The Dystopian Project Interview

The Dystopian Project are an Irish band based in Dublin, formed in Summer 2013.

Drawing from a wide and eclectic range of musical influence’s and backgrounds, The Dystopian Project create music to entertain and evoke emotion with energy driven riffs, surrounded by beautiful and haunting soundscapes infused with complex intertwining vocal harmonies.

Genre: Rock\Progressive Rock

Darrin Bell - Drums
Antonia Close - Vocals
Bruno Di Micco - Keys
Phil Dolan - Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Hytham Martin - Vocals/Rhythm & Lead Guitars
Ivan O'Sullivan - Vocals/Bass

The Dystopian Project Interview w/ Ivan O'Sullivan
Guitarz Forever - Hi Ivan, Hey man.... Thank you so much for taking the time out to do an interview w/ me and my Guitarz site. Give our readers a short but descriptive label for your style of music.
Ivan - Hi Scott, no problem...happy to :)
The Dystopian Project is as a progressive rock band. We have metal, acoustic and rock elements too. But we class ourselves as Prog Rock as its a genre we feel we fit most into .

Guitarz Forever - What's going on in your music world these days? Any New news we should know about?
Ivan - Well we have just finished writing the follow up to our debut EP “Death Leaves an Echo” and are starting to record it as we speak.
Guitarz Forever - Introduce yourself and where is your stomp'n ground...
Ivan - My full name is Ivan O’Sullivan, Bassist and vocalist with The Dystopian Project. Born and bred in Dublin, Ireland. I have lived here all my life.
Guitarz Forever  - Are there a lot of places to play your style of music in and around your area? If so, could you name some venues?
Ivan - For a fairly small sized city, Dublin has a good few rock venues. Fibber Magees, The Pint and The Gypse Rose would be good venues for the harder side of rock. The Button Factory would be for bigger touring acts, and Whelan's to a lesser extant.
Guitarz Forever - What is the name of your latest album and tell us how that album came about.
Ivan - Our debut EP is called “Death Leaves an Echo” and is currently on release for digital download only via iTunes, Bandcamp and other digital retailers. We had written 6 songs for the EP, and 5 of them seemed to have the same tone thematically so we used those for the release. The 6th song is actually called “Death Leaves an Echo” but we felt it did not fit with these collection of songs, so we saved it for another release. It’s name seemed to fit the ideas and feelings of the EP.

Guitarz Forever - How do you come up with the songs, is it one song writer or more of a collaboration with other musicians?
Ivan - We definitely work as team when it comes to songwriting. For a group of 6 people, its actually a lot smoother than you would expect. More often than not someone will bring in an idea, a riff or maybe a vocal over a verse, and we then take it and build on it. Adding, taking away...shaping it, with each of us contributing and working together to make it as good as we can. To be enjoyable for us, and hopefully others too.
Guitarz Forever - How often when you start an idea for a song does it actually get finished?
Ivan - We are actually pretty strict in that regard. We are never short of ideas for songs so we need to make sure we explore each one in turn for the possibilities it can hold. That's not to say we just cram every idea into every song. We are strict editors, but we believe in letting the song dictate how long it should be. If it ever feels forced or just sewn together with no cohesion then its reworked and rethought.
Guitarz Forever - Why did you pick the Bass Guitar as your instrument of choice?
Ivan - Growing up, everywhere you turned there were guitar players. No one was really playing the Bass in my area, so I started to just be different and stand out. As a result I got to jam with good few bands when I was young which is always good for your chops.

Guitarz Forever - Are you a schooled guitar player or a self-taught guitar player?
Ivan - I am self taught player. Just picked it up and hammered it out. Still doing that today!
Guitarz Forever - So, what type of bass guitars do you play and why?
Ivan - I have always favored a punchy tone, something that cuts through but still holds the low end. So the basses I have played over the years reflect that. Yamaha BB, Music Man Bongo and Fender Jazz have been my weapons of choice.
Guitarz Forever - What type of amps do you use? Do you use different amps for the studio vs live shows. If so, why?
Ivan - I like a bright, punchy modern sounding tone. So I have always used solid state bass heads over tube. I use the same rig live as I do recording. I like to be able to reproduce live what I record.
Guitarz Forever - Do you have any endorsement with instrument and gear companies?
Ivan - I am currently and very proudly endorsed by Hartke Bass Amps, and Taurus effect pedals. The tone and power I get out of my Hartke Kilo Bass Amp and HyDrive enclosures has come to define my sound, and I will never use anything else. The punch and clarity that cuts me right into the mix, also gives massive low end to help keep up the two guitar assault that we have in TDP. I use a very simple pedal set up, I was never one for a huge array of effects. For this, I use Taurus Bass effects. I run two Abigar distortion pedals, one for light grit to help cut into the mix, and one for full on distortion. I also use a Vechoor chorus pedal for the acoustic sections in our songs. All of these I run with their killer Tux compressor, never leave home without it!

Guitarz Forever - How did you first get into the music business?
Ivan - I have been playing in bands since I was 15, and I would say I am still trying to break in!
Guitarz Forever - Where do you see the music business today?
Ivan - Like all things, the music business is changing. If its for better or worse, only time will tell. To work in it we have to rethink how to get out music out there, how to get people to know about you. The tools are there, more so than ever before. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

Guitarz Forever - Do you do social networking? If so, what are your facebook and twitter web addresses?
Ivan - We sure do, below are the links to get us on
Main Site:

Guitarz Forever - Who have been your main influences on your career to date?
Ivan - I would not say I have too many direct influences on my career as a musician. There are people that I would like to emulate and follow how they did it, but do it on my own terms.
Guitarz Forever - How has your guitar playing evolved over the years?
Ivan - Its a funny thing how you see yourself. You never see how far you have come, only how far you have left to go. When I was 14 and starting out, if I saw me now I would think I was amazing. But me as I am now I see what I can't do, and all I want to learn. The longer I have been playing I suppose I no longer feel the need to prove myself. To not fill every bar with solo’s and runs. To be confident in letting the strings do the work, to tell the story without my constant interference.
Guitarz Forever - What’s the best thing about playing your own music in front of a live audience?
Ivan - For me its a sense of achievement. That an idea that was once floating around in my head is being listened to and hopefully liked by strangers. When you hear the crowd cheer and applaud your songs you get the feeling you have done something right.
Guitarz Forever - Who are you listening to these days?
Ivan - Metallica are a constant staple. Next up would be the Dave Matthews Band. Steve Wilson is currently on repeat on my iPod along with Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd.

Guitarz Forever - By the way, who would you say were your biggest influences when it comes to playing guitar as a kid and now today?
Ivan - I have never really styled myself off any one player. I like parts of a lot guys tones and styles, but I kinda pushed on with doing it my way. If I had to say, it would have to be my big brother. He was a Bass player and I grew up watching him. My love of punch, clarity and in your face bass tones comes from him.
Guitarz Forever - Please give us three top musical goals you would like to achieve this year.
Ivan -  1: To have our EP sell really well.
                 2: Play a huge festival
                     3: Support a massive headliner band
Guitarz Forever - Is there anything else you’d like to achieve in your life personally and or as a musician?
Ivan - I’d like to get better and progress as a player and a songwriter. To get better at my chosen craft.
Guitarz Forever - I also don't want to forget this... Tell us about any other things you may be in involved in or any special interest besides music that is close to your heart.
Ivan - As much as I love playing Bass and being in TDP, I love my 6 year old daughter even more. She is my whole world and being in her life and guiding her in this world is greatest thing I could ever hope for.
Guitarz Forever - I would like to thank you for your time and candor with our loyal readers and keep on fighting the good fight to bring us some awesome music.
Ivan - It was my genuine pleasure.