MAGG DYLAN CHATS ABOUT WHAT HELPS THE SOBRIETY HAZE, THEIR COVER OF YOU OUGHTA KNOW, NEW SINGLE ‘STRESS’ TO DROP AUG 23, SPACE ZEBRA + MORE!

MAGG DYLAN CHATS ABOUT WHAT HELPS THE SOBRIETY HAZE, THEIR COVER OF YOU OUGHTA KNOW, NEW SINGLE ‘STRESS’ TO DROP AUG 23, SPACE ZEBRA + MORE!

Named after Mary Magdalene and The Outsiders, Magg Dylan are a four-piece Metal band based out of Virginia Beach with a sound amalgamated with Hard Rock, hints of Metalcore, Nu-Metal and Melodic Metal, and nuances of Pop Punk. They are comprised of vocalist and lyricist Suzanne De Iulio, Brucifer Jordan, who plays 6 and 7 string guitars, Les Moseley, who plays 4 and 5 string basses, and drummer Adam Hoye.They released their first debut full-length album, Amethyst, in February of 2020 through Eclipse Records, a boutique record label founded in 1997 by Chris Poland, based out of New York City. The album was produced by Brucifer and Jonathan Dolese, who has produced albums for Brave New World and Skywalker. As of right now, Magg Dylan are free agents!

We began our interview talking about the song, Delusional, which is the first track off of the album, asking Suzanne how she connects to it, especially since it’s a song about sobriety, which is something many of us can relate to, and how it can get you through those hard days after you become sober, even if it’s months and months later. She replied, “I got sober a really long time ago. I’ve been practicing, like certain things I do every day on a daily basis…. And a lot of those lyrics I was drawing from my first 5-10 years of sobriety. What I do on a daily basis, like I get up every morning, and I ask for the strength to stay sober, write a gratitude list of ten things I’m grateful for no matter how I’m feeling, and why I’m grateful for them. Around ten years sobriety, somebody put me to the challenge and they said ‘hey, why don’t you write down why you’re grateful.’ and that really made me sit in the gratitude for a little bit longer because I had to focus about why I was grateful for that thing and I have studied and have done a lot of internal work on myself, whereas whenever I’m pointing one finger out, I’ve got three fingers pointing back. 

So yeah, with sobriety I write a gratitude list of ten things I’m grateful for and then about why I’m grateful for them to try and keep my mind focused on a gratitude thing and early on in my sobriety, one of my mentors really pointed out I needed to get out of self and think of others and find things to be grateful for, so I put my focus on that and just trying, one of the things she said to me was “just trying not to cause any harm.” And that was a big, like one of the epiphany things for me was not trying to cause any harm and then you know, the lyrics to Delusional, the “driven by a thousand forms of fear”, which is a direct quote from a book, it’s actually driven by a hundred forms of fear; we step on the toes of our fellows, and they retaliate.

So, it’s kind of bringing that awareness back to myself of where maybe I’m not always causing the problem because you know, you can always go too far down that end, but you know, just making sure that I do my own self-evaluation of what is my part in this situation that is uncomfortable and then kind of, then take in the actions to move away from that and try to change the behavior and moving forward.

And that practice of “out-of-self”, doing the gratitude list, taking the steps, and looking at myself all the time, making sure I’m staying on the right path trying not to cause any harm.

And then always, whenever I’m talking to anybody, especially when they’re working my nerves, is ‘how may I be helpful in this situation?’ like, why am I here, how can I be helpful, how can I be patient, how can I offer this person some compassion?”

What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned with sobriety and how has that affected the way you write Music as well?

The honesty in the lyrics. The lessons for me, was a lot of it is being true to myself and when we’re writing songs to make sure I’m being true to myself and I am speaking what I believe and what I feel is healing, so part of me gets really conflicted with a lot of my Art because sometimes it’s really frustrating and angry and it’s not going with my core beliefs, like if you see somebody without a smile, give them yours. [laughs]

So, it’s kind of in direct conflict to that, but it’s also healing because I feel like everybody should know that everyone struggles and it’s just trying to put that out there, trying to take that piece of the Art, the insanity of some of the things that I think, because I’m very insecure and I still struggle with so many things and I have to pick myself up and set myself straight and then just keep on moving forward and just trying to share those experiences with others through the Music, especially…Delusional, that’s my baby. That’s like my baby, like, usually at every show someone will come up to me and be like ‘wow, I get it. I totally get it.’ Or somebody will be teetering on sobriety, all that have been sober for a while and then they really feel the lyrics of the song because the lessons I learned, trying to get sober and through my sobriety, I only learn when I fall down. I don’t learn any other way. And that’s, it is what it is. I learn when I fall down and then I get back up and I try to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. 

And I had to do the things I didn’t want to do, you know what I mean? And go places I didn’t want to go and show up early when I didn’t want to show up early because I was always late, you know? [laughs] Doing that kind of stuff was not fun at all. But then, being an extrovert I am, or I became, I began to really enjoy that. 

You know like, when you’re in that….I call it like a haze, when you’re first starting to come out of it, out of the addiction of whatever it is, whether it be alcohol or pain killers, drugs, whatever, when you’re coming out of that haze, it can be like…. I don’t even know how to describe it, it seems like comments get to you even worse than they would if you were in your right-right mind, but there’s a powerful feeling when you can break through all of that and you kind of get a sense of Freedom… Like, when you were overcoming it and conquering it, and everything, what did that feel like for you and how does it affect you now?

So. I had a lot of fear. So, those words like, ‘driven by a thousand forms of fear.’ I was so afraid I was going to drink again that I would do whatever they told me, you know what I mean? My rock bottom was so low that I was like, I can’t….Cause I lost everything about who I was and I just didn’t want to go back there. So, I was willing to do so many different things and to try to just keep moving it forward, I guess.

Thank you for being so open about this subject because it’s not an easy subject to talk about, for sure. 

No. But you know what, getting through those moments of pain, where you really want to crawl out of your own skin because you’re so uncomfortable….And it was hard for me in the beginning especially… And that’s where being so involved with other people in the recovery community, that’s where it really helped me because I would always be forced to be somewhere where I was around people, so then I would have to tell them about it. You know what I mean? Because they’d be like, “how are you?” and I’d be like, “Do you really want to know the answer to this question ’cause I’m crazy right now. [laughs] 

And sometimes you are alone and then sometimes you do wind up alone and you have to just kind of deal with the demons that they are, and just kind of…I mean, for me, it was really hard. It was really hard to try to re-focus and to try to stop thinking and so sometimes I’d just write it all out. So, the song F.I.n.E. I wrote when I first got sober. Like, the words to that song were 20 years old.

Let’s get into some more about Amethyst. I’m looking at the album cover right now, it’s kind of mythical in a way. First of all, how do you feel like it encapsulates the entire album as a whole and symbolizes it?

So, what’s funny about the Art that I chose, is cause…. Magg Dylan were named after Mary Magdalene and The Outsiders… So, Mary Magdelene was an outsider and I’m the only girl and then there’s three guys. So, I felt like when I saw that picture…. I always felt like an outsider, and I’ve always felt like I’m being burned at the stake for my opinions or my attitude, or whatever my beliefs are ’cause I’m a little out there…

So, when I saw that photo of the girl being burned, it looked to me like the witch being burned at the stake, and there were four people around it. Because it was perfect, at that point we had five people in the band, there were four guys and me. So, when I saw that photo, I couldn’t believe how perfect that was. I was like, “Oh my God! This is it!” Not realizing that that picture was super-super Heavy Metal, like the Melodic Metal, which we weren’t so much yet, because Amethyst is more Poppy-Punk and more Hard Rock, you know more of the Hard Rock sound, more so than what we’ve done, what we’ve evolved into. That’s why I Love that Art, and still to this day, I Love that Artwork. 

And I had also just been up to Salem, Massachusetts, and I know Bobby [Schubenski, co-founder of the Blackcraft Cult brand] just opened a store up there. And I had been there a year before and I was up in Salem because my friend lives in Massachusetts, I’m obsessed with Salem. So again, when I saw that picture, I was like ‘OK! This is the answer to the question. There is going to be no other outcome besides this. [laughs] 

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What would you say are some songs on the album that have some of the most powerful messages within the lyrics for you?

Obviously Delusional of course, Rare Breed, which Rare Breed is such a different style song. But if you listen to the words of that song, it’s really about trying to find your inner badass. You know what I mean? Even in the imperfections. And same thing with Naked Alone In The Tub.

So, if I had to pick three, those three are three of the, for me personally, mine lyrically. And of course F.I.n.E.I had just written that within 30 days of sobriety. And then TEARZ, cause that’s a true story of when I was going through my second divorce and was driving over a bridge, I don’t know if you’ve listened to the whole album, but I was driving over the bridge here in Virginia, and my Mom looked at me crying, she was like, ‘how long are you going to be this unhappy? How long are you going to do this?” and you know when your Mom starts begging you to stop killing yourself over something, I was like, ‘Oh, I really got to get out of this. This is bad.” So, that was really the beginning of the end.

Is there a song on the album that you wrote that made you feel the most free when you and you were just like ‘ah…’ and felt like you were done with the best therapy session ever?

That’s hard because honestly, it might be the first song we wrote, which is “Stood Up” So, that’s the first song that me and Bruce wrote together. And that was the one where he was like “well, what did you do after that?” I was like, “I stood up” and that moment after we wrote that song, I was like, “Oh….This marriage has freed me of so much of my own restrictions.” And then getting divorced and writing that song…And that was the beginning and that was the gateway to the rest of the album. So I would say “I Stood Up” which is weird because we never play it. It wasn’t a single, we don’t push it a lot. 

You released a new Music video for Warning, it’s awesome by the way!

THANK YOU, I Loved doing that!

How do you feel you connect to the video and how does the Music video of the message and meaning behind the song?

So, the song, the way I wrote it. And it’s obviously up to interpretation because it’s Art, so it’s how anybody takes it. So, it was really written about corporate America, because I worked in corporate America for so long and so when they show you who you are, believe me, and the dating world, so having dated for a while in between my second and third marriage, at an older age, it was really frustrating and it was just like, ‘Oh my God, why aren’t you showing me who you really are? Why can’t you just be honest?”

So, the video is supposed to take you through all of my moods, which is like showing all of the different sides of me, like my corporate America side, which is why I’m in that suit, and then the band side…And then I’m in this cannon ball outfit because I’m in these dance things, like when I was on the Zumba team, I used to do all these cancer benefits and stuff, used to do all these charity events, and then I used to teach fitness, and I’ve been married twice. So, that’s why I was down at one time. And that’s my best friend James that I got sober with, who was playing the doctor. So, it’s just supposed to be fun and going through my ADHD rapid moving brain, and just trying to navigate through becoming who I am and being perfect in my own imperfections. 

Do you have any plans for another single coming out soon? 

We have one coming out August 23rd.

Is it off of Amethyst or off a new album coming up?

What we’re doing right now is just releasing a bunch of singles we’re going to put to an album, so Lost My Zen, Warning, and then we have another one coming out August 23rd called Stress. That is like so different for us. It’s definitely different. It’s very Nu-Metal. And we just had fun with it. So, every time– I’ll tell you the story… So, I write in rhymes because everything I write, I have 40 pages of lyrics and every single page is all rhymes ’cause that’s just the way I write. I can’t help it. So, a lot of the times when we’re going into a song, I have to change words to try not to rhyme so much, so we went into this one and one night I was sleeping, and I’ll give you a little back story on it. I woke up in the middle of the night and I don’t know if you’ve seen our band has these “Fuck It” hats, and I woke up and I was like, “Everybody needs a little bit of ‘fuck it’ in their Life.” And that was it. I woke up…And Bruce woke up the next morning and I was like, ‘I got it!’, and he just went downstairs, he started writing, and then we came up with this new song on August 23rd. It is really fun, it is a really, really fun song. [laughs] And it’s just trying to get people not to get stressed out. And it’s heavy. It’s got some screams, but it’s also got some Rap Rock in it, which I Love of course.

We then moved on to the subject of That Space Zebra Show, where Magg Dylan are currently competing in the Battle For The Big Stage and the Blackcraft Cult Unsigned Band Charts competitions on the Danny Wimmer Presents Twitch Channel. Danny Wimmer Presents holds festivals every year like Welcome To Rockville, Inkcarceration, Louder Than Life, Bourbon And Beyond, Aftershock, and more. These shows on the Twitch platform allow unsigned Artists, or Artists who are on smaller, more obscure record labels to compete for a chance to play the mainstage one of their festivals. Currently, the Louder Than Life finals are going on, as well as the open submissions for Aftershock Festival, which is being held in Sacramento, California October 6th-9th. Louder Than Life takes place in Louisiville, Kentucky September 22nd-25th. It is always up to the chat to decide who makes it through to the next bracket round!

I Love listening to all the bands. So, we got to do a show with NAIL BITE on June 18th, we got to do a show with them, so we got to meet them before we even started in the competition. So that was cool we got to meet them, and we made friends with them, so they’re very much in our corner.” Suzanne continued to talk about the Battle For The Big Stage, “I’m so scared about that one. That’s the other one. So, when we submitted for both the Blackcraft Unisgned Band Chart for the Battle For The Big Stage, I didn’t think we got Battle For The Big Stage, so then we got the e-mail that said hey, you guys are going to be in there, so then we wound up in there this Sunday. That was crazy. That. Was. Crazy. [laughs] 

You have a lot of fans in the chat. 

I know, it’s cool.

It’s such a cool platform. [laughs]

It is. It is so cool. We feel really lucky to be on there. I’m just so grateful because I really, really, really Love it. 

How did you stumble upon Space Zebra? 

So, we tried last year when we released our single Pawns and we tried to get in last year, but we didn’t make it. Like, we didn’t make it the first time, so we kinda gave up and then we got a little nudge. I think NAIL BITE gave us a little nudge and then Jake, this guy we’re working with gave us a little nudge, and then we’re like “oh alright, we’ll try agian.” You know, like when you get torn apart in the chat, you’re like “ooooh, I don’t know if I want to do that again, that hurts.” 

It’s nice to see some female blood in there, I guess you could say. [laughs]

I agree, I agree. Like, I like that one band, Thirst. Oh my God, I Love them. 

Ohhh yeah! There are some really good bands that submit. Like last year with Shadow The Earth. It’s pretty cool. And it honestly doesn’t even matter if anyone wins or not because you’re exposed to so many new fans and you connect to everyone. It really is like a family.

It is, it’s super cool. 

Are there any plans for an album coming out?

Yeah. I mean, we have… So, we went in the studio, we recorded in Nashville back in June and we did three more singles. So, we have Stress coming out. Then in mid-September, we have another one, we’re actually going to release a ballad, like a really slow one. It’s about, it was written about loss and losing a Loved one, so it’s kind of sad. But it’s about… Our puppy died last year, we had a 9 month old puppy that passed away and it was just horrible for us. But then when we were recording the album, my friend’s son died, like her 12 year old son died, which is a complete tragedy. I found out the day we were recording it. So, I was like super-super emotional.

So, we changed some of the lyrics in it and kind of molded it so that anybody can identify about young Lives that are gone too soon because it’s just agonizing for anybody and everybody because it’s not natural, you know what I mean? It’s not supposed to happen. People, parents aren’t supposed to lose their children, they’re just not. My nephew overdosed at 21 years old and died. There’s just been a lot of loss and there’s too many people, too many parents I know that have lost their children, so we wrote this really sad song that’s going to come out in September, so we do have a new album coming out and then we have two more singles after that to come out. Then we’re going to go back to the studio and record the rest of them and do like an EP. 

It’s really exciting because the new songs we Love them so much. It’s really good to feel good about what you’re putting out rather than sometimes feeling like you’re rushed when you put it out and it’s like, “ohhh, I wish I would’ve done this, I wish I would’ve done that….” Have you ever heard our cover of You Oughta Know [by Alanis Morisette]?

Yes! And the video for it is pretty cool too. [laughs]

Do you know that that’s actually my friends burning their real wedding gowns? 

I read something about that. [laughs]

Mhm. That’s my friend, Jen that was only married for six months and he just kind of dumped her. And then my friend Christy, her gown was like 20 years old. She burned it. My friend Sonya, her gown was also like 20 years old and she burned Her’s…It was crazy. And it all happened in like a week! I started messaging them, I was like, “hey, do you still have your gown by any chance because we’re going to be shooting a video, we’re going to burn some wedding dresses, do you want to be in the video? She was like, ‘Oh My God! I literally just pulled it out of the attic, and I was going to get rid of it myself and she was like, “what?!”. It just came together, and it was so cool.

That’s quite a statement too! [laughs]

Yeah. Yeah. 

And the cover of that song…You definitely put your own spin on it. I mean, it sounds like it, but it’s different. How do you feel you connect to it? And what made you want to cover You Oughta Know?

Jagged Little Pill changed my Life. You know what I mean? That’s the album for me. Everybody has that album that changed their Life and Jagged Little Pill changed my Life. It’s the one that I was [in] early sobriety and I listened to it over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over and it just meant so much to me. Every single song on there I could identify with so much. And then, You Oughta Know, I had been cheated on, so that one has always been one of my favorite songs and then Bruce figured out a way to Djent it out and make it Metal, so when he figured that out, then that was it. We were like, “Ok, we’re golden!” [claps] Because he’s the one who did all the Music arrangement, and I just kept the vocals kind of the way it was. 

It’s definitely a really cool cover! [laughs] 

Thank you. [laughs] 

Those are all of my questions. Do you have anything else you’d like to say or put out to the world?

No, it was so nice meeting you!

Yeah! So nice to meet you! 

Amethyst track list:

1. Delusional
2. Tearz
3. Scarz
4. Stood Up
5. Naked Alone in the Tub
6. Crawl
7. Sadness
8. Herakane
9. F.I.n.E.
10. Rare Breed

 

Photo By Hannah Lee Photography
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