“If I could describe what Dead Heroes was from start to finish in one word, I would have to say Honest.”
About Josh by Josh:
My name is Josh and I used to sing for Dead Heroes. Now, I’m just a steel worker and a husband and father to the two sweetest girls you’ve ever met.
AH: Dead Heroes are playing for the first time in six years! I am so excited. For years all I have heard about is Dead Heroes shows. I can’t believe I am going to one tonight. Tell me a bit about Dead Heroes.
JA: Dead Heroes started in early 2008. It originated as myself on vocals, Steffan Rost on guitar, Dakota Wright on bass, and Seth Roden on drums. We had actually been in a band for a year or so before that and had stopped playing for a while. Once we reformed, we came back with a new idea of what we wanted to do and things just took off from there.
Dakota and Seth left the band once we decided that we were about to start touring.
At that time, we added Aaron Gibbs on guitar whose still with us now, Brad Kness on guitar, and Jake “The Blackout Menace” Warren on drums.
After touring for a while, Steffan parted ways with the band and it was Myself, Aaron, Brad, and Jake until we ceased to exist as a band.
Also shoutouts to Corey Killough, Kyle Pew, and Adam Williams for filling in for us at some crucial times.
We put out three releases:
Requiem, Heartache/ Heartbreak, and Love is a Dog From Hell.
and were also on a few compilations.
We disbanded in 2010 when Jake passed away. It just didn’t feel right to continue without him he was the heart and life of what that band became and to do it without him would never be the as good as it was before.
We played our final show in October of 2010 for Jake’s memorial show and this will be the first time since.
AH: Six years is a pretty long time. How has local music and the local music scene changed in those six years.
JA: Six years is definitely a long time. It sucks that I really haven’t gotten to be a part of this scene since then. I moved to Huntsville and have started a family so its hard for me to make it back as much as I wish I could.
Back in 2008, things were definitely different. When we first started the Pool was the only venue we had, but not too long after it started things didn’t work out and we had nowhere to play in town.
So we said screw it, and started playing shows in my barn. (The Bonesaw)
Honestly, the Bonesaw was one of the best times of my life. At the time, Colin Bugbee and I were living in a camper next to the bonesaw and we were having shows there constantly in this tiny room with lots of people.
Latin for Truth was really big at the time and we had started touring and gaining a name for ourselves as well. The scene was very united at the point and we were able to have a lot of awesome things happen there.
I did most of the booking in the area at the time and it exposed a lot of the country to our small town in the middle of nowhere and honestly, I don’t think Dead Heroes would have ever toured as much as we did if we weren’t getting our name and our local bands’ names out there by having shows there.
We had a lot of sick bands come through like Defeater, Touche Amore, Creatures, Wingnut Dishwashers Union, A Better Hope Foundation, At Half Mast, In Regret, Agress, Make Do and Mend, and Hostage Calm.
I felt like at the time, the scene was the strongest it had ever been.
But what I will say is that the scene didn’t have the diversity that it has today.
We had basically only hardcore and pop punks at the time.
I love that you have bands like Headwires, Men and Mountains, When I’m Older, and the Mants Brothers. (Sorry if I’m forgetting anyone)
But more than anyone, I wanna give a shout out to Chris Dupree. You wanna know how the scene was in 2008, 2006, 2004? Ask that dude and you know why? Because he has always been there and made that scene what it is today. After we left your local scene, Chris kept it alive and is still doing that. We all wanna take credit for our part in that scene, but Chris is the reason that scene still exist.
If you don’t listen to his band, do it.
If you haven’t talked with him about the scene, do it.
If you haven’t had a heart to heart conversation with that guy about literally anything , do it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
AH: Many people have told me that they wouldn’t be playing music if it wasn’t for you and for Dead Heroes. Why do you think people had such a strong connection with the band?
JA: Honestly, that blows my mind to hear. I never thought I would make anyone play music and never thought DH would do that either.
As far as why people may have had a connection with us, I think it’s because we were honest.
If I could describe what Dead Heroes was from start to finish in one word, I would have to say Honest.
We were all dealing with a lot of shit when we started that band and I had a lot of deep personal issues at the time.
I was coming to terms with losing my religion after I had been brought up into it in such a deep way all of my life. From that, I gained a lot of personal doubt and self pity and kind of lost hope with humanity. I didn’t feel close or loved by anyone and contemplated selfish idiotic acts that aren’t okay.
From that spurred a long letter I wrote with what I thought would be my demise (which is fucked up and not cool, guys. People love you, people need you)
But from that letter came the lyrics to the first record, Requiem.
We were just playing and talking about problems with no reprecussions and I don’t feel like a lot of people do that, so I felt like people could relate to it.
Over the years, our lyrical content changed, but the idea of honesty and being true to yourself and others while trying to make yourself and other better never did.
At least thats what I hope is why people felt a connection with us.
People probably just thought “hey, they’re a heavy band, that’s cool. I dig that.” and never got what we were trying to do and it was all in vein haha.
AH: You guys spent a lot of time on the road. What are some of your favorite/craziest tour stories?
JA: God, there’s so many crazy ones haha. And I hoenstly, I don’t think 90% should be put out and discussed on the internet.
Some of my favorites had to be playing at the Burnt Ramen in Oakland where Black Flag used to play and playing the Robotic Project in Pittsburgh where Dinosaur Jr and Nirvana used to play.
And mostly, just spending all the time I did in the van with my 5 closest fiends.
All the crazy stories, obviously involve Jake, but they’re all too long and crazy to tell on here. So if you wanna know any, just ask me in person some time.
AH: What is your favorite Dead Heroes song?
JA: Its hard to pick just one song. I’ve got one from each record.
Requiem, Heartbreak, and Me and That Old Woman: Sorrow / Alone with Everybody.
Heartbreak is probably my favorite of all just because Gibbs’ riffs on that song are rad as hell and it was probably the strongest I ever felt about any of the lyrics I ever wrote:
“Mother, get off your praying knees/ There’s no hope down there/ Redemption will never set me free/
And if there’s a god/ I wish he’d answer my prayers/ so for once, I wouldn’t feel this despair/
Father, raise to your feet/Please let me know if this life has anything left for me.
And I can hear there screams in hell/ all the stories demons tell/ they know my name/ they see my pain/ there stories, my stories…are one in the same.”
AH: Looking back on your time with the band, how do you think it changed your life?
JA: The band changed my life in every way possible, from good to bad.
DH opened a lot of opportunities for all of us. By 19, I had seen the entire United States, met so so many rad people from so many places, played with some of the sickest bands I’d ever heard, and got to spend every day crammed in a van with my best friends.
It also brought a lot of sorrow. We had just come off a 35 day, full US tour and were probably all the closest we had ever been when a week later Jake died in a car wreck. That tore us all apart. It tore everyone in our scene apart, it tore everyone who knew him apart.
Jake was honestly the greatest human being that ever existed and every single person that knew him felt the same way and loved him.
Jake passing changed me the more than any other part of being in that band did.
It made me grow and mature a lot in a really quick amount of time really pulled me away from music for a really long time because it just reminded me of him, but it made me who I am today and that’s the one positive that came out of it.
AH: Why do you think local music continues to be such an important part of our community?
JA: Local music is still and important part of the community because its an outlet. An outlet from or for literally anything. People interpret music in so many different ways and no matter what that is, it’s a positive.
And people love something that takes them away from reality for even a small amount of time. And for that, I’d very appreciative of music and all forms of art.
AH: If you could give advice to anyone interested in playing music or being involved in local music, what would it be?
JA: Start a fucking band, start a zine, start a blog, start a venue, book shows, attend shows, hang out with your friends, make flyers, don’t judge anyone new because you were once them, make sure this shit never stops. Don’t grow up, don’t be okay with bullshit, fuck racism, fuck homophobia, fuck misogyny, fuck anyone who says being strange isn’t cool, but most of all just have fun and do it with the people you love.
AH: Who have been some of your biggest influences?
JA: There’s tons of influences. Converge for obvious reasons. Charles Bukowski, our last record was named after his book of poems, Love is a Dog From Hell and each song is a poem from each chapter.
There’s so many more influences for this band that they’re all hard to list.
Colin Bugbee and Matt Robinson, you guys were such an influence on this band. You were just as much a part of this band as we were.
AH: What made you guys want to get back together for this show?
JA: We all just missed it really. We felt like it had been long enough for at least someone to care to see us again. We plan on playing another show or two this summer also.
But this will definitely be the final shows we ever play.
AH: Anything else?
JA: Thanks for asking me to do this, Anna. Also, I guess, sorry for blathering on for so long. Hopefully I explained myself properly for each question.
We’re playing a show this Friday in Fort Payne at Vintage 1889, so come see us jam with our buddies Headwires.
Thanks to everyone who actually read this thing, thanks to anyone who ever bought a shirt, cd, record, came to a show, drove to see us, thanks to all the bands we played with , people who let us crash on their floors.
Sorry if we ever seemed like dicks, we drank and partied a lot. That was never our intentions.
Big thanks to Colin Bugbee, Dakota Wright, Sean Ozogul, Jon Gray, Matt Robinson, Matt Hancock, Wesley Sisk, Steve Zimovan, Heath Brister, Chris Lemos, Matt from Arkansas, and Dank Motherfuckin’ Dave.
RIP Jake. You are one with the infinite.
COME TO THIS SHOW TONIGHT