Friday, 5 February 2010

"I think if you say your band is a punk band or any other kind of band you instantly place a restriction on yourself."

Comply or Die formed in spring of 2008 and within in a year were gigging regularly, gaining a reputation for putting on an “explosive live show.” The members (Matt on drums, Michael on guitar/vocals and Ian on bass/vocals) are made of ex-members of bands including Coda, The Kiss Kills and Snake Charmers and are currently working on a new record. “We’re playing around with a concept for it at the minute that will tie it all together and help make it pretty cohesive. The last record was really just a collection of songs, really good songs, but there wasn’t really a central theme to it so I thought it would be cool to try something like this with the next record,” Michael tells me. “Musically it’s more diverse, there’s more depth to it. Not all the songs are full on heads down assault like the last record, there are songs like that on here, and those kinds of songs are always fun to play, but we don’t really want to keep going over old ground.”

Before I continue I should probably tell you now that Comply or Die are not, I repeat NOT, a punk band. “People ask us what our band sound like and we’re like, ‘oh, well it’s like, post punk hardcore,’ and then they hear us and it’s like ‘that’s not’re not punk’. I think if you say your band is a punk band or any other kind of band really you instantly place a restriction on yourself and the sound.” Michael tells me. It’s all too easy to try and put everyone and everything in a box these days, but Comply or Die simply won’t accept it: “We're too heavy for the punks and a lot of people don't really get us or what we do. I think we adhere to the DIY ethics that are the back bone of what real punk, in my eyes, is but that’s probably where the similarities start and end. We're our own band and don't really pay too much attention to scenes, genres or what’s hip, fashionable or cool.” Matt adds. A long time ago people seemed to forget that punk was more than a music genre, which is probably what brought about the downfall of anyone’s understanding of the real punk lifestyle. And these guys definitely aren’t big fans of the current Northern Irish indie scene. Matt tells me, “there’s too many [indie bands] in Belfast and very few of them have any balls; it’s all fashion. It'll shift round again and rock or something else will be big in a few years. All these things are cyclical. Fits and starts.”

So except for the record and some upcoming gigs, what’s on the cards for Comply or Die for the rest of 2010? “Just get tighter as a band, write more songs, and get some more varied gigs I guess.” Ian tells me, before Michael adds, “hopefully well get to play a festival or something during the summer. Last year was a pretty successful year for us so hopefully this year will top that.” Fingers crossed it definitely will.

Comply or Die recently released a FREE downloadable single! It features two tracks - Baptism of Fire and Like A Snake - from their debut album and a previously unreleased live track, I'm Sick(of This), that will feature on their second record due out later this year! Follow the link for the FREE single and if you like that you can get the record for a mere £5.
You can also check out their new music video for Love Under Will. Check it out at
You can also find out more about the band and hear their music at
Photo by Victoria Carson.

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