Dungeon of Skeletons – Patterns (Q&A)

‘I get into a funk when I’m not creating.’, says Nashville-based singer-songwriter Justin Kline; that’s probably one of the reasons why he started a new band with his kids during the pandemic. That band is Dungeon of Skeletons and Patterns; the grand debut is chock full of great, sharp, crispy, catchy Power Pop songs.

How did this record come together?

It almost came together by accident. Most of our listeners aren’t aware, but our band consists of me and my children, ages 16-22. When they were younger, I used to teach them how to play simple melodies on piano, guitar, etc. We were able to get everyone playing together at the same time and started messing around with ideas. Our first song, “Valencia” was written pretty fast. We kept it super simple, but catchy and fun. When the pieces started coming together, I remember thinking “This is actually pretty good!” My mind goes a million miles per hour so I immediately started planning an album. We worked on more songs during the beginning of the pandemic when everything was shut down, and the rest is history.

The meaning of success has changed over the years. What would success look like for the new record?

Yea, success is subjective, I guess. When we finished the record and listened to it as a whole, we all felt a sense of accomplishment. Some laughter, some tears… all the good stuff. To me, that is success. We’ve been getting good feedback from our listeners, which means a lot to us. To me, the best feeling of accomplishment is knowing that we set out to make the record we wanted to make and we achieved it. But getting millions of dollars from a record label wouldn’t be too shabby either.

How great is the urge to stay creative?  To keep writing songs and lyrics?

As humans, I think we have to keep moving. I get into a funk when I’m not creating. Even when it’s not music, I have to keep my hands and brain busy with either projects in the garage or even cooking. Keeping myself in a constant place of creativity is a must or I start losing my mind.

You can pick 3 co-writers to write new songs with. Who? … and Why?

Hmm, maybe Mike Viola, John Davis, and Andy Sturmer. I would say Brian Wilson or Paul McCartney, but we would geek out too hard and get nothing done. Mike Viola writes some of the best lyrics and melodies ever. He’s a huge inspiration for us. I would say John Davis and Andy Sturmer for the same thing. All of them are melody masters.

Cassettes are back. Which 5 five songs would make your first mixtape?

Oh man, this is good. I asked the other bandmates to throw out some ideas too:

Beatles “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”

Mike Viola “Strawberry Blonde”

Superdrag “Baby’s Waiting”

Weezer “Jamie”

Beach Boys “Wonderful”

You can’t control the way people ‘hear’ your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects, you think, set your songs apart. What would they be?

I think our male and female vocals are pretty unique. I know it’s been done before, but it’s a little less common than most bands, I would say. One of my favorite things about The Beach Boys would be their sibling vocal harmonies. Since their vocal tones and characteristics are similar, the vocals are that much sweeter to my ears. Since we’re all family, I think our vocals blend pretty well too… but Beach Boys take the cake with that one, am I right?!

What compliment you once received will you never forget?

I’ve been told a couple of times in the past that music I’ve been involved with kept people moving forward and/or from giving up, which feels indescribable.

Those magical moments when you’re working in the studio.  Which moment was the most magical?

I loved working on the bridge for “Turn the Key” on this record. We don’t try to pull off a certain sound. We’re just trying to make the music we want to hear. During the bridge, it repeats the lyric “Don’t go back the way you came, Don’t go back the way you came from…” and then another vocal part comes in at the same time underneath. When we were tracking the vocals for this, we kinda looked at each other like… HECK YES.

The record is done, the music is out. Is the best fun done now or is it just beginning?

We had lots of fun making the album. We’re already talking about album #2, but ya know… life happens so it’ll probably be a while before we can get the ball rolling with it. We’ve been talking about what the track list might look like. We’re even brainstorming a 3rd album already. But for now, we just want to get Patterns out to as many people as we can. We’re so thankful for the passionate music lovers that’ve been spreading the word. It seems like it’s been pretty organic, so we’re very excited to see how far the music will spread.

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