...And Here I Lie make a triumphant return after seven years and Matt Hensch speaks with Chris Dalcin to get the inside story of the reformation, the new blood in the group and where they are going from here.
Thrashpit: What caused the reformation of ...And Here I Lie?
Chris Dalcin: Me moving back to NY. When I knew I was moving back home, I had to see if it was at least possible; it all hinged on one person: Noah. If he wasn't down then it was over. There were two song-writers in AHIL: Noah, the original guitarist, and Mike Wall who took over the writing when he entered the band. With Mike living in Montreal, it left only Noah ...I mean I wanted to jam with Noah regardless. I was pretty convinced that Noah didn't want any part of AHIL anymore. When he left in 99, we weren't on the best of terms. I think I have seen him only 2/3 times in the past 8 years, so I was a little afraid he'd say no. He's married now, has a house you know? Kind of got settled down and got a decent job. So I called Noah up a few months before I came back and we spoke a few times back in this June.
Thrashpit: Has there been any new material written thus far?
Chris: Actually Noah and I kinda worked on one new song. To be honest, we have only jammed once since I got home, but I have been trying to get settled and find a job etc. but no worries. I know one of the main goals is new material.
Thrashpit: If so, what does it sound like?
Chris: The new song so far is just a few riffs. It sounds more like "Regrets." I mean I think all the super-fast grind stuff with low death vocals won't be a part of the new sound.
Thrashpit: How did singer Dawn Desiree enter the new lineup?
Chris: I have known her for about 9 years on/off we became good friends as Rain Fell Within split up...I think that was 2002? AHIL played one show with RFW in 98' then Elusive Travel played our first two shows with them. That was an honor. So as it stands things with Dawn are real casual. She has agreed to sing on the new EP that we have planned for a FEB Studio date. After the CD comes out, I'm sure we'll do a few shows with her, and then see what happens. She lives 450 miles away in DC, so it's going to have to be worth it for all of us to come together for a show. I'm hoping that we'll get to invited to take part in some sort of US FEST, if not I'd like to hit a few big cities after the CD gets out.
Thrashpit: What purpose will her operatic vocals serve on future material?
Chris: Honestly, I think she's going to tone down the Opera stuff (just for AHIL). I mean I think her voice is so beautiful, that's why I asked her to be a part of AHIL, but a full Vibrato/Opera might be something that isn't for AHIL, but who knows we haven't heard her sing over our stuff yet, but I'm sure that its going to bring a new feel to the music. At this point, it's all about experimenting and that's like my favorite thing to do. Noah doesn't like when I shake up the good old formula, haha but he comes around, and sometimes I get too wacky maybe!
Thrashpit: Was the reunion with all the band's former members and yourself planned, or did just kind of happen?
Chris: No, but almost Noah and I are the founders. Zenkar played bass for the last year we were around, he took Noah's place, ( at the time Noah was playing bass; due to us being bass-less LOL) Nemi is new...he's just a huge fan of the band and Dawn is new also.
Thrashpit: You are also in Elusive Travel along with ...And Here I Lie. Will you be focusing on one more than the other, or will you evenly work between the two?
Chris: Right now I'm just trying to do what come natural, like I was just gonna put ET on hold for a while like 6 months because I also play drums in a band called Fledgling Death and we are going to be doing shows and recording a new CD, but I just out of fun started jamming tonight with a good friend of mine Drew from 137, and he's gonna help ET out for a little bit. I think we will do a few shows etc, you know for fun in sh*t, so to answer your question: I'm probably one of the only people that can balance three bands very well, I have no girl friend and at the moment no job haha! But I will put 110% in every band.
Thrashpit: What caused the seven year-break of ...And Here I Lie?
Chris: Mike moved to Montreal, that's pretty much it. I mean not to put it all on him; we split up on good terms, so there was no bullsh*t afterwards. I mean I was upset he was leaving, but then again I wanted to really start singing again, and I wanted to move out of Rochester, so in the summer of 2000 it was a time for all of us to go our separate ways. Noah even joined the Navy!
Thrashpit: What did you do during those years?
Chris: Well I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and formed Elusive Travel, and it was a f**king nightmare as far as holding it together; I have had 22 members! Yeah I'm serious; most people I had jammed with were just f**king idiots, I mean really just unreliable and just a lot of members really putting me in tough spots. I had a few really nice band mates but the drummers were always the problem! I f**king hate drummers haha! But I also had A LOT of fun and there were some good times as well. We toured a few times, did a lot of shows, and it was a lot of work, because I was the only one who ever did anything for the most part.
Thrashpit: Why was the "F**king Dead" EP never released?
Chris: Because nobody had any money and we were breaking up. It was kinda like "what's the point?"
Thrashpit: What are some of your favorite bands in the metal scene today?
Chris: hmmmm..... Really? I don't listen to metal really, but Novembre are my favorite right now, along with Anathema, Katatonia and My Dying Bride.
Thrashpit: And Here I Lie seem to have a depressive persona and lyrical base. Is personal struggle, depression, isolation, etc. something you personally struggle with?
Chris: Absolutely! I have been going through some really hard things the past few years. I mean it's ALL true; everything I write is about my life. I'm not trying to be selfish, but this is the real deal, every song has a very, very deep personal meaning to me. I can honestly say that sometimes I can't bring myself to listen to certain songs. I wrote them about certain people and what I was going through at that point. AHIL is my diary, no lies man. I can say I have had some real spooky moments writing some of those lyrics. The only reason I do AHIL is for love, for feeling, to just make ME feel better, that's it: it's completely self-serving, but it gets me through things and a lot of other people I know feel the same as I do. I hope that I can help people through my words and music that AHIL creates.
Thrashpit: What's the most memorable moment you recall before ...And Here I Lie split up?
Chris: Ok there are lots of great ones because AHIL has always been my favorite band I have been in! We were on the 99' Canadian Tour and we stopped in Sherbrooke, QC and the place was packed with all kinds of kids: punk, metal, ska, doom, black metal, and death metal...whatever it was in the basement of this really big building! About 300 kids going crazy! We played last and I thought there'd be no one around when we played, but they all went NUTS. We had a huge pit and people bowing at our feet and kissing our faces! I SWEAR! We ended with "I AM THE BLOODY EARTH," a My Dying Bride cover, and the place was off the hook! The kids there were SO awesome! When we came home we knew we'd never play a show like that again.
Thrashpit: Any last comments?
Chris: Yeah, thanks for your time and interest in the band. Please keep your ears open for some new music around Feb, and we are also looking for a local singer to collaborate with. I think that AHIL really stands out from other doom bands because were so f**king picky on what we like and play that we really pride ourselves on staying true; sometimes people have told me that they can't watch us live cause they get upset, really. I mean this really is us opening ourselves up, all of our fears and insecurities; it's all there, so be gentle haha! I want to say thanks to all the people that have remained interested in the band for the past 7 years. On behalf of AHIL and myself: Cheers! Doom on!