Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: The Dead Garden

Starting in the summer of 2007, The Dead Garden has quickly climbed the ranks of Fresno metal bands.

Consisting of Dave Askew (guitar/vocals) Shawn Baird (bass) and Shawn VanWyhe (drums), the band already is playing gigs around the state and working on its second CD. We talked to VanWyhe to get some insight on The Dead Garden.

The band is playing at 9 p.m. Saturday at The Babylon, 1064 N. Fulton St., opening for Seattle's Boss Martians. Tickets cost $7.

Describe your sound and what influenced it. The love of good, heavy music. We felt that this is what we could deliver. Songs that are heavy, that groove, and most importantly, in-your-face. We borrowed a lot from our influences like Rob Zombie, Metallica, Disturbed, among many others.

You have been able to make an impact around Fresno pretty quickly; what's been the secret? Playing as many live shows as we could to build a following and getting the name out there, for starters.

What's the best part of your live show? The energy! It might sound somewhat cliché. However, there is no denying that when we get on stage, the crowd seems to feed off of what we have going on. From Dave's blistering guitar work to the rock-solid rhythm section with Shawn on bass and myself on drums, it comes across as pretty powerful stuff.

I heard you're adding a fourth member. How do you expect that to impact the band's sound? It is going to add a whole other dimension that we have not been able to explore yet. We are so excited that we were able to find the perfect fit. Someone who will complement our sound as well as easy to get along with. If you thought it was heavy before ... just wait.

Recently, you put up your whole CD as a free download on MySpace. Why just give it away? Truthfully? All of our CDs were stolen at one of our shows and we thought, hey, why not? At least we can get the music heard that way. If people dig it, they will come check out a show and become part of The Dead Garden experience.

You are already working on another, right? What can you tell us about it? We are in pre-production now and hope to have a finished product by the end of the year, January at the latest. This new CD will showcase our new direction. The new songs are simply powerful. They are in-your-face, and once you hear them, you don't soon forget them.

Everything about you is pretty metal -- from the name to the look to the music. But what's the most un-metal thing about the band?

For music and more: Go to

Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda,