"The main thing about this band is that we just go up there every time we play, no matter what crowd we're playing with, and just try to slay, just bring energy."-Deadkill guitarist Mike Stubz
To ease your hangover from local punk band Deadkill's album release show at Barboza last night, I offer an interview that I recorded with the band's guitarist Mike Stubz and vocalist Bryan Krieger at Moe Bar before their show with Champagne Champagne at Neumos last month. The guys talked about the joy that no-frills punk brings them; the difficulty of "pulling dudes off of Craigslist"; and about bonding with their label (Good To Die, natch). Their debut seven inch is out Tuesday (but is streaming for now here). Listen while you read. Fun fact: it's exactly nine minutes long.
Matt Koroulis Deadkill
Krieger: I think it's more straight-ahead, like "attack" punk rock. We were in another band together called Deafcon Burly and that was more of a party band, and when Stubz started this project, he wanted to stick to straight forward, back to your roots attack punk rock. Listening to the record now, too, I feel so good about the stuff we're doing now.
Stubz: It was just kind of a demo, we just kind of plucked four songs and made the seven inch. But the idea was that this band was supposed to be super straight-ahead, two-guitar attack--just kind of create a platform for [Krieger] to do his thing. That's kind of what I wanted from the very start: just something a little simpler, no down-tuning. Everybody else around us is kind of going super heavy or something. I just feel like I want this.
On the formation...
Stubz: I always thought [Krieger] was the best front-man around...I play in this other band, and that was satisfying in a different part of my musical brain, but I felt like I needed this part of my brain to be satisfied as well. So I looked for a drummer for ever, answering adds off of Craigslist. I was pulling dudes off of Craigslist and it was just a joke, it was a nightmare, and it was the weirdest thing, and people big-timed me, just pull weird shit on me all the time, and I just felt like 'This is never going to happen, nobody wants me to fucking play guitar in a band.' Then I saw [Deadkill drummer] Shawn [Trudeau] at a show...Back in the old days, I used to be a roadie for bands that he played drums in. I was like 'Where've you been? You want to play drums in this band?', and he went 'Yeah, sure.' That's kind of how it started.
Krieger: Shawn's a pro too. He kind of holds everything together.
Stubz: He's really a great drummer, and he hadn't drummed really for like eight years. He had like one one-off project like a year ago...so that was the only drumming he had done. So I was like 'You can use my drum set, all you need is a pair of sticks. One day a week only.' That's the other thing about this band: we only practice on Wednesdays, and there might be times when we don't even practice as a band for a month.
Krieger: That's the benefit of having a bunch of guys that are working toward a common goal--and we also have direction: Stubz is really good at being a task manager, he won't let you slip. But we'll get together, play the set, and just write a new song. We'll have lyrics and everything finished in like two weeks whereas some of my friends are fighting with each other for like three weeks in a basement. So it's really cool to have that same direction.
On being signed to Good To Die...
Krieger: It just seemed like we were playing with so many bands on that record label...we were just in that scene. We bring it live.
Stubz: [Good To Die label founder] Nik [Christofferson] believes in us, and I completely believe in Nik. I feel like Nik's doing something right now in this town that nobody else really is doing, and he's out there every day going to all these shows. His taste might be a little eclectic. What he's doing is that he's got his ass off the couch, and he's doing it. And he's putting a lot of energy, and a lot of time, and probably a lot more money than you think.
Krieger: That's what I think is so great about Seattle. This whole thing is getting galvanized. They got bands touring; we got a tour coming up in our future. I think that Seattle should be a place that has really good rock, really good hip hop, and we're kind of breaking out. We had that lull between grunge and whatever.
Stubz: [Christofferson]'s just filling that void, and he's doing it with energy, and the roster that he has, I feel like every band on that roster is bringing something a little different to the table. So when he asked us, I said 'I'm fuckin' with it.' Hopefully we can just sell out all these seven inches, and he wants to do more stuff with us, because I feel like there's just no other place to be, and that's the truth.SW