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Exclusive Interview with DEAD RISING

By Ryan Javier

Photos by Alexis Benitez and Ryan Javier

DEAD RISING photo by Ryan Javier
DEAD RISING photo by Ryan Javier

DALLAS – The first time I saw Dead Rising was during the ill-fated Metal Alliance tour during June of 2015. Shortly before the tour was to stop at the Gas Monkey Live in Texas, the official announcement came: The remaining dates were scrubbed and Dallas would be the final stop.

Chicken McMurrey of DEAD RISING, photo by Alexis Benitez

Along with the remaining national and global acts on the tour, a local band was added to pad the ticket and to open up the final show. They were, Dead Rising, out of Fort Worth, TX. Dead Rising effortlessly held their own alongside the global acts performing that night and played at a level on par with the heavy-hitting headliner, Deicide. Dead Rising had a commanding stage presence and utterly dominated through their entire set of brutal death metal. After such an impressive performance, I (RJ) just had to talk with these righteous musicians (DR).

RJ: You guys put on an incredible show.  How did you guys decide which songs to perform?

DR: Hell yeah, thanks man. The songs we chose for the GM Live show were off of our latest album “Catastrophic Consequences,” and when we found out our set time was extended due to other bands dropping off, we decided to play a new song that we are [about] to record and release on our new EP that we are currently working on.

RJ: How did you guys get the Metal Alliance gig?

DR: We actually approached Gas Monkey Live directly and due to our reputation they accepted our offer to play. Talk about being stoked haha!!!

PuALL Dundas of DEAD RISING, photo by Ryan Javier
PauL Dundas of DEAD RISING, photo by Ryan Javier

RJ: Dead Rising was formed in 2007. Tell me about your history.

DR: Dead Rising was formed in early July of 2007 by Brian Sanders, Casey McKinley and Chris McMurrey. We were jamming together for a few months after our other projects went south.  After writing riffs and vocals we ended up creating the songs that are now “Hate Within”, “Bloodshed” and “Truth Denied” on the 2008 Reign of Misery album, we actually began playing the local Dallas\Fort Worth scene as a three piece band without a bass player and one night at the Curtain Club in Deep Ellum we ran into Paul Dundas who filled the fourth spot in Dead Rising. A few years after playing shows, releasing an album (Reign of Misery) we encountered Richie Pennington who joined DR, moving into the bass player position while Paul picked back up the guitar that he originally has always played. Years past along with many shows and while writing new material we decided it was time for more than just a change in our music. Making these changes within the band were just the first steps of many needed.

RJ: Five years have past between the release of Reign of Misery in 2008 and you’re LP, Catastrophic Consequences. What was it like getting back into the studio and where did y’all record your current album?

DR: Every recording we’ve done has been a learning experience. I think it has also made each one of us that much stronger as a musician as well. The Catastrophic Consequence album was recorded at Tin Can Records and Black Ram Studios.

Chicken McMurrey of DEAD RISING, photo by Ryan Javier
Chicken McMurrey of DEAD RISING, photo by Ryan Javier

RJ: Tell me about the song “Shackled by Disease”.

Chicken McMurrey: Shackled by Disease is a song I actually wrote about my pops who is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. One night while writing I just decided to put myself in his shoes and tell his story through his eyes. I felt that it was something that needed to be shared, not only for my pops but also for us as a family. I think I feel closest to that song more than others, it really hits home for me.

RJ: Your discography also contains two demo tapes, the “Curtain Club Demo” and the “Final Demo”. What is the difference between the two?

DR: Curtain Club was a very limited release, even more so than 50 that were released for the final demo. We are not necessarily pleased with either of the two, but at the time we were focused on getting something out there that was “LIVE” and for the fans to jam while we were in the studio working on the “Reign of Misery” Album.

RJ: Is there a new album in the works?

DR: Yes, we are currently still in the writing process. Most of the music is done and the lyrics are in the works. We are beyond happy with where it is headed and everyone needs to get ready for this one, it’s a big change but it still has that Dead Rising vibe that everyone loves.

Richie Pennington of DEAD RISING, photo by Alexis Benetiz
Richie Pennington of DEAD RISING, photo by Alexis Benitez

RJ: What’s been one of your most memorable gigs so far?

DR: Corpus Christi at KC’s Place. We will never forget that we literally rode in the back of a truck the whole way there, pulled up to the venue, unloaded straight to the stage and played our set. The next day we wanted to hit the beach and chill before our next show and Paul decided to wear a hoodie on the damn beach, with the hood on lmfao. He ended up getting the worst sunburn (out of us all) on his face that we have EVER SEEN. We will have to find all the photos and post them up for you to see.

RJ: What is your favorite song to perform live?

DR:  Brian – Shackled by Disease would be my choice, it is the most fun to play and has the changes that keep the song exciting and challenging.

Paul – Mine is Killing Machine! I like how massive it always sounds live and I’ve always been a fan of how it’s structured and the overall flow makes it a fun song to play.

Chicken – YES!!! Unleash the Gods of War, 100%!!! It was (while recording) and still is the most vocally challenging and structured song for me. It’s a constant reminder of why I do what I do and while I’m on stage I can literally feel the crowd’s energy and see their participation, which in turn gets me fucking pumped. I love to see the fans screaming the lyrics with this song more than others. Pokémon, bitches.

Richie – I’m digging our newest song actually. It shows our progression and where we are going musically. Everyone is stepping their game up and it is exciting to see that happen in a live setting where no one has heard it prior.

RJ: For someone that has never seen Dead Rising live, describe you show, what one can expect, and why someone should attend.

DR: It’s like getting a hand job from a snake, you don’t know what’s going to happen (all laughing).  They should expect explosive nonstop energy and a punctual punch that is similar to a brown note. You’ll shit your pants and love it. Seriously though, we fucking bring it, and we bring it every time. You can see all of our passion from the beginning to the end, and we play the same explosive show whether it’s in front of ten people or in front of ten thousand.

Machine Gun Taylor of DEAD RISING, photo by Ryan Javier
Machine Gun Taylor of DEAD RISING, photo by Ryan Javier

RJ: Besides at a show, how can fans buy Dead Rising merch?

DR: Contact any of us. You can also purchase via PayPal. Oh and best yet, we deliver by carrier pigeon.


RJ: Are there any charities or organizations that you guys would like to plug?

DR: Ft. Worth Rockers for MS, Suicide Awareness and Albino Snakes of Southern New Hampshire Chapter 458.

RJ: Does Dead Rising have a message for the fans?

DR: Skittle tits and much orgasms through a donkey punch. FUCK YOU BOB SAGET #4444. Y’all know what we mean!!! — Dead Rising

Dead Rising is Chris “Chicken” McMurrey on vocals, Richie Pennington on Bass and backup vocals, Paul Dundas on guitar and percussionist Brian Sanders.

DEAD RISING photo by Ryan Javier
DEAD RISING photo by Ryan Javier

*UPDATE: I caught up with Dead Rising in September as they were opening for another national tour, the Devastation of the Nation Tour. Be sure to keep an eye out for new music. The band stated that they would be dropping a new single, followed by 6-song EP in early 2016.

For info on upcoming shows and more, connect with Dead Rising on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Make sure to visit their YouTube channel for concert videos and check out their wicked tracks on ReverbNation and on Soundcloud.







Ryan Javier
Co-Editor and photojournalist for Infrared Magazine
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