We typically associate Seattle with technology juggernauts like Microsoft, coffee mavens such as Starbucks, and of course, the town’s rich musical history comprising the legacies of everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Alice In Chains and Nirvana. Uncompromising innovation remains the common thread between all of Emerald City’s chief exports.
Dragged Under pick up this thread and run with it at full speed.
The Seattle quintet—Tony Cappocchi [vocals], Ryan Bruce [guitar], Sean Rosario [guitar], Hans Hessburg [bass], and Kalen Anderson [drums] —strike an elusive balance between thrashed-up punk, pit-splitting hardcore, technical metal, and hook-y alternative. You could kickflip off a half-pipe or throwdown on a festival field to it. Generating five million collective streaming under-the-radar, seven million to-date, and receiving acclaim from Alternative Press and more, the group’s 2020 full-length debut, The World Is In Your Way [Mascot Records], floods the game with a fresh fire as it tosses and turns amidst emotional extremes.
“We don’t want to be too soft or too heavy,” says Tony. “We ride the line. We want to bring back the culture around D.I.Y., angry, aggressive, and fast music. This was the soundtrack to our youth. In our own way, we serve up that dish laced with metal, hardcore, and ear candy.”
Tony and Ryan initially cut their teeth in Washington underground favorite Rest Repose. Upon the latter’s dissolution, they hunkered down and posed a question.
“What, would we be stoked to go on stage thirty nights in a row and play for people?” the frontman recalls.
With this in mind, they started writing “about real life shit.”
Inspired by fellow genre-breakers Beartooth and Cave In, their vision crystallized. In between touring with The Used and Dead American, they independently unveiled The World Is In Your Way. Organically, they landed placements on popular playlists such as Skatepark Punks [505K followers], Extreme Metal Workout [303K followers], and Crash Course [234K followers] as the single “Hypochondria” posted up 957K Spotify streams and counting. Engaging their audience, they launched the “Chelsea Mix Contest” with Rate My Mix, generating countless submissions of mixes for the album track “Chelsea” and raising their profile.
Signing to Mascot, they expand The World Is In Your Way with two anthems. Among those new compositions, “Feel It” spirals from nostalgic verses punctuated by a slick beat into a hypnotic hook—“I want to feel it again”—before a hummable guitar solo.
“It encompasses the first time you heard a song, saw a movie, kissed, fucked, or loved somebody,” Tony reveals. “That changes overtime. Strong attraction eventually wears off. However, you still want the tingles you got when you first held somebody’s hand. You’re looking for that feeling once more. It resonates with everything.”
Meanwhile, handclaps snap towards a palm-muted chug on “Just Like Me.” The vocals teeter between guttural screams and a sing-song chant.
“In my life, I’m in a never-ending struggle to stand out or fit in,” he admits. “Sometimes, I’m just tired of being myself. You have no control of the consciousness inside of your body. It’s easy to slip up and give the body what it wants with addictions, while the mind is like, ‘Why the fuck are you doing this?’ It’s about my personality and how I act towards people I care about.”
With a primarily personal bent to the lyrics, Tony also speaks up on tracks such as the charging “Riot.” He takes aim at “government overreach in every sense and how career politicians profit off misery” and delivers a “call to arms to take back our rights.”
In many ways, the name sums up the band’s mindset.
“Life, social media, the news, and cancel culture can all drag you under,” he states. “Facebook, Twitter, and all of these things are meant to distract you. We’re embracing the fact the world is trying to pull us down. People may try to stop you from succeeding. They’re in your way. Once you get them out of your way, you can truly take over. The only person you can rely on is yourself. There’s no minority smaller than the individual.”
In the end, Dragged Under do the most innovative thing of all and rewrite the rulebook.
“Expect the unexpected from us,” Tony leaves off. “Dragged Under will always be what we want it to be. This is a musical journey for us. It’s not one-theme or one-size-fits-all. When you listen to us, maybe you’ll relate this to something new or old. If you grew up in the nineties or early two-thousands, remember what it felt like to be a kid. If you’re a kid now, we hope you feel accepted and like you’re a part of something. This is a community.”