Interview – Dread Risks


Most of the time I don’t accept suggestions when it comes to music. People usually don’t understand what I’m looking for in that matter. But for this band, the one we’re going to sit down with and talk about, I’m glad I did (accept the suggestion). Dread Risks is the name of the band. They’re Austin, Texas-based. The band expands  upon industrial music sound, exploring aggrotech. For those who don’t know what that is, google it! (Laughs)

Hi Dread Risks! Usually we do some sort of routine questions in my interviews so we’re gonna go with those first and get down to serious stuff after.

Cross – Dread Risks is a two member band, right? Who and who (names, nicknames, instruments)?

DR – That is correct, and we appreciate the interview, Cross. Kris (KO) and Eric, and we share music composition (software & hardware) duties/songwriting, and Kris handles vocals and lyrics with Eric on visual live elements. We are fortunate to have overlapping skill-sets to keep creative energy flowing.

Cross – Who came up with the band’s name and why that one?

DR – We liked the concept of the term based on its discomfort. When you break down the meaning, it’s a fear of “what if’s” residing in an unhealthy mindspace of dreading “small probability” events. It’s a drapery of dead space where progress is stalled for intangible consequences.

And why the name? It’s torture to live this way at any capacity, for any duration, and has synergy with the vibe of our music.

Cross – Interesting. How did you guys meet and when did you two decide to come up with a band and invest time in it?

Eric – We met through an ad in the Austin Chronicle when KO was auditioning for the metal band I was in back in 1999. That band ended, and we reconnected a couple of times later and then things finally fell into place. So this is our 2nd time playing in a band together. There’s really not a choice not to produce music as cheesy as that sounds, but as many can attest to, it’s an outlet – productive outlets deserve time and priority.

Cross – Nice! You guys got out your first release, as Dread Risks, a self titled album on December 2018. I know this is gonna sound ridiculous but the first time I’ve listen to “re/coil” which is the first track of the album, I thought of Devil May Cry, the game. (Laughs) Heavy song. Was that the first song you guys came up with or did it just fit to be the first song on that album?

DR – Haha, nothing is ridiculous. It was one of the first, maybe the 3rd, we wrote, and it gravitated to become one of the choices for a lead single/video. Being an unknown band at the time (we released the record, then got on social media to promote), we thought it unwise to lead with a track 1 “intro” or “more ambient” style piece because of listener attention-span and first impressions.

Cross – “Voidhost” is the third track in Dread Risks album and my ear liked this line a lot, “asplit-second of doubt to cannibalize your fragile will”. It seems like you guys take the lyrics very seriously. How does the writing process of the lyrics go?

KO – I never go into it looking to write a hook or catch-phrase. Usually the concept of the song births dozens of sentences to capture the vibe, and then I parse down to what carries the story, or says enough to impact the moment, or sometimes just fits the goddamn cadence. It’s a process but it always feels personal, so it contributes to my insomnia, making it important.

Cross – “Days. Passing. Dark”, 7th track. What’s it about?

KO – This was a doom song, written a while back, and later adapted for Dread Risks. It’s about the endless moments of sorrow that haunt us, after a loss, in the quiet of solitude when nothing distracts from existing without the joy of what was before.

Cross – The album ends with “Terminal Rate” which sounds like the soundtrack of a haunted-house horror film. Are you guys horror film fans? If so, can you guys name one or two films you guys like?

Eric – I do enjoy a lot of horror so let’s just go with Eden Lake and The Descent.

Cross – I like Eden Lake.

KO – I’m not a big horror fan like Eric here, more into psychological thrillers and sci-fi, but my top two horror films might be The Ring and Evil Dead 2.

Cross – The Ring never got me but Evil Dead, hell yeah! “Errorcode”. A very addictable start. First time I’ve listened to it, it made me think of “Ghost in the Shell”, Wamdue Project – King of my Castle. Nothing like it but that’s what’s the fun part of music, one song gets you to another one. The reason why I mentioned your song is cause there’s a remix of it. Not sure if is a remix you guys came out with or, somebody added their touch to it? It’s a bit confusing the way it’s explained on your Bandcamp.

DR – Oh, the remix was done by our friend Erik Gustafson from Adoration Destroyed who are on Cleopatra Records. He completely reimagined the track and made it its own, and the reception has been very positive. Erik wrote the remix, and Ritch Napierkowski, also from Adoration Destroyed, handled final engineering/mastering duties. Great guys and band.

Cross – Great! Do you guys like anime or animated movies? I brought that one up so now I’m curious. (Laughs)

Eric – Can’t go wrong with Miyazaki movies, and I really like bizarre series like Sgt Frog and Prince of Tennis.

KO – I have a vhs of Battle Angel that I watched the shit out of when new, lol. And watched the Last Unicorn a thousand times with my sister growing up. But recently, nope.

Cross – Good I asked. (Laughs) In what I observed from the first release, you guys stick with the same artist for your cover art. Who and how did you guys meet?

Eric – @dyspyx is my brother and has always been supportive of all musical undertakings and generous with his ideas. It makes the art that much more special.

Cross – Talented family. Same artist who did the band logo?

DR – We sought the recommended help of graphic artist Keeley Laures @keeleylaures / (who does some amazing flyer art for bands btw) to sharpen our logo concept.

Cross – Dread Risks does play live too. Many people say you guys sound awesome live. How difficult is it to play these songs live?

Eric – We always appreciate hearing feedback like that. It definitely took some planning in order to execute these songs live, and each show we learn something that can be improved upon or expanded on in a live capacity. The songs are complex, and we are fans of textures so those sonic elements are especially highlighted live with potential expansion into more hardware-generated elements. Kris can speak more to the vocal duties of course.

KO – Honestly, it’s so in the moment during live shows, that my delivery gets really aggressive and loses some of the subtlety from the album, but I think it makes us heavier and audiences seem to dig that.

Cross – Hopefully someday I can have the chance and pleasure to check you guys live. Are you guys going to get back to it somehow? Livestream or something?

DR – Luckily, we are in a writing cycle with a bunch of killer shows just under our 2019 – early 2020 belt. Live-streaming hasn’t been a priority for this reason as well, but it will make sense at some point. We look forward to sharing some new music in very early 2021, and we do not have a shortage of new material for the remainder of the year.

Cross – You guys got out there some official videos too. How fun was that to work on?

DR – We teamed with a great agency called Zookeeper to develop some unique footage around our sound. They handled the first two videos, and we got to test out and refine our video chops utilizing their content and more to support the duration of the album campaign and for live use. It’s been a lot of fun, and Dave Waite and his team are amazing.

Eric – Lots of late nights from our camp as well to craft the video-to-music cohesion.

Cross – I said this before that Eyehategod and Mike Williams IX has been a huge influence in my music taste, art and much more. Matter of fact first material of yours I listened to was your last release, a mix/cover of their song, one of my favorites of theirs , SFPT1, off their “Take as Needed for Pain”. Why that song and why something from Eyehategod and not Corrections House. In a way you guys sound more like the (Corrections House).

KO – Oh man, I listened to so much Eyehategod and Acid Bath and similar sludge/metal acts, and this song was one of my favorites. The main riff is just killer and it was hard to even consider another song.

Cross – Now that you mentioned Acid Bath, great band! It has been a while since the full album release. Are there any plans to get a new one out there and when?

DR – Look for the full follow-up release in likely spring 2021, but there are some surprises before that. To say we are excited about each of these projects is the biggest understatement ever.

Cross – Looking forward to all that. We share one love Dread Risks and I, Ministry. Can you guys name your favorite album of theirs, Ministry, or a song?

KO“Land of Rape and Honey” gets my vote for favorite album, but the songs I blast in my car on steady rotation are “Hero” and “Unsung”.

Eric – “Psalm 69” and TV II is probably my favorite track from that album.

Cross – What the Dread Risks do other than making music? Any hobbies?

Eric – Finding obscure music, lambada, horse biology, vibrating with crippling intensity.

KO – Just enjoying a good beer, historic fiction, and fighting insomnia. And listening to lots of other great artists.

Cross – Hook us up with five albums you guys have been listening to in the lockdown times.

KO – I have so many tracks on shuffle, and a lot of them come from these albums: Katatonia – Dead End Kings, Kevorkian Death Cycle – I am God, 16 Volt – Beating Dead Horses, Velvet Acid Christ – Twisted Thought Generator, Ghost Brigade – Isolation Songs.

Eric – Faderhead – Asteria, All You Know Is Hell – Gape, Fact Pattern – Fallen Language, ESA – Burial 10, BARA HARI – Pandora’s Box.

Cross – Anything else you guys might like to add?

DR – We just appreciate your interest in interviewing us and putting time into the thoughtful questions. Everyone stay safe and kind and check on each other. Also, if you are an artist and have the chance to do a compilation that feels slightly out of genre, do it without hesitation. We have met so many incredible and talented artists across the noise and harsh electronic scene as a result, and it’s been a lot of fun, and we’ve made some great friends.

Cross – You guys are very welcome and thank you so much! Support and follow Dread Risks:

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Bandcamp – Dread Risks