Dead Yet? and very much alive

Announcing a split vinyl from two of Savannah's heaviest bands

We all talk a lot about Savannah’s music community, which is a tightly knit as they come. Everybody helps everyone else. The genre–splitting collaborations get the most attention, of course — ever seen the Train Wrecks doing hip hop night at the Jinx with Basik Lee and Dope Sandwich? Happens all the time.

Among metal, punk and hardcore players, there is a particularly viscous stream of shared blood. Guitarists, bass players and drummers routinely shift from one band to another, and in times of crucial need — say, one band’s lead player can’t make a gig — inevitably someone from another group will step up and sit in.

This week sees the release of a seven–inch slab of vinyl split between two bands from Savannah’s fraternal hardcore community. Black Tusk, of course, has been touring the world behind the acclaimed Relapse Records album Set the Dial.
They’ve got two new songs on the record; the other two are by Dead Yet?, a shorter–lived Savannah band with no less passion for the power of the angry musical throb.

“Those guys are three of our best friends,” says Dead Yet? bassist Ben Maher of Black Tusk. “We thought it’d be a fun idea to cover each other’s songs. It’s all Savannah, it’s Savannah bands, it’s a Savannah label, and even the guy who did the artwork lived in Savannah for over 10 years.”

The artist, Jeremy “Hush” Clark, is known for his cover art for Kylesa (also based here in Savannah), Desolation, and the punk ‘zine Slug and Lettuce. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Black Tusk contributes a new original, “Iron Giants” (you can hear it on the Connect Playlist, released last week on our website), and covers “Fearing Your Mind,” a Dead Yet? song.

Dead Yet? does Black Tusk’s “Face Driver,” and a new one of their own, “Blood and Oil.”

Maher and vocalist Kyle Hagemes are Savannahians; drummer Mike Disanza and guitarist Chris Adams, aka Scary, have been part of the punk/metal scene for a few years. In 2010, they released Dissent the End.

“Scary and Mike and I all played in a Minor Threat cover band,  and we started writing our own music,” Maher says. “Kyle had just moved back here, so we asked him if he was interested. And he was! That’s kind of how we started off.”

There’s a record release show, featuring both bands and the Atlanta stoner sludge band Halmos, Sept. 22 at the Jinx.

For Dead Yet?, it’s another step in the desired direction. “It’s definitely getting better and better the more we play out,” Maher reports. “We’ve got new faces showing up, and new people coming up to us afterwards. So we’re very appreciative of all that. New fans are always appreciated.

“That’s really what we want to do is play music, and hopefully somebody out there appreciates it, and gets it, and it motivates them to do something.”

“We wanted to include them on a record so that people outside of the southeast would get to discover Dead Yet? and enjoy it for themselves,” says Black Tusk’s Andrew Fidler. “We decided to keep it all local at that point. Savannah is a thriving art and music community, so let’s put something out that is Savannah-bred.”

Like so many others, music, and music–making, elevates these guys from the day–to–day.

“We all have day jobs; this is a really fun thing to do on the side,” says Maher. “And we take it fairly seriously, and try to play out as much as possible. But, you know, it’s a workingman kind of band.

“Everybody seems to have dug Dissent the End, so we’re gonna keep going until I guess people don’t like us any more. Or it’s not fun.”

Black Tusk and Dead Yet?

With: Halmos

Where: The Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.

When: At 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22




Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.
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