by Jeevin Johal
VANCOUVER – Cast away in a dimly lit apartment in the slums of Montreal, Kevin Keegan sat awake in the midnight hours scaling the neck of his black Gibson Les Paul, buoyant amidst a growing sea of beer cans. As his fingers fluttered across the frets of the mighty axe, Keegan summoned the powers of both Metal Gods and Demons alike, using their tutelage to form the skeletons of what would eventually manifest into Dead Quiet’s debut album. Though it wasn’t until Keegan moved to Vancouver in 2013 that these songs would finally see the light of day.
“In Montreal it was always very hard to find the right guys to play with,” Keegan states. “Here I can throw a fucking rock, blindfolded, and hit a great drummer or a great bass or guitar player.” Keegan found Brock Macinnis, Jason Dana, Mike Grossnickle and Justin Hagberg, officially bringing Dead Quiet into corporeal existence.
This year the group finished recording Grand Rites, the follow up to their debut album. The songwriting process would be more collaborative this time around.
“[Dead Quiet] is an established band,” says Keegan. “So as I was writing these new songs, I was working through them with [the guys.]”
The album itself will be released as a double LP, dense with lush instrumentation and rich storytelling, but its length doesn’t suggest that its concept is oversaturated. “Songs on the record happen to be six to eight minutes because that’s how long they need to breathe,” explains Keegan. “I want to take you on a journey.”
With Grand Rites officially complete, Dead Quiet recently signed with Toronto based label Artoffact, to help distribute the album. Predominantly specializing in industrial and electronic artists, Dead Quiet are one of the few Doom/Stoner bands signed to the label, but this doesn’t scare them. “[Dead Quiet] isn’t just in a sea of other metal bands, so our sound will totally stand out on this roster.”
Despite all the traction that Dead Quiet is gaining, a few members remain involved in other musical projects including Anciients and Hashteroid. As stoked as Keegan is on these bands, it sometimes causes him anxiety.
He professes: “I’m very sensitive to whatever [the band] wants to do, but it does scare me. I hope in a sense they prioritize Dead Quiet.” Keegan continues. “I’ll cross that bridge if I get to it, but it’s always a looming fear.”
Aside from being the maestro of Dead Quiet, Keegan is also an actor and filmmaker, currently gearing up to co-direct and act in a music video for the album’s first single “Dear Demon,” further indulging his love of storytelling. Always learning and working to expand his creative endeavours, Keegan endearingly confesses, “it’s something I need to do as a performer. It’s just so very gratifying.”
Dead Quiet plays the Rickshaw Theatre on November 17.Dead Quiet, Rickshaw, Rickshaw Theatre