5 years since their last split release and 7 long years since their acclaimed debut “Failure”, one of the bleakest Polish metallic / dark hardcore exports, DRIP OF LIES’ live performance status hasn’t been in question, but left us longing for some new recordings. Thankfully, the moment came in October 2019 and the band surprised us with their new well-composed LP dubbed “Hell”, in which they has taken all of their past endeavours and boiled them down into their most focused offering. It surely fleshes out the promise of earlier work and spends its time creeping into your head with its harsh themes and filling it with a sense of uneasiness that simply asks for being expounded on in detail. We sat down with the band to talk about “Hell”, stumbling blocks in DIY records distribution, independent labels, and more!
“Hell” was mixed and mastered by Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio and features amazing cover art by Raf “Too Many Skulls” Wechterowicz. Grab it via Bandcamp (below), Spotify, or the band’s official outlet here.
Hey guys! Thanks so much for joining us here on IDIOTEQ. It’s so good to see you active with new stuff, your first new music since 2014’s split with Rivers Run Dry and first full length since the acclaimed 2012 debut ”Failure”! ”Hell” sounds, but also looks astounding, and I’d like to start off with some insights about the content of the record, including your inspirations for this amazing cover art. Give us your thoughts on this great piece from Rafal Wechter / TOO MANY SKULLS, and how it relates to the lyrical content of ”Hell”. Where did you get your inspirations from and how important do you think it is for artwork and music to coincide with one another?
Hey Karol! Thank you for nice words. Indeed, it’s been a while since our last LP was released. All this time we knew that sooner or later we would record another album though.
The lyrics to „Hell of life” was a direct inspiration behind the album cover. Rafał got the lyrics and that’s what he felt. We didn’t feel a need to change anything, that was what we wanted.
In the beginning „Hell of life” was the title of the whole album, but we realised at some point that all theses songs could be titled like this, because they present life in this world as life in hell. The inspiration, as always, came from the observations of everyday life, from moments of breakdown, from struggling with yourself, from the way our parents lived their lives. From how difficult it is to escape certain schemes we are being pushed into – whether we want it or not. These are not positive observations so I believe that this depressive album art corresponds perfectly with what you will find inside.
If your new offering is indeed the soundtrack to self-destructive nature of humanity, what events and current facts prove it best?
That’s correct. Before we entered the studio we’d been working hard to make the music sound coherent. It was no coincidence that we removed almost all the „happy” parts. We hadn’t planned it, but the closer we got to the final form the music and the lyrics became more coherent.
Human nature is autodestructive and one doesn’t need an in-depth anaylsis to confirm it. If you take a look at the world now, you will see that one by one we keep on checking all the boxes necessary for selfdestruction. We’re experiencing what once we read about in sci-fi books. The apocalypse is taking place here and now, on a few levels at the same time.
The one with the big politics in the background and the one concerning relations between people. The example of complete dehumanization of refugees shows that even regular folks, minimally manipulated by propagandists, are able to do horrible things. It is so easy to justify agressive bahaviour or complete ingnorance towards other people or animals. The religion is a major threat and a parasite. The mass stultification begins in the church and ends with the killing of infidels.
What role do lyrics and art driven stories have in helping us to understand the environmental crisis we are now living through?
It’s only a picture – a background to the fall. We will not understand anything.We didn’t understand anythind. We have known for a long time how destructive our activity has been and we haven’t done anything.
It took us little more than one hundred years to destroy what existed for millions of years. We’ve delivered a final blow to this planet and we’re watching it die slowly. We can only watch and hope for a miracle. But I wouldn’t count on that.
What led to releasing more music after so long? Had you been active in any other music with other bands in the interim?
Drip of lies has been a functioning band through all these years. But a lot happened along the way. Kids were born, some of us devoted themselves to work. But we met regularly, sometimes just to spend time together. After a dozen or so years together we feel we can communicate without words.
It’s been seven years since our first album was released and we’ve decided it’s time for the next step – the release of „Hell”. We had a bunch of scetches we had been working on for some time but the process of putting the album together took us a few months. Arguably we have never worked so hard in the history of this band. It was also the first time we entered the studio being fully aware of what we wanted to acomplish. We’re satisfied with the outcome so far.
We started new bands when we didn’t play shows with Drip Of Lies – Radek still plays in Jad and between 2015 and 2018 we played together in Limp Blitzkrieg.
Back to ”Hell”, it seems that releasing an album on several DIY labels can increase your audience, yet you’ve decided to release the new LP independently, directly by the band, right? How did that come about, and do you think this move will expose you to an even larger crowd? Do you care about stuff like that?
In my opinion it’s disputable whether you are able to get to a wider audience releasing an album with several labels. They usually get a few dozen copies and they either sell/trade them or the records get stuck in their distro boxes for ages. To be honest DIY labels haven’t been doing particularly well these days – people who have kept it running for years decide to narrow down or close their labels down completely. They feel burnt out, they feel no motivation to carry on.
Throughout all these years we have tried all possible paths, and there was only one left – selfreleasing an album. We have complete control over the distribution, we decide who gets copies for reviews etc. Obviously more records go directly to listeners insted of being traded for other records with distros, so yes, I believe we will get to a wider audience and the album will find its way to new listeners.
Apart from that the financial aspect is also important – we put quite a lot of money into recording „Hell” and it is very rarely that a label is willing to cover the costs of the studio,mix and mastering so releasing and selling the album yourself you somehow get the money back.
The obvious disadvantage is that you won’t find the record in a great number of dsitros, but we can cope with that.
You have scheduled a string of live dates with DESZCZ in March 2020. Will there be more shows for you guys in 2020? What are your plans for the next year?
We had talked about doing some gigs with Deszcz for a few years. Finally, in the fall of 2019 we managed to play a weekender together. It was great, that’s why we decided to to do it again in the spring. We will play 5 shows. You can find dates on our facbook profile.
We’re planning to play only weekends untill this summer due to work and other obligations. We got some invitations for summer festivals, so keep on checking our website. For the fall of 2020 we’re planning a „real” european tour. Keep your fingers crossed and wish us luck.
21.02.20 Biłgoraj @ Sapori
22.02.20 Kraków @ Warsztat
05.03.20 Katowice @ Faust w/ Deszcz
06.03.20 Berlin @ Hasiok Records Fest
07.03.20 Szczecin @ Kadath w/Deszcz
08.03.20 Poznań @ Pod Minogą w/Deszcz
04.04.20 Lublin w/Government Flu, Jad
25.04.20 Leipzig @ G16 Fest
11.07 Harklowa @ Ferment Piknik
07.08.20 Zdynia @ DIY Punx Fest #2
It’s been a little over 10 years since you started DRIP OF LIES. Does it feel like it’s been a decade already? What fuels your motivation to keep it up and keep creating new stuff?
Yeah! It’s been a while. We can see it in the mirror, hahaha. As I mentioned before, after all these years we’re like a family, with all its consequences.
Despite the fact that it’s been more than a decade I feel our best time is yet to come. Working on „Hell” gave us energy and we’ve already begun working on the next material. Let’s hope we will manage to finish it in less than seven years.
As far as „Hell” is concerned, we’ve been getting only positive feedback so far, which further motivates us and makes us believe in this band.
Can you say a few words about what the crust / hardcore scene is like in Warsaw or elsewhere in Poland these days? How do you see the current phase for our local scene right now?
I wouldn’t say we can see too many new bands around. Local scene is still based on (mostly) the same people playing in multiple bands. I can mention few of them – hardcore acts like Heatseeker, Braineater, definitely the best polish crust pack Social Crisis or emotive rockers from Hanako. New at the map – trashing hardcore Sanity Control or cave punx from Future.
Thanks so much guys. Are there any final thoughts you would want to add? Feel free, the final words are yours.
Thank you for your time Karol, you’re the best as usual. Please, check our social media for updates. We’re coming back on track.
And fuck nazis, obviously.