Dweller are the latest metalcore offering to come out of Melbourne. The 5 piece have just launched their debut EP White Rabbit. I caught up with Ryan Mickan for what was supposed to be a quick chat (read 2.5hrs!!) about the album. We digressed away from the topic on numerous occasions but if you ever want to talk music he’s your man!
You know I need to ask this… 9 years in the making! How did this project take so long to come out of hibernation?
Rory, Matt and I were in a punk rock band together with a couple of other guys that eventually collapsed. At around the same time Rory and I were wanting to write heavier stuff. I’d grown up listening to System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Parkway Drive and those sort of bands and at the time we’d been listening to bands like Of Mice and Men and Underoath. I was like this is more what I want to be doing. So, when the band failed, we realised that all we cared about was writing the music. We decided early on that nothing was going to push us to release anything that we weren’t 100% happy with. We originally had the intent of writing a 10-track album, we ended up with a few more than 10!
Fast forward 5 years of me, Rory, another mate Tom concocting these songs, we’d work on the songs hardcore for a while and then have a break. We all suffer with mental health struggles, so we always gave each other some slack when we needed. That’s kind of where the Dweller name came from and the being in hibernation. I remember saying to Rory that I felt like we’ve been in the scene for years, but we never had been due to just watching from afar.
Over the years I kept in contact with Matt and had showed him this project. I asked him if he would ever come on as the bass player, he was like yep! That was 3-4 years ago. Matt is like the momentum force of the band, he’s the sensible one who pushes the business aspect of the band. We’d had a wish wash of people coming in and out of the band but essentially Matt knew Andy and Dan from playing in their old band, so he pulled them across to join us.
At this point in time I was on vocals, Andy was on guitar with another guy Mike and Dan (drums) and Matt (bass). Dan and Andy were working on another project and Rory was getting married and didn’t know if he could commit so they all stepped away for a while. This was mine and Rory’s baby, so to speak, we essentially did the songs together and his skill set brings all the cool ambience to it. Over the years we have improved each other’s game, so the music had come far over that 10-year period.
So where to next??
Matt being the incredible guy he is said let’s just go record a 5-track EP. Matt and I went hell bent into it. I asked Rory if he would come in and record his leads for it. Matt and I started rebuilding the demo skeleton. I continuously worked on improving the structures of the songs. We did the same with the vocals and lead guitars. We booked in days with Beau McKee but because went so far with the production, improving and rewriting parts all the way through the process, it took slightly longer than first thought. We finished the recording process late last year. In hindsight we probably could have released some of this music earlier and just came out as a band.
But it wouldn’t be what it is if you had released it earlier….
You just took the word right out of my mouth. I remember talking to the guys before they left the first time and Devil You Know wasn’t part of the first 5 tracks. We had an older song we were trying to use that definitely wouldn’t have been as good. Because originally it was going to be an album other than shortening it, I have essentially kept the main tracks in the positions they were intentionally written for. It Lives, It Breathes was always going to be track 1 and from the moment I started writing Nadir it was always the final track.
What a journey to get to that point…
Yes, it was. We then approached Steve Cannatelli (Future Artist Development) and Maddii Nghtmre (The Venom Collective) to find out how to do this right and not squander what we had created. They have been amazing in their advice.
What does the future hold for Dweller?
Finally getting White Rabbit out to the world. In terms of new music, moving forward we just want to keep writing songs, we are just excited to continue to make the music that we want to hear. I get so much passion and love from writing music. I am in awe of what people can create – I genuinely believe everyone can do it. With the tracks we’ve already got in the bank and the amount I have rolling around in my mad brain waiting to come out, a few singles between this and another EP and then a full EP. Hopefully playing some gigs once we can get back out into the world.
You guys are making music because it’s your passion.
Yeah, like Rory always says we are doing it to put our own little droplet of music into the pool, that’s what we really care about. From there anything else is an absolute bonus.
After having this EP on repeat for some time now I think Dweller may be adding a little more than a droplet to that pool. White Rabbit is out on all platforms now.