CODY MCCONNELL – DISSONANT SEEPAGE
*photo credit: Acullen Photo
These guys just opened for Oceano and Entheos at a sick, brand-new venue in Horseheads, NY called The L on 8/5/22. However, Dissonant Seepage have been part of the Rochester scene for a few years now, going back to circa 2019. This is a brutal slam band with awesome grooves, and both an INSANE low end and vocal array, courtesy of this man, Cody McConnell. I had never really chatted with Cody before, but I first came to know him when he had a stint as the lead vocalist of Rochester progressive, technical death metal elites, CONTRARIAN. These days, he’s just doing DISSONANT SEEPAGE full-time, so I wanted to finally pick his brain, and also gain some perspective on one of our newer bassist/vocalist frontmen. Let’s get into it.
1. How long have you been with Dissonant Seepage and how did you first come to join the band?
The band started off as a solo project around 2015 while I was still trying to keep Goemagot alive. It was a dorky project that was supposed to be a joke band that I did in my free time. Around 2019, Dan, Alex, and I decided to do a slam project. We thought Dissonant Seepage was a cool name, and since I already had a logo for it, we stuck with it.
2. How did you get your start playing bass and what made you gravitate toward bass over other instruments? Feel free to toss in some tidbits about your vocals as well. I have to give extra credit to those who can sing and play.
I started playing bass when I was around 17 years old, and I was super into nu-metal bands like System of a Down, Slipknot, etc. I really wanted to be in a band, and I chose bass because it seemed like the easiest instrument to learn (laughs). Only 4 strings!
Vocals came at a later time, and I got into it because I didn’t see a lot of vocalists doing what I wanted to see, and I always wanted to try it out. This was after the new wave of American Heavy Metal in the mid-2000s. I did all inhales in my first band. The band was heavily inspired by the Waking the Cadaver 2 song demo and bands like See You Next Tuesday. It was a lot of fun.
I didn’t get into playing bass and doing vocals at the same time until founding Goemagot. I just figured, “It’s hard enough finding band members in this genre, so I can just do vocals and bass at the same time.” So, I just did it and eventually became comfortable with it.
3. Talk about the first bass you ever owned, along with your first amp, even if it was just a little practice amp or something.
I don’t remember what amp I used, but it was definitely a piece of shit. I don’t even remember what it sounded like, but I don’t think I tuned my bass anyway. It was a Yamaha something 4-string. It’s pretty busted, and I still own it with all the sticker residues. Maybe I’ll get it fixed someday.
4. Talk about the gear you love, specific brands, makes, models, etc.
I’m honestly not super knowledgeable about gear & always ask friends for suggestions, but I LOVE my Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal. It made my tone so much brighter, thicker, etc. I like my single cut 6-string Ibanez but will probably get something else soon with fanned frets. Our tuning is pretty low (G#), so I’d like something that handles that a bit better.
5. Discuss the ways your bass setup for live gigs has evolved over the years.
I used to play out of any awful practice amp I could get my hands on (or borrow) and just cranked it up to full blast. I was a poor musician for the longest time and couldn’t afford anything nice ever, and when I did get a nice amp & head, someone stole it at a music festival. I am happy where my setup is today and am I try to stay on top of the latest gadgets to continue sounding thicc to today’s standards.
6. List off every active band (has played at least one live show at an established venue) you’ve ever been a part of in chronological order.
Hoping I don’t forget any!
· Product of Society
· Murder the Witness
· Drive Like Petty
· Black Friday
· Animals Killing People (For a tour)
· Shepherd of Rot
· Contrarian (again)
· Dissonant Seepage
7. Discuss the most memorable local shows of your career. When thinking back, which local gigs stick out the most and why?
· (Product of Society) – My first show in a band ever at place in Elmira, NY called Hopkins Street Youth Center. It was a big crowd & we were on the local news lol.
· (Product of Society) – I played an outdoor music festival, and as soon as we started playing, almost the entire crowd left because we were that bad. I threw up on stage, and one of the few guys in the crowd was ballroom dancing with his girlfriend.
· (Black Friday) – Playing in Dansville, NY at a skate shop (I think?) and 3 fights broke out during our set, almost shutting the show down. The promoter even got into a fight with someone, and I did push ups during one of our songs.
I remember things that were unique and weird, and I honestly couldn’t list all the memories I have because there were so many (some maybe too incriminating to add here!)
8. Discuss your most memorable out-of-town experiences performing with Dissonant Seepage, Contrarian, or really any band you’ve been a part of. What made these road experiences so unique, or noteworthy?
There are too many to even list here. Touring with Goemagot was an experience I’ll never forget, from playing in a basement in a punk house with Cemetery Rapist, breaking down in New Mexico & driving overnight to make our Las Vegas Death Fest gig, to touring Canada… there’s too many fun life-changing experiences to list. We were crammed in a van and drove around 10 hrs on average with almost no sleep.
Touring with Contrarian was so much more professionally put together than what I was used to in the past. Having that comfort made it relaxing and fun, and it was the first time I ever supported established bands on a tour.
I’m really looking forward to getting out there again. Hit me up for some tours!
9. List off, or promote any and all upcoming shows you have in the works that you’re allowed to talk about.
Absolutely nothing! We’re finishing up our record that will be released on Inherited Suffering Records this year, so we’re prioritizing that. Once that’s released, expect to see more from us.
10. Looking back at your career, talk about the drummers you’ve jammed with going back to your very beginnings as a musician. Discuss the drummers that you feel pushed you to enhance your playing, or who just had a great dynamic with you in a band setting.
Dan from Goemagot and Alex from Dissonant Seepage have both been great and allowed me to push myself without needing to hold back any technical aspects or demanding riffs that require lots of blast beats and consistent double kicks. Working with Bryce (Shadow of Intent) in Contrarian was a pleasure not only because he’s an amazing musician, but he’s the nicest dude!
11. Who are your favorite bassists of all-time and why? Again, feel free to discuss your favorite death metal vocalists if you wish, since you’ve been really excelling at singing and playing over the years.
Alex Webster is the reason I am the bass player I am today. He’s just next-level and set the bar for death metal bassists. I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for his style. I’ll never be as good, but I strive to continually improve myself.
My early vocal influence was Chris Barnes, and after seeing the “To Serve Man” music video by Cattle Decapitation, I was like “shit, this is insane.” Travis Ryan and guys like that made me want to get into deep guttural style vocals. I’ve done other styles before, but most know me from my toilet vocals.
Thanks for reading! To purchase a physical copy of this interview in our September ’22 ALL-RHYTHM edition, click here.