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Interview: Hallows Die
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today? All of us have been playing practically our whole lives. To be honest we probably couldn’t even say what got us started, music’s just kind of always been there. As for what else we’d be doing, we’ve all got our jobs to keep the rent paid and power on, I work in music full time as a tour manager/technician, Gabe works in entertainment as well, Pat builds guitars and Dylan works as a journalist. All the jobs still allow some time for playing and touring though so we’re very fortunate.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity? There’s a lot of reading involved. We tend to use a lot of literary references in our lyrics so anything from old tales to science fiction kind of comes into play.
How long has your band been around? We’ve been making music as Hallows Die since about 2007 but this incarnation shaped up when Dylan signed on in 2010
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music? 2 of us are from Mississauga pretty much right next to Toronto so it’s a quiet suburb-esque place. We were always attending shows and stuff Downtown though so we had a pretty diverse pool of bands that would all hang out together.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you. It was kind of a tongue in cheek anti religious statement, we were all the young “anti religious” teenagers. Long long time ago now.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played. Man that’s a tough one there’s been so many. We’ve had the good fortune of opening for some of our heroes as well as some of the bigger names in metal in front of some crazy audiences. On the flip side, because Canada isn’t an easy scene to tour we’ve also been in the position where we’ve played in the middle of nowhere in front of the door person and bar staff. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster but we’ve always had fun.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already? We’ve played a lot of really cool spots. Obviously our home town places are always where we’re rooted, The Opera House and Phoenix are big ones here in Toronto. If I remember correctly we did play a pretty dive biker bar in Saskatchewan that also doubled as a tattoo studio. Was kind of fun to be on stage while a bunch of gnarly dudes are in the back getting insignia tattooed on them.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Oh man, that would be a hilariously eclectic lineup to be honest. Between the four of us the scope of musical preference is hilariously unexpected.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band? Prepare to age about 10 times faster than before.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be? Probably if anything maintain momentum. Especially with having careers and a million things going on it can be easy to let the band life fall by the wayside.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I don’t know if we have a favourite kid. Do Androids Dream of Robot Sheep(?) has treated us well as an intro and show closer, but everything we’ve written has its reasons for being, none less valid than others.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Droids is really fun to play. When Gods Create Monsters and Exit Stage Left are probably more entertaining for us than anyone listening, but they’re definitely up there. There’s always some arsehole calling out “Bring Out Your Dead!” at every Toronto show.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Our process is erratic at best: sometimes it’s random jams at rehearsal, lately it’s a lot of Guitar Pro files being sent back and forth. Sometimes it’s tragedy or anger that forces a riff or two out of us, but mostly it’s listening to all the killer bands in our local scene and abroad, and thinking to ourselves ‘Well, we can’t let them win, can we?’
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Prepare to age about ten years faster than before... and eat your vegetables. We like to point the finger, especially if we have to deal with a gaggle of hypocrites directly and often.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Of course we do. We hash it out like any self-respecting man-children: with alcohol. We’ve had some pretty good ones, but a few hours and a hangover breakfast later, we’re all friends again.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Global domination, maybe a respite from crippling debt... We’re working on a followup to Masks that might just blow it out of the water... or it might be unlistenable wankery. We’re going to get that finished up, pressed and packaged, and we’ll let everyone decide for themselves.