Between Darkness and the Light

Interview by Julia Cartwright

So far 2007 seems to have been quite a good year for you. You digitally released your debut album Self Degraded Suicide, and have just had a solo EP released by a net label. How have you taken that?

Dom Lyne: 2007 has been a productive year for us, like you said we released Self Degraded Suicide digitally, it got released earlier than the stores had told us it would and actually came out on my birthday which was, I must say, a surprise but also one of the best birthday presents you could have. M** phoned me up and was like ‘Dom, it’s out. It got released today!’

M** Lyne: It was totally by accident that I found it had come out. We’d been told it was due for an April release if it went smoothly. One morning I just went ‘you know what I’ll have a look’ and to my surprise the album was there… my mouth hit the floor. I got on the phone to tell Dom that it was out and he was like ‘What? Are you sure?’ I checked again and yep the album was still there. It really made my day but more importantly it made Dom’s birthday.

That must of been annoying?

Dom Lyne: It really just goes to show that sometimes things don’t run as smoothly as you hoped, but you just adjust to that and carry on. At the end of the day we got good feedback from it, seeing your picture in a magazine from Japan at this stage of your career is quite humbling, especially when they actually grasped what the album was about. Also the reaction from fans was awesome and that is always the most important feedback you can receive.

When I think back about it, it has been quite a random year. I mean putting the musical releases aside we’ve had quite a bit of fun along the way. Getting kicked out of a venue for attacking Tony Blair’s government has to be a highlight for me as it showed the power music still has.

M** Lyne: I still think the highlight of the year for me was the release of Self Degraded Suicide and the positive feedback, and of course, like Dom said, being asked to leave a venue just for standing up for what you believe in, that was just pathetic.

We read about ‘that’ party on the band’s web-blog. Care to elaborate?

Dom Lyne: [Laughs] Ahh, that party. That was actually a really good night from what I remember, I was drinking wine by the pint, although I don’t think I made a ‘good’ impression on them all. I kinda felt bad for one slight moment the next morning for them having to endure me threatening to rip people’s faces off whilst I stood there wearing only vomit and my boxers.

M** Lyne: It could have been worse, you could have been naked.

Dom Lyne: I was at one point, I ended up having a shower with everyone else carrying on using the toilet, so yeah, quite a few got to see me as nature intended, I even started on one guy like that. Yes, was a pretty good night. At least I made an impression.

Sounds like a bit of a rock-star moment.

Dom Lyne: Well you know, we’re not going to be repentant for the things we get up to when drunk, I don’t believe in having regrets for what you had fun doing.

M** Lyne: Why should we feel guilty for having a good time? If people don’t like it then sod them. At the end of the day it’s our choice what we do and will not be told otherwise.

Dom Lyne: Totally, I mean when it boils down to it, at our heart we are a tattooed rock band. We work hard, we party hard. If we want to smoke, drink and take drugs then that is up to us, and we make no apologies for that.

You’ve just released another digital EP through a net label, how did that come about?

Dom Lyne: Well it was a joint project really. I approached Frigida Records to see if they would be interested in releasing some of my solo works, and they said ‘yes’. Salvation Disorder No. 1 doesn’t represent The Red Devil Incident as its music stands post Self Degraded Suicide, it kinda shows how I experimented with sounds before we entered the studio to record it. It’s the bridge gap between our original synth-less rock sound and the album. It represents a period of the band’s life which I wanted to be shown.

Obviously Salvation Disorder No.1 is literally Dom’s solo works, but Self Degraded Suicide seems to also have that feel about it as well.

Dom Lyne: Well, I did lock myself and the album away from everyone, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a ‘solo’ piece of work. It just ended up working out in a way where I’d work on it alone and only call everyone into the studio as and when they were required. I got too involved in it and as a result yeah, maybe I did lock M** out, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t change a single bit about it. It all helped create the atmosphere, and I guess almost claustrophobia, on the album.

How did that make you feel M**, watching the album almost from the outside?

M** Lyne: At first it seemed a bit weird seeing that we tend to do work together on most musical ventures, bouncing different ideas and concepts. Personally I felt that I wasn’t a part of the band as Dom would not let me listen to any of the rough mixes of the songs and became very aggressive towards any suggestions I came up with, but this also helped me creatively as it fuelled my resentment and anger. Yeah it was hard but I knew Dom had his reasons for it and I guess as a result of all this Self Degraded Suicide captured the emotion of the time, it has a feeling of despair about it.

Dom Lyne: With the new material we’ve been working on and recording, the process has been totally different. I’ve learnt from Self Degraded Suicide. M** is involved in virtually all the studio sessions we’ve had, they’ve been there even if they’ve not been recording, I mean you can even hear us having conversations between vocal parts, which is always funny to listen back to. The whole atmosphere in the recording process at the moment is much more fun, more enjoyable and that is reflected in the music we’re recording. It’s not so dark and oppressive, there’s more hope in it. I’ll always see RDI as my baby, but like any parent knows you have to give it space to breathe and expand, not smother it.

M** Lyne: It now feels more like a band, we have a laugh and mess about but when the red light comes on we know to be serious and get on with it. The new material is more ‘upbeat’, the dark songs are still there but have moved away from despair and hopelessness to hope and enlightenment.

Dom Lyne: The good thing about having M** involved more is that we’re bringing back into the band more of the original elements they’d put in place. Self Degraded Suicide was more synth led, the guitars were supplemental almost, with our new tunes the guitars play on an equal level to the synths. RDI is always about evolving and improving as a band. M** is as much of a part of the band as I am, and although they’ll be the first to deny their sheer importance, The Red Devil Incident wouldn’t be the band it is without them. Even when I was off recording Self Degraded Suicide, they were constantly on the other end of the phone with their support. There’s some people you know you can’t function without, and I know they’re one of those.

You seem to be in a happier place from the last time we met. Is that part of a new outlook?

Dom Lyne: I wouldn’t say it’s part of a ‘new outlook’, it’s more to do with the fact that we’ve made peace with certain parts of our lives. Obviously I’m not the same person who recorded Self Degraded Suicide, I mean I was a mess at that time. I don’t think I let anyone really understand how far I fucked myself up, especially at the start of it all.

M** Lyne: That was difficult for me as I had no way off reaching him other than through a phone and it hurt, I can read Dom like a book and can pick up when he is in self-destruct mode but he has the annoying habit of locking away in himself and refusing to let people in. He got himself through it, and I’m sure locking himself away with the album helped, but we’ve both moved on since Self Degraded Suicide, as one door closes another opens with new problems and challenges to be faced. We are constantly evolving and reflecting on the past but not letting it get in our way or pull us down.

Dom Lyne: I think last time we spoke I said in order to be reborn you have to destroy what you’ve become, that’s really what happened. I’ve emerged from flames and am more determined to get the band’s message across. In a sense it’s like I’ve saved myself, now I want to save the masses. I want people to learn from us, to grow. I mean having fans say that your music affects them is a truly beautiful moment. Even if you only change one life, that is one soul you’ve helped.

Page Shots

The Red Devil Incident | Between the Darkness and the Light appeared in the August edition of Off the Wall Fanzine, a fanzine based in the North West of England. The copyright in this interview belongs to the fanzine’s writers/publishers.

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