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We conducted an interview with Warsaw hardcore band DEATH ROW on January 15, 2012.

Deathrow 6

Hey! Thanks guys for taking this interview. Please, introduce yourself. How’s the weather in Warsaw? [laughs] Tell us a little bit about your band.

Hey! Thanks for having us. We are DEATH ROW, hardcore-punk band from Warsaw. Weather currently pretty much sucks here, where’s the real winter with snow AND sun :/
We formed in 2006, underwent many line-up changes since then, but core of the band remained, as well as our views on what and how we want to play our music. For those who don’t know it’s simple to the root oldschool NYHC inspired hardcore.

You represent Warsaw Hardcore scene. Tell us more about its condition, history and your place in it. When did you first go to a hardcore show? How would you compare today’s Polish hardcore scene to the one back in your rookie days?

We believe the scene in Warsaw is stronger than ever. We got tons of good bands, lots of shows (there seem to be a show every week for next 2 months, sometimes more than 1 in a week!). Some would even say we have too many bands here and too many shows (it’s getting hard to follow everything). The only problem that we believe that the scene has is lack of… let’s call it “new blood”. Very few new people got involved recently, so we have some supply over demand surplus. Many great bands and great shows that do not get the recognition they should.

Ok, what about PRINCESS and your other past/current side projects? Do you still have any? Tell us about your other projects.

PRINCESS is dead some time now. It was a project by our ex-members Hubert and Wróbel anyways. From current undertakings, Ćwiara has another band called REALITY CHECK  (be sure to check them out!), and Gienek plays bass in another WSHC band BURST IN, he is also involved in some new thrash inspired project, but it hasn’t taken shape yet.

Are you planning to develop as a band, or just stick to the supporting scene and fun formula?

We do not exactly mean what do you mean by developing as a band [laughs]. We believe we do this constantly. If by development you mean wishing to sign to a “major” or being on MTV this was never our goal. We will remain a 100% DIY underground band. This is our place.

You are about to release the “100%” 7’’ in January. Is it your first release since the HARD TO BREATHE split (2009)? Please give us a quick tour of your discography.

We released a DIY demo in 2006, besides the split with HTB we also released two tracks online as a promo in 2011 (one of them made it to WARSAW HARDCORE PUNK ATTACK compilation). And that’s about it.

You are releasing the outing via Ratel Records. How are you involved with the label?

They are our good friends and a 100% DIY record “company”. If we were too choose who could release our record they would be our 1st choice. We were really happy that they were interested in our material and made it happen. Be sure to check their website for our and other great releases.

Is Bandcamp useful for you? Are you planning to sell you music via this platform? Do you still use MySpace?

Currently we find bandcamp as the best solution for getting music online, we do not currently plan to sell our stuff there though. DEATH ROW’s myspace is still up, but nothing much going on there as the service is pretty much dead in our opinion.

You’re obviously not a straight edge band. What’s your approach to the idea? Are you stoked about the CYMEON X reunion?

Yes, you are correct, we are as not-SxE as it gets [laughs].
We totally respect straight edge movement though, many of our friends follow this path and we do not have anything against it, as well as they do not try to convince us to their way.
Hardcore is about choosing what fits YOU best, and sticking to it. And about respecting the choices made by others.
And we were not stoked by any reunions, with all the respect for CYMEON X.

Name your best friends in the hardcore scene.

That would be a long list and it would be hard not to omit anybody. We get strong support from our “home” 022 crew. We are befriended with a lot of bands on the scene. We’ll avoid listing though [smiles].

Death Row 1
What is hardcore for you?

That’s tough one [laughs]. Firstly, let’s define what hardcore is not. It’s not fashion, it’s not about what you wear or about tattoos. Also, it is not a music genre. It’s not about your diet or whether you decide to intoxicate or live clean from drugs or alcohol.
Hardcore in our opinion is about having your own view on things and sticking to it. It’s deciding on how you want to live and what’s best for you without the burden of politics, religion or any other ideology. It means freedom and is very punk in that, as you need to be very skeptic about so called authorities.
Finally it’s caring about your friends and family, because in the end it’s all you got.
All this comes with a bit (or lots of actually) of anger best expressed with music.

What are your touring plans for this year? Any runs, or just single ad-hoc shows?

Hopefully we get some of both, still it’s too early to say yet. We are at scheduling and planning stage. And we ARE looking for shows. If you read it and would like us to play in your city, be sure to contact us.

Death Row2
When can we expect a full length album from DEATH ROW?

No such plans at this point. And we find EPs to be the supreme format for hc bands. Hardcore bands should not play long shows, it’s best when they also don’t make lengthy records.

What band would you love to release a split with?

25 TA LIFE [laughs]. Or another one with HARD TO BREATHE.

What band would you like to reunite the most?

See below, but if we had to choose we’d say INTERNAL AFFAIRS.

What’s your opinion about reunions in general? Why are so many bands reforming these days?

We pretty much stated it in one of our tracks, called “Reunion My Ass” (from 2009 split). In general we believe hc bands should not re-unite. What’s dead should stay dead. If you called it quits, fucking stick to it.
If you get the urge to get on stage again, start a new band, there’s nothing worse than return of a “legendary” band with 1 original member, ridiculous. We are pretty sure some of them do it for the money, which sucks as hard as it can.
It was nice to see BLOOD FOR BLOOD last year though.

AT THE DRIVE-IN or REFUSED? What reunion show would you choose?

None [laughs].

Thanks! Is there anything you’d like to add?

Go to hardcore shows, buy records, support your scene. Or don’t – THINK FOR YOUSELF.

Death Row 4


WARSAW HARDCORE promo videos:


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