Part II of our DIE SO FLUID kickoff to 2015 stars Grog, lead singer and bassist. We recently had a Skype chat where we talked about the upcoming tour with WEDNESDAY 13 and EYES SET TO KILL, the different approach to recording new album The Opposites of Light, and more. So come on in, have a seat and check it out:
Amps: Tell me about a song like “The World Opposite”, which happens to be my favorite.
Grog: That’s really interesting, you’re the first person who said that’s their favorite song. Wow! For me it’s really representative of a time when I was traveling back and forth between Europe and the States so much that I kept going across different time zones. I felt like I was in my own time zone I was traveling so much (laughs)! It was written before I officially moved here to L.A. so that song for me is really reminiscent of that time. Also we were doing a lot of work in Finland which has the Polar Night thing where some nights the sun just never goes down. It’s insane, you have to have curtains that completely block out the light to get any sleep whatsoever.
Amps: “Nightmares” and “Violent Delights” are so very different, yet they fit together. Talk about the different ends of your musical spectrum.
Grog: The Opposites of Light was a title we came up with that kind of made us chuckle. It’s kind of funny to us because yeah, it’s heavy and it’s dark, but it made sense. It allowed us to represent those two things and really explore them. We’ve touched on those before and that’s what we’re known for, the heavy punk-y raw thing that we do. But I also love to do the more torch song kind of stuff. I don’t really care about boundaries or fitting into genres or stuff. To me that’s ridiculous and I just want to explore what I’m capable of as a musician. So that’s why we’ve got this broad spectrum of style in there. The sound of the band really holds it all together, and that’s the magic.
Amps: What made you guys decide to do a 16-song double record, so to speak?
Grog: We did play with the idea of releasing it as a double album, two CDs, but being an independent band we don’t have huge amounts of money to play with and stuff. It would have cost too much to manufacture all that so we thought, “Why not put it all on one CD and we’ll represent it with the two sides. One is called ‘Shakura’ and the other one is ‘Pah'”. And those are solar and lunar deities of Native American tribes. If I could I’d put it out on double vinyl and go crazy with the packaging. Maybe someone might read this and help us out with that in future (laughs). But for now the goal is to have as many people hear it as possible and get our profile up and get out on the road to do as much as we can to spread the word.
Amps: What, if anything, was different on this record?
Grog: Well, it was very different this time because I moved to the States and we changed our writing process. I had to learn more about recording in my own studio that I set up at home. And Drew had his setup over in London, so it was this process of sending ideas back and forth; we never had to do that before. It was a bit of a nerve-wracking time because we didn’t know if it would be weird and disconnected since we were all in different places. You worry that the vibe is gonna get lost. But it didn’t. We’ve got this bond, this unbreakable bond because we’ve been together a long time. We’ve been friends for nearly fifteen years. We’ve kept going and it’s come together amazingly.
It was very different as opposed to the traditional way of going into the studio. But I think it allowed us to be more flexible and it allowed me to be a real perfectionist with my vocal performances. I could go in and record when I felt right and not have the pressure of time constraints. It was a luxury, really. It was interesting and I think we’ve all come along as musicians because of it, too. We know a little more about the potential of the band and what the possibilities are for the future.
Amps: Speaking of the future…how excited is everyone for this upcoming tour??
Grog: (Laughing) I’m really excited! I’m the most excited! I’ve wanted to do a decent tour here for so long like you wouldn’t believe. But nothing really came along that made sense. And this is an opportunity to just get out there and rock it. I can’t wait. It’s a week and a half away.
Amps: Yeah, you’re playing my favorite place in the world Trees Dallas after I moved away! But don’t worry, I have The Wonder Twins covering it there, and I will see you at the Philly gig at North Star Bar.
Amps: What’s your current bass/rig setup?
Grog: I’m endorsed by G&L Guitars, so I play a G&L Tribute L-2000. I have two of those over in the UK and I have a really amazing one that they gave me here. It’s black of course, has to be black! Usually I use Hughes & Kettner gear and I’ve been endorsed by them for many years but they’ve kind of stopped making bass gear so I’m looking around at different makes now. I’m gonna be taking Gallien-Krueger out with me on this tour. I’ve had a go with it before and it sounds awesome. I’m always on the lookout for any alternatives if any bass companies out there are reading this… (laughs)
Amps: What’s next for DIE SO FLUID, not just in 2015, but beyond?
Grog: Well I wanna continue touring in the U.S. as much as I can with the band and see what doors open for us over here. I have always had this feeling that our bigger audience will be here and people kind of get us quicker over here. We did a tour six years ago with MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE. We didn’t have much but it went so well and the audience response was so strong and so receptive, it was amazing. So my gut feeling is that we need to focus on here for the time being.
Of course we won’t ignore Europe. Hopefully we get to do a tour of England, Germany, Finland, a few of our favorite places. We really want to promote this album because we are independent and we don’t have a huge corporate machine behind us. So we’re prepared to put the work in because we believe in it.
Amps: Oh, that time is coming, I can feel it. And you couldn’t be with a better team than FiXT Publicity. Tom George there is one of the best guys in the business, and a close friend.
Grog: It’s really good to hear that because we’re kind of in the deep end of everything. Tom has been amazing, and it’s nice to hear that coming from someone like you. And you’ve been a huge supporter of the band as well, Damian. So I have to thank you for that.
Amps: Think nothing of it. I support the bands I love. What would you like to say to all the DIE SO FLUID fans worldwide?
Grog: I would like to say thank you first of all for sticking by us and all the years of supporting us. I wish everyone a Happy New Year, and I think this year is gonna be extremely eventful. Enjoy our new album and try to come out and see us live if you can, and enjoy the adventure with us.
Grog is such a sweet and humble person. She’s someone you could talk to for hours before you realize how much time has passed. This print interview can’t quite do justice the genuine excitement in her voice when she spoke about the upcoming tour and what the future holds. And when an artist is that excited it gets ME excited too. I just know that these shows are gonna be fantastic and I can’t wait to rock out with DIE SO FLUID on January 28. You can find tour dates and ticket info HERE. And don’t forget to pick up The Opposites of Light which is out now!
PHOTOS: PAUL HARRIES