For Dead! DIY rules.
The indie-punks, who originally all hailed from the Isle of Wight, but formed in Southampton, have been determined to do things their way.
They moved to London a couple of years ago, as guitarist Sam Matlock tells WOW247: ‘We wanted to do that whole move to the city, the streets are paved with gold, follow your dreams thing.
‘We liked the romanticism of it and we love those cheesy films with that kind of message, so we thought screw it, we’ll do our own one, and it seems to be going okay.’
But now they’re coming home for a gig back at The Joiners.
While based in Southampton, the four-piece would put on their own shows in unconventional spaces, alongside more traditional gigs at the likes of The Joiners and Talking Heads.
We’ve got big plans and big ideas for the debut album.Sam Matlock
‘We started really DIY, I know all bands say that, but to the extent we would find an attic in a bar and convince them to rent us the room and print the tickets ourselves, We weren’t just calling up promoters, we were the promoters.’
Sam’s favourite was in a disused university room where they convinced the student union manager to cut them a key – as long as they sent people to the uni bar. ‘We had a good run - we did loads of dodgy DIY gigs like that.’
And Sam’s got short shrift for bands who can’t do what they’ve done – as he says, ‘You hire the venue, run the door and security and you can get 40-60 people turn up.
‘If you can’t do that and have the people turn up, then there’s nothing wrong with the industry, and there’s nothing wrong with the way you’re doing it, your music’s literally just not good enough, it’s as simple as that.’
Now though, they’ve got the money of a decent label behind them – Infectious, part of the BMG empire.
‘We’re still doing things ourselves,’ says Sam. ‘You’ve got to keep your head screwed on about it, you could be like: “Woohoo! Label money!” and go mad, but in reality for a band like us, we’re not really making any money, we’ve got to be tactical about it.’
But they’re determined that when they release their debut album, it’s going to be on their terms.
‘We’ve got big plans and big ideas for the album. You get those bands who do those huge debut albums, and people can never live up to them. It needs to be beautifully-written, loads of people need to be excited, and in order to do that we need to pick our moment and take our time.’
The Joiners, Southampton
Tuesday, September 6