I love it when I discover a great rock band by accident, it’s always a great feeling. Such is the case with DIE SO FLUID, a trio formed in London, England in 2000. Made up of Grog (vocals, bass), Drew Richards (guitar), and Al Fletcher (drums, backing vocals) they have released three full length albums, Spawn of Dysfunction, Not Everybody Gets a Happy Ending and The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime with a new record coming very soon. I had the pleasure of interviewing the band by e-mail where I was able to get the scoop on not only the album, but tour plans,and what it is that makes DIE SO FLUID tick. Read on and see:
Amps: First up, tell me about how everything is going for the new album. Is the title still The Opposites of Light? When can we expect a release?
Grog: Yes it is still called The Opposites of Light, and it’s due out in April. The title created the perfect framework for writing this album and it really worked out. For me it has layers of meaning, not just the most obvious ones of dark and heavy, but associated with surreal experiences of travelling between different time zones, and reminiscent of the extended periods of darkness called polar night common to Finland, a country dear to us.
Amps: Because I am a brand new fan, can you tell me what it is that makes DIE SO FLUID what it is?
Al: Songs, riffs, and a dynamite sound.
Grog: People have said DIE SO FLUID provides a kind of meaningful soundtrack to their lives accompanying them through good and bad times like a dependable friend… We have a recurring theme- that we’re all in this together and that’s what makes this crazy journey meaningful. The intention to create something of worth and the human spirit.
Amps: What is the writing dynamic within the group?
Drew: It constantly evolves. When we started it was strictly I did riffs, Grog did melodies and lyrics, we would both do the arrangement and then Al would say it was rubbish and we’d start again. It was like a turf war where we had our patch and we stuck to it. But now Grog writes whole songs or I do or she writes some music and I do some words or the other way around doesn’t matter we just enjoy creating in different ways.
Grog: We’re heading to the UK for a tour in April starting on the 25th, and then we go to Canada and the US of A. We’re playing a cool new UK festival this year called Alt Fest on Aug 17. We’ve just confirmed September dates in Finland. More will be coming in and we’ll keep all the info updated online.
Amps: Can each one of you tell me who it was that inspired you to pick up and learn your instruments?
Grog: My mum is a pianist and she sent me for piano lessons age 5. I was lucky to be exposed to all kinds of music from an early age, classic, musicals, rock, metal, pop, everything. Music made me feel so much, it was and still is some special kind of magic to me. West Side Story made me feel like I was going to explode, one of my older brothers snuck me in to see The Song Remains The Same film LED ZEPPELIN made which blew my mind, and also I saw IGGY POP at the London Forum and held his bicep when he stage dived, it was electric and I still remember the awesome feeling of the bass pumping and vibrating in my chest. I have a fair few heroes and heroines, passion and that ability to transport through performance are what get me.
Drew: Pornography by THE CURE. Before I heard that I wanted to play synths because I thought guitars were boring and old-timey.
Al: Animal from the Muppets mainly, and my parents!
Grog: (Al’s dad was a famous British tuba player and his mum an amazing opera singer. They got to play on all kinds of cool film scores like Star Wars and The Omen.)
Amps: Over the past decade plus, how have you grown and changed as players and as people?
Grog: It’s made me more responsible when it comes to health and ability, because there are other people depending on you, it’s not just all about you. And more appreciative of what I have, my partners in crime, friends, family and fans, we’re all interwoven. There’s so much potential there.
Drew: Playing-wise I’m still at the same level just above ‘suck’ but as a person I’m a much better cook and more tolerant of cats.
Grog: Living so far apart! I don’t have to smell Al’s horrendous farts so often. Having relocated to L.A. I miss my DSF buds like crazy (they both currently live in London) but I do think that makes rehearsing, touring, recording and making videos a lot more special these days. Not only do I look forward to playing, I get to hang out and experience the three musketeers vibe return each time. The way we operate now doesn’t allow so much for bad habits, laziness or niggles to develop. The sound of DSF is truly made up of what we each contribute, we know that, and it’s our lifeline.
Drew: It is amazing that we all still want to do this but I think we were already adults when we started the band, so our concentration span is a tad longer than young bands. We’re still hungry and we still love each other so I guess only death will part us.
Al: Why break up a good thing, plus we don’t know anyone else, haha!
Amps: What song or songs that you’ve written really stand out and get you amped up to play them live?
Grog: “Mercury” is one of my live favourites, and “Not Everybody Gets a Happy Ending” literally brings tears to peoples’ eyes.
Drew: “Gang of One” – it’s our anthem.
Al: That’s hard… “Happy Halloween”, “Raven”, “Mercury”.
Amps: Do you have any favorite cities, countries, or venues that are among your favorites to play? Any Spinal Tap mishaps on the road?
Grog: I really enjoy playing the House of Blues venues in the US, they all have great sound and similar cool atmosphere. We did some with MSI a while ago on tour. I love returning to London cos it’s my old stomping ground, and we all love Finland, I’m fond of Tavastia in Helsinki. I did fall down a 6 foot hole at the back of the stage in Leeds once. Luckily it was pitch black after the last song, that’s why I didn’t see it. But the audience did hear a massive KER-PLUNG off the bass when I hit the floor! I bruised my hip really badly and had to have an x ray to check for fractures. You know what though-I was in shock but I still came back on for an encore with tears in my eyes, the show must go on!
Al: Love playing London obviously, Glasgow, Las Vegas, Hamburg. If I had a penny for every time I couldn’t find the stage, I’d have £5.63!
Amps: What would you like to say to the DIE SO FLUID fans all over the world?
Grog: Have a good time all the time.
Al: We’re coming to get you.
And that’s that. Not only do the members of DIE SO FLUID make great music together, you can see that it really is a labor of love and that they are all genuinely fond of one another. The Opposites of Light will be out next month and I can’t wait to hear it as well as catch them live on tour. Check out the previous three records I mentioned earlier and you’ll be a believer, too.
PHOTOS BY TINA KORHONEN/TINA K PHOTOGRAPHY