Laconic's Danny G. Talks Arizona's Metal Scene and the Band's New Record

This Friday night, the heart of downtown Scottsdale will be alive and well with the sound of heavy metal. In its purest form, heavy metal is quite laconic--straight, to the point, and crisp. So it's only fitting that the name of the band that will be rocking Old Town Friday is--what else?--Laconic. The five-piece metalcore outfit from Phoenix started out in 2003, released their debut album Visions and then toured the country on their own dollar.

Friday marks the release show for their highly anticipated second album, For The Life Of One, which promises to be heavier than their first; more crushing tremolo guitar-riffs, more double bass, and more gravelly vocals. The record was recorded in Cleveland, Ohio with Ben Schigel (Chimaira, Drowning Pool, Walls of Jericho, Breaking Benjamin).

For The Life Of One is only eight songs, but the songs pack a punch. The vocals in "Bridge Burner" immediately reminds me of a combination of Corey Taylor from Slipknot and Phil Anselmo from Pantera, intertwining between low growls and melodic wails. The double bass and percussion in "Murderous Trait" made me start head-banging at my desk while listening to it.

Singer Danny G. talked with Up on the Sun about the concept behind the new album, why The Clubhouse rocks, and the problem with local musicians.

Up on The Sun: So, what was the writing process for the band behind this second CD, For The Life Of One?

Danny G.: We sit in a room, and jam. Plain and simple. Usually someone comes to practice with some sort of idea for a guitar riff, a breakdown, or a chorus, and we just begin building off of it.

Did you guys go a different direction from the first, in terms of inspiration, the recording process, or style?

The music's tighter, and more interesting, and overall more mature, structurally, lyrically, and musically. I think we feed off of each others' influences and overall excitement to write music. As far as the recording goes, we decided that for this new record, we had to make it big. Kind of like the cheesy phrase: "Go Big or Go Home."

Traveling to Ohio to record was a massive learning experience and it was probably some of the most fun I've ever had. We went and recorded with Ben Schigel who did Chimaira, Breaking Benjamin, etc, and it was great to be able to work with a guy who has personally worked with some of our biggest influences in music. And not to mention, he's one of my favorite singers of all time, so to be able to record and write vocals with him, was a dream come true.

What is your favorite venue to perform at in Phoenix?

Mine has got to be The Venue Scottsdale, where we're having our CD release show on August 12. It's got great stage, lights and sound, and the staff is great. It's a really chill place. Second best is for sure, The Clubhouse, the sound guy over there knows us like the back of us hand. Pristine sound every time. Who are some of your favorite local musicians?

To be honest, I don't pay much attention. There are definitely some great bands in AZ, but I like to focus more on our music than anyone else. Most of the local bands I was really into aren't around anymore. I used to love GIFT and Sixstitch a lot. I have to give a shout to Signs of Betrayal, though. We've known those dudes forever and we're good buds. Their music is solid, and they're a great bunch of dudes.

What do you think are some of the best and worst things about the Phoenix music scene?

I'd say some of the best things are that there's such a variety of places to play and a huge variety of different types of music. And people seem to care more out here. I'd say the worst thing is that there's not a whole lot of friendship between bands. There definitely used to be. Like I mentioned on the previous question, I don't pay much attention to any other local bands, and there's a reason for it. Most bands have their head too far up their assess to shake someone's hand in the scene or to even give them a compliment on their set. We're always trying to be super cool to other bands, even if we think they suck. Regardless, we're all out for the same thing, and being a dick to one another isn't going to help anyone's chances. Good luck to everyone else, in the end musicians need to remember why they play music: because it's fun. Laconic has been influenced by such bands as Deftones, Chimaira, and Parkway Drive. What other bands provide inspiration to you?

My personal biggest influence in music, and overall life is 311. Weird, I know, right? I've been listening to them since I was six 1/2 years old. They amaze me with their music capabilities. I always get an earful when I tell people my favorite band is 311. I don't give a shit what anyone says, 311 is heavy as fuck. Other than that I listen to a variety of a ton of stuff...Whitechapel, Our Lady Peace, The Acacia Strain, Filter... I'm all over the place. Name some of the top 25 songs on your iPod.

I'll just put it on shuffle. It's gonna be a mess of a bunch of random crap, I'm warning you. "Cali Soca," 311, "Bullet In The Head," Rage Against the Machine, "Lucy," Dropping Daylight, "The Wreckoning," Nonpoint, "Burn To Burn," Static-X...

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise