From the shadows emerges a heavy metal band that brings back the classic metal style that bands such as Metallica, Pantera and Black Sabbath have made so famously. This band has opened for major groups such as P.O.D., Filter, In This Moment, and as of recently, Soulfly. Introducing, Dolabra.
Originally from Averill Park, NY, Dolabra consists of Dennis “Redman” Caldwell (vocals), Phil Phillips (guitar), Otis Lyons (guitar), Devin Cross (bass), and Ed Zimmerman (drums). This band has released three demos, “Worst In You”, “Death Die Kill”, and “Everything Dies”, all available for download on their website, www.dolabra.net. Upstate Metal’s Kate Drexel had the opportunity to do an interview with Dolabra’s front man, Dennis Caldwell.
UM: Tell me a little bit about the band’s history.
DC: Well, we’ve been together since April or May of 2010; we were in different bands back then, myself and my guitar player met the drummer at Edgefest back in 2008, his band and our band were playing together. When my other band, Reinfecta, broke up, me and the guitar player started another band called Dolabra and we had met Ed at Edgefest, so Ed would play drums and he is in a death metal band called Tyranize and his kit, he’s got a huge, big kit, so he said he couldn’t transport his kit back and forth, so we went and bought a house kit and we just started jamming and we jammed as a three piece for…probably about eight months and then we put an ad out on craigslist and found a bass player and then we added another guitar and we’ve been a five piece for about two years. We’re just taking it slow; we’ve done about 10 shows in the three years.
UM: Who are your biggest influences?
DC: I would say that everybody in the band is a hardcore Metallica fan; they can pretty much play any Metallica song there is. Then you got Cavalera Conspiracy, Black Sabbath, Anthrax, Pantera, Biohazard, MOD, SOD, Suicidal, and a bunch of old stuff. Cavalier is brand new but…
UM: If you had the opportunity to collaborate with another band, who would it be?
DC: Cavalera Conspiracy. For me, Max Cavalera is the king of metal, really, and it was an honor to open up for Soulfly, that was pretty crazy. I would have to say Cavalera Conspiracy or Max Cavalera.
UM: How did you become a part of the Soulfly concert, and the Exodus one?
DC: We were actually supposed to open up for Marc Rizzo, who’s the guitar player for Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy, in December and we had to jump off that show at the last minute and the same promoters, Kal and Mike Valente of Upstate Black N Blue, they were doing that show and they hadn’t mention Soulfly yet and they put us on the Soulfly show and they were great. It was an honor to be an opener for them and we only do five shows a year so we try to pick good shows and with my old band we did shows every other week all over the place and this band, we’re trying to take it slow and concentrate on playing good shows and we get to open up for bands that we grew up listening to, it’s just pretty cool. We’ve only done ten shows in two years and we’ve already opened up for Biohazard, Sworn Enemy on one show, and then Sepultura, Death Angel, Havok and Krisiun at another show. Then Skarhead and Slaine and the other night we got to open up for Soulfly, Incite and Lody Kong, so we can’t complain, we’ve been getting really good shows, so we’re just having fun.
UM: What does your music reflect about you guys?
DC: I don’t know…I guess our music reflects that we’re kick-ass metal musicians and come to the shows and rock out.
UM: When’s your record coming out?
DC: We’re hoping by the end of this year. We actually recorded all the music almost a year ago now and I’ve been hiding from the vocals for a year now and I don’t know why but I didn’t think I was man enough to pull it off but we got in there the Saturday before Soulfly pretty much just because at the Soulfly show we wanted to hand demos out. So I banged off the vocals real quick and the three tunes that we released on the demo and we’re hoping to have everything else done by the end of the year. I’d like to say we’re gonna have it done for June 22nd, we have a big party called DolabraFest, but I don’t think it’s gonna be done by then…sometime before the end of the year, I’m hoping.
UM: You’ll be doing your own festivals?
DC: Yeah, we’re doing that…the festival we’re doing is June 22nd, called DolabraFest, we just get a bunch of kegs of beer and it’s a way that we say thanks to the fans or friends for putting up with our devil music and we have a big keg party and camping and playing a bunch of heavy metal music. We’re pretty much just about having fun, just take the stuff real slow and trying to do things right instead of going out there and putting out a bunch of crappy recordings like we’ve all done a million times.
UM: Any shows in the near future?
DC: Yeah, we are opening up for Exodus, Monday, April 22nd, at Upstate Concert Hall, that’s in Clifton Park, New York, and Brick By Brick’s playing on that, Armor Column…it’s gonna be a really good show. Another honor to be opening up for old bands that we grew up with, too.
UM: What’s your favorite part about playing on stage?
DC: Just getting all of my friends and getting everybody together, we go out and have fun and we use our shows to get everybody out of the house and have a good time. I look forward to the shows, just get up there and have fun and seeing all of the people having fun and then after the shows, we all hang and drink with the people until the bar is almost out, so that’s pretty much what it’s about for us; we like to have fun with the people. And this band…I didn’t think when I started with this band that it was going to be as good as it is so already being part of the team…we just try to have fun.
UM: What does music mean to you?
DC: I guess it means a bunch of different stuff. Music is just a release, got any problems, just throw on a disc and you forget about it and…I don’t know, a bunch of different things really.
Be sure to check out the band’s website and ‘like’ their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Dolabra?fref=ts