Behind Punk is a D.I.Y. punk blog/fanzine/record label based out of Moscow

We need to focus on positive change in the world, and it starts with our scene and the people within it. More hugs, less shrugs!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Death Is Not Glamorous


Death Is Not Glamorous думаю не нуждаются в представление. В 2009 году они отыграли несколько концертов в России и Украине, которые прошли на ура. И как по мне они, одни из самых интересных представителей данного жанра в Европе, хотя наверное и больше.
Так что легче сразу перейти к интервью с вокалистом группы-Christian Medaas.

Hey Christian! How are you?

I'm doing well, thanks. It's sunny in Oslo and I just rode my bike and ate tacos. I like to pretend I am in California sometimes. How are you?

I'm doing great, thanks! First off, introduce yourself and members of the band.

My name is Christian. Death is not Glamorous is comprised of Even on drums, Terje and Espen on guitars, Emanuele and Mathias (long story) on bass, and I sing. Emanuele is our OG bassist, but since he is unable to tour, Mathias plays when we go on tour and for some shows. They share the duties. There is no rivalry. 

When did Death Is Not Glamorous start and how did it begin?

We started in - jeez, I don't remember this kind of thing - 2005? It started when Espen and I wanted to start a band together, both being fresh to playing music and relatively new to the Oslo hardcore scene, if not complete outsiders. We asked Terje to play with us, because he said he could play drums 'sort of', and another guy because he wanted to sing. I played bass and Espen played guitar, even though neither of us really knew what we were doing. We were still probably the best musicians in the band, ha ha, and that's sayin' something. Anyway, we practiced in the basement of a squat with a roof so low that Espen, being tall as fuck, had to stand with his head in a hole in the ceiling just to have a straight back. One day, we came downstairs and saw that someone had shit on the floor. The singer had zero rhythm, and eventually we decided that we could no longer stand it, so we called it quits. Later that day, we decided to switch things up a little, Terje knew Even from Damage Control and tricked him into joining the band by saying we were starting an indie band, and Emanuele was fresh off the boat from Italy and wanted to play in a band, so he took over on bass, Terje bought a guitar, and I started singing. Boom.

What does Death Is Not Glamorous mean?

Death is not Glamorous is a line from a song by Embrace ('No More Pain'). To me, it means a departure from the regular glorification of self-destruction, live-fast-die-young, drugged out lifestyle of a lot of punk bands and people in society at large. Fuck that shit. I think that if you sincerely want to make a change in the world, you have to take care of yourself, and that doesn't mean killing brain cells and buying into the bullshit shoved down your throat by companies that profit from your addiction and eventual, untimely death. Embrace life. It has nothing to do with the band Death, which is awesome.

I've heard that now you're working on new album. At what stage is it now?

We are working on a new EP. I am at home to eat lunch and do this interview, then I'm going back to the studio, where we are laying down the bass tracks today. The drums and guitars are already done, and we should be finished with the whole thing by next week. I'm excited - it's an EP, but a bit longer than a 7", and I really like the new songs.

Lyrically what kind of themes can we expect on the upcoming record?

Life, love, no regret.

In summer you guys will be doing a tour with La Dispute and Touche Amore. How stoked are you to perform with those bands?

I am looking forward to it. We've played with La Dispute before, and despite the barefoot clapping thing, I think they are really good. I also like Touche Amore, so it will be fun to see both bands every night and hang out. It's a little weird to be playing at shows larger than the ones we are used to - I am a sucker for small shows and NOT a sucker for 'tour packages' and business, but whatever. I think the tour is booked well, and I'm sure we will have a bl'ast.

What plans does Death Is Not Glamorous have for 2011?

Well, this EP will be out in a month or two, and you already mentioned the tour. Otherwise, a lot of swimming and riding bikes. New songs. There are a lot of places we want to come back to and play, as well as a whole fucking world of places where we haven't been yet, so that is definitely on the agenda, somehow, somewhere. 

It seems that combining pop punk/hardcore is popular type, thus producing a lot of clones. How important is it for you to do something different and have your own sound?

Not very important, ha ha. I mean, we are doing the same thing ourselves - I think when we started, we didn't really have an idea of where the band was going to go, but we share a lot of similar musical preferences and 'influences' I guess, from bands we sound nothing like to bands ('certain bands') that we sound a lot like. We are down for whatever. Lyrically, I think I rip off at least one band on every record, but kind of for fun. There are a lot of topics to address.

You seem to focus your lyrical approach to personal situations. Do you ever second-guess expressing your feelings in song? Is there one song that really sticks out to you and that you're most proud of?

Although I think that it's kind of trite to write songs that are about myself and the little bubble that I live in, it's hard to write songs with a grander scope without sounding like I am rehashing someone else's expressions with less finesse, if you feel me - I don't really second-guess expressing my feelings in songs, though; should I? The lyrics that I don't like, I try to trash. 

You've played a lot shows in many cities.Which of your shows was the most memorable for you? Do you try to go out and see things when you are in different cities?

The last show we played on our US tour, in Chicago, was probably my favorite show - although this is also impossible to answer - for a few reasons - I was born in Chicago, so it somehow feels like home to me more than most places. My sister had driven to Chicago from Ohio to see me, it was with our friends in Broadway Calls (except that one guy, who has since been kicked outta the band, haha, he was a douchebag) and The Riot Before, and it was in a loft apartment with a basketball hoop. Shit though, I fucking love playing shows, and I'm hard-pressed to think of one that I look back to and think 'ugh' about. Maybe a couple of shows at bigger venues with smoke machines and shit. Long Island, I'm talking to you. What the fuck was THAT all about?

What's the worst part about touring?

Trick question? There are no bad parts about touring.

Do you play mostly basements or venues? Preference?

BASEMENTS. Finally, an easy question. Basements, living rooms, backyards over any venue, ever.

Death Is Not Glamorous has been around for quite a few years now, what are your thoughts on the current state of the underground punk/hardcore scene? How do you react to the increased coverage and notoriety that many of the artists - including yourselves - are receiving from the press, fans, etc.?

I don't really use the term 'underground' much - I guess I think that if it's hardcore, it's subterranean by default. I haven't noticed any drastic increase in coverage for us or other bands, but maybe I just don't pay attention to that. There are a lot of great bands around these days that I am excited about, and it makes me happy to realize that I probably pay attention to more new bands now than I did when I was younger, instead of the opposite. I am skeptical about reunion shows, but then again, seeing Unbroken in London was definitely my favorite show ever, so I guess I can't really complain. I like to think of hardcore as a communal thing, and by that, I mean that I don't really think of 'fans' - it's participatory. Maybe that's why I also don't like playing on stages. Fuck division. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of bands that were once 'underground', as you put it, but have made a transition to playing bigger shows at 'rock' venues and getting more coverage in mainstream media, but hardcore is less about the music that bands play and more about the DIY and communal aspects of things, to me. 

Let's talk about your side project(or a complete band?)-"Problems"! Could you tell me more details about it? (Facebook)

Problems is a complete band. We put a demo out and recorded an EP at the same time, but we weren't really happy about the sound, so we are re-recording another demo these days (the vocals are all that's left) and putting out an LP next - all the songs are ready, so we just need to put the tape out first and then record the motherfucker. Espen and I wanted to play in a band with different musical influences than Death is not Glamorous, so we asked Lars from Okkultokrati (my roommate and heterosexual life partner) to play drums and Henrik from Evolve (Norway's best straight edge band) to play bass, and Problems was born. It's a good opportunity for me to vent my negative side - for every 'posi' song I've written for Death is not Glamorous, I have probably written a 'negi' song, and now they have a place to hang out. Hopefully a lot more will come of the band. We're foaming at the mouth to play more shows and go on tour. One of us should get a driver's liscense.

What's the scene like in Oslo right now?Any local bands that people should check out?

The scene in Oslo is cool right now, but not 'hot' when it comes to shows - there hasn't been a legit hardcore show in a while, but there have been plenty of reunion shows (Onward, Supertouch, Contention, Sportswear, Youth of Today, DYS and Shipwrecked playing in August, etc). Band-wise, there are good things going on - check out Evolve, Okkultokrati, Strike a Match, the new Common Cause EP, For Pete's Sake (sportswear with a new name and a new song, hopefully more new songs), Haust, Finanskrisen, Knuste Ruter.. and Problems. Hopefully there will be more DIY shows again soon - I always feel like a dick for saying that, since I haven't done anything to set any up myself, and am full of excuses like 'work, school, tour'. Oslo Hardcore rules.

What are your favorite recent releases?

By Norwegian bands, I am digging Okkultokrati's new EP and the now not-so-new record by Obliteration, this awesome death metal band from around these parts. Finanskrisen should have a new record out soon as well, which will no doubt be a banger. Otherwise, the new Title Fight record which I heard for the first time today is pretty cool, the new Rearranged songs sound AWESOME and will no doubt be played a lot when I get my hands on them, J Mascis's new solo album is fantastic, and I can't fucking stop listening to Frank Ocean - Nostalgia / Ultra. (I know it's overhyped, but I can't help but dig a lot of OFWGKTA stuff). Oh! Also, HOW GREAT IS BLUESBREAKER FROM THE UKRAINE? Pretty great. Siked to hear the new Anchor record. I just got the new No Good Reason EP in the mail and it's also sweet stuff. Can't wait for the new Algernon Cadwallader album. Two days ago I found myself outside of the Acropolis in Athens at 2:30 in the morning listening to Balance and Composure for the first time, and it was great. The list goes on forever.

If you could do a split with any band that's currently together, what band would it be?

Adorno. This new album we are doing was originally going to be just that, but somewhere along the lines, it got messed up timing-wise, so it will have to wait. I could name a hundred other bands, but I will stick with Adorno.

Before the end of today, what would you wish to happen?


Thanks for taking time out to talk with me Christian! Anything else you'd like to add/share? Any last words/wishes

No problem, my pleasure - thanks! Check out Evolve, they have a new EP in the works and they are awesome kids. Write on walls. Defeat statistics.


  1. крутой чувак! интересно на вопросы отвечает, и еще ахха реаренджд любит))

  2. Oh! Also, HOW GREAT IS BLUESBREAKER FROM THE UKRAINE? Pretty great - это пять!

  3. супер интервью! шнайдеру супер спасибо!