Behind The Music
Dead Man Switch
You have heard of the Bermuda Triangle; a mystical part of the ocean that has a deep history of making ships disappear. Then there is the Apollo Triangle. It is a two square mile area in rural Pennsylvania where three aspiring musicians grew up. Their fame will soon become just as mystical; introducing RJ “AKA” Glok Holiday (vocals), Johnny Ringo (guitar), and Kyle “AKA” Wyatt Erbb (vocals). If you tried to explain their style to someone, perhaps Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, or even Rage Against the Machine might be the closest comparisons. With all due respect, they would sound like those bands if they could, but they do not. They only sound like themselves, and that is the beauty of it. Dead Man Switch (DMS) and their new sound transformed music. They wanted it to and needed it to. There are things in the narrative of this realm that still remain hidden in plain sight. How better to shed a new light on these agendas then with a futuristic yet contemporary sound?
How it all happened goes something like this. Remember grunge? Like real grunge… like real Alternative from the 90’s? If you do, then you also know that no other bands since then have actually came out and recaptured that sound. At least not the way some of us wish they would have. There has been no one capable of recreating Nirvana, Bush, or Silverchair.
That is where Ringo’s first love of music originated; sitting around a camp fire at age nine, where he was introduced to Nirvana. Since then he went back in time and found the equals to the 90’s in Led Zeppelin, Jimmie Hendrix, and Cream.
Meanwhile, Glok was around the music industry at an even younger age. His family owned Holiday House in Monroeville, PA. The Holiday House opened in the mid 1950’s and had only the most influential artists for the 33-year timeline of its existence. Glok was only three years old when it closed and remembers taking his Power Wheels on stage during sound checks, much to the chagrin of the local singer Al Martino. The Three Stooges, like Dennis Miller, were still trying to make a name for themselves when they first took the stage at Holiday House. Sammy Davis Jr., BB King, The Temptations, and Kenny Rogers are among the headliner acts that played there. Glok grew up listening to a little bit of everything, but mostly he listened to Rap. Tupac and Biggie were always in his Walkman. He and Ringo met in 1995 and both were avid baseball players. Glok had a batting cage in his backyard, and Ringo had a baseball field in his. After being put on the same All-Star Team, they hung out after their first practice and have been close friends ever since.
When they were 26, Glok was living in Southern Cali. It was then he and Ringo decided it wasn’t too late to start following their dreams of making music. They would Email each other ideas or play things over the phone that they were excited about. Glok moved back a year later and they started recording with their friend Justin “AKA” Chief Zen Nexus. That lasted a year and sadly fell through. Glok then spent 3 years in South Carolina and moved back when Ringo asked him to give music another try. It was at this time that Glok decided to officially build Holiday House Studios; complete with the phone booth from Holiday House as their vocal booth.
Then there was Kyle “AKA” Wyatt Erbb; he completes the Apollo Triangle. While younger than Ringo and Glok, Kyle is largely essential to DMS and their new sound. He grew up in skate parks immersed in all the necessary underground and pop music of the millennial generation. He is known for being good at everything. In music he is not just good, he is incredible. Wyatt went to Full Sail University in Florida where he got his Recording Engineering degree. Then after a year in LA, he moved back home and now is the Lead Engineer at ID Labs in Pittsburgh, Pa and Holiday House Studios. ID Labs is where Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa first got their start. Wyatt’s youth and expertise has been integral in keeping Ringo and Glok’s vision up to date and relevant in today’s music culture.
Through a mutual friend, the band met Cody “AKA” La Coda Keys (Keys). A meeting was set up with Ringo, Glok, and Wyatt and Cody’s keyboard skills and help within the band set great value. As they would say the rest is history.
Over time the band lineup has been refined. Ed Vendetta, is a vocalist that can be heard on the band’s first 3 albums. Matt “Steel Dragon” Cable, the drummer for DMS, has epic energy and mastery of the instrument. He has helped greatly in the studio and gives the band a live show presence that is not to be taken lightly.
The 4 albums DMS released are part of a five-album concept representing the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The band has been in their studio for over three years. It is all part of a grand scheme of a world take over starting with grassroot guerilla warfare tactics. They have recorded relentlessly but are about to leave the safety of their barracks. You can download their albums on all the main streaming services and play their music on AMI jukeboxes around the world. Look for them in a city near you in the coming years. They are coming right at you! They are not stopping even once they reach the top! Doubt them as much as you want, they like that!
2020, the year of the pandemic, was still a busy year for HHS and DMS. The studio proudly released its first non DMS album for Pittsburgh’s female Pop sensation Mia Z (The Voice finalist 2016). Her much anticipated album, Evidence, displays Mia’s unmatched vocal abilities along with HHS modern music writing prowess. Released by design on July 4th, each song helps tell her story of liberation of her musical dream and new found independence in the industry.
On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2020 DMS is poised to release their 5th album, Dr. Labuz. In homage to Abbey Road, DMS took a page out of the Beatles playbook and named their album after the road where their studio resides. As always, the band is very excited about the upcoming release. The album that is Labuz, has a feel to it that not only is meant to invoke inspiration during these trying times, but to also let DMS fans know that you’ll find us performing in clubs soon. Plans are in the making for live shows and there are no signs of slowing down in 2021 for the artists at HHS.
There are no political agendas too big for the movement that the Apollo Triangle started many years ago. We ask everyone to be safe and schedule an appointment with Dr. Labuz this Winter if you show any symptoms of being sick of the music on the radio.
Written by Johnny "Ringo" Doyle
Edited by Eileen Marie