I am Nathan Afilalo and I do both the vocals and the rhythm guitars.
While we all like pretty much the same bands, each member has his own favourite genre of music. Us being the stubborn people that we are wanted to write songs that contain our favourite aspects of the music that we love. That being said, the way we write songs it is a very organic process, usually the songs are not premeditated and so if someone brings in a riff, we build from there which makes one part of the song sound very different then the other. That being said, we also like having each song tell something of a story, and that it’s the music that is the driving force of each narrative.
3. What is about the Montreal metal scene that keeps producing awesome extreme bands?
The gorgeous women we have in the city. We all have a sad and desperate need to impress them which generates a lot of competition which then makes everyone play the best they can. But that is just a theory.
4. You have played at Heavy MTL as well as making it to the finals of the Wacken Battle Canada. What were those experiences like?
Those were some of the most constructive experiences for our band. While at the Wacken battle we were able to place ourselves against the best of our countrymen, Heavy MTL gave us the opportunity to play in front of a massive crowd: its one thing to play in front of a hundred people, its something else entirely to play in before hundreds. But the most important lesson learnt was that you could always tighten up the live show. When playing in a festival you need to prove that you deserve to be there. The live performance is the one shot you have to prove what you got and so from thereon we approach each live show with an different attitude.
5. You have shared the stage with other great bands such as Godsmack, Suicide Silence, In Flames, Unearth, Death Angel, Trivium, Cryptopsy, etc. Out of all the bands that you’ve played with, who were the coolest to just hang out with?
Definitelyformerly of Cryptopsy. He was making a guest appearance for one song, and our drummer (Anthony Pulcini) saw him backstage. So while enjoying the excellent jerk crab that the catering offered, we spoken reverently with the Lord Worm. Its crazy that you can hear a man’s insane voice on a album, think he is the voice of hell, to then meet him and realize he is human, to then see him on stage again transform into the demon on the record. Metal does weird things to people, and its glorious.
6. When you first started the band, what were some of the bands that you were listening to regularly in terms of influence?
I was listening (still do) to a lot of Judas Priest, Bathory, Celtic Frost and Gorgoroth. The wrest of the guys were really into COB, Dimmu Borgir, Death and various denominations of tech-death. What we all liked were those big epic riffs and yet we couldn’t really forsake the darkness. Some sounds are too compelling to ignore.
7. What bands have you been enjoying lately?
Huntress is an awesome new band. Ghost obviously, re-listening the new Watain album. But beyond that, have also been getting into a lot more jazz and, oddly enough, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. That band fucking rules.
As a band that just released their first album, we haven’t had the real long ass touring experience. However, for my part, there is nothing like playing your own music in front of people who want to hear it. While the songs themselves are the same, people’s reactions to are not, and its that new experience every that makes taking the stage an absolute pleasure.
9. Dissension has a keyboardist in the band which is fairly rare for a metal band. What do you think the keyboards adds to your music and do you think Dissension would be the same without them?
Dissension would be Dissension if we did not have our keyboards. It allows us to generate the necessary atmosphere to complete moods. Beyond that, the keyboard allows you to do whatever you want, and so it opens ten thousand horizons for your music. Its an invaluable asset.
10. What can fans expect next from Dissension?
You can expect Canadian tour in the summer, along with music videos and the beginnings of an even newer album hahah. Making music is our bleeding soul, and that is what one can always expect from this band.