Interview: Typecaste's Dylan on Their New EP, "Between Life”

(Photo credit: Rahul Raveendran)

I was psyched to hear that Long Boston metallic hardcore act Typecaste would be releasing a new EP, but even more psyched to see it in my inbox a few weeks ago. The band has gone in a really cool new direction with the addition of some new influences, as well as another member. I got to speak to vocalist Dylan about these influences, as well as what else inspired their new 4-song EP, Between Life. Read on to find out more!

Starting off the interview the way that I always do, I asked Dylan: who played your first hardcore show, and what impact did that have on keeping you involved in hardcore? “My first hardcore show, if I can recall correctly, was Killing Time, New Lows, Product of Waste, Revenge and Free Spirit. I was super excited to see Revenge and Product of Waste. I remember Revenge’s set having an insane pile-on, knocking everything over. The impact, I guess, for that show, would have been showing me how intense and personal a show could be. I wanted to get involved on that level.” (Sidenote - shoutout to Dylan for being the first person to send a flyer with his answer!)

Show flyer - provided by Dylan

In general, this EP was one of the more interesting things I’ve been asked to review in a while - particularly lyrically. When asked what inspired the lyrics on Between Life, Dylan replies, “The lyrics on the EP were mostly inspired by a few events this past year in my life. Memento Mori seemed to be inspired by graduating college and coming into my own. It’s looking back at how depressed I was before college and where I feel I am at today. Traverse and Hypnagogic Hallucination are about meditation and falling asleep at night. Under the Wreath was inspired by a mutual friend passing who was an incredibly positive and happy person whenever I saw them.” These topics also informed the title. “‘Between Life’ just seemed to be a perfect summary of all the songs. It’s the areas other than living.”

One of my favorite parts of Creature of Habit, their 2018 EP, is that it almost comes off as a concept album, going from talking about the beginning of a seasonal depression to the end. Similarly, Between Life also follows a somewhat singular theme. I asked Dylan: what made you choose to stick to a specific theme on both EPs? “I think, for Creature of Habit, I was a little more aware I was writing for a theme than I was for this EP. I went into it knowing it was going to be about seasonal depression,” he explains. “This EP,  I wasn’t really trying to write about a theme, but [it] ended up being what it is. In general, I like records that have a purpose and follow a path. Records with a cathartic ending just sell to me.”

Regarding the way this record sounds, there is a little bit of a noticeable difference in sound between older material to the new. The last song, “Under the Wreath,” included clean vocals, which I was a big fan of. Speaking on what inspired any changes in sound, Dylan says, “Speaking about everything but lyrics, Sean [Watson, drums] was listening to different bands while writing this stuff. The clean vocals were kind of for the purpose of, why can’t we? The bands we like are using them, I like clean vocals, so why not add them in? I’m excited to have more parts like these if it happens.”

Expanding on this, I asked Dylan what kind of artists influenced their new material, compared to who inspired their older stuff. Dylan responds, “Die My Will and Hatebreed was influencing the older stuff for sure. This EP was more inspired by Gojira, Deftones, and Crowbar. I love Death Cab and it influences me for sure. I think Ben Gibbard has some of the best lyrics ever. Crowbar influences me lyrically too.” Beyond that, I was curious what kinds of non-hardcore artists they find themselves listening to, as well as whether they find them influential to what they do in Typecaste.  “For other non-hardcore artists, I’ve been listening to Squarepusher, Elliot Smith and Frank Ocean lately. I asked Sean and Joey [Chiaramonte, bass] this question too. Joey said he has been listening to Taking Back Sunday, Toe, Tricot, and The Beths lately. Sean does a lot of the writing and said he has been listening to Deftones, Hum, Grouper, Tim Hecker, and Boards of Canada. He feels like he is stepping into a different world with these bands and wants to create the same feeling when he writes. I would agree with him that, on this release, we were able to make progress towards doing that. ”

In addition to the change in sound, there’s definitely a difference in recording quality - especially compared to their first demo, released in 2017. “We recorded our demo in Sean’s backyard in a shed. So, that compared to Graphic Nature was insane.” The Graphic Nature he speaks of is the Belleville, NJ studio owned by Will Putney, who is responsible for several huge releases, including The Acacia Strain, Every Time I Die, Incendiary, Poison the Well, and more. “This record wouldn’t have been the same without Geo Hewitt and doing it at Graphic Nature. I was joking that I wasn’t worthy to record there and I felt wrong for being there because it’s all so nice. The process there was incredibly fun and creative. I would do it again anytime.”

Tour shirt - photo provided by Dylan

Aside from recording, Typecaste is a band that stays busy. Not many bands manage to tour as often or as regularly as they do - however, for the past couple years, they’ve done a Summer of Fear tour annually. This has always been really cool to me because it tends to bring out bands that wouldn’t typically come to certain areas otherwise. For example, last year, they went out with Vatican, Life’s Question, and Hell of Self (on select dates), with Long Island’s Jab also featured on the Gary, IN date that I went to. I asked Dylan if he planned to keep doing the tours yearly, and how they typically decide who to bring.

“The first Summer of Fear we weren’t actually playing, but some of us went along for the ride. It wasn’t officially labeled that as well, but [it] is on a shirt for that tour. The tour was Vein, Sanction and Buried Dreams a few summers back,” he explains. “Anthony [Didio, vocalist of Vein] actually wanted to do the tour annually, and his heart is always in when we book it. This year we haven’t talked about doing it again, but maybe it will come up closer to the summer. We typically want to do the tour with people who are our friends, or [we] know will have fun touring. It’s a celebration of going crazy and having fun.”

What’s up next for Typecaste? “Future plans for sure would be the Sanction, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, and Vamachara tour we will be doing from February to March. This EP, Between Life, is about to be out on Flatspot Records. We are going to continue writing too.”

Dylan asked to close on this note: “Shoutout Flatspot, Vatican, Low End, Life’s Question, Vein, Fuming Mouth, Cast in Blood, Sanction, and PTTB. See everyone throughout 2020!”

You can check out Typecaste’s  links below to stay up with their future plans, including their new EP, Between Life, which will be dropping February 7th! This EP is already shaping up to be one of my favorite releases of the year - you’re not going to want to miss it.


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