Asked what it is he wants audiences to take away from “FISSION”, the forthcoming second album from Dead Poet Society, Jack Underkofler offers eight small but powerful words: “We want to leave them with the truth.”
The affable and engaging 30-year-old delivers these words with the forthrightness that marks his discussions about the band he fronts, completed by Jack Collins (guitar), Will Goodroad (drums) and Dylan Brenner (bass), and the art this collective of college friends have exhaustively dedicated themselves moulding, too often to their own detriment.
It’s an answer that epitomizes the dedication with which the quartet approach their craft, and the search for its purest, most meaningful form. “It’s not as simple as saying we want our music to leave people with a positive outlook,” Underkofler explains. “You want music to speak to wherever you find yourself. We want to leave people feeling that whatever they are experiencing is valid, no matter what place they are at in their lives.”
After a decade defining, redefining and perfecting their art, where Dead Poet Society find themselves on the eve of their sophomore release is much clearer. Make no mistake: Dead Poet Society are a uniquely captivating group, rock’s next great breakout act, with “FISSION” set to capture the hearts and challenge the minds of fans old and new on the journey
Following on the heels of their acclaimed debut full-length “–!–“ (2021), “FISSION” seeks to unpack the personal journey its creators have been on during that ride to date. “FISSION”, as its title hints, is a 13-track study of personal change and the turbulence of growth that, as Underkofler attests, takes “a microscopic and broad look at the events that changed who we are.” To that end, there are deep rakings over the coals of relationship breakdowns, examinations of addiction in all its guises, ruminations on the responsibilities and challenges of adulthood, and struggles with the evolution, loss and continual search for self. “In a lot of ways this album is about unpacking those emotional pains that come with being an adult,” Underkofler says.
To some extent, through “FISSION”’s creation Dead Poet Society have become a different band, too. A more attuned one; more accomplished, certainly. “We were really trying to define our sound more on this record,” Collins nods. “We worked a lot more on guitar tones, bass tones and drum sounds, and paid close attention to melody. The aim was to make our sound bigger – we wanted a more dynamic record, where you could hear the best representation of us live. I feel like the evolution is us maturing a little bit, and wanting to create a sound that was less an obvious reflection of our
influences – Muse, Queens Of The Stone Age, Nothing But Thieves, Royal Blood – and more definitively our own. We don’t control where the inspiration comes from. We just had to obey the songs and what they were telling us to do next.”