Local metalheads will surely know guitarist Zac Hogan—homeboy's been around. As a former member of acts like Casso Vita and Drought, Hogan takes his crushing riffs mentality even further with Dysphotic, a veritable who's-who of local metal talent with an EP already under their collective belt and a new album on the horizon. Dysphotic takes over DIY space The Cave on Tuesday August 7 (7 pm. $10. 1226 Calle Del Commercio) alongside fellow metal acts Pyrrhon and Succumb.
What do you do in Dysphotic?
I'm doing guitar and backing vocals. I write most of the material, but [drummer] Ben Durfee actually writers some guitar parts, but most of the core riffs are from me. Ben did all the lyrics and all their placement, y'know? I've been calling it 'black death.' … We're not a black metal band, we're not a death metal band—we're kind of both. Each song is almost from a different band; I'm kind of pulling from everywhere. But, I'll say there are a lot of people who say we sound like Incantation or early Morbid Angel, which are cool compliments, but it's funny because I never really thought of it that way. A lot of people say we have a doom influence, which is pretty obvious because that's what I played for years, but I dunno. I think 'doom' is a very trendy word nowadays.
How has Dysphotic been evolving over the last three years?
It was purely organic. The EP we did three years ago, Ben and I just kind of shat it out. We said, 'Let's write some stuff, record it, get it out there, and then let's really start writing.' We wanted to demo what we had in mind for this band, and you can kind of hear that. Ben and I have been writing [the new] album since the release of the EP three years ago. Some of those songs on this album are going to be three years old. I'd sit down and come up with a riff on the spot, Ben would write the drums, it was back and forth like that. Constantly. Two months later we had five or six songs and we were like, 'Woah, this is going pretty fast!' Jamming with somebody for 12 years is certainly a perk, but Ben and I have this chemistry where it just clicks. I don't have to sit there and explain what I want from him.
Why do you think pockets of Santa Fe have embraced metal as they have?
I think of it as almost flu-type symptoms, and the symptoms are you wanna go out there and you wanna play, and you want people to be there at your show and you want it to be a good show. I think that a lot of people have that feeling. That's kind of something that is real in the metal scene. And of course, our scene isn't really that big, but there are always shows happening, always people coming out. We want to do something on a fucking Friday night! The closing of The Underground was a huge bummer and it's overbooked The Cave, but … this isn't going to die. We're gonna go on.