INTERVIEW: DESIGN THE VOID (METALCORE FROM KANE, PA)

Whenever the progressive metalcore kings from Kane, PA drop new tunes, I usually write about it. Their new vocalist, Jesse Isadore, has been one of my favorite harsh vocalists in this whole region since I met him in 2016. Combining their sound with ambient, ‘80s-influenced synth, this band is tearing down the proverbial walls of modern metal to give us something fresh covering a much wider spectrum of music. The new single, “Not All Treasure is Silver and Gold” is making waves. The boys have nearly 7,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and climbing. In honor of their latest release, I wanted to interview all the dudes to get their unique perspectives on recording processes for not only their own band, but modern metal in general. Let’s get into it.

1. Talk about the beginnings of Design the Void. How did you guys meet and how did you come to agree on your style?

(Josh) DTV started between Koden and I. I was in college and we were in a band together in high school, and we wanted to try it out again. Through some startup members and a lot of time, we put out our first EP, Visionary. It was a step in a direction we wanted to take. Then we wrote out Ebon Soul, which was a flagship towards our sound as a group. A year goes by, and we add Jesse and Jeff to the group. With their experience and help, we really started to experiment with our sound and start to nail down what we want our of our songs. Now we’re at a point where we write music not so much in the style of the past Design The Void material, but whatever sounds good and feels right. I think we’ve all come together on the same page to see that through, which is why I’m super stoked for our future releases!

(From Jeff’s Perspective) I didn’t end up joining the group until later in time. There was already an EP released, a couple singles, and a full length album. The group was almost a completely different band entirely. Jesse created a post one day saying how he wanted to start a synth-core band. I currently wasn’t in a band at the time, and was really looking for

a reason to write music again. I commented almost immediately. From that point forward, I started writing what is now the “Messages Through Lights” EP (there are tabs coming for that I swear-almost there lol) and this had become the first branding of the new Design the Void sound. I think that there wasn’t really a solid idea in mind of where to go next as half of the original members left the group. Josh was and is the original founding member of the

band. This sort of gave us a fresh start once Jesse and I met Josh.

2. How do you typically approach songwriting for Design the Void? Is it a collaborative process or is everything centered around one person’s ideas?

(Josh) Lately, it’s been a lot more collaborative. Jeff and I will write some instrumentals, and the others will give their input, and Jesse will write out lyrics and vocals to the songs. I find that the more we do this, the better product we get in the end. There’s been plenty of songs where one person will write pretty much everything, and the rest of the group adds their tweaks, but I think the key to our best sound is through collaboration right off the bat.

(Jeff’s perspective) For a while, I was completing most of the writing from Messages Through Lights and on for all of the parts-guitars drums, synth etc. (we have plenty more songs on the way) but as of recently, Josh and I have really started blending our styles together to find middle ground of what we are trying to accomplish. I think that music that he released before I joined, as well as the music I’ve written up to this point, has helped us continue to brand this sort of more unusual sound and approach to synth/metalcore.

3. Describe the writing process for Not All Treasure is Silver and Gold. What’s been inspiring you guys lately and what kind of direction do you hear your music going in?

(Josh) Jeff came up with most of the instrumental ideas for this one. I worked with him to develop the instrumentals a bit more, and then Jesse wrote out all the lyrics. The song was revamped probably 3-4 times in it’s entirety, but once we got everyone involved, it started to take form.

I’m actually listening to a lot of stuff outside of metal lately, specifically:

ABC – Polyphia

The Wonder Years

Dax

The Maine

Just gives me different ideas from different genres to keep things fresh and unique once I pick up a guitar to write!

(Jeff’s Perspective) So I was writing a lot during the peak of covid as I had been laid off. This allowed me a tremendous amount of time to continue to hone in on the sound we had already been developing. While doing this,, I had started to feel that my approach to our style of music had become a little repetitive. I needed something a little heavier that bridged that gap enough between metalcore and that sort of deathcore sound, without the music actually falling into that category. The first time actually wrote this song, it sounded nothing like what you hear now. I’m pretty sure Jesse has an original version of what this song sounded like before I rewrote it. To be honest, when Jesse first approached me and said it wasn’t really there, I thought for sure I would scrap it. He suggested rewriting it, which, needless to say, was more difficult than writing it as you hear the song one way and need to break that cycle. However, over the course of a couple months, we had a new song in order, and it was something we were all able to work with. Writing can be

weird at times; you’ll spend all this time writing something out, just to go back later and change it, rewrite it, or build a new song off of it and completely scrap or expand the original idea. It can take forever, but the payoff is always worth it.

4. What was the recording process for Not All Treasure is Silver and Gold like? When you guys hit the studio, did you have to make any last minute changes to the songs you weren’t expecting?

(Josh) A lot of the instrumentals were written out by Jeff. I remember we all met up for a weekend to track this song, and (as we do) we all had some drinks, had some bro time, and came together to work on the song with a fresh mindset to just make it the best we could.

(Jesse) “Not All Treasure and Gold” was originally called “New Aug Idea” we wrote it clear back in 2020, at one point at had it completely done, scrapped it, and shelved it, we revisited it a year or so later and it kind of just fell together. It’s kind of a testament to how much better we have gotten as a group really. I wrote the chorus first, then the rest of the song just fell together, it seemed like It fit like a glove then me and Josh got together a couple months later changed some cadence stuff around and BAM we had a song. I really liked the end result too. It was so catchy, the breakdown felt like it hit hard. Not too shabby for a song we all hated a couple months prior.

5. (For Jesse) Without thinking and just going with your gut, list off five vocalists you feel influence your style the most.

Mike Hranica(lyrical and writing style)

Phil Bozeman(dude’s the goat)

Saud Achmed(loved his highs early on)

Will Ramos (he is a straight up example of what handling success well looks like. Have whatever opinion you will about Lorna and their new material, but will Ramos is a complete sweetheart

Chester Bennington(early on, Lincoln Park was a big influence for me. It took me till later in life to realize how big. His cadence writing, chorus writing and just general willingness to put the song, project, sound above any egotistical nonsense was a way bigger influence on me than I initially realized)

6. Where can we find your music online? Are there any physical copies available? List off your online presence here:

We can be found on any streaming services under Design The Void including: Spotify, Youtube, Youtube Music, Apple Music, Pandora, iheart, and Deezer. We also have plenty of physical copies left of our “Messages Through Lights” EP, as well as our full length “Ebon Soul” and our “Visionary” EP.

These can all be found through our band camp at this link:

https://designthevoid.bandcamp.com/

7. How did you come up with the name Design the Void?

(Josh) It really stemmed from a frame of mind I had. I was 19, still finding my way and what I wanted to do with everything I learned in my life. To me, this name is all about creating your journey with all the time you have in life – designing and filling that huge void of what you want to do, where you want to go, and who you want to be.

8. Talk about any shows or future recording plans you have lined up that you’re allowed to discuss.

(Josh) We’ve got riffs for days! We’ve got about 2-3 songs fully written, with another 4 in the works. We want to finalize all these tracks before the summer, and get on the road after that!

9. What is the best advice you can think of to give someone looking to join or start a band for the very first time?

(Josh) I would say to manage your expectations, and don’t let people take advantage of you. You love what you do, but don’t let that passion cloud your common sense judgment. There are so many scammers that will gladly take your money knowing that you’ll pay anything to get your band big, but throwing money at something isn’t the answer. Hone your craft, and be smart about where you allocate your resources!

10. Talk about some of your live staples. What are some things you always do at shows to amp up the crowd or enhance your stage presence?

(Josh) I love to just talk and connect with the crowd, as if I were standing down with them myself. It creates a relaxed, friendly environment, instead of having this wall between the performer and the listener. Oh, and a shot or two of Jager doesn’t hurt before the gig.

11. Going with your gut, what’s your favorite DTV song? Why is it your favorite?

Currently unreleased. It’s heavy, catchy, and structurally sound. Can’t wait to show you all!

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