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YOUR DEMISE on “selling out” without being a sellout

Here’s one of the bands whose recent work has been greeted with a mixed reaction. Their “The Golden Age” album, teaming up with commercial merch companies like Impericon and being a face of energy drink brand Monster Energy resulted in their rejection by some of hardcore punk kids all around the world. Have they really got lost?

I sat down with Stu from YOUR DEMISE to talk about the band’s recent sound change, their more melodic / pop-punk approach to hardcore punk and the band’s more accessible approach. Also, the chat below takes you through what’s going on in their camp and gives you a chance to learn about their new EP and plans for the rest of the year. Bon appétit!

Hey! Many thanks for taking this interview, guys. Let’s start off with a little warm up – you’re brand new upcoming EP titled “Cold Chillin’”, to be released in early February. Is it a step forward from “The Golden Age”? Where would you locate the EP’s strengths? Are you developing even more melodic and pop sounds this time?

I wouldn’t say that it’s a step forward, it is a follow up to The Golden Age but using the same fundamentals in heaviness, diversity and song writing. It’s funny for instance, last night the lead track ‘Karma’ got its first play on national radio, and kids are now saying ‘ Wow’ and ‘ YD are back’ but in all reality there where as many heavy songs, if not heavier on The Golden Age. Some kids just didn’t want to like that record cause it was the thing to do, I mean we had much more attention than ever before, and gained many new fans, but it’s just really funny and at the same time really sad that kids really don’t see through things and follow what they like, instead its following like sheep and presenting pure hate. The heavy tracks on The Golden Age are as heavy as Karma, and the rest of the EP, Born A Snake, Push Me Under are equal to Karma, but the thing kids had in their way was a beautiful song called ‘These Lights’, some just couldn’t see past it. The EP is heavier, there is no two ways about it, but it’s still got everything and more of what we put into The Golden Age. Heavier or not, it’s Your Demise.

Sure thing. How are you putting this one out after parting ways with Visible Noise Records?

This release is coming out in a really cool way actually. We work with a really great Merch company from Germany called Impericon. They have always supported us and helped us out more than our previous label could ever. They are pressing the Physical CD version, Our friend lee, whom works with our management is pressing the ltd 7′ on his label, Pinky Swear. Its really refreshing to be able to do what we want with it, like pressing a 7′, we didn’t have the freedom to do that before. It’s also coming out on Distort in Canada, Alliance Trax in Japan, and Good Fight In America. We are really stoked on the release, its a positive step to have so much freedom.

You’ll be supporting this outing with a string of UK dates with COUNTERPARTS, HEIGHTS and FACT. Tell us a bit about this trek. What else have you got planned when it comes to touring this year? Any plans to play some shows outside the UK in support of the new EP?

The UK headliner in Feb is going to be great, we have done loads of UK tours but always with Europe at the end, so it’s nice to concentrate on our home turf, and play loads of places. Just can’t wait to play new songs and see how they go down! We have the UK headliner in Feb, then in March we are doing a European tour with MADBALL, TERROR, and COMEBACK KID called The Rebellion Tour. It’s going to be awesome, MADBALL are the band that got me into Hardcore, and TERROR and COMEBACK KID are real good friends of ours, so it’s going to be a tour to remember for sure.

Scott from TERROR recently dissed THE GHOST INSIDE badly. Some might say he’d knock you down for disputing hardcore ethics and going mainstream. There’s a similar controversy around the recent BRUTALITY WILL PREVAIL drama described at this location. How would you defend yourself if you were accused of not being a hardcore band anymore because of having no original member in your pack? Some of our readers even asked me to ask you if you’re still a band, or it’s more like a company, a strict business thing, a machine to make money?

Wow, no messing around there huh! I’m not going to get into the any of that stuff, I’m sure all sides have their reasons but that’s their business, it’s not really for anyone to talk about or give an opinion. As for people saying there is no Original members in YOUR DEMISE, I think that’s absolute bullshit, I think that using that as a question is absolute Bullshit because it is simply not true at all. I am an original member, I have been since the very essence of YD came about. Ed has been in the band for nearly 4 years, longer than our previous singer and it honestly baffles my why people still talk about this, it’s gone beyond the point of being pissed it’s just plain boring. Oz joined the band 6 months after me and up until that point we had played a couple handfuls of shows, not toured recorded a cd that no one really gave a fuck about. 1 tour later, a year down the line, jimmy joined, we toured more and no one still really gave a fuck. Another year down the line Tailbee joined, we started to do more but where not on anyone’s radar at all. We recorded ‘Ignorance Never Dies’ then 6 months later we partied ways with George. Ed joined the band, we did 2 tours playing to around 100 people max. Even when we did the A DAY TO REMEMBER tour, we were a small band that a handful of kids cared about. We recorded ‘The Kids We Used to Be’ and that changed everything, the band got bigger and people saw us as a good band. That’s down to the hard work of Stu, Tailbee, Jimmy, Ed, and Oz so please please tell me when When YOUR DEMISE started and Who is original, because to me it’s started when Ed joined the band, but that’s not to say I’m proud for all the years before.

As for the clothing brand thing, its 2013, that’s the way it is. Without being able to sell the merch we do, we would not be here at all, we would not be able to tour, and if someone is making money out of it, it is not us at all, we just have enough to get out and play. We got into debt, a lot of debt because we wanted to tour, it has taken us years to get out of. Being in debt is enough to end a band in itself, but having the added bullshit of everyone thinking they know the ins and outs, and they are owed a piece of the band, it makes it far worse. I think people need to think a bit more before writing things on the Internet.

Alright. You see, this was one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you. Sometimes just bringing up the facts and letting people know may knock down one’s arguments.

Oh, and yes, we’re all aware of tons of bullshit around the web, but there are real people talking shit about you guys and I’m trying to understand why. One of the biggest and most evident issues is quite big part of sponsored stuff around you.

Does it mean you wouldn’t be able to tour without Monster Energy and/or Impericon? Who would you be, then, without the sponsors and, worse still, the Internet? You even stated that “without the help of Monster Energy helping the band in many ways the band wouldn’t be here”. Come on! [smiles]

I still stand by that statement. The people at Monster and Impericon are true music fans and understand what bands need to make it work. The fact that we have never received a penny from our old record label means that the amount of touring we do, would not happen if we didn’t have the support from sponsors. It’s that simple. Apart from that and merch, we have no other source to get around, so why would we not take that option to be able to reach our fans.

Ok, fair enough. So let’s try it from another angle. My hypothesis is that there are simply some ethics or dos and dont’s that some bands follow and some don’t. A certain set of supported values and actions taken by a band can be called DIY, hardcore, or whatever. You can also forget about labeling it and just call it “a band”, right? But the question about the purpose remains.

So, I would like to know what you are aiming for, what the goal of the band is? Furthermore, do you think your goals aren’t affecting your ties to your hardcore roots?

Look, YOUR DEMISE isn’t a band that is about ethics or standing for anything in particular. We are a band. A group of friends that likes playing music and playing shows. We make music we want to make, and we play the shows we want to play, and we have a lot of fun doing it. We have a DIY work ethic and mentality, with regards to the fact that we’re happiest when we just take charge of our fate and do things our own way, without labels or whatever getting in the way of that. And we have always found a way to fund the things we do, whether that’s through contributions from sponsors or merch sales… whatever it takes to just get out there and play shows…. Because yeah we are a live band, and playing our songs on stage for our fans is when we feel happiest. Whether that makes us hardcore or not hardcore or “just a band” or whatever… it doesn’t really matter what people label us, as long as we are doing what we want to do, in a way that we want to do it. As far as we’re concerned, the root of hardcore is about a get in the van mentality, getting on the road and playing music you want to, to people that want to hear it. That’s all we are about, and we don’t really get why everyone insists on overanalysing it all the time. We never claimed to be IGNITE or EARTH CRISIS – we just are who we are.

Hookay. Let’s leave the subject [smiles].

How are you involved in your local scene nowadays? Do you still support it? Would you like to recommend some of the coolest new bands, projects, zines, etc.?

We are still involved in our local scenes but England is very small, so local scenes are now national scenes as its very easy in the Uk to get out and become a known band. We tour loads so we miss lots of shows, which is a bummer but we attend when we can and help get new bands names out. The Uk right now has loads of cool bands, STRANGE PLACES, which has members of BASEMENT and BREAKING POINT, SURVIVAL from Manchester are doing great things, BROKEN TEETH are getting on some really good tours and deserve it as they work really hard. The people in these bands are all friends form years gone by that keep themsleves within the scene. We always have friends from these bands tag along on tour with us. New bands to check out, as listed, STRANGE PLACES, SURVIVAL, BROKEN TEETH, BREAKING POINT, BRUTALITY WILL PREVAIL, NECK DEEP.

You’ve been working on a new video, right? Tell us more about this picture. What’s it gonna be like this time? When do you plan to release it?

The video was a lot of fun for us, we don’t really play a part in the whole video on a mountain top, or in a forest, it’s a bit lame. So we try and make videos we find funny for us to take part in. I’m sure you would have seen the Video for Karma now [laughs]. It was cold but loads of fun, us basically running around in full camo and driving a jeep around a field!

So, let’s sum it up for the kids out there. Also apart from the touring you’ve discussed, what’s next for YOUR DEMISE in the coming months? Do you have any goals or resolutions for the year 2013? [smiles]

We have our UK headliner which kicks off in 3 weeks, really looking forward to that. Then we head to Europe with MADBALL on the Rebellion tour, which I personally can’t wait for, MADBALL is my shit, I love them so much. As for resolutions, I have given up Caffeine and fizzy drinks, and I feel so much better! Water and OJ since December 26th! Wish me luck, it’s going to be hard on tour!

Thanks for the chat, Stu! Is there anything you would like to add before we end?  Good luck on the upcoming treks. Have a good one!

Thanks for your time, and see you all on tour!

YOUR DEMISE – early days era:

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