Bio: [pullquote_right]Dissona is from the south Chicago-land area and has formally released two albums, our self-titled album Dissona in 2012, and a formal release in 2013 of our 2009 album Ten Masks. We would be considered progressive metal, albeit at the more extreme end of the spectrum. We are still unsigned, though it isn’t of the utmost priority at the moment. We prefer to spend time crafting quality music for our fans as well as ourselves.[/pullquote_right]Dissona arose from the ashes of The Vision, a metal/rock group formed by guitarist Matt Motto and featuring David Dubenic, Craig Hamburger, and others who came and went. Matt recruited Craig and Logan from his high school guitar class and Craig brought in David on vocals, having played together with him in a few fledgling metal groups. The current incarnation of Dissona, rounded out with St. Louis transplant drummer Drew Goddard, has been playing together for about 4-5 years. All of us have a musically educated background, are around the same age (early to mid-20s), and are like-minded enough musically in our tastes and preferences that our current roster has been not only our most stable, but most rewarding as well.
Genre: Our choice of genre was not a conscious decision. We just have been writing the music we want to hear and play and decided that progressive was the most fitting tag we could affix. It definitely affords us the opportunity to be freer, maybe even playful, with our stylistic choices without receiving too much of a backlash from certain genre purists. Everyone in the band immerses themselves in so many different musical areas that picking a rigid path hasn’t been of much appeal.
Evolution of the initial musical and thematic elements: In the early stages most of us were listening to primarily different subgenres of metal, so usually someone would bring in a certain element from wherever because they thought it would be fun to use and maybe we could pull it off, do the genre a hint of justice. Over time our musical tastes broadened enough that we sort of have that same strategy, but pull from a much wider pool of talent. Thematic elements are mostly whatever ideas David feels like exploring at the time the music is written. Once it gets more concrete, the rest of the group looks into it and decides where we should go from there, should these ideas be linked into an overarching concept, etc.
Ideas about the album: Of course we are! But that isn’t to say there is no room for improvement. Our harshest critics are always us. We can’t settle or we’ll become stagnant. We have yet to really “nail” anything; there’s just too much space to expand into, too many branches to reach, and never enough hands to get there. Truly, everywhere can be improved upon! Artistic growth, the key!
Reception: Reception has been surprisingly positive. Our overseas fans have really been paramount to our online growth and success. They’re the gears behind our online engine, so to speak. But we also have a dedicated local fan base that has always been killer and continues to get more supportive as it grows. Sometimes you can think your stuff is just too obtuse to really click with people, but there are always like-minded friends out there willing to show you some love. And we’re goddamn grateful!
Preference; live or studio: Welp, we have slim to nil experience being on the road. But either way, I think we’d be in agreement saying STUDIO. Oh god, the studio. It’s some of the most exciting times for us, for sure
Next step; live or studio: We are fairly active in the live game, tending toward a show every 1-2 months. Right now our main focus is the composition of album 2 (3?), and it is rolling ever onward. Touring would be lovely if it were feasible. Who knows though, maybe we will! Oh jeez, we’ll need some help to get overseas. But if we have enough public outcry for it, we’ll try our damndest to head over there. Here, there, and everywhere!
Future plans: The future looks quite good. A stable lineup + ideas percolating + cool shows coming up = a happy Dissona. We don’t think about the far future too much these days, but we will get back to you maybe a month or so after this new album comes out, assuming we’re still even mildly relevant.
Composers: Songwriting goes like this – single member will write about 70 odd percent of a tune (but structurally 100%, most of the time), then show the others. Others will critique/add/subtract/hone the song until we think we’ve got it complete. Final tune-ups and wizardry happens in the studio, recording the final product. David writes all of our lyrics, usually on his own time. Then the rest of the guys give them a read and add our two cents. Most of the time it barely changes.
Lyrics, themes and concepts: David – Examples of what my lyrical themes and concepts are based around include intense emotion, nature, science, science fiction, human influence, sexuality, disease, disorder, morbidity, etc. These ideas are often expressed metaphorically and are influenced by both personal experiences and external observation. I like to put together little stories and create visual art based around these themes and show them to the band. This not only assists me with lyric writing, but also gives us a direction to go with writing the music. I imagine it is comparable to how one would write a score for a film.
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake: The short answer is music for its own sake. The majority of what we do is an attempt to telescope our beloved worlds of metal and music further into the beautiful and indescribable. Music is one of the wonders of the world, indeed. However, with that said, some of the considerations that always go into our composition process is how this piece is going to work live and how we are going to pull a more real, visceral reaction out of our listeners.
Greatest Accomplishment: I’m tempted to say the combined process of building our studio, recording Dissona, and playing our record release show is as yet the culmination of our time together. There was a pride and satisfaction in that time that was just so wholly satisfying. But, even so, we’ve played a hell of a lot of fantastic shows with truly incredible bands, some idols of ours since high school. It’s hard to quantify and rank such experiences. They’ve all shaped us to some extent.