years ago, DALI VAN GOGH was one of the first bands to be featured in
the pages of ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE. The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based hard
rock band had endeared themselves to us with their D.I.Y. ethic, their
ability to create a beautiful noise while being far away from anything
that one would consider "music industry" and guitarist and founder
ISAAC KENT's drive to stick with the dream of rock n roll glory despite
DALI VAN GOGH's numerous line up changes up to that point. Eventually
the band had come apart due to the usual things that keep a band apart
and ISAAC KENT unopened up a recording studio and launched a record
label also nicked DALI VAN GOGH and turned his attention toward being a
producer and music entrepreneur. His DALI VAN GOGH label went
on to sign numerous artists and KENT's road to being a
musical giant seemed like it had survived those initial shaky steps
until a fire had destroyed both his home, studio and livelihood. Losing
everything in the fire forced KENT to take a long hard look at his life
and where it needed to go next and making DALI VAN GOGH a band once
again. Now, ISAAC KENT and DALI VAN GOGH are back. Even if the all of
the members - with the exception of KENT - are new there is something
incredibly familiar while being new at the same time. Like the old FORD
slogan went "The Pride is Back!" and you can hear it loud and clear on
the bands glorious new single GOD HELP ME (I LIKE IT) released on their
own HOUSE FIRE RECORDS (get it?). This is more than mere brand
recognition or a comeback of sorts. This is a band that has found it's
way home and we can't wait to hear more.
ROCKWIRED had a chance to get re-acquainted with ISAAC KENT of DALI VAN
GOGH regarding the the new line up, the new single and the new music
coming from the band. Here is how the interview went.
still remember the FACEBOOK message you sent me about your studio
being destroyed in a fire. And now it sounds like all is well
and what's even better is that DALI VAN GOGH is back as a band.
people say that they've "been through the fire but you it seems
to be true. And so have the name DALI VAN GOGH.
been one heck of a ride. I kept the name going as a record label
after the band had broken up but when we had that fire it was
like a wake up call. I lost everything. The studio, musical equipment
and my whole house as well. It was a real kick in the teeth. If I was
going to do DALI VAN GOGH again now was the time. I would've died in
that fire. According tot he fireman, if I had been in there 30
seconds longer I would've been dead. It was pretty crazy. Eighteen
months later the band is very happy to be back. We've got a show in
five days. It's both exciting and nerve-wracking. It's all kinds of
emotions but it's all good.
caused the fire?
was a freak thing. It was those curly-whirly energy efficient light
bulbs. In Canada, there are hundreds of brands. After the fire, the
fireman told us that only three of those brands are any good
are what the fire department would consider safe. One of those light
bulbs heated up in my vocal booth which was all covered in flammable
sound foam. It set the foam on fire and everything else. I was in the
room fifteen minutes before it went up in flames. It was crazy. I was
on the phone with my father and just as i hung up I noticed my dog
was petrified. I heard what sounded like a vacuum cleaner . I looked
up and the whole studio was in flames. It was crazy but we got
through it. The band is up and running and we've got a brand new
state-of-the-art recording studio. It's the only one built in Halifax
as a recording studio from the ground up. We're better and stronger
easy or difficult was it to get everyone back together for DALI VAN
the exception of me, none of the old members are in the band. It's
completely new line up. This is no slight on any of the old members.
With regard to the time it took to get things off the ground after
the fire, peoples lives move on. Our former bass player SCOTT
TURNBULL and drummer SEAN SAWLER ended up playing together in
TRI-CITY VILLIANS which was the first band I signed to the
VAN GOGH record label. Nowadays, SCOTT is playing with me again in a
side project of mine. It's a grunge rock tribute band . MARCEL is
playing in a band now called MONSTERS ARE HUMAN who've got a
new record coming out next year. The new guys are young guys. For
years I was the youngest member but these new guys are in their
mid-twenties with the exception of our new lead singer JOHN
SCOTTO. He's a classically trained vocalist and stage performer who
studied Theater in Prince Edward Island. He's very flamboyant and fun
onstage. JAAD STEWART is the new drummer and he's the most
well-rounded drummer I've ever worked with. He can play anything from
progressive metal jazz to blues, rock, funk and country. DEVON
ROBERTS is our backing vocalist and keyboard player. He's just having
a great time melodically. This band is giving him the opportunity to
experiment more with melody and his playing is the glue that is
holding our rhythm section together. We had a jam session the other
day and the keyboard broke and man was there a difference . There
were no keys in DALI VAN GOGH before . He has filled in the sound so
much it's amazing. CYRUS ROBERTSON-ORKISH is our new bass player . He
is a 19-year-old prodigy. He is a brilliant bass player who also
plays mandolin, guitar and drums. He's probably the best musician in
the band. He's a better guitar player than I am but he plays bass and
he blows our minds constantly. I'm proud of this new line-up. They
had some big shoes to fill as you know. We were no slouches before
but now the band has taken another big step up. We've got our
first show coming up this Friday. I'm excited to be hitting the stage
you guys have a great new single with GOD HELP ME (I LIKE IT).
wasn't supposed to be a single at first. We wrote it three
weeks before it came out. It almost came out of nowhere. The drummer
JAAD also plays guitar . He's got this prog rock background and he
sent me this demo. It was nine minutes long with a million different
parts in it. I took out the pieces that made the most sense and made
a hard rock tune out of it. We put it together in a jam session. The
vocalist JOHN had lyrics for a song called GOD HELP ME (I LIKE IT).
There was no melody or anything. It was just lyrics. From there the
song came together so fast. In the end, the sound was so well rounded
that it became an obvious choice for a single.
plans for a video?
put out a lyric video . We had not time to do a real one because we
rushed this song out. We will be doing one for it at some point. When
we do we're going to be going for a BONNIE & CLYDE motif. We're
still figuring out how to do that. For the nest single we've scripted
out a video . It'll be a rip on your country's politics right
now between TRUMP and HILLARY. It'll be controversial but it'll be a
cool video. We plan to have that one out by the end of the
are you guys just going to take things single by single or is there
an album on the horizon?
We planned to have an album out by
now but it took a month for everything at the studio to get squared
away. We eventually decided that e didn't want to promote an album
during the Canadian winter. Instead we're going to release four
singles and then release the album FROM ASHES in the spring of 2017
and then do a CD release tour.
so far what have been the reactions to the single?
been amazing. Our goal was to get ten thousand plays in a month and
now we're at halfway and it's only been a week since we've
posted it. It's been unbelievably positive. We've got people
clamoring. We've got people wanting to order t-shirts. It's all
happening very fast. We hoped but we didn't expect this kind of
reaction that we're getting from the single. It's been amazingly
positive. We couldn't be happier about it.