“Party Bullet” is your recently via Goodlife Records released first full-length album. Did you ever thought about releasing “Party Bullet” through a different label than the one you as the guitar player are showing ambitions for ?
Birger: Well, we actually signed a deal with GL a while ago. We still had the old line-up and at that time, it seemed like a good chance to record an album and put it out. It’s definitely not like I signed my own band. I had nothing to say about that whatsoever, and that’s how it should be.
Now, once we had the new line-up, it proved to be great to have a label supporting us and I think the album we delivered has proven that the faith GL kept on having in us, even with all the changes, was worth it and I’m glad it turned out this way. We actually had some other offers from other labels, but we’ll see what will happen in the future. Goodlife is amongst the top hardcore labels in Europe, so I think we’re pretty much good here.
What can you tell us about the working process on “Party Bullet”, which is from my opinion the most impressive Hardcore album in 2004 so far, because the refreshing songs don’t limit themselves to any particular styles or genres ?
Birger: Well. You would probably not believe me if I said we first rehearsed with out new singer and bassplayer in October and finished all the writing for the new record at the end of December. Me and Fred (other guitarist) have been playing together for a long time and I thin over time we kinda created something of our own, but we never really did a good job until we had the complete line-up like it is today. You could call it chemistry. But ever since we first rehearsed with those guys, everything just came out so naturally that we were actually surprised ourselves.
Are you totally satisfied with “Party Bullet”?
Birger: You can never be totally satisfied with what you’re doing. Once you get to that point, it’s best you just stop. There’s a lot of things that can be a lot better. Things we learned from now. One of the things we want to work on, is trying to make shorter songs, since most of them are pretty long. For us, it’s a challenge to write short songs. Well, not all of them of course, but you know, every once in a while.
What is to say about DEATH BEFORE DISCO itself ? Who is in the band and when was DEATH BEFORE DISCO founded ?
Birger: Well, Fred and I have been playing together for a long time. We became DbD in like may 2000, but we never actually did a lot. We wrote like 7 songs in 4 years or something, so, not really productive. Some members came and went. But now it is Ace on drums, Ioan on vocals, Yannick on bass en us two on guitar and we’ve been like this since October 2003. guess you could call this the ‘rebirth of death before disco’
You work for Goodlife Records. But what studies or jobs are the other members of DEATH BEFORE DISCO are involved in ?
Birger: Ioan works as a jurist and works for the university in Brussels. Yep. That’s right. He’s a smartass. Ace just got his diploma for Professional drummer. We’re all jealous. He’s the only one getting paid for playing music. Fred works at a tea-room at the moment and Yannick works in a factory that makes air-conditioning systems. It pays really well and he gets a lot of time off.
How would you define the music of DEATH BEFORE DISCO ?
Birger: Well, we’re a hardcore band that doesn’t limits itself to any genre. Whatever sounds good, whatever is honest, we like and we keep. I would define it as ‘honest rock music’
What are your lyrics dealing with and where does the content of your songs originate from?
Birger: Most lyrics deal with Ioan’s twisted little mind. Daily stuff that’s on his mind, relationship stuff, stuff that got him thinking. We basically don’t really care that much what he sings about. I mean, we know he’s a good dude and he’s the singer, so he should get his emotions out. And most of the time, we can relate to what he’s saying (after he explained us like 15 times what the song is about), which I think is important. I’d rather have him sing about topics we can relate to then hev him shout political subjects that everybody in the band thinks different about.
So you don’t put much emphasis on the lyrics or a band ideology ?
Birger: It’s hard to have an ideology with 5 people. Everybody is different. I think it’s better to have your singer write about whatever he wants. It’s he who has to sing the words. His emotions. You can really hear the difference between what he wrote himself and what other people wrote. It’s more honest. I don’t really care about any ideology. There’s something to be found in so many aspects of life. It’s a waste to limit yourself to one ideology…
Which bands or artists have inspired you throughout the work on “Party Bullet”, as well as generally related to DEATH BEFORE DISCO ?
Birger: A wide number of bands. Everybody comes from a different background. But we all like bands like THRICE, DEFTONES, GLASSJAW, CAVE IN. I wouldn’t really say they’re our main inspiration, but I think you can kinda compare us to them in a way that we probably listen to about the same things they do. So, I’d say that we come from a time and era where we listen to a wide variety of music and it shows.
How have the reactions and on “Party Bullet” been so far ?
Birger: Most of them are extremely good actually. Makes us really glad, since, we did put a lot of effort in it and it’s nice to get recognition for it. I hope it’ll pay off in the end, since our goal is really to play out as much as possible. It’s what we like best. Playing shows.
How many shows did you play so far ? Do you have the chance to play often in front of an audience ?
Birger: We played our first show on march 14th. I think we did about 20 shows up until now. We’ve about 15-20 shows planned in July, so you could say we get quite some chances to play. I’m gald though, since that’s what we like best, playing shows…
You recently played a few shows with NARZISS in Germany and as support for THURSDAY in Belgium. What impressions did you get during the shows and how was it to share the stage with THURSDAY ?
Birger: Yeah. We played in Berlin and in Lichtenstein together with NARZISS. I remember the Lichtenstein show being extremely hot and me fucking up some of my gear. Oh well. It was the NARZISS release show, so there were quite some people and it was really cool to play there. We indeed opened up for THURSDAY in Belgium. It was a great experience for us, since our new CD just came out and we got to play to a lot of people we never played to before. We got a lot of great response after that show, so that was really cool. And THURSDAY is an amazing band and they were really nice people so it was a real good experience.
The Belgian Hardcore scene is principally known for its wide spectre of Metal-Core. Do you think this circumstance is an unintentional advantage for DEATH BEFORE DISCO to create music beside the standards of this creative section ?
Birger: Well, as you probably know, despite what a lot of them claim to be, a lot of hardcore kids aren’t that open minded. They keep checking out the same bands, the same style and everything that doesn’t really sounds like their favourite band at that time, they will just not check. So, for us, now, it’s starting to get better. People tell their friends they checked us and bought our CD and that they like it and so on.
Also, people had the chance to see us a bit more than once out here, which proves to be good. A lot of kids that said they hated at first, turned into huge lovers after two or three times seeing us. So, I guess, it’s kind of an advantage doing something different, since it makes you stand out more, but it’s hard sometimes getting past the ‘hey, we want Metalcore and Beatdown parts’ clichés that the hardcore scene is sometimes. Being subtle isn’t always appreciated. At least not at first.
Isn’t it curious that a scene, which music seems to present itself open minded infiltrates such a contradictional fanbase ?
Birger: It’s the nature of the beast. I don’t blame anybody. When I was younger and just got into hardcore, I was like that as well. I didn’t even wanna listen to stuff that had singing. Luckily enough for me, I changed fast. Hehe. Kids need to get used to new things and it takes time. It’s just a matter of knowing these things, because otherwise, it gets frustrating sometimes.
What do you think about ‚Straight Edge‘ ?
Birger: I’ve been straight edge for like 8 years now. So I guess I can’t really say it’s a bad thing, can I? But honestly, I don’t care if anybody is straight edge or not. An asshole will still be an asshole if he’s straight edge. Like, I’m the only edge guy in the band and we’ve never really had any problems with that…
You will tour Europe during the summer. Can you offer concrete dates or cities you are going to perform ? Who will join DEATH BEFORE DISCO as supporting act on the tour ?
Birger: Yeah. All dates can be found on the goodlife site actually. It’s constantly updated. We’ll be doing 8 dates with SHAI HULUD and should be heading out with Jairus and Instil after the goodlife fest.
Any concrete plans for the near future except hitting the roads ?
Birger: Well, playing out and promoting the new CD is our first objective at the moment. Like I said, it’s what we like to do most. Other then that, we’ll probably release a MCD at the beginning of next year, like 5 songs or so. Meeting new people, playing new places, trying to create new opportunities. That’s the first thing we’ll do now.
And last but not least, who will win the European soccer championship in Portugal ?
Birger: Portugal or France.
Thanks a bunch for the Intie and the chance to expose ourselves.