By Christine Leonard
Explosive heavy rock quartet Dead Quiet is powering up for their Downtown Canada Tour, and charismatically chaotic lead vocalist/guitarist Kevin Keegan is bursting with anticipation.
“I love performing and as a performer you put on a little bit of a character. I’m an actor as well, so I kind of treat it the same way when I get on stage. It’s still me out there but it’s a version of me that’s a little cartooned and over the top,” he says. “It’s all part of what the music does to me and makes me want to do the things I do. It’s pretty organic and it always comes from a place of exorcising some demons.”
Keegan’s magnetic personality is fuelled by his willingness to go over the top on stage. His antics and dramatic range have become a mainstay of Dead Quiet’s riveting performances and are a big part of why they’ve amassed a Canadian cult following.
That’s not to say Dead Quiet is a one-man band. Since their huge 2017 release, Grand Rites (Artoffact Records), they’ve been steadily experimenting with new elements to expand their heavy repertoire in anticipation of a new album this October.
“The new album is going to be more or less the tone of Grand Rites. It’ll be polished to an extent, but still raw and heavy and real sounding. I’ve always been a fan of 70s style Hammond organ in rock music and I’ve really wanted a keyboard player since day one. It adds texture and thickens up the melodies — it’s definitely crucial now.”
Self-directed Keegan has come to rely on his instincts as a songwriter and as well as his bandmates to bring each composition to its full potential. The more democratic style of songwriting has opened up new horizons for Dead Quiet’s traditionally heavy sound.
“I’ll bring the guys the blueprints or skeleton of a song and they always have ideas. We work really well as a team and that’s sort of blossomed for this line-up. It’s become symbiotic, which is really nice for me. I’ve learned to lean on my dudes more.”
Dead Quiet perform Wednesday, May 8 at The Palomino (Calgary), Saturday, May 11 at Gordon Yellowfly Memorial Arbour (Siksika Nation) and Saturday, May 18 at SBC Restaurant (Vancouver)