After a fairly eventful first year for the band, I think we can finally say that we have made some kind of mark in the world, albeit a small one. As we reach the end of 2012 and break for the Christmas period, it’s a nice time to reflect on this first year in the life of Dawn of Elysium.
The idea for setting up the band was actually conceived on 2nd December, 2011 and after a few days of messages going back and forth, a line-up was formed which consisted of Emma, Phil and myself as well as a vocalist and lead guitarist. After the obligatory first band meeting, we started rehearsing on 15th January, 2012 as a 5-piece. However, the first incarnation (originally intended to be called “The Wraith”) was not to be, as the original vocalist and guitarist left after a couple of months.
It was a hectic and in some respects, an overwhelming time. It’s never easy starting a new band, especially when the not all the members know each other. In hindsight, it wasn’t really a huge surprise that it didn’t work first time. Musicians can be funny onions at the best of times and it’s not uncommon to find personality clashes. We did part company on amicable terms (at least I’d like to think so). The other guys had a short lived studio project called “The Wraith Within” some months later but this seemed to fade into obscurity. We’ve not heard anything on the subject since.
The name Dawn of Elysium didn’t actually come along until March 2012, when we rebooted the band and started developing our sound. It’s when we really consider the band to have started properly. Over the course of the spring and summer, many ideas were tried and scrapped and the bits we kept from the previous period were meticulously reworked. This is when we really came together as a group of musicians. This phase culminated in us playing a short set as a 3-piece for a friend’s 40th birthday bash on 8th September. We decided not to advertise this appearance because although the sound was “there”, we felt there was still something missing.
Just prior to our little “pre-gig”, we had been in touch with keyboardist Charles Shelley about the possibility of him joining the band and the first time we met him in person was on the night itself. He liked what he heard, we got on well and he commenced rehearsals with us on the 12th just the following week. We did the bulk of recording work on our EP at the end of September and prepared for our first gig together as a 4-piece (the first one we actually advertised) on 13th October at Bradford University. It was part of an all-day charity event called “Headival”. It was a great opportunity to play our first gig at such an event, as not only did we play in front of some people whom we’d never met, we also met some great bands. At the end of October we completed work on the “Sense of Belonging” EP and released it online.
On 24th November, we were given the opportunity to play at the Library in Leeds. This was part of an industrial night called “Kerosene” and we opened up for Japanese band Psydoll and Leeds industrial band Spekulus. We were well received and met some great people in the process.
This rounded off the year nicely and in the short time since the gig we have turned our attention to writing new material. This coupled with our first review for the EP has left us ending 2012 on a high. The four of us are really gelling musically and we are looking forward to starting 2013 in earnest, expanding on our set and getting out and playing.
From a personal standpoint, it has been new territory for me; playing a style of music I had not really attempted before and meeting people from a scene I had not previously been all that familiar with. We’ve met some very friendly and supportive people in this first part of our journey and we’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us so far, in whatever capacity. We are all very much looking forward to getting out and about, playing and attending more gigs and making new friends.
Have a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2013 from all of us! 🙂