Dead On a Sunday’s “Bobcore” is Making Waves in the Darkwave/Post-Hardcore World

Darkwave has made a huge comeback in 2022 and spilled over into 2023. One new artist on the scene has made waves and has begun to take the darkwave/goth scene by storm. The one-man band Dead On a Sunday gained a lot of traction with his remake of Blink 182’s “Dammit” and his original album Strange Days. I discovered his music one day while scrolling on TikTok, and I was instantly in love. I recently had the opportunity to interview Ross about his band, where it’s headed, and the creatively coined “Bob Core” that his music has been dubbed.


Ross:

My name is Ross, and I also do the Dead on a Sunday project.

Megan:

That’s awesome. Okay, so I’ve seen some of the videos. And you perform with a band. Do you write and play most of the music that you record and then have a band perform with you?

Ross:

That is correct. Yeah, I record it. I write it and record it and produce it and mix it. And then I just hire pretty much all my friends that I’ve known forever that live around here.

Megan:

That’s cool. What’s your process like: how do you start creating and writing your songs?

Ross:

I rarely have an idea in mind. I usually just kind of get really bored and just, like, jam. So most of the time, I think it probably starts with guitars because I am the most comfortable with that. And sometimes it starts with bass. Sometimes I have a vocal idea, but it rarely starts with a vocal.

Megan:

Okay.

Ross:

Yeah. And then I just jam on stuff and build out the track and kind of get the song or get, like, the chords I like and the sound that I like. And then I sort of, like, freestyle over it on the mic and see what word shapes start to happen. And if there’s anything that interests me in there, I’ll kind of start building it. So I have a lot of unfinished songs. Like, hundreds of them, probably.

Megan:

Okay.

Ross:

Yeah.

Megan:

So when you started getting, well I don’t want to say bigger, but more well-known, a lot of your music started coming up in TikToks and Instagram videos, and, a lot of it, I noticed, were covers. Is that how you really started?

Ross:

No, that’s actually really recent that, that happened. I wrote the album that’s out, Strange Days, back in 2021, and I just put it out in the fall. And then I kind of started doing the cover thing on TikTok as just, like a way to I thought it just be a way to kind of, like, get people interested in what I’m doing and get some traction on the original music. And the cover thing kind of happened really fast because the first one I did is the “(After Dark) Damn It” Mashup. And then everybody’s like, put that out. And I was like, yeah, I’ll put that out. I figured I’ll put this thing out and get a couple of thousand streams. People kind of listen to it. I didn’t think that that was going to happen the way it did.

Megan:

Honestly, I’m super glad you did. I was talking to one of my best friends and I was like, this “Dam It” remake cover. I was like, is the goth cover that is missing from your life. It is honestly my favorite cover you’ve done, but I kind of like everything you do. And actually, I was going to ask about Strange Days. I was going to ask you, how did you pick which songs were going to go on the album and then, on that album, do you have a song that means the most to you or that is your favorite and then why?

Ross:

Yeah, so I think I kind of narrow, I get a lot of songs together to where I feel like I have them, more than an album’s worth. So like maybe 20 or 25 songs, and then I sort of pick the ones that I absolutely can’t live without putting out. So that’s usually like four or five of them. And then I sort of decide which other ones go on there based on the vibe of those. And is adding the song making them better, or is it making it worse? So, Strange Days, there’s a lot more of like, this sort of like emo/punk, like, 2003 vibe on that record and a lot of stuff that I had written. It wasn’t all that way, so I figured that record would sort of be more on that vibe and then I’d move into some other stuff later on. I hadn’t even considered doing the Dark Wave stuff at that point. People were telling me that low gothy, I had some songs like that. They were telling me that when I do that, it sucks. They said I shouldn’t do that. Yeah, like the Bob Belcher voice. They said I shouldn’t do that.

Megan:

Honestly, I love the Bob Belcher voice, but I also really love that whole album, Strange Days. I’ve been listening to it for a while.

Ross:

Oh, thank you for listening to it. Yeah. I hope that people gravitate towards the original stuff, and I’m not trying to be a cover artist or a cover band, but I’m okay with using that to speed up the trajectory of the band to hear the original music. But yeah, the song I think that means the most there’s a song in there that probably no one listens to. It’s called “Carry You Home. It’s just like a guitar and a vocal.

Megan:

Oh, no. Love it.

Ross:

Yeah, I like that song a lot. It means a lot to me. I wrote it really fast. I think that’s the best my voice sounds on the record. So maybe that’s why I like it. And we play that live. I make sure to play that live. We get, like, the cello out and do the whole thing.

Megan:

Okay. Honestly, that’s a really great one. I think, to be honest. My favorite is “Ghosted” or “Caroline”.

Ross:

Yeah, those two are great. I love “Ghosted”. That one almost didn’t, I almost didn’t put that song out because it was so different. It’s very post punk, like “Eighty S” and everything else is not that. But a lot of my friends that I showed it to were like, this is the single, so you should put it out.

Megan:

Yeah, what I like, too, is that you do have that post punk, but then you also have that dark wave. And I love when artists can meld into different genres, and it works really great. How did the whole Bob Belcher voice thing start? How did that start? Because I’ve seen it.

Ross:

Yeah, I had never even watched that show, but I had friends that were really into that show. And then one day I was in New York visiting some friends out there, and I was on the subway and I was just scrolling TikTok, really bored, and I saw this comment and it said, this sounds like Bob Belcher. I’m like, I don’t know who the fuck that is. So I like Google it. And I’m like, oh, shit. It’s the guy from Bob’s Burgers. I know that show and I know who that voice actor is because I watched Archer when it was popular. I was like, okay. And I was like, My first instinct is, like, to be mad about that. But I was kind of like, that’s kind of funny. I’ll just make a TikTok. And I just quoted “BobCore” and posted that thing. And that was where it started. Because I remember that night I went and did some stuff and I came back into the hotel and I looked at my TikTok at like, nine or 10 o’clock, and it had like almost half a million views. And I’d never had a video get more like 20,000 views.

And I noticed that I went and looked at my spotify artists and all these people listening, and I was like, oh, this is crazy. And I was like, I’m not bothered by the comparison. Maybe I should double down on it and kind of like, make it a thing.

 *Holds up his emo Bob Belcher Earring

Megan:

Love. Oh, my gosh. Love it.

Ross:

There’s the earring that’s on there. So BobCore, I dumped that. But that started from, like, a troll comment. I think they were trying to be like, jerks. But I hit up that person. I was like, hey, give me your address. I’ll send you a shirt. This whole thing is happening because you wanted to say that.

Megan:

Yeah, honestly, super sick. I think if I remember, too, in some videos you had mentioned, you had a concert and a bunch of people showed up dressed as Bob Burgers. And you even dressed up as Bob. Am I correct?

Ross:

I came out at our last show. I thought that it would be funny if I put on an apron and I’d shaped this. So I just had the stash and put my hair back just and looked like him just for that song just to play “Damn It”. And then, yeah, that video got traction because we posted that. I sort of knew that would work, so I did that intentionally. So, yeah, I plan to do that in several of the shows that we’re going to be doing this year because people seem to like it and it’s funny and I like funny stuff.

Megan:

Yeah. And honestly, it also reminds me kind of, of  Okilly Dokilly. I don’t know if you know, because they kind of do that same thing. Although they don’t sound like him,but  they dress like him. And so that’s kind of cool when bands could do a kind of niche like that and pull something that is in our pop culture and tie it into their stuff. So I honestly love that you’re flowing with it.

Ross:

Thanks. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of shit for it. I’ve got a lot of hate for it. But I think that the people that are into it have outweighed the people that aren’t. And yeah, it’s been cool.

Megan:

That’s really awesome. I was also going to ask. I think it was kind of related to that, you did Strange Days. Do you plan on doing any major tours? I know that you’ve only at least I’ve seen you’ve only done shows, I believe, in Colorado.

Ross:

Yes, we are, we will be touring in 2023. I haven’t announced dates yet. There’s a handful of dates in the spring that are going to happen in April and May and then there will be a larger tour that we’re working on in October. I’m booking it all myself, so it’s been very time consuming to do. This whole project is done without a management, without a label, without an agent. It’s just me in this room.

Megan:

Being an artist that you do it yourself, do you find it tougher or do you feel like this is great for your future, being able to see the process from start to finish?

Ross:

I think that I had a project and I was signed to a major label and I had all these people working for me. This was five or six years ago, and while that was great, I saw the pitfalls in those things and how being on the wrong label, being on the label too early, having the wrong people on your team can really hurt your trajectory and hurt your career. And you just get people that everybody’s got some opinion about what you should do and who you should be. And the label thinks you should be more like this because it will be more successful. And it’s like, at the end of the day, I’m just me. I can only do what I like when I’m interested in; if people love it or hate it. I can’t control that. I can just control what I like. So me, doing everything myself allows me. I know it sounds like it’s definitely a control issue, but I think it’s constructive for me to have it be this way. Eventually I’m going to have to bring somebody, some people into the team, I’m sure.

Megan:

Right. But it also gives you not just the control, but that freedom to pick and choose where you want to play instead of being subjected to what someone else wants.

Ross:

Yeah, it helps a lot. Like with the tour thing, I put out on TikTok and on Instagram, where do you want to see us play? And I went through all those comments and then look to where, to see where the most people are that I’ve seen frequently that want to see us play, because I’ve posted a video about that like several times. I pay attention to every comment that happens on my stuff because I think that’s important to have that connection with people and just know what’s working and what’s not and where people are at that want to hear you and where to stay away from somebody’s like we hate Bob Core. We’re going to kill you to come here. I’ll probably not go there.

Megan:

Right.

Ross:

Yeah.

Megan:

Hopefully Phoenix is on that list.

Ross:

Oh, yeah. I’m trying to work on Phoenix. I’m going to be down there because I’m going to go to there, Metallica is playing there for like two nights.

Megan:

Oh, yeah.

Ross:

It’s like all the way in September.

Megan:

Oh, yeah. Glendale.

Ross:

Yeah, me and me and the guy that plays guitar in the band. I was thinking about trying to get a show some time in that week and spending some time down there, so I’m kind of working on it.

Megan:

If you need some venues, for sure, let me know. I can point you in the right direction.

Ross:

Yeah. Please send me an email with any suggestions or if you have a plug or anything. Like, booking your own tour is very difficult because I have no connections. It’s just like I made a sheet and it’s like a cold email thing. Like, are they into it or are they not? And it’s been pretty good, but I’ve definitely been curved more than I’ve gotten responses.

Megan:

Yeah, I feel like that sucks, too. When you do these, like, little tours, have you decided if you’re going to bring other bands along with you or are you going to use the local bands?

Ross:

We’re going to use local bands on most of it. I’ve been kind of talking to these guys called Haunt Me. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them. They’re kind of post punk and gothy. They’re really cool. They’re down in Texas. So we have a string of dates that are running through Austin and Dallas and up in Oklahoma and Kansas City for some reason people love emo music in Texas, I guess because they’re in Texas, so they have a very negative relation with their hometown. But I would like to take them with us. So we’ve been kind of talking to them. But yeah, we’re mostly relying on local stuff. We’re doing like little 150 cap rooms and it’s like some shitty ass stage. But that’s where you start.

Megan:

Yeah, that’s true. That is true. Honestly, though, I like that when people use local bands because you’re giving the bands, it’s almost like a pay it forward. So you’re drawing people in, but then you’re also giving these local bands kind of the push to also get their stuff out there.

Ross:

Yeah, I mean, if we’re more popular, I guess you could see it that way. The way I guess I see it in Promoter Seat is like, hey, we want to put locals on the show because if your shit flops, at least like, these couple of local bands, probably their friends come and buy drinks because we haven’t played these cities before, so we don’t know. Denver is great. We have a great shows in Denver, but it’s the hometown.

Megan:

Yeah. Honestly, I’ve been playing your stuff at work. They’re allowing us to make playlists. So my friends and I were making playlists since we kind of helped run our department. And then you’ve been in there a few times and a few of my friends are like, “oh, who is this? I like this”.

Ross:

Cool.

Megan:

So we’re like spreading you, too.

Ross:

Thank you. I appreciate it. Yeah, I have no idea anybody would ever like what I’m doing, so it’s pretty cool.

Megan:

I like it. What led you to starting this project, Dead on a Sunday?

Ross:

Boredom. Frustration. I was in another project. I was like an electronic touring artist for a long time. I would go DJ and shit, and I always wanted to sing in a band. I always thought that would be cool. I always thought I was a shitty singer. Everybody told me I was a shitty singer, but I just figured one day like, what the hell? And I wrote the song called “So What if it Kills Me”.  It’s on the record. It’s on Strange Days. It’s kind of the first thing I wrote. I wrote it a couple of years ago in March of 2021. And I was like, this is the first time I’ve written a lot of songs where I would sing and I’d get someone else to sing it because I can’t stand the sound of my own voice. And that’s the first song I ever made where I could sit back and be like, oh, I can tolerate this. I don’t hate it. So that kind of led me to write more and more and try different things with my voice. And I’m still kind of finding out where I like my voice to sit at, because I found that I can do a lot of different styles and things now, but I don’t think that they’re all great or I don’t know.

Megan:

Okay. I can see that, like, from a different standpoint, I guess.

Ross:

It’S hard when you produce and mix your own music and I have to record my vocals and then I have to sit and listen to it for hours on end to finish the song. It’s hard because, you know, it’s you.

Megan:

Yeah. It’s like the interviews. When I do the interviews and I have to sit and listen to them as I’m editing and fixing things, and I’m like, oh, I hate listening to myself.

Ross:

Everyone does. When I hear myself or see myself on a video and I hear it back, I’m like, bro, you should never talk, ever. Just shut up.

Megan:

I get it. Okay, so we talked about how you’re this, like, post punk or that’s how you started and you evolved into this kind of goth feel. Was that, like, your intent to go that way or were you going to stay post punk?

Ross:

I just never, I had no idea about what the genre was going to be. I just make music, and at some point, people have decided that and I guess I can hear it, that I kind of have this sort of goth thing going on. And I always love goth music. Growing up. I love Type- O Negatives. One of my favorite bands, I have a huge Type-O banner over here, so I don’t hate it. But I remember we played our first couple of shows and kids would come to me and they’d be like, you kind of sound like Type-O Negative sometimes. And I’m like, should I be mad about that? I like Type-O, but are they saying that constructively or are they being dicks? I can’t tell. So, yeah, it kind of got pigeonholed into this goth thing a little bit because I think the covers and so when I did the Undercover EP, which has, like,The Killers on it and I did the “Bloody Mary” remix which just came out. I made a very conscious decision with those songs and that EP to make it a lot more kind of dark wave because it is what’s tracking right now.

It is what’s bringing people in. And I saw a lot of people that are like, we want more Bob Core. We need more of you doing the thing you do on “Damn It”. So I was like, I mean, I can do that. Sure. I can give the people what they want and try to lean them in other directions when I can.

Megan:

Right. Do you plan on releasing possibly another album this year of either original or more covers? I heard you did a cover of Ghost and then I think there was a few others in there. I’m not going to lie, I definitely want those.

Ross:

Yeah, I was just listening to Ghost. I listen to Ghost a lot. They’re a good, such good songwriting. That’s really what I listen to it for. It gives me a lot of inspiration for writing songs, a lot of melodic ideas. But yeah, I’m working on, I have two albums I’m working on right now. One  will be will either be an album or an EP and I will probably put it out first. It is definitely way more Dark Wave and post punk leaning. The first single from it will be out in three weeks. Yeah, it’s very post punk. It’s called “Sometimes I Think I Hate Myself”, it’s the single and then the one I’m working on, on the other side of that is a lot more gothy, but it’s a lot more kind of in the path that Strange Days goes. There’s some more rock on there. There’s a lot of guitar solos on it. A lot more complex arrangements kind of thing about the goth is the arrangements. The goth stuff to me is really cool. It’s more like a vibe than this orchestrated piece. Like a Ghost song is very like orchestrating. There’s a lot going on.

Yeah, it’s very cool. So where like the Depeche Mode song to me is just a lot more like kind of this vibe and it’s not got a lot of different avenues in it.

Megan:

Yeah. It’s almost like I’m going to be in my feels type of song when it’s like Depeche Mode, where Ghost, it could, you can always go that way and have your feels, but it’s a complex route to get there. There’s a lot of things you have to go through.

Ross:

Correct.

Megan:

I feel like that’s why I love Ghost. I also love Depeche Mode. It just kind of depends on what you’re feeling.

Ross:

Yeah, that’s a hard thing. I like so much stuff and I kind of get identity crisis sometimes where I’m like, I want to make Dark Wave and then I’ll be like, I want to make a rock opera and then I’ll do that. And then I’ll end up with all these different songs and all these different feels. And then it’s like, oh, shit. What do you do with all this stuff? I have things that will come out this year that were written two years ago for Strange Days that were just like, this doesn’t work right now. Or like, I’m just not here yet. It doesn’t fit in this record. Or I’m just not there yet. I have this song that I think is great, but I don’t have more of that yet. So I need to sit on it and let it kind of marinate and curate a larger body work around it.

Megan:

Yeah, I think that’s what makes music beautiful is that as an artist, you can grow and evolve and you can always come back and keep moving forward and bring elements in and then take other elements out.

Ross:

You’re right. A great song is going to, I mean, if the song is really good, it’s going to stand the test of time and there should be no immediate rush to put that stuff out unless it’s like, trying to follow some trend. I had to put out the “Bloody Mary” remix. Like, now there’s no waiting on that, right?

Megan:

It’s like the biggest hit right now with Wednesday coming out and everybody doing all the dancing. So I get it, which is solely.

Ross:

Why I actually didn’t want to put it out. But I got harassed by way too many people to put that song out. So I didn’t even have it done. I just had that little snip of the chorus. That’s not even the chorus. It’s a pre chorus. I just had a little snip and I was like, oh, shit, I have to finish this song. And honestly, I don’t even like the original at all. But when I performed it and I realized what it could be if Depeche Mode made it, I was like, oh, this is like a Depeche Mode song. But like, Lady Gaga did. And I was like, yeah, if it was a little bit faster and just like super dark wave. The lyrics actually work really well, right?

Megan:

Yeah, I really like that version. Personally, I like it better than Lady Gaga’s version. 

Ross
I would hope.

Megan:

But also she’s a good artist, but she’s just not my cup of tea. She has a couple of good songs.

Ross:

She’s a great songwriter. I think you kind of run into that sort of “All Along the Watchtower” thing. You know that song, right? And that was bob Dylan wrote that song back in the day. It was a Bob Dylan song, but it had no success because it sucks as a Bob Dylan song. Jimmy Hendrix covered it, made it his own, and the song was a massive hit. Sometimes someone might write a great song, but they haven’t constructed the right world for that song to live in. And I’m not saying I did with “Bloody Mary”. I’m just saying that these things, they happen.

Megan:

Yeah. Or for example, you have Kate Bush’s song, which I think did okay in the 80s, but now it’s gained this whole traction and now everybody is also jumping on that train. And I feel like it fits better now, especially with everything that was kind of put into it.

Ross:

I love that song. A lot of people asked me to cover that song, but I was like, that one is, that’s way too rinsed. We’ve heard that one way too much. There’s been way too many covers of that.

Megan:

Oh, yeah. I think Loveless did a cover and then my favorite cover is William Control. So far, that has done it.

Ross:

Yeah, I did listen to his. There was another kid named Low Spirit, that did it, I thought he did kind of like a My Chem type version of it. It was very cool.

Megan:

I’m writing that down. I’m going to check it out.

Ross:

Yeah, I think it’s probably the best one if you’re into my chem type shit.

Megan:

I was very emo in high school and then evolved into the metal. And now I just encompass it all.

Ross:

So yeah, it’s weird when you get older, you don’t care about genres anymore. You’re not, like, trying to keep genres anymore.

Megan:

No, I think at work, “Jolene” came up on my playlist today and everyone’s like, who picked that? And I was like, me.

Ross:

Yeah. Great song.

Megan:

They’re like you like country. I was like, yeah, I like it all.

Ross:

I love country. I have country songs I’ve written.

Megan:

I’d want to hear that.

Ross:

Yeah, that will be on not the next album, but the one after. Kind of like, Southern Gothic sort of feel in there. Some rock stuff like that.

Megan:

I want to say almost like a Koe Wetzel, but maybe darker.

Ross:

Yeah.

Megan:

Or like  Amigo the Devil.

Ross:

I love Amigo the Devil. Yeah, it’s sort of like that, but a little more, like the, vocals are a little more dramatic. Kind of a little more like Gerard Way vocals over, stuff like that.

Megan:

Okay. You’re making me really excited for this.

Ross:

Yeah. I like the way that Gerard Way is always every word out of his mouth has so much inflection on it. When he sings, it feels like a theater performance, like a Broadway performance, all of his songs. So that’s kind of what I sort of went after with some of the stuff on Strange Days. It was like, every line has to feel like that’s the line. That’s the part. It’s difficult to do that as a singer because it just takes a lot out of you.

Megan:

Yeah.

Ross:

But he’s a great singer.

Megan:

He is. And I think that’s also kind of what I like about Amigo the Devil too, because once he gets on stage, he’s completely like it’s hard to say. It’s almost like he goes into this zone and he puts on this really great performance for being a one man band type of dude. And he just drags you in.

Ross:

Yeah. I actually did a cover of one of his songs. I didn’t ever post it, but it’s the I’d Rot in Hell With You, that song. I can’t remember what it was called.

Megan:

Yeah. I’d rot in hell with you.

Ross:

Is that what it’s called?

Megan:

Yeah.

Ross:

Okay. Yeah, I just heard it one day. It came up and I was like.

Megan:

Oh, yeah, I lied. It’s “Hell and You”.

Ross:

Yeah. I should actually post that. Maybe people would like that. I don’t know.

Megan:

I think so. There’s such a huge community for him, too, that I think doing something of his would bring you more followers. If they’re already not following you, you would gain more.

Ross:

That’s what helps with the covers, is every time I make one, I put it on Tik Tok because TikTok’s algorithm is so freaking smart. It will find the people that like that artist and it’ll show it to them. And then I, like, absorbs some of their lovers or haters or whatever they might be.

Megan:

I noticed that you post more on TikTok. I’m not on TikTok anymore. I was getting way too sucked in. So I deleted the app for a little bit. But I noticed you post more on TikTok than you do on Instagram. And is it because of that algorithm and bringing people in?

Ross:

Yeah, it’s just, you know, my Instagram was was very low on interaction until like just last month. I think I gained like 20,000 followers last month on Instagram. It was like, boom. Because I posted some reels that took off. I think me dressed up as  Bob and this bat dancing and just some dumb shit like that. But yeah, I always kind of felt like Instagram, their algorithm is suppressed. It’s throttled. It’s all fucking janky. And TikTok is like, anybody can blow up on TikTok. The discovery on it’s amazing. You can start an account tonight and have a video go viral tomorrow if it’s just the timing and the content and the right audience, all that shit.

Megan:

Yeah. How do you come up with your content for your TikTok?

Ross:

I don’t know. I posted a million TikToks that did absolutely nothing over so many times. And I gave up for a while and I was like, fuck that app. I can’t get any traction there. I feel just feel like some old dude posting shit. A bunch of 14 year olds are posting shit. And then I was like, last summer, I was like, I got to give it another go. So I just started posting, like, big words over little videos because I knew that those words would hit algorithms and just sort of evolved it from there. And then as soon as you find something that works, you just double down on it. So it’s like people like the covers. So I did a bunch of covers and then it was like the Bob thing. And then everybody’s got this fucking Bob thing. And I’m still milking. I don’t know how much longer I can milk that. But I mean, I have more ideas. I’m going to get a Bob tattoo here really soon.

Megan:

Oh, sick.

Ross:

Yeah, an emo Bob on the back of my leg. My roommate is a tattoo artist. She’s going to do it. I figured Bob’s brought it pretty far. I should get a little homage to that.

Megan:

I love that. Honestly.

Ross:

Yeah, I’ll probably do a TikTok out of it because I feel like that would bang awesome.

Megan:

So I have five minutes left. So I was going to ask, do you have any advice for people who are wanting to start out or just advice in general?

Ross:

Yeah. Just do what you love and keep at it and don’t listen to what other people tell you about what you should be doing. I think if you do what you love and you’re interested in, over time, it’s going to work out. And just don’t be afraid to put things out and try different shit and yeah. Put shit on TikTok because that’s the only place that an artist can really grow organically right now.

Megan:

Awesome. Thank you.

Ross:

Thank you for your time.

Megan:

No, thank you for yours. I really appreciate it. I’m glad we got to do this.

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