After witnessing the death of a fan at a September 2003 show, the guys in Death by Stereo were left confused and shaken (www.kaffeinebuzz.com/musicreviews-deathbystereo.php). After taking time for themselves and contemplating the future of the band, they realized they needed each other more than they ever had, hence the inspiration for their aptly titled new album, Death for Life.
The band hit the road to promote the new record and as the main tour support for powerhouses Rise Against and Alkaline Trio. The tour stopped at the Aztlan “I’m in dire need of restoration” theater on a sweltering July 28th for a night of perspiration and angst ridden noise. Kaffeine Buzz managed to ask front-man Efrem Schulz a few questions before the show.
Kaffeine Buzz: Listening to the new record, it feels like [this is] your most diverse release to date, but sounds natural and unforced. Your thoughts?
Efrem Schulz: I think that every record we made was kind of going that direction, we were constantly trying to find a way to be more focused, to figure out the sound we wanted. The last record I felt we got really close to that, but this one, I don’t know, it just kind of clicked. What made the difference I think is that we got to work with a producer for the first time, you know someone with an objective perspective, someone that maybe hears things that we don’t and suggests things we perhaps never thought of.
KB: I’ve always been interested in bands that can stand for something, have a message, but still know how to rock and have a good time, explain a little about that.
ES: I think that is totally true, I’ve had that opinion for many years, because at the end of the day it’s still all about fun. We can play really heavy passionate music, and have somewhat of a serious aesthetic but we still want everyone to have fun. Because we all like different stuff, like older political stuff like Dead Kennedys, we like real heavy stuff like Sepultura, but we like Van Halen too (laughs).
KB: Talk about this tour and the crowds, all three bands are very different. A lot of times punk, hardcore, and metal kids mesh well at shows but it seems there are just as many times where brawls break out.
ES: This tour has been amazing. There was only one instance where there was a fight, it was in Orlando and two girls got into it, but they were drunk and it was in-between sets and had nothing to do with the crowd diversity. So even though the bands are totally different we all give off such a positive vibe and the crowds have definitely been feeling it.
KB: I know you’ve been inundated with questions from the press about Daniel Martins death at your show in Sept, 03’, and without going into the whole back-story I wanted to know how things are working out legally since the family has named you guys in it’s lawsuit.
ES: Were not really at liberty to talk about it, but we are okay. Quote me on this: nothing is going to fucking stop us, broke as a joke (laughs) but nothing is going to stop us.
KB: I wanted to kind of leave it in the air on this one. Aside from the typical journalistic prodding, what kinds of things do you want to say, or that you never get asked and wanted to respond to?
ES: Every chance I get, I always want to let everybody know how grateful we are for every person that’s into us, and that comes to shows to support us. And I also want to apologize to everyone that came out to our last show in Denver that got stuck in the balcony. The 21 and over got switched with all ages and all the kids were stuck up top where the drinkers usually are. So we want to apologize, we’re gonna fuck it up tonight for them.
KB: Any guilty pleasures on tour? Things you listen to?
ES: Um, a lot of Foreigner, Justin Timberlake (laughs). Oh a lot of Journey, but there’s no guilt in that.
KB: Alright Efrem, thanks a lot for your time. One last random question: if you could fight anyone on the planet who would it be?
ES: Fight anybody? That’s a good question, Joe (Rise Against), hey Joe I need your help, if you could fight anyone who would it be? [Todd, Death By Stereo’s drummer shouts from the background, “My Chemical Romance!”]
Joe: King Kong Bundy (old wrestler)
ES: Iron Sheik, he’s old now. I could take him! No, the junkyard dog!…….Wait Ashlee Simpson, I wanna fight Ashlee Simpson! (everyone laughs)