Band Interview: Terminal Dogma

Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging life are pleased to bring you an interview with punk rock band, Terminal Dogma.

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1. How did you get started as a band?

Don Jasen Levandier: Krista and I have been friends for years – and fans of each other’s music, too. I had a lot of songs recorded that I was kind of sitting on and I sent one to her – she sent it back with vocals and then we spent 2 years trying to figure out how to make that work in a healthy way – we live 2500 miles away from each other – so we really had to figure out / are still figuring out the logistics – how to write and how to record together.

Krista Acheson: Like he said, it started with him sending me a file transfer of one of his songs that he had slotted for another project; he’d just stripped his vocals off and then he reworked some things to accommodate what I sent back to him…but, yes, we’re still figuring out how to work on things “together”.

2. How would you describe your sound?

DL: I wanted it to be really angular and kinda jarring and punky. I think what it dialed in well was this kind of mid 90s west coast fat records sound with bands like SNUFF and TILT (I know snuff is from the UK) …but that kinda sound. I’m still learning how to record and mix so I think it even kinda came out 90s sounding in that regard. The newer stuff we’re working on sounds very SNUFFY – kinda light and polished west coast punk rock ish – the music sounds like it would fit on DOOKIE. It’s interesting to send these songs across the continent then have them come back to me with full lyrics / melodies written – sometimes I have my own melodies / lyrics recorded too, that Krista has never heard – and we compare what we both came up with independently.

KA: Actually– we were talking about it ,once, that it might be interesting if we released two different versions of the same song– one with how he had initially written the track and one with what I would write to the same composition. I think it might be fun!



3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?

DL: Snuff and their alter ego GUNS N WANKERS – which is absolutely incredible – such great melody writing…. anything I would say where the melody is king… I also love the production on the Billy Talent records so I’m absolutely emulating that…their 2nd record especially.

KA: I’m just writing whatever comes into my head when I hear a composition he’s sent… I’m just keeping it organic and reactive.

4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?

DL: Helped – I’m all for it. Music was never a product until the 50s/60s. It was a service before that… It was a service for thousands of years. The CD industry was its own thing – it’s dead – we’re just learning how to be musicians again. I’m all for it. Plus I get really grinded by people complaining about streaming royalties who never sold records brick and mortar style. Sure half a penny sucks – but when I sold a record at the record store – I’d make 4 bucks off that record.. the label 6, and the record store 10… the record store made 10 dollars where the band made 4 – and had to split that up to a buck each…so we’ve been getting screwed forever…the big streaming services are just the new mousetrap…I find there’s a TON more discovery on Spotify though – I find new music all the time – I never really did that in a record store.

KA: I think it will help us more than hinder…I really like Youtube because there’s no gatekeeping or limited slots when you want to post music or music videos. Streaming platforms enable indie artists to get played or discovered in places that you would have had to tour tirelessly to get to. As Don said– you pretty much get screwed financially, as an artist, no matter which way you come at it. Streaming is great for music discovery–and although it’s easy to hate on the big streaming services, there’s nothing stopping a listener from going to Bandcamp or wherever, after discovering an artist on a streaming platform, and purchasing the track to support them in their music creation.

5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?

DL: ..huge star wars fan…I once had a star wars lego collection that I sold for 10K …at the beginning of covid when all the gigs started cancelling – I had no work for a bit – so the lego had to go…but it was a glorious messsss – so many half finished space-ships…I’m sure there’s a metaphor there for my life.

KA: I’m a visual artist so I usually sculpt or paint when I’m not making music.

6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?

DL: Just get better at making music and recording it – I wish I had really studied that in my 20s. Touring isn’t really healthy right now – I’m confused why bands are doing it…seems like it’s risky and not financially or environmentally sustainable right now….the latter I guess it never was – I have a lot of guilt over those last 2, from looking at my own last 20 years. I think it’s time a lot of bands reflect on that and tour more responsibly.

KA: Yeah, I can’t see touring being a thing for us unless we came into money/ had someone willing to invest in us— or maybe if we saw that there was a huge interest in seeing us live. As a new band, having to come up with a touring budget, on top of all the other costs for releasing music..I don’t know… I think touring would likely be a fool’s errand for us right now.


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!