Oh good, I thought it was just me that thought it weird when these bands get described as ‘melodic’ but it’s the same fucking, unmemorable, melody that they’re all singing.Lack of balls and the wrong motivation. They don’t want to be real musicians just pop stars. And they’re encouraged by labels who want pop stars and not musicians too. When you start out you’re happy to have written a song, and then as you progress your standards are raised and you find you’re throwing out songs that don’t come up to par. It should always be a challenging and stimulating process.-Grog (Vox).
It is with pleasure Metal Riot discusses “The Opposites Of Light” pending release with Grog from Die So Fluid. To read the interview click HERE.
It’s gonna be a good year. New Sabbath Assembly, Septic Flesh re-issue of A Fallen Temple, Goo Goo Dolls hit the road in support of their tenth studio album Magnetic soon. Lots going on.
Gotta say though, I have been enjoying “Black Blizzard” from Die So Fluid more than anything. The hooks just KILL! And that big guitar sound.Plus the brilliant video. It calls to mind the best of Siouxsie (think a heavy “Kiss Them For Me”) meets Nirvana meets the better trappings of the more hard rock side of Goth Rock (69 Eyes) and even a little of the dirge and power of The Cranberries classic “Zombie”. It’s a dazzling, shadowy world (complete with strings).
Die So Fluid have such a big, grungy but almost comforting sound. Your sense of melody puts other bands to shame. I loved how in “Figurine” you were not afraid to try weird textural things like the vocal “choir” type intro.Big hard rock riffs and layered drums.Just love your band’s sound. The hooks today in many acts feel forced or are just syrupy emo rock. Your hooks are just tough, real and good. Why does pop need to be so calculated?!
Grog- Oh good I thought it was just me that thought it weird when these bands get described as ‘melodic’ but it’s the same fucking, unmemorable, melody that they’re all singing.Lack of balls and the wrong motivation. They don’t want to be real musicians just pop stars. And they’re encouraged by labels who want pop stars and not musicians too. When you start out you’re happy to have written a song, and then as you progress your standards are raised and you find you’re throwing out songs that don’t come up to par. It should always be a challenging and stimulating process.
Can you talk about the “Black Blizzard” song and video? It is a thrill to hear and see. I LOVE the strings and almost marching, chugged guitar part. The aesthetic seems to build on what you’ve done but maybe a bit darker than before. But it’s stirring at the same time. What was it like making the video?
I loved making it because it was our first real venture into a fantasy story line with a little more acting involved than in our previous videos. There was a great team spirit, it was minus degree temperatures on the beach and in the woods, everyone had to be resourceful and really rose to the challenge. I enjoy all the extra aspects of being in a band, I have a degree in fine art and design jewelry and clothes, so I’m always very involved with the look, style and feel when it comes to artwork and videos. Black Blizzard is an important track from our forthcoming album and it was a pleasure to make a film that did justice to the depth of the song and even added a new dimension.
So, you finally have a new record this year after a bit of a wait? Did you want to take the
time to really write good tunes? Not that your past songs have been weak. Your songs balance a hard line between memorable studio rock and strong live energy, even going back so far as “Bitterness By Discipline”.
A lot happened since the last album, we got tied up in how to reclaim all our material from labels and people who no longer had the right to be selling or benefiting from it. We were also addressing whether we wished to continue independently , licensing to labels, looking into what the real merits of record deals are these days, and exploring the many options now thrown up by the internet of ways to release and promote music. Happily we’ve now brought our music back home, but will probably never see the money still owed to us by certain individuals. The new album was pretty much completed a year ago. We had a working title of ‘The Opposites Of Light’ and the concept was to show our heavier side and also our more introspective dark side. It was a great framework to work with and I enjoyed writing songs that allow me to showcase and develop my vocal abilities.
Did you ever take Vocal lessons? Your style is so self-assured but also runs the range of human emotion. I have heard the new record will be an examination of two styles, both heavy and “torch song”? I think that is a great idea and a similar one worked to great effect on Moonspell’s simultaneous companion albums Alpha Noir and Omega White.
I had some classical lessons when I was a kid, really just because I had done all my piano exam grades and wanted something else to do. It did show me how to breath correctly but apart from that didn’t bear much relation to how I sing now. I found my true voice when I started playing in guitar bands. I did that quite confidently and it was many years before I took another set of lessons, it was about 6 years ago, and this time I wanted help with how to strengthen and maintain the voice for touring and ongoing performances. I also had my vocal cord checked for nodes, it was totally fine so that was an encouraging sign I was doing things right. The throat is a muscle and has to be trained just like an athlete does their legs or arms. I’ve also taken up yoga and that is excellent for posture, strengthening the spine and generally conditioning the body and mind. After all I have an awesome bass axe to wield.
The power trio is, in my mind, still kind of the perfect band model. Is there a lot of unity between band members? You blend a lot of styles/cover a fair amount of ground under the one roof of this band identity. How do you navigate songwriting with one another?
There’s a special connection between the three of us. Kind of reminiscent of the dynamic you see in the Rush documentary haha. We’ve known each other and played together a long time. We know pretty much everything about each other and are like brothers and sister. Now that I live in LA whilst the others still live in London UK, our writing process has changed. Mr Drew and I have our own recording set ups, we exchange ideas by e mail and that’s how the new album was written. I was a bit nervous of how my relocating would effect operations, but on the whole I think it’s been positive. When we all get back together for rehearsals , studio, or touring, the magic returns immediately and we appreciate the time together more.
The band has feet planted in both London and L.A. so do you feed off both energies? What are the pros and cons of both cities?
I often miss London for it’s history, culture and architecture, but mainly for friends and family. It’s cons would be that it’s claustrophobic, cold and expensive. Mr Drew just ‘has’ to come out to sunny LA for writing session from time to time, which most Englishers would call a ‘pro’. I recently moved from Hollywood out to the Canyons and I’m loving the space and mountains. I have more space to create. To me it’s fascinating to discover more about this vast new country in which I now live, continuous learning keeps the brain and heart alive.
Where are the lyrics drawing from this time around for the new songs? And for an older one…Last album was intense with “The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime” obviously from the title alone having some meaning. I took it as “make each moment count”.It made me think how I will never have time to read every good book or see all the beauty out there or master everything I’d love to. But then you have characters like The Vampire Lestat who lived for ages but grew kind of listless and almost bored. But some moments can be larger than life! That’s what I try to embrace and experience.
Well around the time we were writing it there was a general obsession with end of days and apocalypse. I remember walking through Hollywood and Highland and there’d be all these guys with placards about ‘the rapture’ and people ranting on about sin and jesus etc. I feel this atmosphere seeped into the album. They’re songs born out of taking stock of what’s most important in life. Can love and compassion be sustained in this fucked up world. It’s also full of personal impressions gathered from my experience of relocating to the USA. There are tracks inspired by the ghosts of Hollywood and California. I became a little obsessed historically with the enduring strength of people determined to make a life in a new land, the romance of the hopes and dreams of aspiring actors and actresses, the migration of desperate people searching for work, the vast distances they would travel, the strange and ancient energy of the desert, and what we have become. Black Blizzard was inspired by the Dust Bowl tragedy of the 1930s and the terrible greed and lack of respect for mother nature that brought it about.
Any artists you admire you’d like to work with? Or current bands you think are doing cool stuff?
We’re all big Deftones fans, and would love to tour with them big time! I’d love to have Nick Raskulinecz produce an album one day and see what that sounds like. I’ve been listening to stuff like Orchid, Uncle Acid and the deadbeats, and also cranking up heavy Gramatik beats. Amazing.
Can you share some experiences that you’ve had in DSF that made it all worth it? I like to think of real rock as the path less travelled, and it can be bittersweet. But the payoff is experiencing things some people can never hold a candle to.
True! I think of it as a privilege just to be able to play our original music in front of people who love it. Yes it’s hard work but it’s a gift. It can be such a rich experience if you allow it to be. We’ve met amazing artists, fantastic people and played in beautiful countries. We’ve experienced forests at midnight in Finland, Norwegian fjords, Swiss mountains, Amsterdam cafes, German castles, Gracelands, Las Vegas casinos, Memphis nightlife… I’ve met Gene Simmons, James Brown, Ron Wood, Lemmy, AC DC, Paul Simonon, Mick Jones, Jaz Coleman, all the Osbournes, and worked with Ozzy, and so many more inspiring people……..
Were you ever shy or introverted growing up?
Not at all until I reached my teens, and then I guess I discovered real life and people who suck. I’m sensitive and I had some depression but people said I hid it well. I’ve always been quietly confident. I adore being on stage performing but I don’t necessarily enjoy being put under the spotlight conversationally, it feels like a test. I know it’s in my mind but there you go. I’m getting increasingly more used to not caring, but I still prefer expressing myself through songs. I need periods of alone time to let my creativity flow. You’ll always get an honest answer from me.
You’re welcome, thanks for the opportunity.
Die So Fluid photos by Tina Korhonen