Consisting of members of Coke Bust, Secretarian Violence, Zoom, Genocide Pact, Pure Disgust and many other brutal units, Washington D.C.s’ Red Death produced one of the finer demo tapes to come out of the Hardcore scene in this year of half-ass reunions and pretty boy bullshit. Their sound harkens back to a time when skinheaded dudes and stringy haired headbangers merged their powers for good rather than evil. Think Corrosion of Conformity’s ‘Antimosity’ or Crumbsuckers’ ‘Life of Dreams’; not Discharge’s ‘Grave New World’ or the English Dogs’ ‘Metalmorphosis’.
We recently sat down with Red Death’s vocalist DHD to talk typical band shit as well as frozen pizza, nosey neighbors and the bands upcoming LP on Grave Mistake.
NOISEY: Give me the who, what when or why on Red Death’s existence
DHD: Red Death came together summer of 2013. Connor who plays drums moved from Raleigh to D.C and me and him instantly bonded over our love for pre-Pepper Kennan C.O.C and made a pact to start a band in that vein. Our guitarist, Ace then moved up from Raleigh and was on the same wavelength so it was just time to give it a shot. The three of us went down to the basement at our house and I just started playing this thrashy riff and the next thing you know we've got the song ‘Already In The Hell’ and the beginning of ‘Disfigure’. Nicktape heard and understood and needed to be in the band so we added him on bass and we all collectively finished the demo. Rest is history.
I can definitely hear early C.O.C. in your sound
Yeah, we wanted to do C.O.C meets Discharge type of thing, but then Nicktape heard us and was like "Yo, this sounds like the fucking Accused!" and we kinda scratched our heads and were like "Oh shit this definitely does! Sick!" We just wanted to do a fast ass Hardcore Punk band with a whole lot of Metal thrown in because that's just what we like. We just wanted to make a band that represents all of us as a collective in the most perfect way.
Who writes the lyrics for your band? There’s some disturbing imagery going on there. There’s a part in the song ‘Disfigure’ with the line: ‘Cock sliced, diced, destroyed (and) dead’ Egads!
I write all the lyrics. They just represent myself. Ever since I was little kid I used to play like "Last Man Standing" style games with my toys. I’d rip their heads off and throw them down steps and I’m still that same kid. ‘Disfigure’ is one of those scenarios. We have new songs like ‘Ruinous Wrath’ and ‘Palace Of Unending Pain’ that are the same. I felt real weak when I was a kid. I used to get picked on for being a punker freak loser and would get in fights and have to defend myself. I feel like now that I'm older and wiser and mentally stronger, I’m hard as a rock and no bullshit can stop me. I feel like the jock losers are still sucking on mommy and daddy’s teet being losers while I’m out here living on my own, doing what I want, living check to check with friends all over the place. I feel stronger and it’s something I’ve never felt. So the lyrics also touch upon that kind of shit; being proud of yourself and using that as a strength.
What is it in an average day that makes you so angry?
I’ll tell you an average day: On days I work, I get up and go to work at eleven. I work at a Texas BBQ restaurant and I gotta deal with snobby pricks all day but I just keep that smile on and serve them up. That does keep me angry though because I just store that anger in the back of my head and just unleash onto the mic. It’s a good system and I enjoy it. Then I come home and watch live videos and workout and eat tuna and shit. On my days off I work out and eat mad tuna and watch live videos and play guitar. There’s a lot of dickheads in DC though so it helps keep that anger flowing.
Keeping up the hatred motif, I notice you send out ‘fuck you’ to a neighbor and an establishment named Pizza Kingdom on the lyric sheet of your demo tape. Do you care to elaborate?
Neighbor next door wouldn't work with us and kept complaining and called the cops on an early Red Death practice. Try to stop us but it’s no use, playa. Fuck him for pulling that selfish bitch shit. Pizza Kingdom was terrible belly aching life ruining pizza and it burned down recently.
And speaking of pizza, I see a Red Baron carton on the coffee table in this picture on the lyric sheet of your demo. Are you fans of frozen pizza?
Connor and Ace love frozen pizza. I think that box was Connors. Nick Tape is a fan but he doesn't dabble. He loves tuna and kale and beets. I shouldn't be allowed near ovens but I must say that Digiorno is literally the best pizza ever.
Alright, let’s get off the pizza talk. You guys did a small tour this summer. How’d that go?
It was sick. Just the four of us and two roadies in a minivan. We went out on our own decided to give it a whirl. The response was mad awesome! I didn’t expect such a response. Hell, I didn’t even expect a response at all! Someone called us "DC Fight Metal".
And now you’re gearing up for an LP?
An eight song LP is ready to go. It’s called ‘Permanent Exile’. Grave Mistake is putting it out in America and Hardware is putting it out in Europe. We are recording it at the beginning of October with Kevin Bernstein in Baltimore again. He crushed it on the demo so it just made sense to go back to him. He understands the band and looks out for our best interests. After that we are doing a weekend in December, a weeklong tour of the South in February, a full U.S. tour in April with one of my favorite bands and then Europe in the summer. We are coming for you all.
The D.C. scene as of late seems to be great. There’s Red Death, GIVE, Protestor, Zoom, Coke Bust and the Moshers Delight label. You also got the Damaged City Fest going strong every year now. It’s really got some steam.
DC scene is heading for the top. The youth are in control and whenever that happens its always a good thing, Out with the old in with the new. I hope these kids fucking storm the white house and seize that mother fucker. Take back what is rightfully ours: power.