Interview mit Death By Stereo


Q: Your new live album: why and when did you get the idea to do that?

Dan: Actually that was something we did a few years ago. It was a live album released as a free CD with a magazine, but only as a very limited amount, and people kept asking about it so we decided to put out a few more, actually 2,000 more. It was a show we did as a benefit for Daniel Martin, a kid who died at one of our shows in Blackburg, Virginia. So the recording for the album was actually done about three years ago.

Q: Why did you choose Chain Reaction at Anaheim for the recording? Does something special connect you to that place?

Dan: Anaheim is our hometown and that is kind of our homeclub. It was sort of a last minute thing: “Hey, let’s record the show!” Actually our bassplayer was the one who recorded it, and a friend helped out and got together all the equipement. It was really a last minute thing.

Q: Did you announce the recording process way before the concert or did you simply record it without second thought and it just happened to turn out good?

Dan: During the recording, yeah, we said then that it was recorded and people cheered and stuff. But we didn’t announce it beforehand. It’s a small club and there were about 500 people so it was really packed. Playing hometown is always very intense because we have a lot of fans there and a big fanbase. When we play at home we see a lot of friends and family that we don’t get to see so often, so it’s like a good reunion all the time.

Q: How did you select the songs for the live recordings?

Dan: It was like a normal set that we do, and not a special set that we put together for that recording. We just do what we do! We had been touring a while so we just took the normal set.

Q: When did you get the idea for the split CD?

Dan: Aehm, well, that might just not happen because the other band is kind of having a lot of problems. So…let’s just skip that question. We are just concentrating on getting our new album done. The split is cancelled.

Then we will just skip the next two quetsions!

Q: How far are you with the new album you have planned for this year?

Dan: We have like five or six songs done. We hope that after this tour we can finish the writing for the album, and finish recording at about September.

Q: How did it happen that all the founding members of DBS are now back together again?

Dan: We are writing with our old guitar player Jim, and our old drummer is going to help us write and record a bit of it. And we might have another old guitar kind of write songs with us. So it’s some old members that are invilved and our bass player is going to record it. He has recorded our first three records.

Q: Why will you have your old and new/old drummer record the album?

Dan: That was to have different perpective and ideas. The more ideas we have, the more diverse the record is going to be. We want to make it the best record we possibly can. And the more talent we have, the better it’s gonna be.

Q: Why did you decide to have several old members that have once been a part of DBS have guest appearances on the new album? Would you say they all still belong to the family?

Dan: You know, sometimes when someone gets out of the band it’s sometimes an awkward period afterwards. But we have all been hanging out lately, and we decided that we should all get together and write the record together so we all contribute a little piece to it. We are all good friends and we thought it would be a fun thing to do, and everybody is talented for different reasons and that would help make a really creative record. Putting out new records every two years is something we like to do because then we can go on tour again! And we love touring! While being on tour I try to practice guitar before the show and come up with ideas, so at home then, I have some ideas already, but it is hard writing while being on tour. After this tour we try not to do any tours so we can really concentrate on the record and get it done. But we don’t put too much pressure on us with a deadline for a new record. If it’s not good enough, we will just not put it out.

Q: Did you decide on a title yet? Will you keep your cohesive theme of “death” for the new one?

Dan: We don’t know yet. We might even make a concept record, but we don’t know yet. We’re not at that stage yet where we think about titles or themes or lyrics.

Q: When did you think of you album titles to follow a cohesive, continous theme?

Dan: That was more of a funny thing for us: “Oh! We will put “death” in it.” But now it’s come to a point where it’s almost outdone because you come to point where you cannot think of much more variations with “death” in it. We have been thinking of making a short record, an EP, and calling it “The Near-Death Experience”. It’s kind of tongue in cheek, you know.

Q: “Balancing chaos and consciousness”: can you explain to me how DBS manages that?

Dan: Yeah, that sums it up pretty much. It’s kind of hard to explain. It’s a sort of explanation of the basis of what the band is, and also is something that is in our characters. A lot of times we are drunken idiots messing around and stuff, but then again there are certain things we care about like social issues and stuff, but we like to do it and express it in a fun way. We don’t take ourselves too serious.

Q: How does “pissed off music” fit together with partying on stage? Is it a fine line? Or will one not work without the other?

Dan: Our music is kind of aggressive, angry, and tough-sounding, but we are not angry, mean, tough people! We like to have fun and have a good time – we just love heavy music. Heavy music doe not always have to be aggressive. Sometimes being aggressive can mean having fun. Some people come to our shows to have fun rather than moshing and stuff. We are not into that Tough Guy scene stuff. There is definetely some anger in our music, but maybe some people have a bit more of an issue and the music may be like an outlet for their aggression and it shows, but that is kind of contrary to us. We are still the funny guys, but making tough music. It’s kind of strange, but we just not focus on that to much. We don’t want to come across as something we are not – and we are not aggressive.

Q: Can you explain a comment by Efrem: “We are moving forward, we are moving on.” Is that a sort of work ethic or slogan you would say goes along with the band as well as “never give up, never give in”?

Dan: Well, the whole title “Death For Life” may be a metaphor for our whole life because we are stuck in this goddamn band! Not as a bad thing, but as something we enjoy and in which we have gotten a routine in. It’s been a long time now. And some people leave because they just cannot go on tour all the time. WE just keep carrying on, moving on and doing what we do. Wetry to make every record sound different so we also try to progress musically. It’s funny that it has been like 11 years now! And we have just been talking of how we froegt stuff and then suddenly someone comes up with old stories and the we dwell in those memories. Somuch stuff has happened and it has been so long: we tend to forget a lot.

Q:Is there something that you would regret looking back?

Dan: Well, yes. Not regret, but it’s sad. That show where the kid died. I don’t feel directly responsible, but it’s just one thing in my mind that bothers me about anything that happened. You feel kind of responsible, but it was not directly you fault, you know?!

(And now Efrem joins us for the interview.)

Dan: Yeah, and maybe we should have come to Europe more! And other stupid things, managers, labels…

Efrem: When you’re younger you don’t know too much about record labels and releasing albums and stuff, and how things are going to affect you later.

Dan: Yeah, we have made like every stupid mistake a dozen times. We are very slow learners.

Q:Why should you have come to Europe more often?

Efrem: Because it’s awesome. So many people in the US are concerned with trend and trying to be famous. And we never really care about that shit. We just want to enjoy ourselves, and meet people who are like-minded and have fun. And people in Europe appreciate a band more. In the US you get treated like shit! They don’t care about you. It’s that like so many kids go through the trend so fast in the States that a band will have a completely new sound and image every six month! Or maybe a band can be the biggest thing you have ever seen for six month, and then they just disappear.

Dan: Yeah, and often they just come to shows to meet their friends and try to look cool, to pose and show off their style. We try to stop playing certain places where it doesn’t seem really worth it to play. We get a lot of emails from people who ask us to come to a certain city, nut then we have to say: “Sorry! You may care, but maybe the rest don’t.”

Efrem: It’s hard to travel four days to a show to play at a place where people don’t give a shit! I mean you feel bad for the one person who cares, but the rest just sucks.

Q: Do you remember the show here in Hannover with Boy Sets Fire where you had to go to hospital and get stitched up?

Efrem: Oh shit! That was here?! I totally forgot. Yeah, I had to have several stitches because some guy in the crowd punched me for no reason at all. Maybe he was just “feeling the music” and stuff, whatever. And afterwards I had to tour with a huge band-aid in my face and I couldn’t shave and stuff.

Q: Why did you put up a blog about selling your van? How did people react? Did you manage to sell it?

Efrem: We haven’t sold it. No one would buy it, hahaha.

Dan: We don’t need it anymore and it has like 200,000 miles on it, and it is old, but still runs really good, and it is a good van for another band. But we want to rent something bigger now and we don’t need it anymore.

Efrem: Yeah, it’s a sort of financial decision. But people still would not have the money.

Q: Did you name the van?

Dan: I think it was called: “Fuck this thing”. WE have been in it for so long, and it has our smell in it…

Efrem: And some other things, too!!! Let’s just not get into detail here!

Q: You have been on tour ever since DBS started out in 1998. How can you manage that?

Efrem: That’s what I ask myself sometimes!!!

Dan: We just love doing it, hanging out, playing shows, meeting people.
Efrem: some people in the band though are sometimes not that happy, haha!

Q: Why that?

Efrem: Last night I put a concrete block on our drummer’s chest while he was sleeping, and he is still pissed! But he didn’t even wake up when I put it on him, he just figured out this morning!

Dan: We are just funny stupid fucks, and like to make stupid things. Maybe that’s why it has been 11 years of DBS by now.

Efrem: It’s funny, because when he woke up he said he could barely breathe and then realized that he had that thing on him and then threw it at our other guitar player!
Dan: But we love each other! We are just little kids in our hearts and like to make fun of each other.

Thanks a lot for the interview!