Castles in the Air: An interview with A Devil’s Daydream

By Ryan Javier

Photos by AJ Miragliotta and Ryan Javier

DALLAS – One of the best locales in the nation for cutting edge metal is north Texas and the newest and perhaps most promising act to break out onto the scene is A Devil’s Daydream.

We, at TTL, were first introduced to A Devil’s Daydream in May, when they opened a metal show at the famous Gas Monkey Bar N Grill.  The band’s unique style of melodic black death metal and commanding stage presence caught our attention right off the bat.  When we discovered that the show was this fledging band’s second performance ever, we simply had to talk with them.

Guitarist and founder, Ryan “Shred Hammer” Dickinson (SH) was kind enough to answer a few questions from TTL’s own Ryan Javier (RJ).

RJ: Your set was incredible! How did you choose your songs for the show?

SH:  I believe that was a 45 minute set, which means we get to play a little longer the usual so we like to stack the set with most of of our favs. Depending on the other bands we play with will also decide the appropriate songs to play.

RJ: The Gas Monkey show was your second performance as ADD, but you have obviously each been playing for years now.  Tell me about the history of ADD and the current lineup.

SH: It all started in end of 2007 when the band I was in broke up after 2 hard years of grinding out shows and paying dues. At that point in my musical career, I was still very amateur but I did know that I was either going to join a already established band or hit the drawing board and create my own monster so to speak. Sean was actually a former member of the band that disband and me and him we still on speaking terms but he had moved to Austin by this time and I was still in the D/FW area.. With roughly what you call the “first 3 ADD songs”. I basically hit up Sean Galloway to see if he wanted to maybe throw some vocals down even though he was still in Austin. Obviously at the time not knowing anything was really going to come of it. Sean ended up in putting vocals on a track and had enough interest that he wanted to come up to Dallas to record with the engineer that I was using at the time.but so Sean flew up to Dallas from Austin and we basically recorded what was the first A Devil’s Daydream song “Profound to Bitterness” sometime around 08-09. Then we spent pretty much from 2009-2014 looking for the rest of the band while also continued writing and recording several songs and trying to find the right people for the project only to go thru countless flakes and people not working for one reason or another. I know that leaves a very large gap but there wasn’t many events in between then that are worthy enough of explanation. There has been a lot of years spent trying just to see if we could find people to join. Literally. Fast forward to 2014… I was talking to Bryce Butler to see if he maybe wanted to fill in on drums just to get us going and he pretty much agreed. Sam Paquette heard us on KNON 89.3fm radio station “The Dungeon” and heard through Sean that we were looking for a guitar player and he had expressed interest in joining after that. Then Sam basically asked Andrew Tolle who at the time was in another project that wasn’t doing very much if he wanted to come jam and see what was up. Basically starting the first full line up of A Devil’s Daydream.

RJ: Your Facebook page says you are searching for a bassist.  Are you still looking for a bass player?

SH:  Andrew is our permanent bassist [and] Bryce is [just] filling in for us.

RJ: Since ADD is relatively new, do you see your sound evolving any or have you guys pretty much got it down?

SH: Well since I have wrote a majority of the material myself with Sean and I can definitely see is expanding and involving even more so into something else.

RJ: What are some things that have influenced you and Sean Galloway as songwriters? Do you work together to create songs, like, you create a song and Sean creates another song?

SH: Shawn is really, really good with lyrics. He’s also really good with coming up with topics to write about. Since we write about things that have more or actually happen like horror other cult topics it really helps me come up with riffs why I know we got an idea of what the song is gonna be.

RJ: I know ADD is just starting out, but do you guys have a favorite song to perform live, and if so why?

SH: For me is it the song Fatal Stench. It’s actually a song that was supposed to be on our upcoming second release but we like it so much it will probably be on our full length album at the end of the year.

RJ: The end of the year? That’s awesome! 

SH: We will have a full-length at the end of the year, hopefully by November. Be on the lookout, it’s titled The Misfortune of Suffering.

RJ: For someone that has never been to an ADD concert, describe your show, what one can expect and why one should attend.

SH: Well a lot of times [people] just stand and stare, haha. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. A lot of times when we play shows at clubs will get the occasional circle pit and such. But for the most part as of right now everybody comes and just stares at us.

RJ: What is something that your fans don’t already know, but you would like them to know.  

SH: That we worked really hard on this project and I know things can be for moving at times but I feel it is definitely worth the wait. If you have stuck with us this long there’s no reason why you shouldn’t stay with us because it is going nowhere but up from here for this band.

RJ: What advice would you give to an up-and-coming musician/band?

SH: Don’t quit your day job!

RJ: What’s the story behind the band’s name?

SH: I wanted something cool but realistic; I’ve always like the word “daydream”.

RJ: You guys have quite a few dates coming up in the next few months.  Are there any venues that you’re particularly excited about?

SH: We loved the Gas Monkey [Bar N Grill] and [The] Curtain Club is always nice.

RJ: and finally, why do you all do what you do? Why play music at all? What drives you guys to do what you do?

SH: Well for me, I’ve always enjoyed playing the guitar. It runs in my family. I pretty much started when I was like seven or eight and really haven’t put it down ever since. The thing that makes me want to play metal on the guitar though, is the constant strive of pushing myself and constantly getting better. — Ryan “Shred Hammer” Dickinson.

A Devil’s Daydream is vocalist Sean “Death Climax” Galloway,  guitarists Ryan “Shred Hammer” Dickinson and Sam Paquette, bassist Andrew Tolle and (currently) percussionist Bryce Butler. Follow the band on Instagram and on Facebook for upcoming show dates, news on the forthcoming album, The Misfortune of Suffering, and more!


RRJ_0043sm  IMG_8578 RRJ_0074 IMG_8595 0037Small IMG_8638  0026zsml IMG_8604 0085small IMG_8618 0054jpgsmall RRJ_0033small




Ryan Javier
Dallas-based photojournalist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *