Southampton punk rockers DEAD! have announced an eight-date headline tour in September to coincide with the release of the video for ‘Phantom‘, the second single off of their ‘Tu Me Manques’ EP. Produced by Dan Weller, the EP has been well received; indeed it was streamed by Rock Sound exclusively on their website earlier this year, when the band toured with Fearless Vampire Killers.
I had a chat with the guys before they head out around the country to talk about band naming, fantasy touring partners and what it really means to them to be ‘living the dream’ …
– How was New Age Fest? Did you get to catch many of the other bands?
We’re still quite new to the festival circuit so it feels chaotic to us! It was really cool to be a part of a smaller DIY festival – that really resonates with how our band operates. We’re all really bummed that we didn’t get to catch The Computers, those guys have such a crazy aesthetic live. You feel like you’re in a film.
– You’re heading out on a headline tour of the UK in September, how are you feeling about that?
There really aren’t many words to describe how we feel about it, we’ve chosen venues that we think are going to look and feel like people are in our latest music video. After a bunch of festival slots and a support tour with Fearless Vampire Killers, we’re actually really looking forward to playing longer sets, and we really hope our fans are looking forward to that too.
– If you could pick any line up of bands to tour with, who would you pick, and why?
We saw Finch the other night, so we’ll take them just because they were impeccable live. Let’s put Taking Back Sunday on as headline and throw in Reuben (back from the dead). Fuck. Looks like we’re on first for that one.
– You describe your genre of music as ‘punk ‘n’ roll’, what can new fans expect from your live show?
We really enjoy the sensibilities of good pop song writing, but we’re a bunch of energetic, passionate young guys, so its just not going to be played in a traditional pop way ha! Come along, stand down the front, we dare you …
– How did you decide on your band name?
It’s actually an odd story – when guitarist Sam had just had his first band implode and thought “Oh shit, what if I get hit by a bus tomorrow and didn’t release any music I was proud of”, he saved everything in a folder on his laptop just named ‘dead’. The idea was partly inspired by a Madina Lake lyric, but everyone ended up with the folder on their laptops to hear the demos and we just stuck with it.
– New single ‘Phantom’ is the 2nd off of your EP, ‘Tu Me Manques’, when might we expect a full-length studio album?
It’s really hard for an unsigned band to fund that kind of thing, and we’ve always been fans of natural growth so when its ready to happen it’ll happen. That’s not to say we haven’t been writing, there’s tons of new material and some is insanely vicious, we can’t wait to get into a studio and see how it turns out.
– Dan Weller, who produced your EP, has worked with the likes of Enter Shikari and Sikth; did you enjoy the recording process?
We’d always dreamed of working with Dan, given his track record, so it was a nerve-wracking experience at first. We actually all got on really well as soon as we got in the room, Dan completely got our sound and what we wanted to do. He knew how to hype us up for the recording process; most of the CD is just us playing live whilst having tequila poured down our faces. That’s why the vibe is so wild and on tracks like ‘We Are Dead’ you can really hear that.
– What does it mean to you to know that people are listening to your music and buying tickets to come and see you headline?
Literally everything. It’s so surreal, we’ll never get used to it. The Dead! family is turning into some giant team trying to breathe some excitement back into the music scene and make live music what it used to be.
– What’s been the highlight for Dead! so far?
There’s too many to mention. Radio One was pretty insane, we kind of got picked up by accident before the track was even finished. ‘We Are Dead’ was never meant to be a single, it just happened! It was a bit odd walking home from the tube station and seeing we were tweeted by Dan P Carter as his ‘Single Of The Week’ on a song we’d been finishing the vocals for half an hour earlier! Our first gig in Glasgow was definitely a highlight, but you’ll have to come see us play in Scotland to understand that.
– How do you feel the local/national rock scene is evolving? Is the future of rock and metal bright?
It looks that way, especially with bands like Bring Me The Horizon keeping metal at the forefront of popular culture. Just look at the Jamie Lenman come back – everyone really gave a fuck about a dude from the past whose band never ‘made it’, and thats awesome. It’s great to be a small part of it.
– What’s next for DEAD!?
Songs! Studio! Video! But first we’re just going to try to get through this tour without being hit by another truck …
You can catch DEAD! on tour at the following venues through September: –
24/09/2014 SOUTHAMPTON – The Cellar
25/09/2014 BRISTOL – The Gryphon
26/09/2014 BIRMINGHAM – Alfie Birds
27/09/2014 LEEDS – Temple Of Boom
29/09/2014 DURHAM – Fish Tank
30/09/2014 GLASGOW – Old Hairdressers
01/10/2014 BOLTON – The Alma
02/10/2014 NOTTINGHAM – The Dog House
03/10/2014 LONDON – The Garage (upstairs)
You can find the video for ‘Phantom‘ here – http://youtu.be/i3Xbs2i0ovU