Dizmas fashions together intelligent rock music – and no, that’s not an oxymoron. What this Lancaster, CA band refuses to do, however, is offer up easy answers. These five dedicated musicians, who’ve just released Tension, their second CD, smartly weave strong moral values into their edgy, guitar-tastic musical assault. Just don’t expect to hear any simple, 12-step program-like advice. Dizmas cannot tell you everything’s going to be all right, all the time. If they did, they’d be liars. And sometimes you just need to let the truth sting, like peroxide on an open wound.
The bottom line is that men and women are not defined by the good or bad fortune that comes their way, but by how they proactively apply lessons learned from every conceivable human experience, whether good, bad, happy or sad.
“We just kind of learned as a band, corporately and individually, that we live in a world where a lot of times people describe things as black and white or right and wrong or good vs. evil or whatever. We’ve learned that life is not always about what’s right and what’s wrong, rather what happens to you and how you grow in those in between times,” says vocalist Zach Zegan. “That’s where we got the name Tension."
Dime-a-dozen bands, who spill out their personal diaries over guitar riffs, are insufferable narcissists. But Dizmas’ practical altruism starkly contrasts with such dismissible, self-centered noise. The band sincerely hopes listeners will learn from what they’ve gone through, and then apply this trial-by-error wisdom to their own lives.
“One song is titled “If You Love Someone,” bassist Nick Aranda explains, “where the chorus says: “If you love someone, let them go/And if they come back to you, they’re yours.” We just want to have something people can identify with; something much stronger than even the last record.”
“If You Love Someone” speaks bluntly about respecting another person’s personal freedom. Elsewhere, the group shares a few wise words on how to best handle stress.
“The song “Play It Safe,” talks about the reality of tensions; also our tendencies to just bottle it up inside -- to not address the topic; to avoid it if you can,” Zach Zegan elaborates. “That’s when things worsen.”
Along with its increased lyrical depth, Tension also showcases Dizmas’ obvious musical growth. The band’s previous CD, On a Search in America, was the sound of young men speaking in the hard rock vernacular of their peer group. “This was the kind of music that you played when you were a young teenager – 17, 18, 19 years old,” says Zach of the group’s prior work. But Dizmas are quickly discovering their own unique, more mature voice.
“I’m finding that I can actually work on singing, rather than yelling all the time,” Zach explains. “For us, it was a natural progression.”
Ironically, despite this second release’s anxiety-fueled content, the actual recording of it was relatively stress-free.
“I loved the pace that we did this record at,” recalls Aranda. “We took a little less time than we did on the first record and we were all just in the headspace of ‘Let’s just attack it with full force, every single day that we’re working.’”
Tension is the sound of one band attacking the music, as well as debilitating stress, with full and undeniable force. An unusual honesty and sincere empathy makes Dizmas’ Tension one cleansing breath of fresh air.