Dylan Michael Coverdale
“Tell me what you think.” Dylan sent that right before he showed me his latest drawing. It was a flower growing through the empty eye socket of a skull. That was back in 2011, when we were 13. From then, every time he’s shown me a piece of his work, it’s started with that phrase “tell me what you think.”
That’s how he asks everyone’s opinion. Whenever he wants to share his art it starts with “what did you think? This is what they said but what do you think?” No matter what whether it’s a new lyric, a new drawing, or some chords strung together in a way that’s never existed until now.
“I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember.” (Dylan Michael Coverdale)
Dylan’s always had an artistic perception. s viewed things in a softer light, seeing worth in worthless people and hope for relationships that, at this point, probably should have been cut. He’s sadly realistic while recognizing that not all things are bad.
“Dylan sees through bullshit. Like he just cuts down to the core truth of what’s going on”(Mark Myers, Automation lead singer)
Dylan has a way of looking at things realistically, which really is a complicated thing. He expresses the various emotions he experiences daily through his art. He draws and paints and doodles what he can’t express in words. He puts the indescribable phrases and emotions into art, both audible and physical. Dylan writes a range of moody music to punk pop esque themes that envelop his experiences. He is a simple kind of guy. He loves Hawaiian shirts and khakis (typical dad-esque outfit) jeans, and old band t-shirts. Most specifically his bright orange converse, which he wears everywhere and have seemed to have dulled over the years.
Dylan has learned to process life through his art. There is no real train of thought, there is no real process of “This is what makes art good, this is what makes songs popular.” One hundred percent of his process is spontaneous, in that moment, what he is feeling, visceral. “He spends all of his time at home with his guitar, he’s attached to it.” (Caitlin, Dylan’s sister)
Caitlin had a vague annoyance in her voice, which really sums up her relationship with her brother. I recall one time at around 10:30 p.m. about half a year ago, Dylan messaged me incredibly livid, which is super unusual for him. He is always calm, never mad, just disappointed kind of vibe. Well, Dylan had gotten thirsty and decided that he wanted some milk and, just like every other teenage male, had a lapse in proper hygiene and cleanliness. He drank directly from the gallon. Dearest Lord, save us now. Caitlin happened to see this heinous crime against all that is pure and holy, and, as any just warrior of the Lord would, expressed clearly to Dylan how horrible a person he is for deciding that drinking from the gallon was an okay thing to do. Dylan’s drinking from the gallon of milk sparked an all out family war: Dylan against the tyranny of Paul, his father and his step-sister Caitlin. Dylan was made to be a public enemy of the family. Caitlin demanded payment for the milk, as it was obviously his gallon now that his diseased lips had brushed the plastic. It was spoiled for everyone else. No one else could drink milk from that gallon now. Not only was Dylan demanded to fork out the cash, but he also had to go out and purchase a new gallon. So, now that Dylan’s total had accumulated not only one but two gallons of milk, he also had to run to WaWa-physically actually run using his legs, because he is not allowed to drive- to go get this milk. Dylan has since made up with his sister.
Dylan lives between parents, his father, Paul, in Pennsauken and his mother, Julie, residing in Cherry Hill. He’s acquired a big family, through this. Many influences and experiences and struggles and fights and dinners and outings and people to support. Dylan has four sisters and one brother. Dylan gets along with his other siblings well, especially his two younger sisters Isabel and Elena. They absolutely adore him, and he adores them. They have an almost fascination with each other. Dylan’s relationship with his two younger sisters is the perfect concept of what a sibling relationship should be, it is truly an indescribable, heartwarming thing.
Paul has been married twice, once to Julie, once to someone named Arlene who produced Dylan’s step-sister Caitlin. “I would give my dad a 3/10. Being a dad is hard, yaknow,” (Dylan Michael Coverdale, when asked how he felt his dad did as a dad.) Dylan has activities, he does play, and he has wrestling, but most important to him is his expression through art. Of all of Dylan’s activities, Paul supports possibly one, the least important to Dylan wrestling. Paul is even reported as being disappointed in Dylan after he threw a wrestling tournament because he felt compassion and empathy for his opponent. Dylan had been doing well, winning most of his matches, just like most of the other kids there. For his last battle, he had to grapple with the one kid that hadn’t won a single match all day. Dylan, all lined up to win and take this round and fight his way up through the tournament, possibly on his way to taking the tournament as a whole, felt an immense guilt as he held this poor young kid down to the mat. As he told me this story his eyes got kind of big, a little bit like a puppy dog’s. His shoulders hunched, not in a disappointed way, but in a kind of resignation. As if he had accepted what he did, come to terms with it even though his own father couldn’t see the worth of it Well, when he lost his father sat back down in his seat, let out a heavy sigh, and let the uncalled for anger settle into his frame. On the ride home Paul was sulking the entire way about Dylan’s performance, or lack thereof. It only got worse when Paul discovered why Dylan had done what he did. Paul and Dylan fight almost constantly, to the point where even when Paul is talking to Dylan, it takes on a condescending, angry tone.
Dylan’s mom has yet to remarry, but is currently in a relationship with a distasteful man, who also fights with Dylan constantly. Dylan and his mom have an enjoyable relationship, she is much more supportive than her male counterpart. Yet, because of her current relationship, Dylan is forced to stay with his father and sees his mom less and less as time goes.
Dylan’s art is his form of expression. It is his passion, his therapy, how he handles all of his emotions: joy, fear, anxiety, the whole lot of them. Whatever Dylan experiences gets put into either a song or some artistic doodle. He finds solace from the terrors of daily life in his artistic endeavors. “It’s my therapy, it’s how I process life and the things surrounding me, and everything that there is simply no other way to get out of me.”