Interview by Kylie Cobb
Undoubtedly one of Australia’s hardest working rock bands, Dead Letter Circus is dominating the alt rock scene with two #2 Aria charting records, Gold selling plaques under their belts and tour after tour of sold-out national shows. However, this band are not ones to rest on their musical laurels. DLC are constantly looking for ways to innovate and push their own, as well as the industry’s boundaries. Inspired by Tool’s reinvention of hit song ‘Pushit’, DLC’s lead singer, Kim Benzie had no qualms about rewriting Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name’ for Triple J’s Like A Version. Met with controversy and internet ‘trolling’, Kim stuck to his guns explaining there is a deeper message in the lyrics that deserved more than a “beer-garden” delivery.
Their ballsy Like A Version was merely a prelude. If you, like me, cynically suspected the recent ‘reimagined’ album and tour was going to be a camp-fire version of Dead Letter’s latest album, ‘Catalyst Fire’ to squeeze every last drop of musical goodness from the album…then you are forgiven but must stand corrected! Deep in the tropical recess of Fortitude Valley’s fresh coffee grinders, The Fifth Artillery, Kim assured me that what began as a bit of fun and something different to do between album cycles, soon turned into “the biggest head f*ck of all time.” As soon as they rewrote the first song, they felt they owed it to explore the ‘Sliding Doors’ for all of them. The result? Dead Letter Circus like their fans had never imagined. Acoustic, instrumental, melodic, sitting down to perform?! Each song was completely and wholly reimagined into what it could have been with different instruments, tempos and melodies.