Two weeks ago we got a nice surprise in our mailbox: At Daggers Drawn‘s new EP New Bruises. The well-designed and presented box contained a black vinyl disc that blew us away after putting it in the CD player. New Bruises contains five tracks of raw punk hardcore. They are melodic yet heavy songs that contain the old school in-your-face mentality; though sound innovative in its own way. Pick it up and judge for yourself.
The band is currently on tour throughout Europe, promoting their new album. After hearing their latest effort New Bruises we thought it was time to ask the boys some questions in regards to their band, the current hardcore scene and the life of a touring band.
Please introduces yourselves to our readers that are not familiar yet with At Daggers Drawn.
Hey guys, first thanks for reading this interview. We are At Daggers Drawn from Berlin, Germany and we try to bring some chords together and call it music since around 2008.
Can you share a bit of how you got together, and why you wanted to play hardcore music?
Back in the days Wolli and Basti and our old guitarist already played in a band called Circle Kid, which disbanded in 2008. But since both of them didn’t wanted to stop playing music they found some new members resulting in At Daggers Drawn.
What do you think of the current European hardcore scene?
Uh, tough question. Especially when you have been to The States, you see that the European hardcore scene and all its entire sub activities (actions, merch, just all the stuff which is always going with it) could become more independent compared to The States. It’s still stuck in the people’s, whether people in bands or show-go-ers, heads that we have to follow the trends of the US scene, no matter what. There are so many good bands in Europe and some of them developed a European style of all the things, but still everyone here goes crazy for their American “idols”. Listen to the bands playing your local youth center! There is so much good stuff going on!
You’ve released “New Bruises” in July this year. What are the five songs about?
Lyrical wise we still try to work through all the rambling tough situations in life we encounter. Our singer George mostly tries to imply a lot of personal emotions and experiences into the lyrics so you could say, all he sings about is kind of what goes on in his head during his actual life. Additionally to the last record he focused also on the very blurry but still unavoidable theme “love”, trying to handle some stuff he was going through.
How would you describe your music?
That’s a question we discuss a lot in our band when it comes to new ideas and songs. Is this too crazy for this band or is it just innovative? Is this a good standard or is it pretty lame to play this riff? We are pretty different people and some bands that would be labeled “hardcore punk” can roughly describe our musical influences, but the bigger part is a total diversity and so is our music. Additionally we think it’s hard to label music as one style, because then you’d prejudge it and maybe the listeners think different because they expected something completely different. So the best description would be: “Listen to it!”
Can you explain a little more about the artwork?
The artwork was made by our good friend Schommer from the incredible AYS (http://www.facebook.com/SoulWrecked, go check them out!). After having a kind of concept for the LP (Serving Sorrow) we had no real intention this time in having a meaning for the artwork. So we only told Schommer the expected title and he made an artwork which is his interpretation of the title “New Bruises” and we think he did an incredible job on this one!
What do your lives look like? Do you all still have jobs?
Partly right. 3/5 of us is studying, while Basti is working in a vegan supermarket in Berlin right now which opened this summer and George is running his own booking business (NoDecline Booking – http://www.nodeclinebooking.com) and tries to make the best out of it. But as always it’s hard to combine jobs (all the students have to work, too!) and music (Wolli even plays in a second band, Smile And Burn http://www.facebook.com/smileandburn), but we always try to make as much music as possible and tour as much as possible. We always want to do more and doing this full time would be an incredible thing. But I guess that is in an unreachable distance and on the other hand we definitely have to think about our future, which sucks!
What motivates you to keep playing music?
Hmmm, another tough one, too. And although we got asked this very often and think about this a lot, we don’t have a good answer. It’s just something that you feel, when you get behind your instrument and play the first chord or a drumbeat. You are fulfilled with joy and happiness, and you just think: “Yeah! This feels so right”. I just think you could ask any musician why is he is doing music and you will get always an answer like: “Because its fun to do it.” Additionally when you get so much support and appreciation through the whole world, even from some places where you never played, you are motivated with the best kind of contribution you can get what makes it anxious to go on.
What got you into hardcore music, and what inspires you to write?
We would say the latter part of the question is answered in the one before. Again, the reasons we got into hardcore are as diverse as our love for different genres. Some got in there because of skateboarding, some just went to shows in their hometown with friends. The others maybe just got into it the old school way by getting a tape from someone who knows someone who knows…
You’re about to go on tour here in Europe. Are you excited? Anything you’d like to share with our readers?
It’s always special to go on a new tour because you always get to discover new places. And at the same time you can play a lot of new cities while sticking to some old ones, which were so much fun before and promise to be great again. We are really excited about going on tour again, especially because we never played our last EP in Europe before except for some song fragment last winter.
At the end we would like to thank you, the reader, for going through this interview and the support we got through all the years and we hope that for 2012 and the future we can stick to our own and all the listeners expectations and even go beyond that! And thank you to Legends Arising for taking the time and being interested in us!
And that wraps it up perfectly! Thanks for answering our questions guys and have a great time touring Europe!