|Image courtesy of Clifford Douglas|
Last month, I was contacted by Don't Give a Fuck the two-piece hardcore band, to do an interview and here is what they said...
Hello there, could you introduce yourselves and tell me what you do in the band.
Matt: Hey Ben. Thanks for the interview. I'm Matt. I play drums and sing in the band.
James: My name is James. I play guitar and also do vocals.
Did either of you play in any other bands before creating Don’t Give a Fuck?
Matt: I've played in a bunch. I was in two bands with James prior to Don't Give A Fuck, though. A Bane style hardcore band named Envision, and this posi With Honor kind of band named That Within. You can find them if you look real hard on the interwebz.
James: I played bass for How Artists Die, kind of melodic metalcore stuff before doing That Within and Envision with Matt.
What made you both decide that being in a two piece band works better?
Matt: Well for me, I just hate most people. I've noticed over the years that a lot of people just want to write music to sound exactly like other bands, or to get laid, and I didn't want any of that. This kind of thinking has held me back in previous bands, to the extent of me being told not to play certain beats on the drums in order to stay within our desired genre. I think that is stupid. In this band I just wanted to let loose, go crazy, and do as much as I could possibly do, without having to worry about what we come off as.
James: I just got sick of working with people that didn't play on my level of musicianship and having to limit what I created to accommodate them. We had a bassist that did our demo with us that was able to do it but then he moved to Indiana anyway.
What sort of aspirations and ideas do you have to write your lyrics?
Matt: This is the first time I will ever admit it, but my half of the lyrics on the EP were based on times I have felt completely helpless and alone because of my decision to be Straight Edge. I've had to go through some fucked up things I don't think I would have had to if I only chose to have an occasional beer, and that pissed me the fuck off. It says a lot about the society we live in, and I tried my best to expose a small part of what I feel to be mainstream ignorance on the EP. I've been writing lyrics for the new stuff recently, about some fucked up things I have had to go through because of Christianity, since the last EP.
James: I just want to be non cliche and honest as possible. Hardcore in the last few years has been about doing what some bands from the 80s have already done. Most newer bands' singers from day one go into writing with a bag full of phrases and ideas that came from someone else and spit the same shit out without putting any of themselves in there.
Do you have any plans for releasing a full length?
Matt/James: Not anytime soon, but we are aiming to release another EP, hopefully by the end of this year. There are a lot of questions we left unanswered in the first EP, setting it up for a followup album.
You’ve played some shows with some impressive bands. Are there any tours you will be planning to go on in the future?
Matt: It's hard to say who we will tour with in future. All I know is that we will tour. I'd love to do something again with Shai Hulud.
James: I would love to go on tour with anyone that brings people open to us, whether it's metalcore, hardcore, sludge, etc. Rosetta or Adai would be sweet though.
What are you opinions on the hardcore scene in your area and how do they differ to other places you have been?
Matt: James may disagree here because he is a promoter, but I think our scene sucks. It's been nicer almost everywhere else we have played.
James: There are a lot of newer bands and our scene is growing really fast. For whatever reason though, no newer NYC bands really seem to get attention outside of the city, which is probably the biggest difference, as most other scenes have those bands that are known.
What is your take on Straight Edge and do you both adhere to this lifestyle?
Matt: I am proud to be Straight Edge, but I am generally embarrassed by most Edge kids I meet. It seems to me like most of them are just a carbon copy of one another. It is very rarely that I find someone doing their own thing with it, that isn't concerned with whether or not they are following in Ian MacKaye's footsteps, unless of course, they are one of those people that claim edge that have no idea who Ian MacKaye even is. My point is this: The idea that being Straight Edge somehow gives you an advantage over a drinker or a drug user, is absurdly paradoxical. Awareness, and ignorance can both be found in all walks of life. My advice to everyone is to do what is best for you, without hurting other people in the process.
James: I'm not straight edge. It doesn't really matter to me what someone else chooses to do.
What sort of music do you both like listening to and what influences your band musically?
Matt: I appreciate anything that is well-thought out, or anything with good drumming.
James: I really like the early 00s hardcore/metalcore bands such as Another Breath, Killing the Dream, etc., as well as the new wave of screamo bands like Pianos Become the Teeth. Those are probably the biggest influences on the riffs that I write.
Are there any long term goals you wish to achieve with this band?
Matt: I achieved everything I set out to on the first EP. My current goal is to expose ignorant christians on the next one, and to finally show my background in jazz drumming. No beat I did on the first EP will be on the second. And you know, eventually get signed so we can afford to do more. I'd love to tour the world.
James: I want to push myself to the limit as a musician, and just keep doing things that haven't been done before.
Thank you so much for your time and patience, are there any last comments you would like to make?
Matt: Thanks for the interview man, and thanks for reviewing our stuff. Keep doing what you do, because it makes a huge difference in the scene. My message for everyone else- Think for yourself.
James: Thanks for the interview!