Die! Die! Die! are post-punkers that bring the taut, visceral energy of the genres big guns; Big Black, Shellac and McClusky. Originating from Dunedin in 2003, the three-piece have released four acclaimed albums despite line-up changes, frequent international touring, and the need to maintain some kind of financial sustenance. After all, who buys records these days? Recently returned from a European tour in the lead up to the release of their fifth album Swim we chatted to guitarist Andrew Wilson about what it’s like being in an eleven-year relationship with two other dudes.
We also premiere the video for “Crystal”, a track that features Wilson getting jostled inside a crowded bar and then blurry street views. A lot like how we imagine a European after party would be.
Noisey: How was the tour?
Andrew Wilson: We went through Europe and played 30 shows in 34 days. It's sort of what you have to do. Though it may sound brutally exhausting it wasn’t that gruelling. It’s enjoyable being on tour without any obligations other than your performance. Plus, we make more money touring because no one buys records anymore - unless they're at a show.
Do you stay in plush hotels or couches?
It fluctuates. Sometimes a venue will put you up at a swank hotel and take care of all your meals but sometimes it’s at somebodies house. It was far better than some other tours. We've had some dire experiences, sleeping in squats with dog shit and cat piss. Just as long as the room doesn't have litter boxes or bags of onions. Once I woke up next to all these bags of onions and smelled rank for a week.
How do you sustain romantic relationships with recording, touring, writing, and work?
The Internet? iPhone? It's about having a certain type of girl or boy that's understanding of what you do. I'm single at the moment so I don't really know. But having a supplementary job is good, as well so the band doesn't feel like a chore. I think the band should be something joyous. We did live off it for a while but I enjoy it a lot more without having to rely on it to pay the rent.
You've had several line-up changes. How do you maintain the same sound?
A lot of people think that but it's a misconception. We had Henry, Lachlan and now Mike Logie who used to play in the Mint Chicks, but luckily I'm so close to Mikey, the drummer, we know whether or not we like what we're playing. Logie's great. It's very collaborative in terms of song writing. I hope we can keep going for as long as we can. It's like having a girlfriend. Life changes, and you can't beg people to stay when they want to break up. It would be a little pathetic, Sometimes it just ends.
Your sound is often called abrasive or confrontational. Does that come from these kinds of experiences?
Sometimes it's directed at situations but lyrically I try to make it vague. It's funny because in Europe people have different interpretations of the songs. In Spain this guy had the lyrics of “Blue Skies” tattooed on his arm and explained what that meant to him, and I was like, “That's not really what I meant.” But I like that the vagueness makes it open for interpretation. I do love bands that can be literal but I'm bad at that. It's more pictorial for me.
What's the best show you've been to?
Well as a teenager it would've been HDU and The Dead C but more recently it was Earl Sweatshirt with Flying Lotus at SXSW. Just seeing the enthusiasm of the crowd was inspiring.
Form and Harmony are less aggressive than your earlier releases.
Well it's odd as those are better known in Europe but over here our first album is more popular. Personally Harmony is my favourite but it didn't get released for ages after Lachlan left and I got to be this egotistical, self-indulgent solo artist that got to run three minutes of ambient noise before a song started. But collaboratively, as a band, it's not like that. We never argue—unless I'm drunk. It's the ideal relationship.
Die! Die! Die!'s latest album 'Swim' will be released on August 15.
More Kiwi rock here;