Dweller at the Well is a brand new post-hardcore/alternative rock band fresh on the scene. Their band consists of Chris Fonseca on vocals/guitar, James Rapacon on guitar, DJ Ramirez on vocals/bass, and Chris Hunter on drums. These guys just released their first record Skeleton Key and with melodic riffs and heavy beats it hits hard. This band is able to stand the test of time with the likes of Thrice, Thursday and Further Seems Forever. I’m excited to see what else they will release in the future. I had the chance to ask the band members from Caldwell, Idaho about what its like being in Dweller at the Well.
TC: How did you guys originally form as a band?
DATW: “Well, we have all known each other as friends and musicians for about 8-10 years now. We weren’t always playing music together, but we were on each others radar for sure. The current lineup that you hear on the record has been together for about 2 years, and we formed after a trip to Seattle. Three of us, Chris, DJ, and myself (also Chris) went to Seattle to see one of our favorite bands, Emery. While were there we wrote an entire albums worth of songs in the hotel room. When we got back to Idaho, where we are all from, we put out the word that we were looking for a second guitarist, and thats when James joined the band.”
TC: What are some of your biggest musical inspirations?
DATW: “We have a pretty eclectic taste in music between the 4 of us, but there are definitely some common favorites. Thrice is a huge influence for everyone in the band, but individually we also like stuff like: Emery, Underoath, Nine Inch Nails, Balance and Composer, Basement, Brand New, and Muse. Like I said, pretty eclectic musical tastes.”
TC: What are some of your favorite bands you have had the chance to see live or play with? Is there anyone you have had the chance to meet that you look up to as a role model?
DATW: “We have been very lucky to come up in the Boise music scene. It’s really diverse and gives us the chance to play with a lot of cool people. We have shared the stage with Hail the Sun, who are just blowing up right now. Head North, out of Buffalo, New York, and in our super early days we played with a band called The Teeth from Pennsylvania I believe. I hope I’m not getting that wrong. So yeah, the Boise scene has allowed us to share the stage with some amazing artists. As far as role models go, I had the chance to meet Aaron Gillespie when he was touring through Boise with his solo work. If you go on our band Instagram, Instagram.com/dwellerband, there is a pic of him playing my drum set. We didn’t actually share the stage with him, but it was still a pretty surreal moment.”
TC: When going into the studio what is your writing process like?
DATW: “Dweller is kind of unique in that everyone in the band is a songwriter. We don’t have a primary writer, every song you here from us has everyones fingerprints on it. So, as far as process goes, we usually start out on acoustic guitars. We will get the skeleton of the songs done, chords, lyrics, and melody. Then, when we head into PreProduction for an actual record, we will break out the full band gear and finish up the songs. Everyone contributes pretty equally on everything, even lyrics. I know that sounds crazy to a lot of people, but we want to make sure that people are hearing us as band, not just one member.”
TC: Since being in a band, what is the most important thing you have learned?
DATW: “Relationships, hands down. If you don’t know how to resolve conflict, and say how you really feel about a situation, your band is going to implode very quickly. Being in a band might be the best crash course in Psychology that I know of haha, especially when you get out on the road together.”
TC: What’s your favorite fast food stop when you are on tour?
DATW: “I think the consensus might be Wendy’s. They have pretty healthy options for cheap(ish). I am honestly kind of a monster when it comes to food, I will eat pretty much anything, but even the pickier guys in the band seem to enjoy Wendy’s (he laughs).”
TC: As a band I’m sure you have seen and heard it all. What is one story that sticks out in particular from playing live shows and being on the road?
DATW: “Well, one of the last shows we booked ended up being a really crazy night. It was actually a local show here in Boise, back in January I believe. As a setup to the story you should know that this winter in Boise has been the harshest on record for like, 100 years. So, on the way to the show our trailer got a flat tire, but we have a spare so we fixed that pretty easily, but then the show got canceled because Boise was declared in a state of emergency by the mayor. Pretty rough night all around.”
TC: What are you listening to right now?
DATW: “Thrice and Balace and Composer both put out killer records in 2016, so I’m still listening to those for sure. Brand New, and Have Mercy both have new singles out that I have been really into as well.”
TC: Outside of Dweller at the Well what else do you enjoy doing?
DATW: “Well I (Chris, the drummer) have a wife and young daughter that take up most of my time away from the band. I also do Music Production for other artists with James (Guitar). Chris Fonseca (Vox/Guitar) is a pretty badass artist. DJ (Vox/Bass) does graphic design, and marketing. All of them also have wives and young children as well, so we keep pretty busy.”
TC: What can we look forward to in the future from Dweller at the Well?
DATW: “We have a Northwest tour coming up in the summer with our friends in Overcast, they are Boise locals as well. We will be announcing more about that in a few weeks. You can also expect new music from us late this year, just keep up with all of our social media pages for info on all of that!”
Follow Dweller at the Well and listen to their album below: