This week we found ourselves digging through out record collection following a co-incidental request from one of Bristol’s most overlooked bands: onedice. We even ended up interviewing the band’s former frontman, David Malpass, about it.
A couple of weeks ago, we saw a message on the official onedice Facebook page, asking if any of their fans had a copy of the ‘Laugh, Cry, Lose’ single that they wouldn’t mind uploading to Soundcloud, as the band themselves no longer had one. Well, thanks to the nerd, hoarding nature of Thrash Hits writers, we knew we had one lurking in our record collection somewhere, and we got digging.
Wait, back up a little – who are onedice, and why should you care?
Formed in 1996, it wasn’t until around the turn of the millenium that onedice started to get attention outside their hometown of Bristol. Originally a five-piece, it was only after some membership changes and a shift down to a stable four-piece that they ditched some ill-advised early rap-metal elements (yes, really) and adopted a more brutal and aggressive approach to making music that led to them getting signed to the now-defunct Infernal Records and releasing their one and only album, the criminally under-rated Life. We saw onedice play live just once – supporting none other than Sepultura (during the end of their Roadrunner Records era) at the London Astoria – and onedice were every bit as awesome as the hype machine of the time (i.e., Kerrang! and Metal Hammer) had led us to believe.
Before the album came out, the band released ‘Laugh, Cry, Lose’ as a single. The song would later be re-recorded for Life, making the single version an even rarer proposition. We’re putting it up here along with the two b-sides from the single release that didn’t make the album.
Anyway, after digging out this single, we gave onedice a buzz to let them know we’d found the tracks they were looking for. It seemed an opportune time to have a bit of a chat with their former frontman, David Malpass, about not just the songs themselves, but the final fate of onedice.
We know the story of how Onedice formed, at least as far as the bio that exists on your Soundcloud and the like go, but why did the band eventually break-up?
I’d like to claim that we burned out in a rock and roll, drug and booze-fuelled haze, but ultimately it was real life that caused us to call it a day. We all had family and financial commitments that we were responsible for, and when push came to shove we had to choose the stability and security of our day jobs instead of living the dream. Also we lost Damo [Damien Radford] on drums, and although we found a replacement the dynamic was never the same. Onedice was built on an established friendship and we couldn’t replicate that with a new member so we dicided to knock it on the head
What was your personal high-point of Onedice?
We did a lot of cool things and got to play with some of our idols, like Sepultura and Napalm death, but my personal high point has to be the Radio 1 live session at Maida Vale studios. Seeing all the stickers and signatures of the massive bands that had preceded us there was a massive thrill, and getting to play in such a legendary place was a dream come true.
What was the inspiration for the lyrics behind ‘Laugh, Cry, Lose’?
The lyrics to ‘Laugh, Cry, Lose’ are all about child abuse, from the perspective of the abused. I wrote about the helplessness and frustration that a child can feel at the hands of an abuser, and how choice and will are superseded by fear and submission. I never took lyric writing to seriously but with ‘Laugh, Cry, Lose’, I felt every word. I think that’s why it turned out sounding so sick and aggressive.
What are the members of onedice up to today?
Personally I have a family now, and hold down an entirely normal job which I hate. I’ve always wanted to get back in to music but have never found a band that I vibe with and where I am living has absolutely no scene. The other boys have settled in to normal life ,with the exception of Damo who is currently on the road with a rock band called Night By Night.
Although there’s been a Onedice Facebook page for a while, in recent months it seems to have jolted to life – what prompted this (relative) surge of activity?
I’ve recently realised that I’ve been so caught up in family life and normality that I have lost sight of what has always been my primary passion in life: metal. I didn’t set up the onedice page on facebook – it was done by a fan who made me an admin. I started to promote the page a lot recently to give people the chance to hear a cool band that they may have missed a decade ago, and also in part to massage my own ego! There are still onedice fans out there that have never forgotten us even when I did. I always hope that if enough people like the page, that the rest of onedice will consent to a reunion.
onedice’s only full-length album, Life, is 100% worth seeking out – there’s usually a used copy of it available on Amazon. You can also hear more of the band’s music by heading on over to the aforementioned official onedice Facebook page, where you can also find links to hear parts one and two of the band’s Maida Vale session for BBC Radio 1 in full. Also, if any bands/ musicians in the Swansea/South Wales area need a frontman, drop us an email or a comment down below – David tells us he’s looking to start making music again….