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By Joe Matera

Australian band Dreadnaught's (Greg – Vocals, Richie – Guitars, Damon – Guitars, Ando – Bass, Suds – Drums ) latest EP "One Piece Missing" proves that when it comes to rocking your world, they have all pieces of the puzzle in place! Hot on the heels of their solid third album and Dark Carnival debut "Down To Zero", Dreadnaught have filled the gap between album #4 and #3 with this little taste teaser. The band have hit the road with label mates Frankenbok for the "Devastation Vacation Tour" which will take the band to national audiences from one side of the country to the other. I spoke to Greg and Richie on the eve of their tour.


Maximum Ink: You must be really happy with how the new EP has turned out?

Greg: Yeah we are. It was a strange exercise I think. I mean it was put together a little bit more in breaks and things like that rather than what we did with our previous album "Down To Zero" which was pretty much a six week straight making of a record. We just did this in "pieces" I guess, as you say. The main idea was to get some new songs out there as well as keep a tie over between the next full length album, which we're focusing on at the moment.


MI: So have you completed any new songs for the next recording?

Richie: We've got three completed songs and probably four half-completed songs.


MI: Do you test out your new material live before you go into the studio?

Richie: It's sort of a three-step process really. We sit around and jam on them, then take them into the rehearsal room and work the drums out. Then we get to play them live and see if they work. Sometimes we just go into the studio and demo them for a bit. Sometimes they don't get any further than that, they just end up on record.

Greg: As an example, half of our last album was pretty much played before it was recorded but as well too, like the track "Game" from the album, that was never played live. That was written in the "writing process" before we actually went in to record it.

On the latest Ep, the last track "Demons" has never been done live. That was just worked out in our jam room and taken in and we pushed record. We also used the studio abit on that song, using some of the sound effects underneath and stuff like that.

Richie: Generally we find that if you play a song live a few times it'll change before you record it. It gives the song a good chance to develop and you get to sort of test peoples reaction to it rather than just going into the studio and recording it, where you don't get that interaction between the song.


MI: What made you decide to do the covers of Thin Lizzy's "Cold Sweat" and Pink Floyd's "The Nile Song"?

Greg: We've actually done a couple of sets of full covers for some special friends birthdays. "Cold Sweat" came into it about 18 months ago and was just one of the songs we kept from the 'covers' night, which we felt was like us. And plus, we're all pretty big Thin Lizzy fans. As far as "The Nile Song" goes, we've got a U.S distributor (The Music Cartel) and they're putting out a Pink Floyd tribute and asked us to contribute to it. But thats not out in the States for another 8 months or so, so we thought we'd get it out here in Australia first.


MI: You also did a re-working of "The Complex" from the last album?

Richie: This one's us sitting in the studio jamming all together which is something we don't normally do. Like every recording, we track everything, we put live tracks down and track everything individually. We've never experimented with that entire live piece, even the vocals on it are live. The track is just a mix of the best takes.


MI: Ando, your new bass player has blended in quite well.

Greg: Yeah, he's been with us for about 6 months or maybe abit more. He didn't start rehearsing with us until January of this year. He's shaping up well. I guess with us being a band that's been around for a number of years and with no line-up changes, we needed someone that fitted in…..not only on their instruments but also with us. Ando fits right in with our warped sense of humour. (laughs)


MI: Let's talk about the gear you use?

Richie: I use a Jackson Soloist and both Damon and I use GT-5 floorboards. I use a '73 HiWatt while Damon uses a 5150 and just a 4X12, and plays a Paul Reed Smith Custom 22. Ando's got an Ampeg SVT3 and usually runs 4X10's and did, until a few weeks ago, use a very expensive bass which was somehow stolen from the back of his car!


MI: Dreadnaught has a very original and fresh sound. Do you think it comes from each member having varied musical tastes and backgrounds?

Greg: The background of each individual comes into play like any band, the stuff you grew up with. We are a band that has musical differences. Like you know, the tape will go on in the van and one half of the band will go "turn that shit off!" while the other half will go "no, turn it up!" So we're kind of like that. With Dreadnaught it was always about building character as a band and it's taken us a few years to find certain niches that we feel comfortable with.

Richie: I think from our first album to the current stuff you can hear a definite progression in the character of the songwriting. It's always getting truer.

Greg: We're pretty anal with our songs and stuff. We spend a long time on really getting the right feeling and the right sound.


MI: So what are your show's like?

Greg: High energy and lots of mood. Thats the way we always present ourselves. We don't play hard all the time. You know, its kind of good just to pull back a couple of times.


MI: Anything you want to pass onto your fans out there?

Greg: Check out the new ep "One Piece Missing" and check out our video clips of "Pushed To The Limit" and "The Complex".

Richie: And come and check us out at a venue near you.......

Greg: On the "Devastation Vacation Tour"!

DREADNAUGHT on Roadrunner records