Death Before Dishonor interview in the May issue of AMP Magazine
DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR by: Steve Kane
Since the release of 2004’s Friends, Family, Forever, Boston’s Death Before Dishonor have been touring relentlessly in preparation for the next chapter of their history. Now, five years after their inception, the band is releasing their first LP and most accomplished record to date entitled, Count Me In. Here is what Vocalist Bryan Harris had to say about hardcore, touring and their new album.
After two EP's and five years together, you are finally releasing your first full length for Bridge 9. Was it a conscious decision to wait on writing a full length?
No, not at all. After the first EP, Friends Family Forever came out on Bridge 9, we hit the road pretty much non-stop and when you're on the road that much, before you know it a year and a half go by and you're like, "damn, we need to write a new record." As much as it would’ve been nice to release a new full-length last year, we got to grow as a band. All that time on the road helped us become a lot tighter and it shows on the new record.
Now that it's all done, how do you feel Count Me In differs from Friends Family Forever and True Til Death?
I know every band probably says this, but I think it’s a step up from our last recordings. With every record we do, we grow a little and it shows on Count Me In. We have a 2nd guitarist now and that alone helped our sound overall and added more to our song writing. All the songs are catchier vocally and musically and in our opinion it is the best Death Before Dishonor record we have done.
What was it like working with Jim Siegel and recording at The Outpost?
It was great. We have worked with Jim a few times in the past, but with this full-length we were able to spend more time in the studio with him. Jim always seems to capture the way hardcore should sound and knowing that makes it easy to record with him.
In your eyes, what is the greatest thing the band has done to date? What do you want to accomplish this year?
Being able to go out and tour a lot of the world is an accomplishment. We have been fortunate enough to play places I never thought I would ever travel to. We were also fortunate enough to tour with Agnostic Front for a few months and for me growing up they were one of the most influential bands I listened to. As for this year, touring Japan and Australia would make 2007 for us.
Hardcore is big enough at this point where certain bands can make a living off it. Do you think making a career off hardcore takes something away from the spirit or the community aspect?
I don’t think so. As long as the bands are staying true to themselves and don’t forget where they come from I don’t think it takes anything away. Who doesn’t want to be able to pay their bills playing the music they love? Look at Hatebreed. They have been a band for over 10 years and they went from selling demos at basement shows to playing the main stage at Ozzfest and yet they never forgot where they came from. Jamey is always helping hardcore bands whether it's putting out a record, taking a smaller band on tour, putting on shows, or just going to hardcore shows.
If Death Before Dishonor could tour with four bands of any genre from any time period, who would it be and why?
Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Sick Of It All and Blood for Blood because those are four of my favorite bands and what hardcore kid wouldn’t want to see that lineup?
In the past few years violence in hardcore has escalated to new heights, even resulting in deaths at shows. At what point do you feel it's a bands responsibility to step in and say something?
Hardcore has always had a violent side, I'm not saying it is right or wrong, but its always been there and nowadays its hurting hardcore more than ever with less places wanting to do hardcore shows and more kids scared of what might happen at a show. With that said, I think a band always has some level of responsibility as does everyone involved in a show. Whether it’s a promoter, security, bands, or just hardcore kids that go to the shows, everyone needs to make a conscious effort to keep things under control.
At any given point people in hardcore will complain about how "it's not like it used to be." What keeps you excited about hardcore after all these years? What current bands are you psyched about?
Every generation is going to say “it’s not how it used to be” and I even find myself saying that sometimes. In the end it just shows that times change and it’s part of life. No matter how much hardcore has changed, it’s not always for the worse, I play and go to plenty of shows and see a lot of kids that still have love for hardcore and their beliefs are no different than people that went to shows in the mid 90's. There are plenty of great hardcore bands out there that keep hardcore alive and are at the top of the game such as Terror, Blacklisted, Death Threat, and there are a lot of newer bands like Colin Of Arabia, Shipwreck, Energy, and legendary bands like Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, and Madball out there and that’s just naming a few.
You tour a lot so I'm sure you have some great stories to tell. Anything you'd like to share?
We were on tour in Europe with Agnostic Front. We get to some club in Germany early and there is a piano in the back room. Our bass player Frankie starts playing it and starts playing AF songs. Roger gets the idea to bring the piano on stage and have Frankie play piano for AF. So it happens, Frankie on piano and Roger singing. Who would ever think they would hear AF playing “Gotta Gotta Go” as a piano ballad?
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for taking the time to interview us. Our new record Count Me In will be out May 22nd and we will be on the road all summer so check us out.
Image taken from: http://www.myspace.com/deathbeforedishonorbhc