Musicscan: Congratulations to “Barricades”. It’s an awesome piece of music. Here’s one I always ask at the beginning: Where does in your view lie the difference between “Partybullet” and the new album?
Death Before Disco: Party Bullet was recorded after we were a band for like 3-4 months. Barricades was recorded after we’ve been a band for 2 years, with all the ups and downs that come with being in a band that wants t move forward but keeps on bumping into new walls. We were more confident about ourselves when we recorded the new album. We knew each others limitations and while we’ve had a hard time dealing with them before, by the time we had to record ‘Barricades’, we learned to accept those and turn them into something strong for the band. We opened up to all ideas we had and tried to incorporate them in our music. We experimented a lot with instrumentations that most bands in our scene turn their backs to or consider as sell out, but we just don’t care. I hate seeing all these so called ‘innovative’ hardcore/indie/underground bands playing safe all the time, it all gets so boring after a while. I think we just don’t want to be one of those bands and that’s where I think the main difference between Party Bullet and Barricades lies. While Party Bullet was still a pretty safe step away from traditional hardcore/emo/indierock, I think we went a lot further on this album, without losing focus of the song.
Musicscan: I hardly could find a single Cd-review (or other press-stuff) which didn’t include the word “jazz”. And “Barricades” seems to go into the same direction. Does this happen by chance or do you intentionally try to establish untypical musical elements as a distinctive feature of your sound?
Death Before Disco: I think it pretty much comes naturally. We all have a pretty broad musical taste and when you make music, a lot of those elements come in and when they sound right, we just keep them in the song. There’s no rule that says you can’t mix heavy rock songs with an occasional part of music that at first sight has nothing to do with the genre, but when you hear it, sounds right. Music isn’t about boundaries. Music is about expression. And sometimes, you need to look outside of the box to find the right piece of music that expresses what you wish to say. Once again, I don’t think what we do is so unusual, to us it all feels quite natural, it’s just who we are.
Musicscan: Nobody can deny that your albums are very complex compared to the recipe of a standard hardcore album. Do you sometimes have to hold yourselves back from “mathematizing” (making it all too complex) songs or even albums?
Death Before Disco: Yeah, we sometimes have to cut a lot in our songs to make it a bit more easy. But we do that on purpose. It’s a thing we learned from the party bullet record. A lot of those songs were very good on CD, but we couldn’t get them right in a live environment. So, for the new CD, we focussed on writing more compact songs and songs that work live. Even a song like Jaguar, that is like an 8 minute musical journey, works really well live. So, I guess we succeeded in what we set out to do.
Musicscan: On your MySpace-page I could read that you’d call yourself a hardcore band solely because of your ethics. Is everyone of you straight-edge / vegan?
Death Before Disco: No, I’m the only straight edge guy. But, that’s not what I consider a hardcore ethic. That’s a personal choice. I consider ourselves a hardcore band simply because we’ve always done exactly what we wanted to do. We do as much as possible ourselves. And when there’re things that we can’t do ourselves, we try to have as much control as possible about what’s happening. Hardcore to me never was about being straight edge or vegan or whatever. It’s never been about the image, to me it’s always been about the message and just doing what you want in music, without losing focus of the energy that comes along with the genre.
Musicscan: On the internet also came across your show dates in Indonesia. I think you should already be back when you read this. How come you toured in Indonesia? What where your impressions? Differences to European crowds?
Death Before Disco: We actually just got back. It was one of the best experiences in my life and I think the rest of the band will have the same thoughts on that. It was really insane. We played 5 shows in Jakarta in front of like 10.000 + people. We totally weren’t prepared to anything like that at all. Of course, those were festivals and I doubt 1% knew who we were before we entered the stage, but we got really good crowd reactions there. People just come out to hear music. You definitely have a hardcore scene there, with kids listening to the same bands we do, but they’re also so thankful to see bands from outside Indonesia. Indonesia isn’t a rich country if you compare it with the western world, but they have so much to offer. And it remains amazing to see how universal the language of music is. You can play this kind of music and everywhere you go, there will always be people that appreciate what you’re doing and listen to your music and find things for themselves in it. We made so many friends there and we hope to go back as soon as possible. The feeling you get by playing there isn’t replaceable by any money and I would even say that the 2 and a half weeks we’ve been there changed our personalities more than being in Europe for a year.