Thrash Hits

December 8th, 2010

Future Hits 070: Something About Death Or Dying

Something About Death Or Dying promo photo Thrash Hits

Something About Death Or Dying
From: New Jersey, USA
Lazy equation: (Norma Jean x Doomriders) – The Gaslight Anthem
Website: Myspace, Facebook

Thrash Hits verdict: We live for fresh music and this is it right here. We love, love, loved Chambers’ debut album earlier in 2010 and The Gaslight Anthem speak for themselves so a combination of the two was never going to be bad but we really weren’t preparaed for just how good SADOD were going to be. Groovy, tumultuous riffs that rise and fall with speedball energy, rounded off with vocals that carry an unbridled ferocity. Alex Rosamilia’s guitarwork is unrecognisable from his other band and Dan Pelic’s voice is one of the truest portrayals of anger you’re ever going to hear. It’s inspirational stuff.

Describe your sound in 3 words
Dan: Heavy, painful, and spontaneous.

How did you meet?
Dan: Alex and I met many years ago in New Brunswick when he was in The Killing Gift and I in Maverick. We did a tour together. We were always just in the same scene. Darrell [Coco, bass], Wes [Kleinknecht, drums], and I are old high school friends. I hooked up Darrell with The Killing Gift when they were looking for a new bassist. Him and Alex remained friends and even started a band called Spiro Agnew after The Killing Gift called it quits. After leaving New Brunswick, we eventually ended up moving to the Hoboken/Jersey City area right by New York City and naturally started hanging out together again. That’s when Wes and Alex became friends.

What made you want to start a band?
Dan: Wes, Coco – we call Darrell by his last name – and I always have dabbled together since high school but we never really got anything solid together with other guitarists or with Wes playing guitar and myself on drums instead of vocals. Alex wanted to do another band on the heavier side of the spectrum. Naturally, we figured we’d give it a go. Thankfully, it worked out really well and we love the shit we’re playing.

Something About Death or Dying demo cover artwork packshot Thrash Hits

Where did the name come from?
Dan: People might think it’s some serious name, but it’s really a tongue-in-cheek idea that Wes came up with a long time ago for a (then) imaginary heavy band. I mean, think of how many bands have “something about death or dying” in their names. Get it? Hopefully.

What are your musical influences?
Dan: Personally, I am largely influenced by bands like Converge, Breather Resist, At The Gates, Nausea, His Hero Is Gone/Tragedy, American Nightmare.
Alex: Converge, Botch, early Cave In, and of course the almighty At the Gates.

So far, what has been the best thing about being SADOD?
Dan: I honestly think just getting together with one another to write and practice. The beers get cracked open and it’s party time at Wes’ studio. I think we might go more nuts playing in the studio instead of at shows haha. I might sound really cheesy, but my bandmates are my buddies. We hang out together all the time when everyone is around and it’s very comfortable and great just to be in a band that is so naturally cohesive. We haven’t played many shows yet. Just three. But, the one with the least amount of people there in Brooklyn was our best performance and the most fun for me.
Alex: I’ve always wanted to be in a heavy band. For me it’s just fun to play, I’ll always be playing.

With which band would your dream tour be?
Dan: Converge or Gaza would rule. Trap Them would also be amazing. Sunn O))). I love a lot of the stuff on Bridge 9, Southern Lord, Deathwish… a lot of those bands would get me stoked. I would be fine just going out ourselves! Wes, Coco, and I haven’t toured in years.
Alex: Whoever wants to take us out… I think it’d just be cool to go out with it.

Something About Death Or Dying – Rot You

What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
Dan: Being we haven’t played much, our heavy ‘scene’ friends are few. We will play with Sydbarret from New Brunswick any night of the week. I love them as people and as a band. Our peers could definitely be considered some of the more seasoned acts who play New Brunswick including Communication Redlight, Go Falcon!, Let Me Run. Am I forgetting anyone, Alex?
Alex: You’ve pretty much said it all, son.

What happened with Chambers?
Dan: First time I’ve ever been asked so this is my first time trying to explain it. Frankly, I was always the black sheep of the band. We worked together musically in a major way. Our album kicks ass in my opinion. As far as our ideals go, I won’t do anything to ‘get big’. They would. I don’t feel any fucking need to ‘behave’ myself for the sake of appeasing press or industry. They thought it was all about who you know and working those angles instead of just playing shit tons of shows all over the region to get the kids stoked first. We hired a publicist, radio manager, et cetera but when it came time to take a trip to another state, if there wasn’t gas money and a gold brick guaranteed for us after the show, it was no deal. I thought that was bullshit. Everyone could afford to lose a couple bucks on gas money and I was by far the poorest member of the band at the time. Moreover, they had a problem with that and what they perceived as an attitude all around that reflected negatively on the band when I was just trying to be myself. They also cited some artistic differences. I wanted to get heavier on the next record. They wanted to be ‘more rock n roll’. When I tried sharing what was influencing me recently with what was influencing them, I wouldn’t even receive responses to my queries. That’s when I knew it was the beginning of the end. I would never have quit because… wait, just to get the record straight, they kicked me out. They didn’t even say a word about kicking me out publicly and neither did I. Anyway, I never would have quit because I was always willing to compromise musically. They could write as ‘rockin” of tunes as they wanted but I would always be capable of bringing the heaviness with my voice. I loved playing with them so that’s one area where I was willing to compromise. There is a personal issue between another member and myself, which I think is rather saddening in how he has dealt and still deals with it and ultimately was the final straw in ridding of me back in like, July or August or something. But, alas, personal is personal. For the sake of many people I will not discuss that issue in detail. Trust me, though; it’s absolutely ridiculous and disheartening, how several individuals have reacted to my actions when nearly all people are very happy for me and someone else. I will leave it at that.

How is SADOD going to fit in with Gaslight Anthem stuff?
Alex: Of course, Gaslight is my main focus. We’ll only be able to do the SADoD thing when I’m off from Gaslight. But I do want to tour on it. We started out just doing this for fun, who knows? We’ll see what happens.

Wes Kleinknecht blood nose something about death or dying

Drummer Wes Kleinknecht, bloodied and bruised after getting jumped by “five dudes”. (Probably only one.)

What’s the best or funniest show you’ve played?
Dan: Of the three, I already mentioned the best. The funniest was this power violence show we played at this shit hole of a venue. All the crusty punks there were drunk on Four Loko and many seemed to be on heroin. No one gave a fuck about us besides like twenty older people that seemed to like it until our last song where we close with a drum circle thing. Then all off these stoned-out kids walk in and start banging their heads. Fucking hippies undercover, I’ll tell ya.
Alex: Ditto.

What other band should everyone find out about?
Dan: The Saddest Landscape. My old buddy Aaron’s band who were on hiatus for about five years and have been playing again. They are completely no holds barred and not calculated in terms of emotional expression. Honest shit that is hard to come by lately.

Tell us a joke.
Dan: A joke? Well, I’ll tell you what’s funny. Our drummer looks very much like Justin Bieber. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to make fun of him for it. Damn, it’s only a matter of time before he gets me back for that one haha. Thanks for the interview and your interest in us. Thrash Hits rules.

Take a moment to enjoy the thought of Justin Bieber with a bloodied nose. With more songwriting on the way and local shows always being planned, Something About Death Are Dying are certainly ones to keep your ears pricked for. In the meantime, go and download their free five-track demo. It’s bloody brilliant, if you hadn’t got that already.


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