that time is sit at home all day and watch Netflix. I started maxing out credit cards because I couldn’t afford paying rent and bills and I was always short on cash.
The next thing I did was even crazier. Ready? I bought a dog. I bought a dog so she wouldn’t feel lonely and bored all day.
You know, at one point you start seeing those red flags everywhere. When you are with someone for two years you live together and you sleep in the same bed. When the person you are with is not intimate or passionate with you – you come home from work, you ask them for their day and go give them a hug and they just push you off.
That would keep on for some time and it would just get worse. At one point I got home and the dog had taken a shit right in front of the door, the kitchen is filled with used and unwashed dishes, rotten food in the trash and what not. I felt I was the only person working on this and trying to keep the relationship alive.
At the time we were also having band issues with some of the members not showing up at all to make it worse. One of our drummers was constantly missing and when I found out why it would be the breaking point. But I will get to that.
One day I was super exhausted after work because I was stressed out and the heavy work just finished me off. On top of that, I had to pay medical bills in the number of something like 5 000 dollars from a work injury which my employers decided not to cover. I should have sued them actually because this is fu*king illegal.
But yeah, I have this debt all of a sudden, I have rent and bills I can’t pay and I have this rotten girlfriend. My band was not showing up as well, I was at my lowest low. Only Ethan was around and it was me and him trying to make things work. I got super depressed again because everything was falling apart.
I took a piece of paper and I started writing down some words which turned into a suicide note.
So on that day, my boss calls me to do a delivery but I am at a place which is a very far drive. The traffic is ridiculous – exactly at rush hour. And he wants me to go super far to pick up a delivery and take it even further in 2 hours which is impossible.
I obviously tell him it’s not gonna happen. And he says I better figure it out because otherwise I won’t have a job. So I start stressing out even more. To make everything worse I realize I forgot the keys for the truck inside of it so I couldn’t even get in. I call my boss again and he just tells me I’m the biggest idiot he knows.
And I snapped. I told him to fuck off. I told him I’m going home and he can forget about me. He was like “What the fuck, where is my truck” and so on and I just wished him like good luck finding it because I’m the biggest idiot on the planet and I don’t even know where I am so I can’t help him.
I ditched everything and I went home early. I see this vehicle pull out of my apartment complex and I realize this is my drummer – the same one which hasn’t been showing up for the longest time ever.
We literally hadn’t talked for two months and I haven’t seen him since and now I see him sneaking out of my apartment. What the fuck? So I go in and ask my girlfriend what Chase (the drummer) was doing here and she, of course, tells me he wasn’t there. I just saw him and she tells me he wasn’t there. So we get into this huge fight. I literally got a break down. I couldn’t deal with this anymore. At all.
So she slept at the place and the next day when I woke up she was packing her stuff. I went out and when I came back the entire apartment was cleared out. All I had left was a TV and a game console – she took everything. She took my fu*king microwave, dude, can you imagine? I couldn’t even make nachos anymore. So I find myself sitting in this trashed apartment – the dog ripped off all the blinds, the smell is terrible, rotten food in the trash again. I’m sitting there with literally nothing, thinking how my life is falling apart.
The whole EP was like a medicine for me, that’s why it is called The Cure as well. I really needed it to make it out alive.
My band is falling apart, I’m in debt, and no one gives a fuck. I would disappear and it wouldn’t matter at all. So I took a piece of paper and I started writing down some words which turned into a suicide note. I literally had it written and I was walking towards the bathroom to fu*king end it, man, I was fu*king ready to do it.
I saw my guitar leaning on the wall. For some reason I decided I should play it so I picked it up and started playing a riff I made a long time ago. I get into it and I look to my note and that’s when my suicide note turned into the lyrics for The Cure. I rearranged and reworded everything and I got the lyrics of what you now know as The Cure.
It all happened super naturally as if someone else put it in my brain. It was my wakeup call that I should stay alive and make music. I realized that I have nothing left and it really didn’t matter because what I still had was music. I had the ability to play and to write lyrics. This was all I had and it was something spiritual because it really did come as a last resort which saved me.
While I was playing Ethan and Blake show up at my apartment complex and help me clean up. Can you imagine how things would have turned out if I hadn’t started playing the guitar? They would have walked in to something completely different. That’s how The Cure was born.
Two of the songs from the EP are a rewrite of my father’s old songs. My dad was a huge part of my life and I wanted to involve him in this in some way. Walk Away, Straight Trippin, and The Cure are about my life and tell actual stories I had to live through. The whole EP was like a medicine for me, that’s why it is called The Cure as well. I really needed it to make it out alive. It is all my personal life and how I got better.
I wasn’t really expecting anyone to relate to it. Not to mention people messaging me that my music helped them get through a difficult part of life. People with depression and suicidal thoughts telling the music makes them get up and enjoy their day because they feel understood and they can relate to what I had to overcome is magical. It’s crazy how music works and how a song can literally change your life.
That’s just 1/10 of what we actually went through as a band, all the fights, the struggle and so on. I can definitely say we are in our golden days right now. We are blessed to be where we are.
For me The Cure was life-changing and I think it was for the guys as well. It was a turning point for DND7. Everything was falling apart and all of a sudden we had those songs to work with. They gave us the “we can do this moment”.
That’s insane and it’s so dramatic for real. I am sorry that all of this happened to you but at least you walked away (see what I did there) with something good out of the situation.
I am really curious about your inspiration when it comes to bands and artists. Who do you look up to and who influenced DND7?
Right off the bat – Green Day.
Also – Blink-182, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pink Floyd, Alter Bridge, Creed, Linkin Park, the list can go on and on because inspiration is everywhere.
But I have to say Green Day and Blink were the biggest influence on me. It was more Blink when I was in my angsty teen stage. I was a skate-punk type, literally skating all day long. It was edgy man. I was listening to Slipknot in third grade – we are talking extreme edgy.
I was nasty now that I look back. I used to go to candy stores and open bags of candy “sampling” them and when the owners told me I can’t do it I was like how do I know if it tastes good? And then I got kicked out.
We all have the same issues and problems we have to go through and instead of dividing it would be so much better to support and help each other.
But Green Day was the real deal. It was a massive inspiration. The song Minority was the first I would hear and the intro would get stuck in my head and I would be like – dude I wanna do this!
There was also a lot of early Blink-182 at that time too like Rockshow, First Date, Always. I loved the upbeat vibes in their sound. I was even in a Blink-182 cover band at first actually. Those were the days man, we played some small shows and it was awesome.
So if I have to sum it up – the three biggest influences for me were Blink-182, Green Day, and Linkin Park.
All the good stuff. I also really wanted to ask which the favorite DND7 song of each member is.
Blake: Partially it would be Walk Away for me. The reason is that was the song I was sent when I was trying out. It was the first thing Jonny sent me and I fell in love with it. It’s still my favorite to perform and I think it will always be.
Ethan: It’s kind of a toss between Caterpillar Man and The Cure. I like the super heavy crazy bass.
Jonny: Just look at his Slayer shirt and you’ll know what he likes.
When it comes to me – Straight Trippin. It’s my all-time favorite song to play, I just love it. The solo is insane.
The Cure also has many good parts. I don’t know dude, all the songs have something unique that I love about them.
Diverse picks but all great choices I have to say. The next thing I am curious about is where does DND7 want to be in five years?
It’s a weird thing. A lot of people talk about getting big and about all the success that can be achieved. Essentially, I would say in five years I would like DND7 to be part of more kids’ lives. A bigger family – I think it can be defined like that.
There are a lot of kids that listen to our music and it’s absolutely amazing. Knowing that you are changing lives with your art is all that matters to me, honestly. I just want to keep that up. It’s not really about the money or fame, I have a message for all those kids who feel alone, depressed, suicidal even. The whole band is a message for them – we want to get out there and show them they are loved and understood. I want to give those people the chance to feel part of something.
Everyone is so loving in our community its stunning. Those kids create communities and support groups based on their similar interest in the band it’s really powerful stuff. That’s what it is all about – a huge family.
And I hope it always stays like this and gets even bigger. I love seeing how people disregard all differences for the sake of a bigger similarity and they form such strong friendships over it.
And it’s all around the world – we got people from the UK, Germany, Australia, all around the world but they are all united on the same page and chat group. This helps you realize how similar we actually are and how much we can relate to each other if we listen. We all have the same issues and problems we have to go through and instead of dividing it would be so much better to support and help each other.
What we want to do is to break this weird concept of focusing on the differences and start seeing all the similarities amongst us.
It really is insane and extremely powerful. And I’m sure you will get there because I can already see it has started happening with supersonic speed – your community is amazing and it’s growing so fast.
I just have to ask you if there is new music cooking at the moment.
Oh yeaaaah we are! If you thought The Cure is great you have no idea what’s coming next. There is some music being made which is gonna rock some socks, I tell you that. It’s more powerful, it’s bigger, it’s better, it’s louder.
In the beginning the music was personal and a lot of the new stuff is also personal but it’s relatable on a new scale. It’s really bigger. We have this new song called Deja Vu which we are currently writing. And this song is just… I can’t wait to release it really!
There is a whole arsenal of good music coming. We have preserved the style in a way – our goal is the same and we have the meaning we had before. It’s about making people feel better and making them feel understood but it’s on a bigger scale and higher level than before. Break-up, suicidal thoughts, division… We have it.
In a lot of the new song we talk about how we have lost a lot of our old-school ways and important things because of social media. We have forgotten who we are and we started going backwards instead of forward in terms of being united and together.
And I believe a lot of this is the media’s fault. It pulls things out of proportion and it portrays things in the way it wants them to be seen. One small thing taken out of proportion and we are all divided.
In I will be we talk about not being what the world wants you to be and falling into the path of being something just because you were told you have to. It’s also about not just watching through the screen but going out and experiencing the world as it is. It’s a song about how our phones have put a wall in front of our eyes which won’t let us see that we are so similar to each other.
And this comes back to the community – seeing all those kids come together. Their religions are different, their views, morals, everything is different but in the end all of this doesn’t matter because they come together and they support and love each other. They help each other get through all kinds of hardships despite all their differences and this is absolutely crazy for me to see.
What we want to do is to break this weird concept of focusing on the differences and diving each other instead of seeing all the similarities and being united. It’s an unexplainable wall that exists in front of our eyes that doesn’t let us see things which are already there. They have always been there. We need to pay attention to history and stop backtracking. It doesn’t make any sense. We should be so far ahead from this mindset.
Truth be told, we are just a bunch of punk kids who can relate to other kids
If the world was so dangerous would we be able to go outside every day? No, we wouldn’t. But you know, when you go outside it’s not very often people look each other in the eyes, they don’t smile or say hello that often. It’s more or less bowing your head down and avoiding others. That’s because the media portrays everyone as scary and potentially dangerous. But the thing is you never fu*king know. You might walk past someone who you would become best friends with if you had a chance of conversation, you know?
That’s our target – we want to get people to say “Hey! This is enough. This is gonna stop and we have to start living. We have to bring each other up not bring each other down.” We are more powerful as a group not as individuals. That’s the direction our new music is looking at.
We are super excited to get it out there but we are taking a while because we just want it to be as good as possible. We want it to be great and we want to find the best studio, best producer, best person we can work with. It’s important for us that when we make the songs they will portray exactly what we want to say with them.
I absolutely agree. That’s some powerful stuff right there, man, you said it well. It sounds super exciting and I’m really looking forward to hearing the new music. So you have no idea when it will be released yet?
We don’t have specific dates.
That’s what we are on right now – we are in LA looking for the best producer and the best studio to start making the songs a reality. So we are going to ask them how much it will cost and maybe, in the end, we will be able to finalize only one song but we are definitely doing it.
I personally believe that out of the songs I mentioned are in production – one of them can really help us achieve the goal we have for the next five years. Reaching out to more kids and being a part of their lives.
I want to do this because I have met a lot of bands – a lot of big names, some are great but some are quite poor. I don’t understand those who just do it for the money, fame, success or whatever. There are all those kids who come to their shows and fall in love with their work and they can’t spare them 2 minutes out of their day to just say “Hey, nice to meet you, thank you for listening and being awesome”.
And those kids deserve it, everyone fu*king deserves it. We are human beings and this is human. I really don’t think we will ever hit a point where we are not personally DMing every single fan.
We have engaged in a conversation with every single person that has reached out to us – we might be busy but we try very, very hard to keep in touch with everyone who follows the band. We want to be friends with those people not have this rockstar-fan relationship.
Truth be told we are just a bunch of punk kids who can relate to other kids. That’s all there is to it. We have been depressed, we have had scary thoughts and we don’t want to be that way. We want to bring people together and overcome those hardships.
Yeah, that’s another thing I highly respect about you guys. I can see that you are extremely involved in your community and you are constantly doing video chats, replying to comments and talking to people. Even this interview is a proof that you care deeply about your relationship with your fans and this is admirable. They definitely this, as you have already said.
I got one more question and I will leave you to it because you have a lot of stuff on your hands. Which band or artist would you want to one day collaborate or tour with most?
Alright everyone, one, two, three – *all scream in unison* GREEN DAY.
It’s a dream, man. We just want to play them one song and show them how much they influence us and how much we love them.
This band really changed our lives and I personally don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for them. They were there for me. Their music was exactly what I needed to hear and it helped me go through a lot. They also made me get off my ass and take music seriously, go pitch myself and develop. We owe it to them.
Hearing Jonny’s story filled with turbulent and scarring events I definitely think I understand where DND7’s creative fuel and never-ending passion come from. His teenage years were filled with misadventures and extremes but this is one of the reasons DND7’s music is so relatable and easy to digest – we have all been there. We have all felt the waves of depression swallowing us at one point or another and the fact that there are artists who demonstrate such a level of sympathy and radiate empowerment is a blessing.
The boys have what it takes to make it for sure – motivation, actual purpose, relevant messages, growing fanbase, and most importantly amazing music. I am looking forward to hearing the new music coming and I will be keeping a close eye on them and their journey as I am certain it will be one worth observing. Follow them on Instagram and Spotify if you haven’t already done it so you don’t miss out.
A huge Thank You to Jonny, Blake, and Ethan for taking the time to make this interview a reality, for their honest and insightful answers, and their absolute dedication to music!