We were lucky enough to catch up with Dom and Chris from the superb band HAILING ISHIMURA following their brilliant release, ‘We Did It To Survive’. Read the full interview now!
What is the first song that captured your attention as a youngster?
Dom: Sitting here thinking of this question, I’m taken back to my mom’s 69 Chevelle listening to ‘Thunder Kiss 65’ by White Zombie and being super excited about the energy it produced.
Chris: My Grandma and my father are HUGE musical influences on me. They both spent a lot of time teaching me about listening to music, BUT the earliest I can remember is listening to ‘Little Red Ridin Hood’! by Sam The Sham & The Pharoah’s in my Grandma’s car. Every time it came on the radio, we had to blast it.
Who influenced your latest release, ‘We Did It To Survive’?
Dom: The list for this answer is pretty expansive, but to narrow it down, I’d say I pull from a mix of like Underoath with some of the heavier guitar sounds and Survive (the band that does Stranger Things original music) influenced the synths. I’m literally just now realizing the irony of the song title.
Chris: We wrote a story to coincide with the music, and I used a lot of historical events to ground the story in reality, particularly on this track. I used influences from Elizabeth Báthory and The Donner Party Tragedy.
‘We Did It To Survive’ has a wonderful shoegaze feel to it; what draws you to the genre?
Dom: I’m a little surprised this one’s getting dinged as shoegaze as well, but it doesn’t bother me. I love shoegaze. To me, it sounds like happiness and depression at the same time, which to me is incredibly human sounding.
Chris: Shoegaze found us more than we found shoegaze. As we were recording and collaborating, it just kind of evolved into what it is. I agree with Dom in that it sounds like emotions, so it is inherently more human, which is important when you write songs with no words. The instruments have to create emotion. Our overall story is a human story, so it absolutely suits what we do.
What motivates you to make music?
Dom: I think I’m just a creative person. I have energy in me that needs to come out in some form. I like to draw and build my own Halloween decorations as well. Music is the best way to share that energy.
Chris: I like to create. I’ve always been fascinated with movies and music and how they’re made. Telling stories was always compelling to me. That curiosity led to a drive to create myself.
If you could open for any artist/band, who would it be?
Dom: Pink Floyd.
Chris: Coheed & Cambria
What’s your favourite venue to play?
Dom: I haven’t played it yet..but it’s gonna be the NorVa in Virginia.
Chris: Same! The NorVa is home to us just as fans. I’ve been going there since I was 18.
What are your other passions aside from music?
Dom: I’m a very family-oriented person. And I love making people laugh. Starting to garden more.
Chris: I’m very involved within my community. I teach at a High School here in Virginia and get involved with various things throughout. My family is the most important part of my life, so spending any free time I get with them is a priority.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Dom: I would for sure stop the old predatory practices of taking advantage of younger artists who may not completely understand the contracts they get tricked into signing when they think they’re getting to fulfil their dream. And publicly shame the parents that let it happen for their own gain.
Chris: Dom pretty much nailed it on the head. We have probably never heard of far too many incredible artists because of access and predatory practices. That goes for the movie industry too. Google Bobby Driscoll. Both industries as a whole have an incredibly toxic element to them.
What is the best music advice you have ever been given?
Dom: “You can play 6 hours a day, every day for 40 years… and you still need to practice.”
Chris: “Guitars are for adults.” My mom had a very different idea of what I should do and how I should spend my time. I love my mom, but she was f*ckin’ wrong. Lol, She just doesn’t understand and isn’t that type of person. As soon as I could get my hands on a guitar, I haven’t looked back since. I used that as motivation to play. For what it’s worth, my mom, who listens to no music and would opt for no radio in her car if it was an option, LOVES our stuff.
What new music are you listening to at the moment?
Dom: George Clanton(vaporware) and Dark Remedy ( hard rock heavy metal 🤘)
Chris: Caleb_IsArt put out a track called ‘Dreaming’ about a month back that is incredible, and The Early November dropped a new track yesterday. Other than that, Vaxis II (Coheed & Cambria) has been on steady rotation.
What musical plans do you have for the next two years?
Dom: DON’T. STOP.
Chris: KEEP. GRINDING.
FVMusicBlog August 2022