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A Dirty Dozen with TIM KENEFIC from DEATH ON FIRE – September 2021

| 2 September 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Formed in 2016 as a studio project by frontman Tim Kenefic, the project has rapidly evolved into a hard touring sonic abomination. Dedicated to crafting technical, interesting and above all, boundary breaking music, Death On Fire has rapidly built a name for themselves as road warriors, hustling across the country in the name of that next sick and twisted show. Intense and unapologetic, Death On Fire have come to embody the spirit of modern death metal. Having rapidly made an impact across the Midwest metal scene, the band is only growing in reputation and stature. This is the sort of forward thinking project which entire scenes revolve around. The breadth of the compositions never gets pretentious though, the band has been careful to counterbalance their work with a strong DIY mentality. There is a sense of struggle throughout the groups work that only serves to expand what they have done. Now with countless tours under their belt and many more to come, Death On Fire looks to take on the world.” We get Tim to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

This for us is a pretty straightforward release. It highlights a little bit of everything we do. The title track is a bit of a departure from our norms as it is a much more down kind of tune with some subtle melodies working against the chord pattern. The most exciting part of the EP is the bridge of “A Hell Of Our Own Design.” We were toying with writing something in twelve tone and while we didn’t follow the rules to the T, we are very happy with that section. It is our musical nerdery at its peak with tones of gnarly dissonance.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My mom forced me to take piano and I hated it so that probably scared me at first. Sorry mom. That being said, I was always listening to music. Once my step mom and dad got me a guitar it was game over. I was obsessed and would make sure that no matter what I did I was practicing guitar. Having a great teacher was key in that too. He pushed me just enough and showed me awesome bands to check out. I knew I wanted to be a musician and pursue it at age 17. I started applying to music programs and playing in bands and the rest is history.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Misty my friends and guitar instructor. They would show me new bands and things to check out. Friends got me into the more extreme stuff and my instructors got me into prof and classical. Early performances was Pantera and Anthrax when I was 16. It was an amazing show and from that point I knew I wanted to perform.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Metallica is there just because it is where I started. I get a lot of my personal style from Megadeth. Their first five albums are mandatory. Heartwork era Carcass. Morbid Angel up through Domination. Type O Negative. They are my guilty pleasure band.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

That’s a tough one. There are a ton of great musicians out there to consider. I would say current would be Duplantier. He is writing and producing some amazing stuff at the moment and Gojira has some of my favorite songs for their specific and angular style.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

We are a more American take on Melodeath. We pull from a ton of musical styles and influences and blend them into our own thing. Recently I realized jokingly that we are Iron Maiden with my vocal musings. And if that were true I could be happy with it. Who doesn’t want that comparison. I am always interested to see how people classify us as I just think of us as a metal band. I know labels are important but they are also restricting so. Funniest thing I ever heard was Kyle has this sped up Bo-Diddly beat he was doing on a song section from our last release and it was referred to as a new and creative blast beat.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

When we hang we are usually listening to music and everyone gets a turn. We all have very different tastes but many common threads so it is fun to chill and listen to music together. Some guys enjoy beers and whiskey, some enjoy other means of relaxation. I personally just like hanging out away from the regular responsibilities of life. Sam and Kyle are definitely the first to break out an instrument and start playing.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

John Petrucci outside Harlow in Cincinnati. Some friends and I hung out behind the building for an autograph and he was the coolest nicest guy. It was awesome. He showed what a guitar hero should be. Just a nice regular dude with massive playing chops.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I don’t know that I can single out the best part of being a musician. It is who and what I am. I don’t exist without the other. I have stepped away for times to focus on other things but music is how I communicate and cope. I will never stop being a musician. My means may change but I will always do it. My current “dream job” is to own and operate my own small studio.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I am happy to answer anything at this point. We are pretty new in the grand scheme of things so everything is fair game. I would love to have people ask me about sports. I was a bit of a joke and self proclaimed renaissance man so I like to nerd out in the ones I love. Mostly Rugby and the art and importance of forward and the scrum.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

There are plenty. That’s part of the process. Learn, grow and correct when possible. I think some of our early visuals were pretty poor and really focusing on that now is something we are hyper focused on. We are cleaning up our social channels and content to be more on brand. The biggest thing we missed at first was building a brand.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Peace Sells But Who’s Buying that classic line up and the material they were writing. It is amazing stuff. The amount of groove and power it has to this day is so good. That album showed me that music is whatever you make it and that it should make you move. The amount of riffs and movement on the album are undeniable.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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