Dirge Within’s Shaun Glass: Six Degrees of Chicago Metal Separation
If you’re a part of the Chicago metal scene, casually or dedicatedly so, chances are Dirge Within guitarist Shaun Glass knows you. “I’ve been on the scene for so long, but I don’t want to sound like the elder dude,” Glass laughed. “I live further from the city now, so I am the ‘known guy’ in Milwaukee now. I hit the Rave, because with no traffic, it’s only 40 minutes from my house. That venue tends to get more shows, even though it’s a secondary market. “
Born and raised in the Windy City, Glass loves his native area with a passion. “F— yeah, I love Chicago,” he beamed to Noisecreep. “The only thing that sucks is the winter. You have to get yourself in the frame of mind that you will be living like you are in Alaska for six to eight months. If you do, you’ll be fine. This summer was so short and so not hot. I am like a lizard. If it was 100 degrees every day, I’d be content.” So why does he stay in the frigid land of his birth? Simple. “Family keeps me here!”
Having toured extensively in his former band Soil, with plans to continue living on the road with Dirge Within, Glass can effectively compare and contrast the Midwest and East Coast metal scenes, as well. “The Midwest scene comes from that hardworking background and ethic,” he theorized. “It’s a little more ‘street’ and more friendly, and the kids are more embracing of the music,” Glass said. “But it’s a healthy competition. No disrespect to the East Coast, but that scene it is more cutthroat. The Midwest may be a little late with trends, but the bands are not jumping on them either, being something they are not.”
As for Dirge Within’s place in the vast metal universe, Glass said, “We’re heavy enough for those who like scene bands like Suicide Silence or those bands with splattered logo T-shirts at Hot Topic — or anyone listens to classics, like Slayer or Metallica. I am not doing a retro thing. When I was writing the music, I was cautious of that. I didn’t want to fall into the Toxic Holocaust sound, even though I love that stuff. I think Municipal Waste is amazing. But I wasn’t trying to go down that road.
“I think rock and metal are getting heavier, and Dirge Within can appeal to a wide audience. Deathcore kids might not like us, but I don’t care. I was saying to someone the other day that I can take old Broken Hope music, rename it, put it on MySpace, call it ‘Goat Without a Head,’ and I’d guarantee it’d have credibility. I did that sound already and have been in that world, and I loved it. But I am really happy to do an aggressive modern metal band.”