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Gavin Kerr (Dying Desolation)

Interview with Gavin Kerr from Dying Desolation
by JoJo Rocket Queen Hamilton at 23 November 2019, 6:40 AM

DYING DESOLATION are a young four piece band from Cleveland, Ohio. The members are all between 16 & 19 years old and have released their debut self titled album, “Dying Desolation”. Between school, work and writing, Gavin Kerr performed this interview with writer Jo Hamilton for Metal Temple Magazine.

Gavin, can I first say after chatting to you and discovering about your band, I predict Dying Desolation will become the inspiration for your generation in the future, and it’s an honour & a privilege to interview you for Metal Temple Magazine today. Please give as much depth to your answers as you can as this gives the readers & ergo potential fans an inside look on the band and could help with future exposure thank you. Your band are all aged between 16 & 19 years old, at what age did you realise you had a talent for singing & how did you develop on this?

I've been singing for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure if I ever recognized it as a talent until middle school when I had first joined choir class but I definitely recognized it as a passion since I can remember.

When you are attending high school & working it must be difficult to find the time to create together, how long did it take you all to write the self titled debut album “Dying Desolation”?

Way too long. Between finding time to write and then the actual process of recording and editing it took us over a year before we were finally able to release our first album. We released a few songs as singles throughout the time but the full album took a while to complete. This was because of time management and inexperience but we feel a lot more comfortable now with the time we're taking to creating and releasing the music we are currently working on.

You say on your website you guys are a Rock band, I feel you guys have a Nu Metal sound, do you aspire to fit any single genre or is the music going to be genre fluid from now & into the future?

We should probably update that honestly. We usually describe ourselves to people as Nu Metal or Alternative Metal but in all honesty we like to experiment and have a lot of influences from so many other artists that we aren't %100 sure how to label ourselves. Our goal when we write is to make sure that everything song sounds different but no matter what you can tell "oh yeah, that's Dying Desolation".

You guys played a cover of Linkin Park’s “A Place For My Head” a month after Chester Bennington sadly passed away, how did this come about & was it difficult to perform?

I'm not sure how much so for the guys it was difficult but for myself I had a lot going through my head. I ended up talking to the crowd before we played and dedicated the song to Chester and suicide awareness. My older brother, Michael, had shot and killed himself only a couple years back and Linkin Park was one of his favourite bands. When I had heard about Chester dying it was in a way like I had lost Mike again. Not nearly as traumatic but as if someone had tapped me on the shoulder just to look me in the eye and remind me of what had happened and who I lost.

Playing your first show at the Cleveland Agora Ballroom opening for THC in 2017 must have been a great experience for the band, how did the show go?

The only words I have to describe it are "Holy Shit". We were still a three piece at the time with myself only being 17 and the other two 15 each. Not only was this our first show as a band but the first show any of us had played that wasn't some school set up. With all of us being in high school and having such supportive friends and family we actually outsold all the other bands and ended up being direct support for THC. We knew that we were obviously no body's to the crowd and wanted to make them listen to us. So when these three metal toddlers got on stage no one had any idea what to think. The place was packed and quiet and the air was thick enough to cut with a butter knife. Then I play my first bass chord along with Gabe's guitar and Jordan's drums. Three more times we played these chords and as soon as I start playing the bass riff the crowd lights up and screams in excitement and nostalgia as all the instruments silence, I lean into the mic and shout the words "Killing in the Name of".

Mosh pits start, people are coming in from outside and down from the bar. Everyone wants to be up and on stage with us while we just lost our shit. It was at that moment at that show that we knew we were made for this. That I was born to perform.

When you guys entered the studio how long did production of the Dying Desolation album take and were there any set backs?

It took months. First we had to get all the money to pay for studio time which wasn't easy with us being in school and the other two not old enough to work. Then we had to find time between school, extra curricular activities, and myself working nearly full time. Lastly when we got in the studio we thought we had the songs perfectly figured out and knew exactly how we wanted them to sound. We were wrong. We were very wrong haha. We had probably 90% of everything figured out for most songs. There were one or two we were still writing actually now that I think about it. Luckily for us our producer, Noah, is a really awesome guy and helped us a lot with fine tuning our sound. We really had a lot of fun and learned a lot from him about being prepared for recording so hopefully this next time around will be a lot more efficient and smoother than the last.

What was the bands main inspiration when writing the lyrics & composing the music for the album?

Lyric wise probably traumatic experience and mental instability. At least from what I write. I'm not sure what inspires Gabe when we wrote lyrics but I know he's passionate about it. As far as our instrumental and overall sound goes I mean I could talk all day. My parents had me when they were 17 and 19. I grew up with them during their anxiety filled angsty teen phase with my mom listening to Bon Jovi and Avril Lavigne and my father blasting Korn and Limp Bizkit. Now that I'm older I find myself listening to a lot of both of those but also electronic swing music, old school rap/RnB, and 50s rock n roll. I love music where the beat makes me want to move (fast or slow) and the words mean something to me. They don't have to be complex but just have a meaning to them or tell a story.

I’ve read that you are continuing to write new music, do we have a 2nd album in the making in the near future?

Absolutely. Right now we're working on an EP that will be released sometime in 2020 and then as soon as we're done writing and recording we'll immediately go into the process of making a second album. We already have bits and pieces of songs that we love but have decided will be on the second album rather than the EP.

Did you spend much time together outside the band or are you all busy with other projects? & what do you do together outside the band?

We don't typically spend much time together unless it's band related. We all get along just fine and enjoy hanging out but we're just typically busy with school and work. Sometimes we'll all get together to eat or go to the mall once I'm a blue moon but even when we're just hanging out we can't help but discuss the band business and what our thoughts are on the next move.

What do you see in the next 5 years for the band as you grow in fans and as a band?

In 5 years I see myself with the band. We're tired, sore, covered in tattoo and either on a tour bus or in a studio thinking "fuck. I'm kinda hungry. '' With thousands of fans supporting us along the whole way we'll be happy and proud of what we've accomplished and the road that lies ahead of us. It won't be easy and it'll get harder before it gets easier but we'll be more than grateful and wouldn't have it any other way. I see us filling up venues and not only being a band that not only North East Ohio knows and loves but all of the US and other countries too. People screaming and cheering when we get on and off stage and singing along to every word of the song because they not only know the words but feel the message too. I see us on talk shows and interviews labelled as the next generation of metal and asked how at so young did we manage to be determined and driven to create something so big.

Gavin, on behalf of Metal Temple Magazine, I’d like to thank you for performing the interview today & may I take this opportunity to wish Dying Desolation all the very best success for the future. I will be following your career as it develops, good luck!


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Edited 30 September 2022

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