Dead Defined is a solo project founded in 2018 by vocalist/songwriter Craig Ewan. He recently released a song called A Sun That Doesn’t Rise on Voodoo Records Canada. Check out this interview done by Andrew of Rogue PR
When did you realize that your project/band had the potential to be a career or long-lasting idea?
When a few peers of mine that are quite well known in the music industry heard my new music and future
ideas, they really encouraged me to pursue this solo project. I call it a solo project as I more or less conduct and write all the music and lyrics. I’d love to turn it into a 4-piece band one day for live shows, but as of now, it remains as a studio project.
When did the first glimpses of your latest release come together?
It was actually based on a piano lick I had been fooling around with. I’m not a piano player by any sort but was able to transpose it to guitar. Once I had the basis of the chords I wanted to use we went into the studio and transcribed it back out onto strings and actual piano parts. The core of the song is played on piano and strings.
What really inspires your music?
Mental Health Advocacy. I’ve had my fair share of Mental Health issues in my life and continue to do so. I decided to write about it through my music. People really seem to resonate with my lyrics and stories. It keeps me on the right path these days and gives many of my listeners hope.
Can you tell us a bit about the lyrical process for a song? How does it normally work?
It’s different all the time. Much of it comes out of humming something in my head, then recording it onto
my phone. It could be the notes on guitar to a hook for a chorus. I’ve started to write songs in many different ways, usually on the fly or out of boredom. I seldomly sit down and tell myself “okay, I have to write something right now”. It usually comes out of nowhere when I’m already occupied doing something else. Thankfully we all have phones now that we can record on anywhere 24/7.
What’s the most rewarding moment in your creative process as an artist, and why?
I personally think it’s when you create a killer hook for a new tune. It could be a new guitar part or a vocal riff. I love the feeling of knowing there’s something there and working it out in the studio or on tape. When you start to get goosebumps and butterflies, you know it’s worth seeing through.
Who produces your music, and what are they like to work with? (If you produce the music yourself, what do you love the most about working that way?)
Mike Dmitrovic aka (Mikey D) is my go-to producer based out of Voodoo Records in Toronto, Ont. I’ve been working with Mikey for quite a few years on different projects for different bands and private clients. We have great chemistry when it comes to in-studio writing and collaboration. We bump heads sometimes but that’s all part of the process. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his expertise.
Can you give us a couple of personal highlights from your live show? Particular memories that stand out to you?
High energy fun and lots of fan interaction. I’ve always been the type of performer to lure the crowd into some kind of engagement at my shows. I find it’s such a rush when the audience is wanting to participate and respond during a performance, that’s what we performers strive for. If you’re up on stage and people are just staring down at their phones the whole time, what fun is that from a performance side of things? I want to make them look up and ask “who the hell is this guy?” Positively or negatively ha! At least you’re paying attention.
What advice would you give to another upcoming band/act?
The fun comes first, and make sure the bandmates you’re playing with are your ride-or-die type of friends. I’ve been in too many bands where that bond of friendship wasn’t as strong as we had thought and the bands imploded pretty quickly. Once politics and money get involved it opens up a whole new can of worms. Communication is key just like any other type of relationship. To this day I don’t have contact with many of my former bandmates from past issues that were never resolved. Thanks for the chat! Much Love, Craig Ewan (Dead Defined)