Jordan Davis and Dan Dickershied, the duo better known as Relic, discuss the release and playing live in support of the band’s debut album, Pulse Code Misery.
An InterView with Jordan Davis & Dan Dickershied of Relic
By Christopher Lee Walton (CLWalton)
Initially formed in 2015 as a studio project by one Jordan Davis, Relic has begun an upward trajectory as one of Glitch Mode Recordings’ most exciting acts. With Dan Dickershied on live drums, the band evokes an experimental sound that blends organic percussive atmospheres with electrified industrial – a self-described cyberpunk soundtrack that draws from a wide range of influences from ’90s coldwave to technical metal. With the release of the duo’s debut Pulse Code Misery, and performing a handful of live shows, Relic is poised to become a revered name in the annals of modern industrial. Christopher Lee Walton recently had the opportunity to speak with Davis and Dickershied and give ReGen‘s readers an inside look at the band’s formation, working method, and plans for the future, including further live shows and new music!
How were you inspired as a youth that has brought you to this point in your career?
Davis: My interest in computer coding and software taught me these different applications to produce music, and producing and mixing local bands while I was in high school. Everything was computers and visuals. Trent Reznor inspired diligence of controlling every aspect of recording in the studio at the same time as writing, playing instruments, producing, and composing.
I was strongly influenced by the sounds of Prodigy, including how they produce their albums; this lead to a submersion into the drum & bass sounds, and then exploring what the other bands were doing with the approach. A best friend of mine at the time introduced me to industrial music and from there it was a matter of my embracing all types of music and throwing that inspiration into my personal compositions.
How did you and your music evolve into your vision?
Davis: I really like the aggressive beats and have an admiration that went beyond the industrial genre with those influences, such as, NIN, KMFDM, and Nitzer Ebb, where everything is industrial by design. Further inspiration came from wanting to get outside of the overindulgent beats that became so associated with industrial music. I knew that I wanted visuals to be among the aesthetic to the live shows to intertwine with the music, thereby reinforcing the music and creating another dimension.
The whole VHS nostalgia movement has been embraced in the art community, and by doing so, it’s a way to mask the visual to obtain the feel of the music by having scratchy and grainy imagery. We are doing a combination of green screen projections and experimenting with different types of methods and techniques for our live shows.
When did you start playing music?
Davis: I trained in piano when I was about nine, then when I was 15, I bought an electronic drum set and began learning the software to mix music.
How did Relic form?
Davis: Relic was born in the shadows during the end of my first band that was experiencing a lot of issues that were, at times, out of my control. After the band dissolved, I took a hiatus for two-to-three years writing new music. I felt the time was now for revitalization and experimenting with all the things I knew.
How did Dan come into the project?
Dickershied: Yeah, I was on a date that night and here I am with a kid’s drumkit. I was going to rip it to shreds! I played with Mary Christ Red – they recruited me and we had a couple of big shows, but things went in another direction.
Davis: Dan didn’t have experience with industrial drumming, although he was coming from the heavy metal band, but quickly adapted and exceeded the transition.
Dickershied: Throw in a crunchy groove and then bring in the four-on-the-floor funk, natural flow to the beat, and when you hear that, you have the four-on-the-floor, because I do like it! A lot of people that produce and make this type of music have a kindred mindset that sort of compartmentalizes.
Where was Relic’s first show?
Dickershied: Yeah, that show was crazy, but it was great when I heard someone in the crowd yell, ‘Fuck yeah, live drums!’
Dickershied: It was interesting. Davis had five or six tracks written when I came aboard and we have so much music recorded now. Davis is always coming up with new tracks.
Davis: Yeah, defiantly tribal accentuated with trip-hop beats are the backbone to Relic’s industrial/electronic output. Dan continues stating that one of his initial inspirations was Meshuggah, most notably the drumming.
What are your thoughts of the current state of the industrial genre?
Davis: It’s great, thriving, and there are a lot of new bands and the legends of our time are still steamrolling ahead. I think the creation of the ColdWaves Festival a few years ago really brought it back to life!
How do you plan to support the new album?
Davis: We have random plans with some shows booked and we’ll be doing some major shows opening for a couple of bands, but no definite tour. However, that could change anytime just by getting to know the artist and promoters and how great you fit with their audience.
The Sanctuary Festival was our first big show – we were included before we were told, so yeah, we were excited to play with the other bands.
Dickershied: I’m hoping for some east coast shows
Is there anything else being released soon?
Dickershied: I have told Jordan that, ‘No, you cannot write any new music until everything else is finished!’ But yeah, it’s a definite idea to release an EP of some new stuff and a lot of tracks we didn’t include on the album soon.
Great, thank you. Keep brutalizing!
Photography courtesy of Relic