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Interview: Dr. Acula lead guitarist, Bill
The six members of deathcore band Dr. Acula are set to release their fifth full-
length album Nation (Victory Records) on June 19. Since forming in 2005 the
band has gone through numerous line-up changes, but found a solid lineup in
2010 before signing to Victory. The Long Island, New York band released their
label debut, Slander, early last year. Bill Graffeo, lead guitarist and only original
member, recently took time out from tracking parts on Nation to talk to us.
Tell us a about the new album.
It’s basically like Slander on steroids. All these ideas are fresh. So far it’s
really, really angry; not even in just the lyrical content, but in the music itself.
You can tell the emotion is pissed off—bouncing metal, real catchy. We’ve
been calling it the new metal groove, like the bouncing stuff on the last record
is now fine-tuned and polished. You got your hardcore, metal, rock and roll all
smashed together and fine polished, it’s gonna be a hell of a record! We’re
very proud of what we have so far. It’s gonna be a very pissed off record. I don’
t know much about the lyrics yet, but there’s going to be a lot of choice words
for some “friends.” Even the rhythmn tracks alone, there’s no way you can’t
bob your head to it or tap your foot to it. Good groove.
When you were first starting out did you ever think Dr. Acula would end
up being as big as it is, with the Victory signing and CD sales?
In the very beginning, it was just like a few guys joking around playing shows
anywhere, but people started taking notice to it and we kept doing it. Through
the various line-up changes, people became more serious. I’ve always been
serious with it because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Now it’s
becoming more of a reality. I understand it more now than I did before; I
understand the whole being in a band process now. It’s a good feeling with all
the records and the support and the people you meet, it’s uplifting.
There’s a lot of kids and fans that aren’t quite sure how much work a
label does. Can you walk us through a day of being with Victory?
Being with them is pretty awesome, we haven’t had any problems. We’re all
really close with everyone. Whenever we play out in Chicago or surrounding
areas, everyone will come out and see us, always happy to see us. We have
a good relationship with them. Everyone thinks labels are out to screw people,
but it’s a business, they gotta make their money and you wanna make your
|For The Fans, By The Fans. Look Beyond The Mainstream.
The cover artwork for Nation, Dr. Acula's second release on Victory Records.
Dr. Acula stop in Cleveland on June 22 and Toledo on July 19. Publicity photo.
money; so, you gotta do what’s right. Everyone at Victory is amazing to us, real people, there’s not like any crazy stuff. Everyone asks us about A
Day To Remember “why would they sue them? They’re all assholes.” First of all, it’s none of everyone’s business and it’s something they can take
care of on their own. Things happen, people step on other people’s toes the wrong way.
As far as touring goes, what so far has been your favorite tour?
One of my personal favorites would have to be the Aiden tour. Aside from those shows being awesome, we were introduced to a not-so-heavy
listening crowd and that brought in more fans for us. The bands alone, it’s like one giant family. It was one of the first tours when everyone was
legitimately friends, there was no awkwardness.
You guys recently played Toledo, Ohio for Jamboree 3, how was it?
That show was ridiculous. The set was phenominal, great crowd reaction. We were a little worried at first because the stage was outdoors and it
was raining for the first half of the day and we were going on at like 1:30 in the afternoon and right before it, the rain held up and it ended up being a
pretty solid set.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Back in the day I would have never saw myself at the point where I’m at right now. It’s kinda hard to tell. The industry is changing so much. Seeing
how successful some of my friends are getting now, I feel like we can go anywhere as long as we keep putting forth the effort and have the support
of the fans. The scene has changed so much in certain areas, but there’s a lot of new faces everywhere. I’m excited. Just taking it one day at a time
and hoping for the best.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Nation comes out in mid-June—definitely pump that shit!
Dr. Acula will be part of different tours with Legend and Modern Day Escape throughout the summer across Canada and the US starting late May.
For all upcoming tour dates click here. To pre-order the new album click here.