Q&A: Death Is Not Glamorous

Last weekend we went to see Touché Amoré and La Dispute in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. They played in a small, 150 people capacity venue and the atmosphere was intense. Both bands were amazing, but what surprised me was the support act Death Is Not Glamorous. I wasn’t familiar with the band, and to be honest their name reminded me more of a emo-band than a punk/hardcore outfit. I was wrong, and they (literally) broke the house down. Singer Christian Medaas is a small, energetic fella, who at one point was standing on the bar, breaking glasses and going crazy. It was an amazing show, and we had more than enough reason to ask the guys some questions.

Please introduce yourself and your band

Hey, I’m Christian and I play in Death is not Glamorous, along with Espen, Even, Mathias (or Emanuele), and Terje.

You’re from Norway. Could you comment on the events of last weekend (the shooting and bombing by 32-old Anders Behring Breivik)?

It’s hard to put words to how we feel, because obviously it’s a pretty traumatic experience for everyone involved, everyone from Oslo, and everyone in general. Needless to say it has affected everything in our lives, including this tour – I assume that people know the facts; car bomb in the city, a man dressed up as a cop acting on his own right-wing conservative convictions going to a summer camp outside of the city and massacring as many kids there as he could before turning himself in. None of us in the band knew anyone who was hurt or killed, but each and every person, every f**king kid, had a family, had loved ones, and it’s hard to imagine the magnitude of the suffering that these people must feel. And that this kind of politically motivated murder of innocent people happens every day, somewhere in this f**king world. I think that it will take some time before I am able to coherently voice an opinion on the matter, simply because it’s so huge and there are many sides to it – plus, the entire country is still in shock, and things are still happening with regards to the man’s trial and persecution. It is clear to me that the threats that ‘racial purity’, ‘anti-multi-culturalist’ convictions pose to a free, democratic, world that I think most of us want to live in are not to be taken lightly. I’m blown away, we’re all blown away by it.

DING is currently on tour with Touché Amoré and La Dispute. How has the tour been so far?

The guys in Touche Amore and La Dispute are awesome, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them thus far – I am siked that we have like 3 more weeks of this bullshit. It’s awesome to check them out every night, as I haven’t listened so much to either band before this tour and I’m really into what I’m seeing / hearing. The shows have been cool – they are pretty popular bands, so sometimes we’re like the little band that plays first, and that’s kinda fun for us as well, when we’re used to smaller DIY shows (better) and somewhat of a different crowd. It’s all good, mad fun is being had at this very moment. And our vans have f**king tv’s in them.

What was the best show and what show are you still looking forward to?

Fluff Fest was incredible 2 years ago, and it was f**king just as good this year. I was so siked to play there, mostly because I knew that a lot of my close friends from around Europe were going to be there. It was just as good as I expected. Got down and dirty in the mud – it’s funny, because normally I hate playing at festivals and on big stages, but Fluff Fest somehow doesn’t count. That said, every show so far has been great to play, regardless of the crowd or venue or whatever. We make shit work, whether it’s at a lame metal festival in Belgium or on a boat in Paris with strobe lights and smoke machines. Still looking forward to.. EVERY SHOW.

Could you explain a bit more about the band name, “Death Is Not Glamorous”?

Our name is taken from a song (‘No More Pain’) by the DC band Embrace. To me, it’s a statement, because we’re about a lot more than just music. Our name is a rejection of the glorification of self-pacification, of self-abuse, be it through drugs and alcohol, mindless apathy, a lack of self-control, violence, or whatever else. We’re about self-worth, about potential, about making a difference, somewhere, somehow, be it through music or other things in life. The Embrace record is perfect, if you haven’t heard it, put it at the top of your to-do list.

What can people expect from the new EP, Spring Forward, if they haven’t heard it yet?

5 dudes, 7 songs, 12 inches. We have definitely not deviated from how we usually sound, but I think we’re at our most pissed and our most passive at different points on this record, so it’s kinda a jack of all trades. It was fun to record and you should check it the f**k out.

Do you have any expectations, where this record will get you as a band?

Hell no. I mean, hopefully in a rooftop swimming pool somewhere, watching the sunset with some scantily clad exotic femmes, but I doubt it. We’re a hardcore band, we don’t have ambitions to do anything but play hardcore shows, hang out, go on tour, and make more music. DIY or die.

You guys have a clear point of view on straight edge and society. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Everyone in the band apart from Mathias is edge, but we all have different perspectives on it I think. Personally, it’s just the right thing for me, I lack nothing and it feels good to know that I’m treating my body well – I still party harder than any other motherf**ker out there. I’m not one to be vocal as f**k about straight edge and I definitely stay away from the whole mentality of separation from people who choose to drink, smoke, do drugs, or whatever. That’s just as ridiculous to me as non-edge kids separating themselves from people who choose not to do those things. There’s gotta be better things to come together for, rather than come apart over. That said, I think that straight edge is political to me in that I am making a conscious choice to not support industries that profit directly on addiction and death. To me, the choice is clear as day.

Do you think social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is a threat or an advantage for the music industry?

I hate the music industry, so I hope it’s a threat. I think it’s great for music in general, because social networking and digital access to music (both ‘free’ and otherwise) are definitely changing the game, and in a way, leveling the playing field. The major labels and artists who already have billions of dollars are kind of losing out, while smaller labels and bands are getting a lot more attention than they have before. I think in this new music world, it’s even more important to support these small labels and bands – but I definitely downloaded the Weeknd record and didn’t pay for that shit.

What’s your view on today’s European hardcore scene?

I am proud to be part of the Oslo hardcore scene, because right now it’s a hotbed of new bands and zines and great shows. As for the rest of Europe, I don’t really know – there are a few bands that I’m way into, but I can’t say that there’ve been many things that have really grabbed my attention in the past few months. We’ll see how the shows on this tour go – every time we’ve gone on tour in the past, we’ve had an awesome time and seen plenty of good bands, so I’m sure this will be no exception. Yo, This Routine is Hell from the Netherlands – f**king awesome. Get on it!

Anything you’d like to add?

Reject a life of distance. Defeat statistics.

Thank you so much for your time and input!

Thanks for the interview, thanks for listening, thanks for checking us out. XXX

All photos are taken by © Jens Quasten • http://loversinnerthief.tumblr.com/

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