INTERVIEWS

Cosmic Rock

(Photos by: Lewis Giles)

On a burning hot saturday afternoon we caught up with very cool singer Kayla Dixon for a chat with CR. Kayla is the vocalist for the groups Witch Mountain and Dress The Dead, two very popular underground heavy acts. We sat down with the gracious Kayla for an interview about her background, musical influences, band news and thoughts on many subjects today. Enjoy this talk with an excellent singer and musician, the awesome Kayla Dixon. 

 

1.Hey Kayla, its good to speak with you how have you been?

 

I’ve been great! Thank you so much for having me.

 

2.Of course and anytime. Good to speak with you today. Tell us a little about your background, How did you get into playing music?

 

I’ve been singing since I was 5. I started out in musical theatre somewhere around 4thgrade and I’ve been acting ever since. I was in highschool when I discovered heavier music and was in my first year of college when I decided to join a death metal band called Demons Within.

 

3. Any classic concerts you saw back in the day that inspired you and in what way?

 

Well, “back in the day” wasn’t that long ago for me, haha. But I think my first concert ever was Marilyn Manson. He has remained a large influence on me as an artist and particularly on my stage presence.

 

 

(Photos by: Lewis Giles)

 

4.Really cool. What were some of your favorite classic albums over the years?

 

There are so many! They might not all be considered “classics” but here are some of my favorite albums: Antichrist Superstar ( Marilyn Manson) ,Superunknown (Soundgarden) ,Sin After Sin ( Judas Priest) , Undertow ( Tool), Psalm 69 ( Ministry) ,October Rust ( type O Negative) , and everything by Katatonia.

 

5.Great yeah. You are in a few bands these days, Witch Mountain and Dress The Dead. Tell us a little about your current projects.

 

I joined Witch Mountain back in 2015 I believe. Shortly before that, I was studying at a music conservatory in Ohio and had just joined by first band Demons Within. I decided that college wasn’t for me and that I was going to pursue a career on Broadway as I had done lots of professional acting in DC before going away to school.  That all changed (sort of) when I heard that Witch Mountain was looking for a new vocalist. I auditioned, got the gig, and moved across the country to join the band and things have been great ever since! I , of course,still do theatre, TV, and film regularly.

 

With Dress The Dead, I wasn’t exactly looking for a band, but I really think it was meant to be because the opportunity sort of fell in my lap. I had just finished a tour with a power metal band and had a lot of time free up as we had split ways due to artistic differences. Witch Mountain has been around for almost as long as I’ve been alive so we have the luxury of only choosing to tour when really big opportunities come through. It’s a really great place to be in but I need to keep myself busy! A mutual friend of Craig and I reached out to me asking if I was interested.  At that point, they only had one song out, which was the version of “1969” with Peter Dolving on vocals. I was immediately intimidated at the idea of replacing Peter because I’d been a fan of The Haunted. I took quite a long time to think about it and finally reached out to Craig to ask for an audition. I was already planning on being in the bay area that same week that I called so it all worked out really smoothly! They sent me 6 tracks, (3 of which already had vocals and 3 that I needed to write vocals for) , I sent them back within the week and was at the studio jamming with the guys by the weekend. They offered me the gig on the spot and things have been extremely successful for us since then.

 

6.Awesome. You guys have any new records coming out?

 

Witch Mountain just released a self titled album and we’re gonna start writing the next one pretty soon. Dress The Dead is also still in the writing process.

 

7.What keeps you inspired and learning?

 

What keeps me most inspired these days oddly enough is the amount of disingenuous crap out there musically. There’s a dire need for authenticity in music these days and because I know that I’m able to deliver that, I think I have a responsibility to continue writing songs.

 

8.What are some of your favorite films?

 

 Some of my favorite films are: Suspiria, The Shining, Lost Highway, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, Poltergeist, Hellraiser, The Birds, The Ghost and Mrs, Muir . ( The list goes on and on…)

 

9.Favorite books?

 

I really only read non-fiction and plays, but here are a few:

 

Plays: Eqqus by Peter Shaffer, Marisol by Jose Rivera and Hamlet.

 

I don’t have any favorite non-fiction books but here’s what I’m reading right now:

 

Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku , Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and  Ain’t I  A Woman by Bell Hooks.

 

10.What is one life skill you think everyone should have?

 

Emotional Intelligence.

 

11.How do you feel about music today with social media and the current era of underground music? What advice would you give a new artist just starting out?

 

I think that , as an artist, you really do need to be extremely active on social media to maintain a following.  I think social media is a good thing for artists and I personally try to take advantage of it as much as possible. The one piece of advice that I would give to any artist just starting out is to ask themselves “ what do I stand for”. Music without an opinion is just boring just like the people that make it.

 

 

 (Photos by: Lewis Giles)

 

12.Do you write songs with your bands and what inspires your songwriting?

 

I always write all lyrics and vocal melodies in both bands with very few exceptions. My life inspires my songwriting. I don’t write about things I haven’t lived and that helps me stay in my authenticity.

 

13.Any other creative activity you are interested in? Art, writing, etc?

 

In addition to acting, I’m also a dancer.

 

14.Do you guys have some shows coming up?

 

Dress The Dead has a show opening up for Death Angel at DNA Lounge in SF this Sunday! Here’s a link to the event page:

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/2223058894688544/

 

15. Great have an awesome show. Any last words or news for your fans today?

 

I love you all!

 

Rock on Kayla, please stay in touch and keep us updated on your news. - G