meet the band
Drae the dead
Drae the Dead was 8 when he felt he could learn how to play music. As a kid, he would hear sounds and rhythms in catchy songs and he became interested in picking up an instrument. His first instrument was an accordion which he thought sounded spooky. Then in a music class in middle school he discovered the organ learned to play Pachabel’s Cannon in D by ear. Over the years he kept trying to learn to write music in staff form, but could never get it, and for a time, he gave up playing music altogether, but the desire to be a musician always stuck with him. During high school he became fascinated with the rock and roll persona, but coming from a Christian upbringing he had little exposure to secular music. When he joined the service he was able to listen to his own music and fell in love with Rock after listening to Pearl Jam’s Ten. His early influences are Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pantera, White Zombie, Ministry, NIN, and Type O Negative, whose influence has become an integral part of Drae’s style. During his time in the Navy, he met several musicians who introduced him to playing guitar and drums, but it wasn’t until after he got out of the service that he began playing in bands. When one of the bands he was playing drums in lost their singer he learned how to sing and play drums at the same time. He has been in several well known bands, Mongrel, HUMANWINE, Potsy, Neat Red Sea, Hunter, and Graveyard Shift. He has also been a guest drummer for T.S. Moth, The Negans, and Driven Sane. Drae enjoys helping other musicians thrive and make music, though Dead Harrison is his primary labor of love. Drae’s drumming style is energetic and tribal, heavy, driving, and dynamic. As a lead singer he enjoys interacting and making a connection with the crowd and values showmanship and performance,and being able to shift the energy level in the room. He writes lyrics based on the poetry he has written and dreams he has had over the years.
Shawn the dead
Shawn the Dead started his journey into becoming a musician at a young age of 10 years old. The first instrument he learned was trumpet and he played frequently at school, church, and with other classical musicians in his teens. This is where he learned how to not only read music but also transpose key signatures in order to play with other instruments that were tuned differently and shared the same sheet music. He later went on to learn classical piano in his middle and high school years. After graduating high school, he picked up the guitar and began learning how to play through informal training from other skilled guitarists and that has been his instrument of choice since. This equates to about 25 years of playing music of some kind. Shawn the Dead wanted to expand beyond the sacred and classical realm and explore the rock and heavy metal genres. He always found the electric guitar to be the sexiest of the instruments in that genre’s repertoire of instruments and still feels that way to this day. He considers himself to be a continuously learning student of the instrument and strives to find ways to improve his playing ability and tone. Acoustic guitar also became part of the experience as it takes even greater skill to play acoustically and there are so many more options to be able to play when electric guitar is not an option. The biggest influencers of Shawn the Dead range from classic rock bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd to rock and metal bands of the 80’s and 90’s like Metallica, Pantera, Type O Negative, and Tool. In the last few years, he has grown a substantial liking to stoner metal bands like Kyuss, Sleep, and The Sword as well as prog metal bands like Opeth, Dream Theater and Anathema. Shawn the Dead’s present sound is a combination of hard rock, heavy metal, doom/stoner, prog, and psychedelic all intertwined. This works especially well in Dead Harrison where each member brings a slightly different background to their playing which results in an almost genre-defying style that continues to attract new fans. Music is a huge part of Shawn the Dead’s DNA. Having grown up in a household that always had some sort of music playing, he grew a passion for listening and singing along at a very young age. Being able to be part of a group of like minded musicians is one of the most rewarding ways that he can embrace this passion for music. Shawn the Dead joined Dead Harrison before it was called Dead Harrison! Having looked up to his older brother Drae in his many musical endeavors, he was enthralled to join his brother on the original project Graveyard Shift around 12 years ago after the previous members had disbanded. This was initially started with Jason Skulls under the name Mortuus Ortus. After some deliberation and brain-storming, the name Dead Harrison was born and the same 3 piece continued their legacy to this day.
Jason Skulls first began playing music at age 11 when he picked up the trumpet. After only a couple of years, the trumpet no longer interested him, but he did want to continue playing music. At 14 Jason got his first guitar and immediately began taking lessons. Jason first picked up the bass just a couple of years later at age 16 when his uncle gave him one. Jason’s interest and knowledge of the bass grew when he got to play it for the senior class play, Grease, while he was still a Junior. After graduating High School, Jason’s love for music continued. He decided to go to college for music, studying at Five Towns College of Music on Long Island NY. It was there that he delved into a whole new world of music theory and not only playing his
main instrument, guitar, he also learned piano, singing, and audio engineering. Jason really got involved playing bass as his main instrument many years later when he found himself living back in NH and looking for a music project/band to get into. It was there he found it working with local musician and teacher Rahel Limor. He and Rahel formed a duo Known as Rootes, which was a blend of traditional Jewish spiritual music, folk, classic rock, and jazz standards. A fan of Heavy Metal, it wasn’t long before he set out to find a band that would better fit his own personal interests. Jason then joined a second band called Set in Stone. Although that band failed to take off, he felt much more confident with his bass playing skills because of it and was now ready for the next phase of his musical endeavors. It was then that he joined forces with Andre and Shawn in what was to become Dead Harrison. Jason draws most of his musical inspiration from 1980’s Heavy Metal and Thrash. Bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Testament to name a few. Of course like any musician, his influences span far beyond just one genre. Jason is just about one of the biggest Pink Floyd fans out there. He actually prefers more of their psychedelic 60’s music to that of their more mainstream hits of the late 70’s. He also draws much influence from Rush and Primus. These days, Jason finds himself listening to a lot more female-fronted occult proto-metal and stoner metal but still loves to put on an old school thrash album and jam out like he’s 16 again. Through his influences, attitude, and ability, Jason brings his unique style to every Dead Harrison song. His playing is simple yet deliberate, finding nice fat grooves to sandwich between the drums and guitar to let them shine. Not only does he bring many brilliant riffs and song ideas, Jason is one of the band’s more prominent lyricists penning songs like “The Darkness,” “End Of The Bloodline,” “139,” “The Struggle,” and “Shadow Prism” to name a few. What drives Jason is the need to create and the fantasies of rock stardom. Jason’s goal in the writing process is to connect with the audience in a way that many of his major influences connected with him through songs that are not just fun to listen to, but also have lyrical substance that is meaningful beyond words. It’s not only the writing process Jason loves. He finds it very rewarding to play live. One can see from his movements and expressions that Jason enjoys what he’s doing when he’s on stage.
Axile has always been a part of music from an early age. Everything from a kid to endlessly listening to classic albums on repeat. Axile has been playing drums for about 15 years, 6-7 years of that spent performing live, recording, and making material. His connection to drums is that of which is therapy and life. It has carried him throughout his life, good and bad. Axile's music influences are Maynard James Keenan because his lyrical and vocal prowess, Corey Taylor because of his unique style between clean and scream vocals, and Phil Anselmo for his raw talent and emotion.
Axile's Drum influences are Keith Moon for his wild persona and unique ability behind the kit. Matt Cameron for his flawless patterns and timing, as well as style. and Brad Wilks because of his powerful yet stylish grooves. Axile's style is a combo between classic rock, jazz, and punk. He delivers a punch when a song calls for it but knows how to groove and chill to accent other melodies. His fuel for passion for music and drums in general is therapy and learning to be a better musician than he was the day before. Learning is an endless river. Sail forever. Axile is a newer member of Dead Harrison, and so far he has shown great progress in learning and performing. and has shown that he is an integral part of the evolution of the sound of Dead Harrison.