Whilst they might be aggressive by name, Die! Die! Die! are actually rather charming by nature. On their third visit to China, the band are ready to unleash a flurry of new tunes upon audiences all over the country. Well, they'll be ready by the time this is posted.
“Charm. Offensive”, their latest album due for release early October has been recorded over the last couple of years (in a variety of unusual recording spaces), and now DDD have spent some quality time in a Dongzhimen basement to revise, refresh, and actually remember what they recorded.
To celebrate a split 7” release with Beijing based ear-splitters Birdstriking on local hero Nevin Domer's “Genjing Records”, a string of eight shows starts at Yue Space, Beijing, Friday 8th September.
A huge shout-out to new kids on the block "Death Fuck Abba 1989" for the uneditable low end rumblings in the background, and a dude from Streams Of Life (R.I.P.) for blowing his nose.
One more thing, bring earplugs.
More information about the show/band can be found at the bottom of the page.
Andrew Wilson - Guitar / Vocals
Rory Attwell - Bass / (A little bit of) Vocals
Michael Prain - Drums
A: First time we ever came was in 2011, Mikey and I – Rory wasn't in the band then, and then we also came last year in September. Every time we've toured here we've done pretty extensive tours.
R: We did two weeks last time, something like that. We went all over the place.
A: And the time before that was three weeks. But that was 2011, and they didn't have the high speed trains so it was very long, and dark. The first time to now is completely different. We got a train with chickens on it. I've not seen anyone shit in the street either. You see a lot more smart phones now.
R: Yeah we've got a new album, we kind of recorded it in lots of different places, Australia, New Zealand, London, where else? We've done stuff all over the place, like three different continents or something like that, and then a lot of it was written reasonably quickly because we didn't have much time together so we kind of made these songs and continued working on them a year later. Now we're rehearsing them and going “Right. What did we do?”. It was such a strange process, trying to work out how we wrote them.
A: Yeah exactly – Our new album is called “Charm. Offensive”, and we've been trying to make it so we can play the songs live. But it's also been quite good too because I feel like we... I don't know if we'd fallen into a bit of a rut, but we've been playing quite a lot of similar, old songs quite a while so it's quite good to play new songs. I think that's going to be quite cool.
R: It's a bit different.
A: Yeah they are a bit different, I like them.
M: We've been a band for quite a long time, so to suddenly go and do new material, and be confident with that new stuff... You know, you do go “Does that really work? Is it working?” and of course it does, but it's a different mind set I suppose.
A: You have to push yourself. Try to do things a bit differently. "Let's only do that! Do that again..." Exactly.
A: Self-imposed rules... “This is a Die! Die! Die! Song, that's not a Die! Die! Die! Song. That's too poppy, that's not poppy enough. That's too hard...” do you know what I mean? Then you realize; who are we answering to really? We're just answering to ourselves really.
R: It's nice to have a set of core beliefs, people do that, even like “Oh, we're DIY and that's cool”, whatever it is, could be anything - “My belief is that it needs to be the catchiest song in the world”. Whatever you choose your belief to be, if you can't ever deviate away from that, you're in trouble I think. If you go “Oh, that's what we do! We can't do the other thing, because that means we'll be denying ourselves what we're all about!” and I don't think that's really something you should do.
M: Also, when we did the tour last year in September with Nevin, and it's just a continuation of... “Oh we can do other stuff I suppose!” - It's a really nice relationship when you can kind of just keep moving forwards, and go “Let's do a physical copy of something AND a tour, and then move on to something else.” - it's quite a natural progression.
A: We were going to get it in time for the last tour in September but we hadn't recorded anything.
R: We'd recorded some basic stuff, but we didn't really have any time to get it done a year ago.
A: And then we got it all together a year later, which is quite good too. Bottlecaps and phones, it's off the new album, track three.
A: We did the main tracking in a studio in Byron Bay, and also on the boat in London live, and then we did overdubs and vocals all over the place. I still wish we had done some on a sleeper train in China, that was the original plan.
R: I was recording some sort of cowbell or something above a cafe...
A: We did the vocals for “How soon is too soon?” above that cafe, and that's a DIY venue in Whanganui which they might be setting up again, called Space Monster, it was pretty awkward too. We knew Rory was going back to the UK the next day, so it was like “Fuck, we've got to finish these songs.” so I asked my friend “Can we borrow the venue for the morning?” and we're all tired because we'd been on tour, and it's the last thing you want to do, but we had to do it now. I'm glad we did it now.
R: I can't even remember why you asked me to join, or what the reason was, but they were just like “Do you want to come on tour with us in Europe?” and I was like “Alright”. But then they said “Oh by the way, we're going to New York now, the first show's going to be in New York. Is that okay?” So I thought good! Okay, that sounds fun, why not! So they said “We're going to come to London, we're going to rehearse”, and I thought that was a pretty good idea, rehearse the songs before we go to New York and play them. It ended up being an hour tops, a lot of fucking about, going through the songs twice, and then flying to New York and then just playing at a New Zealand showcase, to people who knew all the songs and I was there like “huh?”.
A: I remember there was a live feed on twitter, and everyone was commenting on it “New guy doesn't know the songs!”
R: But I didn't...
A: Yeah, you literally didn't.
M: He looked the part.
R: The other gigs were alright, we just had the big showcase first. We could have done with having the smaller gigs first, and then the big showcase as a “Well done everybody!”
A: Yeah it was pretty funny.
M: You still get that, you know, “Oh, you're going to tour in China, how do you do that?”, well it's pretty much like anywhere else. They've got venues, and I'm like, “Well, their venues are a lot better set up than venues in New Zealand. They have backline you can use, which is really helpful!”
A: It was quite funny because I've become quite... because I've been to China quite a few times, almost desensitised to realizing how weird it is to see Chinese musicians in music... Everyone's like “Woah, it's so crazy! There's a Chinese Band!” I'm like “It's not that weird. I see Chinese bands all the time.”
A: Yeah, first show Friday, and first time we're playing a bunch of new songs, ever. It's going to be pretty good. Pretty nervous.
R: They're really good ones. Don't miss it.
A: Don't miss it.
M: We're all very excited to be here.
R: They may be talking about it for some time, so you don't want to miss out!
A: Who knows, it might be the last time we're in China you know? Once in a lifetime opportunity! Private joke. Nothing wrong with a little party time.
Die! Die! Die!
Yue Space 乐空间
7 Banqiao Nan Xiang