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Andrew (Die! Die! Die!)

Just before the show, Andrew told us some things about New Zealand, Flying Nun, Peter Jackson and of course, their music...

When did you first start playing music?

I started playing music with Mikey, our drummer, when we were in high school, when we were about 15 or 14.

What kind of music did you play then? What bands did you like? Which bands influenced you?

I was really into English punk rock music like The Sex Pistols and The Clash.
I saw lots of local bands in Dunedin like HDU (High Dependency Unit) and The Dead C and they changed my life and changed the sort of music I listen to.
I got really inspired by local New Zealand music, so I kind of stopped listening to so much overseas music and listened to more local music.

The local bands in Croatia that have been playing for years aren't well known to the general population, is that the case for these local bands?

Where they well known? No, no, not at all.
It was just cause my band, we were so young and we would just play with them, I mean, that sort of music.
I wouldn't have the opportunity to see them unless they did all ages shows.
That's why it's so important to us to do all ages shows, I think. Even though we're not doing one today.
[ andrew @ die! die! die! ]

andrew @ die! die! die!   © ulysea

If you were the interviewer, what would you ask yourself? One question.

What's the comparison between New Zealand and Croatia? I don't know. [laughs]

Can you compare NZ to CRO?

There's a lot of Croatian people in NZ and they always say it's a very beautiful place and they want to go home, but they can't.

How long have you been in Zagreb?

Two days now. But we got in late last night and we're leaving early tomorrow so we've seen a lot of the guys flat that we've been sleeping in.

When you're touring do you ever get the chance to really...

Suck it in? Yeah, we do, but it was Easter so everything was closed so we didn't really get the chance.

A lot of people went to the seaside or whatever...

Oh, OK, so tonight's show might bomb.

I'm not sure, it's not the same kind of people.

Yeah, that's true. Oh yeah, that's true.

How did Die! Die! Die! start recording, was it done in a studio?

We came from a sort of a DIY (do it yourself) background so it was pretty easy for us to organize recording.
We didn't have any managers or labels or any of that sort of stuff.

So you recorded everything yourself?

No, no, no, we recorded with our friend, Dale.

But you paid for the whole thing, you produced it by yourself?

Yeah. And then people came knocking at the door and kinda ruined it a little bit. [laughs]
But it's getting good again, you know, it's exciting.
We were very young when it started, now we're older and have a better idea of how to do things.

But the recordings will get you nowhere, it's the shows and the tours that really mean something, right?

Yeah, I agree. We've always taken the Fugazi approach, that the record should be more like the minute to the live show that's kinda your dinner, you know, your main course.
So people kinda know your songs but... It's the same way with our band. And our songs are, we always try to play our songs a bit differently, all the time, you know.
It is also quite funny, we're actually playing quite a few songs now which when they came out on the albums, we never played them live, not ever.
But now, we're playing them live after three or four years of not playing those songs. It's quite weird, we've done everything backwards.

I've listened mostly to Form and to some of your older songs on clips here and there. Your music is pretty familiar to me. Your vocal is specific.
Your drummer's drumming is great.

Yeah, Mike's amazing.

The guitar...

Shit. [laughs]

No, I would say that's the favourite part for me, that's why it's so familiar.

OK, oh, cool.

It's in layers and I love every bit.

Oh, cool. Uhm, thank you.
Usually, it's the other way around. Usually people say the guitars *shakes wrist in a so-so hand motion

I understand, it's some type of Nu Jazz music that most people don't really acknowledge.

OK, cool. Nu Jazz! OK. Yeah, that's good, I like that.

I like it very much.

Yeah, OK. Cool, man!

And noise. Kim Gordon is my Goddess.

Kim Gordon, she's one of my biggest influences. I love Kim Gordon.

That's why I think your music was pretty familiar to me, it wasn't at all hard for me to get into it.
[  ]

  © ulysea

What do you expect from tonight's performance, focusing on the audience?

I'm so far away from home, I have no idea what to expect. [laughs]
I'm still a bit shocked to be here and for people to even know of our band in Croatia. Other than my landlord, my landlord in NZ, he was Croatian.

Nomeansno are playing tonight and your show starts later so people might come after their concert ends.

And the door charge is quite cheap.

I hear Nomeansno are really popular here.

Relatively speaking, yes.

So you say that Kim Gordon and Sonic Youth influenced you?

And Free Kitten. More Kim Gordon than...
Lee Ranaldo and Kim Gordon influenced on the songs and Sonic Youth were a real big influence on our band.
Not so much Thursten, though. I'm not really such a Thusrten fan. I mean, I like him, but it's a bit cheesy, some of his stuff. But maybe that's the point, you know.
But Lee and Kim, they can't do a bad song. It's amazing.
We were also influenced by the Joy Division and The Smiths, lots of stuff.

The Joy Division, yeah, you can hear it in the drums.

And Fugazi were a really big influence on our band. Fugazi were a massive influence.
And My Bloody Valentine. But, mainly NZ bands like The Gordons, Bailter Space, they're great bands, you should check them out.
They were influenced by The Dead C and Sonic Youth.

[Martina hands us a beer]

How do you say "Thank you." in Croatian?



[Martina laughs]

Nick Cave said it sounds like koala.

Koala, yeah. It does sound a little like koala.

I'd like to talk to you a little about The Lords of the Rings and Peter Jackson.

Oh, I really like Peter Jackson, you know, he's done amazing things for NZ.
But I'm not a big Lord of the Rings fan.

They shot all over NZ, right?

Yeah, that gave a lot of people jobs, you know.
It's also quite funny too because he's only one man, you know. He's a great man.
The effect he does with his films is really admirable.
And keeping it in NZ is, I think, quite important.
And with Australia, I don't know, maybe I'm being ignorant, but with his new film, there was a lot of politics over the actors trying to cancel The Hobbit so I'm glad that it all worked out.
I'm not a big fan of his new movies, but Peter Jackson is a good guy. [laughs]

Yeah, I like Bad Taste and Braindead much more, but he's doing a great job.

You can't keep making films like Bad Taste forever or Heavenly Creatures, though.
I guess it's like a band, at some point they have to break up or make money or something.

Like Spike Lee?

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Or Sonic Youth, for example. They could have kept playing... you know.
You find a different business model, you know, if you want to be in the mainstream, you have to sort of live by their rules, I guess.

What do you think about that? Do you see that in the future for Die! Die! Die! and you or is that something you would want to stay away from?

I don't really put any kind of limits on anything I do.

So, you're going with the flow?

Yeah. But, I think it's really important to keep control over what you're doing.
I think in the past we've made some bad decisions and they thought us, you know.

Such as?

Like signing bad contracts, listening to people... cause we're from NZ and we're a bit innocent and ignorant.
We didn't really know what was going on in many parts of the world so we kind of just said "Oh yeah, that sounds good. We'll do this." and it's silly.
Now, we're a bit older and we pay a bit more attention to everything that happens and we keep control of everything.
[  ]

  © ulysea

I understand that you manage yourselves. Have you had bad experiences with managers?

A few of those, yeah. [laughs]

You recorded in New York, am I right?

Yeah, we recorded our second album in New York.

So, you lived there for some time?

For two years.

How was that for you? How was your reception there?

Pretty much the same as anywhere else in the world. Yeah, pretty good.
I mean, I really like New York, but I don't really see America as the centre of the universe and NYC as the centre of the world. I just see it as another city.
And it's a great city but I'm a bit of a fan of Europe and a bit of a homeboy so I really like NZ.
My family is originally from Scotland and growing up in NZ I always felt a little bit isolated and everything was a bit... new. [laughs]
I really love coming back to Europe and my family would always tell stories and history, blah blah blah.
But then I got older and I kind of realised New Zealand does have it's own history and indigenous history.

The Maori?

Yeah, the Maori history is amazing. Absolutely amazing. So, you learn things, but I still got a bit of a soft spot for Europe and European history.
And also the fact that all my cousins still live in the UK.

OK. We're getting a bit of track here.

So, back to the band? [laughs]

Yeah, sure. Tell me something about Flying Nun.

Flying Nun were a really amazing record label in the eighties and they got back together last year and we released Form in NZ and... Yeah. [laughs]
I don't really want to talk about it.
But yeah, they released amazing music in the past. The Verlaines, The Clean, The Chills, all the bands I mentioned.
And it's gonna be interesting to see how they adjust to operating in the 21st century.

What do you think about performing on bigger events, like festivals opposed to smaller shows in clubs?

I think every show has it's place. Of course I prefer smaller shows, but you can get kick at playing big shows too, sometimes.
If people are actually there to see you and you're not playing for a bunch of Metallica fans.
We supported Marilyn Manson and we got bottles thrown at us and spat on.

Beautiful! [laughing]

Yeah, it was brutal.

Well, I think I got enough.

Yeah, I think I said enough.

Definitely, so thank you very much.

And thank you for the beer, I gotta run now actually, we have a sound check.

Oh, OK. Bye!

Bye, guys!

trash // 01/05/2011


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