At the beginning of 2019, the industrial metal band from Australia DARKCELL delivered to us via the darkTunes label their new self-titled album, a powerful work that we greatly appreciated and that we had also reviewed for you here. Back from a UK tour and a visit to Wave-Gotik-Treffen, singer and band founder Jesse Dracman agreed to answer some of our questions to find out a bit more about the group, the new album and the future projects of the horrifying formation.
Your new eponymous album is out in 2019 worldwide. How did the recording go? How did you proceed for the collaboration with Tim Skold and Lindsay Schoolcraft?
The album came out in April, and we couldn’t be happier with the final result. It’s an album that pushed us on many levels and drove us to work harder than we’ve ever worked on an album to date. We had some demos early last year, and had a chance to let Chris Fehn (ex-SLIPKNOT) hear some of the material. His enthusiasm and feedback helped us explore our potential a whole lot more. We did a few more collaborations this time around, working with horror core rapper, KID CRUSHER, our “Brother Of Chaos”, Jonathan Devoy (From LOVE TO VIOLENCE / ex-JERK). Getting to work with Tim and Lindsay on our songs was an honour. Skold is a fan of ours and we’d worked on a remix before, so a chance to "Darkcell the shit out of a song" (Nightrider) he presented us was too good to refuse. When we composed the finale track Midnite for the album, I could hear a distinctive voice on this track, and knew that someone as talented and passionate as Lindsay would give the song the deep sentiment it deserved.
What are the feedbacks about the album, especially in Europe?
The feedback has been very strong and our most well received album to-date. Europe has most definitely embraced our sounds and it’s exciting to know our efforts are being rewarded and appreciated by a wider audience.
You have joined the German label DarkTunes for this release. Did this change bring you new opportunities?
Most definitely. DarkTunes has been such a boost to what we do in exploring our reach more in Europe and gaining insights and the opportunity to play Wave Gotik Treffen this year.
You’re just back from a UK Tour. Was it your first one in Europe? How did the public react to your show? Is it another atmosphere than what you’re used of in Australia?
The European tour was our first, and certainly not the last. The public reaction at every show was beyond expectations and helped us really develop our live show even more. It’s a very exciting time and I cannot wait to return. European audiences love music and we were fortunate to get the kind of great response we did. It’s definitely a different vibe.
What about the Wave Gotik Treffen, was it your very first time there, even as festival goers? Did you stay for the whole fest? Did you discover interesting bands? What is your best memory from there?
It was our first and such a mind blowing experience. We saw the whole festival and got to see many bands, finally getting to see LORD OF THE LOST, whom we’re huge fans of, and bonding with great bands like KILLUS, our label mates OMNIMAR and SYNTH ATTACK, as well as interesting EBM and medieval folk bands. My best memory was playing to one of the biggest crowds we’ve played to yet and seeing people in our shirts and singing our songs. Such a great feeling to experience on the other side of the world. Makes the hard work and sacrifice worth it.
Did you receive since then any offer to perform in France in the near future?
Pretty much all the venues want us back, and definitely France next time for sure.
A new European label, a recent European tour… Will you end up moving to London or Berlin, as many Australian musicians do? If yes/no, why?
Haha I wish, but I don’t see that happening. We do things a little different to the normal standards of most bands, as we prefer to pave our own unique path. There are many flaws in this industry and we are defying odds like the underdog and marching to our own beat.
Can you tell us more about your Psycho Circus project? It’s not so often that a band turn out to also be a festival promoter. How is it to work on the other side of the stage?
It’s a festival event we’d wanted to explore for some time, combining music and Circus acts. The response to the first was so enthusiastic we knew we’d started something fun and exciting that gave everyone a chance to party as one. It’s a labour of love and we get to work with some cool people and quality bands.
Out of curiosity, why did you change the typography of your name from Darkc3ll to Darkcell?
People had a hard time finding us online, so to avoid any confusion we tweaked the letter. I prefer the original haha. The change works however and we’re just stoked that people like what we do.
You’re going to be opening for COMBICHRIST in October in Australia. Additionally, Postmortem Matt mixed one of the sounds of their new album. What kind of relations do you have with the band?
We are pumped! I’d made friends with Andy (COMBICHRIST), whom we’d actually opened our debut show for many moons ago. He’s a rad dude and digs what we do, so when he asked if we’d mix a song, I said Matt’s a wizard, and he brought the goods on Broken United.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. A last word for your French fans?
See you soon France and thanks so much to our French fans that actually came and saw us in London. Hail!
Thank you very much for you time.