Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
CW: Dystopia A.D. is an American two-man modern metal band consisting of lead guitarist Aki Shishido and myself (vocalist/bassist/guitarist Chris Whitby).
In 2018, we released our debut album Designing Ruin, which included guest appearances from numerous musicians in the underground metal/progressive rock scene, including Justin Greczyn of Swashbuckle and John Tuohy of Mile Marker Zero.
Our latest album, Rise of the Merciless, will be released in July 2020 and pushes our sound to new limits in terms of technicality, musicianship, and songwriting complexity. The album was partially recorded from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan where Aki was deployed as a Major in the U.S. Army.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
CW: Our signature blend of death metal, thrash, and progressive rock features blistering shred guitar solos and a variety of vocal styles. Our style is heavily influenced by classic bands like Death, Emperor, and Blind Guardian as well as more modern acts like Revocation and Sylosis.
AS: Chris and I went to grade school together, and we listened to a lot of the same stuff early on. I started out into the classics: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and evolved into some of the modern bands at the time like In Flames and Dark Tranquility. Now, in my old age, I find myself listening to a ton of Testament and Death.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
CW: Our goal is simply to connect with fans that will feel the same exhilarating rage and joy when listening to Dystopia A.D.'s music that I did while writing and performing it. If you want to support what we’re doing by buying our album or merch, then we appreciate it. If you’d rather just stream our songs for free, then we still love you all the same.
AS: Chris hit it on the head. We’re making music that we want to hear and hope others will enjoy.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
CW: Dystopia A.D.'s first full-length album, Designing Ruin, is available everywhere (Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes). Although Rise of the Merciless represents a new high-water mark for us in terms of songwriting, technicality, and production, Designing Ruin is a 40-minute neck-breaking sonic ride through themes of agony and desolation.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
CW: As much as I love the thrill of performing for a live crowd, the physical distance between us and our demanding personal lives mean that we're strictly a studio band. for the time being. For what it's worth, I think that our recordings illustrate our raw passion and intensity and how seriously we take being musicians.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
CW: I think that Dystopia A.D. offers a fresh take on death metal in what is otherwise a saturated scene. We offer the technicality, groove, and brutality that are staples in the genre, but seamlessly integrate less traditional elements like atmosphere, clean vocals, and unusual instruments. The result is music that will keep your head banging without ever being boring.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
AS: Just to keep doing what we love – continue to write kickass metal music and connect with new listeners around the world.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
CW: You can pre-order Rise of the Merciless and order Dystopia A.D. merch (tees, patches) on our Bandcamp site: https://dystopiaad.bandcamp.com/.
You can stream the entire album on Spotify after it releases on July 31st or check our our 2018 release, Designing Ruin: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6cl9TYbCxaL2O9UcaeHtGY?si=33n51gv-SSOzFNYp0D18zA
Follow our Facebook site for news about the band and content: https://www.facebook.com/DystopiaAD/