It was a decade ago when the release of their second album, Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending had us at The RR enthralled and hooked on the inimitable musical adventure that is Die So Fluid. A greedy backward look took us back to its beginnings and a first album which added to an instinctive appetite which subsequently has kept a close ear ever since. Earlier this year the band released their fifth album in the deviously magnetic shape of One Bullet from Paradise. We have had the pleasure to since talk with one of the band’s founders and guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Drew Richards; getting down to chat about the band, the latest album, the tragedy before it and much more…
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band to newcomers and give us some background its beginnings?
We’re Die So Fluid; a female fronted hard rock three-piece out of London and Los Angeles. Grog (Vocals and Bass) and I, Drew (Guitar), met through mutual musical friends over twenty years ago and have pursued truth, justice and power chords ever since. Our drummer is a moonlighting international man of mystery – Justin Bennett who also plays for Thrill Kill Kult and Skinny Puppy. One Bullet from Paradise is our fifth album.
I know the band is nearing the end of its second decade but is there a musical history for you before Die So Fluid?
Nothing I did before Die So Fluid really mattered and it all just inspired a desire to do something more truthful and authentic.
What inspired the band name?
Sadly a lot of beer… Drink driving is bad but drink band naming is worse. You get stuck with a trademark that made perfect sense when everyone is shouting at each other in a bar after 6 pints. Then you spend a lifetime explaining the result of that ‘discussion’ to people
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
No it just fulfilled the primal drive to be part of a gang and to create stuff that made you look cool so the opposite sex would want to sleep with you. At a certain point you realise you’re actually enjoying the music making and you want to create truly beautiful and original and poignant art. Once that bug bites you it’s hard to kick it.
And still the drive for the band even after so many creative years?
I kind of just answered that. The money is still shit though so count that out as motivation.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
It was definitely purer and rawer when we started. I’d like to do that again but I don’t know how you can lose sophistication gained from years of playing without things sounding contrived.
It has been a more organic movement of sound or the band going out to deliberately try new things would you say?
Both but I have to think everything new that can be recorded has been recorded by now. I think I really need to look at what the true core of Die So Fluid is and just perfect that.
Are there any specific inspirations which have impacted not only on the band’s sound but your own personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
We really like Rush. They were a three piece that really did not ever shy away from experimenting and managed on more than one occasion to marry a really catchy song with some really progressive music and arrangements.
Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?
For me music is very instinctive and the main lyric/title is too but the rest of the lyrics are tough. I have a lot of notebooks and I’ll put the music on my phone and walk all over the neighbourhood listening to it and chipping away at the words.
Where do you, more often than not, find the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?
Well there’s a lot going on in the world right now so there’s a lot to draw from. I may divert away from reality again in the future and try and be a bit more poetic and mythic. People need an escape.
Could you give us some background to your latest release, One Bullet From Paradise?
The most dramatic thing about this record is it is the first one on which the third founder-member of the band did not play on. He died a month before we were due to record the drums. So we took a while to decide whether to carry on with the band let alone this album. If Grog didn’t know Justin we probably would not have but he really pulled out some stops to get it back on track.
Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.
The title track is about religious dogma emboldening Isis soldiers in battle. There’s quite a lot on the album influenced by conflict in the world come to think of it so my favorite diversion is ‘Bittersweet’ which is a comic book heroine that will ‘only fight you on guitars’. I was going to put #guitarsnotguns at the end of the Tomorrow doesn’t always come video but it seemed cheesy and then the Parkland school shooting happened and I definitely didn’t want to look like I was using a tragedy to sell something. I’ll leave that to the mainstream media.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
Totally sorted and demoed three times before we go near a studio. These days most stuff is recorded at home and we only need a studio for my elaborate string arrangements anyway.
Tell us about the live side to the band; presumably still a favourite aspect of the band?
It has been one of the best aspects of my life – traveling the world entertaining people but when you get older it is way too hard to continue to put the rest of your life on hold to tour. The pleasure of playing live has never faded since I first stepped on stage at sixteen.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield and far more difficult these days. How do you see it and feel its cage from when you guys started out?
Surely the opportunities are all in the ether of the world wide web now. I’ve seen people explode overnight just from getting on the right playlists and getting pushed by curators on the right platforms. Very gimmicky a lot of the new stuff that succeeds though; that’s how you stand out by doing some shit like Babymetal.
How has the internet and social media impacted on you as a band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as a band grows in regard to ease of streaming and illegal downloading or something which can continue to be a potent weapon?
Social media is a tool that some artists not only wield with great skill but they seem to actually revel in tweeting what they had for tea or what shape their turd was this morning. As you may already be able to tell I personally find social media narcissistic and boring but it is totally to the detriment of your band if you don’t get on it. The internet as a whole has at least put some power into the hands of creators if they want to be a DIY record company so there’s a positive.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
I am dizzy from your in depth interrogation. I feel like I have given two pints of blood. I need a cookie. But before I do that I should tell you about our special show coming up at the Lexington in London on November 11th. Only a few tickets left. A new video is also about to be revealed. Check it all out and come see us in action!
One Bullet From Paradise is out now @ including https://diesofluid.bandcamp.com/
For more links to the album and all things Die So Fluid explore the band @
Pete RingMaster 26/10/2018
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