I guess I wanted to interview David for a while now so I managed to catch up with him fresh from their recent Japan tour with Bane.
He is also in another Hardcore band we all know Terror.
Big Thanks to Takuma – @Takumagg for the pictures all taken in Japan.
DR: How’s it going David? You just got back from a Japan tour with DTN, right? How was that?
DW Yeah just got back, still adjusting to the jet lag. The tour was great, that was our third time there and probably our best. We were lucky enough to do it with Bane this time, old friends of ours, and it was a fun time.
DR: I love Japan too and will be back there in November, but what do you like about the place & the shows there the most?
DW I love how respectful everyone in Japan is. Probably the nicest country I’ve ever been to. The shows are great, Japan knows how to stage dive!! All the venues are awesome, all the bands are good, and all the gear we get to use is always nice too. Very clean country too.. And very good food. We tore up some sushi!
DR: I see you played with Soul Vice… great band, great dudes, but who do you like most over there Hardcore wise?
DW Soul Vice is awesome. Seeing Doggyhoods is always a great time. Stand United kicks ass too.
DR: So let’s go right back… I know DTN started in 2000, but do you want to give us a bit of history on the band?
DW We were very young when we started. All of us in highschool, kept cranking out crappy demos. We finally got our sound in 2002 ish. Had a good demo and our first 7inch on Dead By 23 records. I was 18 years old then. Kinda just went with the flow after that. We never really had goals or anyone to tell us what we should do, or give us advice on anything. We just always wanted to play with friends. Time flies when youre having fun. Can’t believe how long we’ve been a band and how much stuff we’ve accomplished over the years.
DR: Tell us about Guerrilla Crew!
DW It’s always been a straight edge crew, started by a bunch of teenagers in the early 2000’s. Definitely not a gang or any of that nonsense, so I guess not your average “crew” that’s for sure. Everyone’s old and has careers and families now haha.
DR: Have you toured pretty much every where with DTN now? Is there anywhere you guys are particularly craving to play?
DW Yeah we’ve hit just about everything but South America and South East Asia. We’d love to do both of those. Wouldn’t mind trying Africa either. We’ll see.
DR: How does the writing process usually go down for DTN?
DW It’s always been, write riffs at home. Bring em to practice and work em out. And then I’d write lyrics to the finished products. Daniel, and Groater and I were split up pretty evenly with the riffs back then. Daniel wrote all the music for Life on the James though.
DR: You guys really love and rep where you come from, but explain to us a bit what Richmond VA really means to you, and any cool stories you have.
DW It’s a small city with strong punk/hardcore scene. Hanging out is so easy because nobody is more than a 10 minute drive from each other. It’s pretty cool thinking about all the people that have moved here after stopping here on tour with their bands or after coming to visit.
DR: You guys love the UK, right? And even have a song called Sheffield… what do you like most about it here and do you have show & HC memories to share about the UK?
DW LOVE the UK! Some of my favorite memories are of coming over to the UK the first 3-4 times. We made so many good friends the first time. We met Nate from Canaan & On Thin Ice back in the day at Posi Numbers fest. He’d come to Richmond a few times and hung with all of us in Richmond a bunch and had some crazy times. Nate set us up with our first UK tour with On Thin Ice. We had our split with them on Dead & Gone records. It was just the best time. Crazy shows, great hangs. Max Mitchell and Alan Dargs were always home base in Sheffield. The Canterbury boys were wild. The Manchester kids were awesome. I remember the 2nd time we played Hull, the venue wouldn’t let the young kids in so we snuck them all in through the back. I think it was the 2nd time we came over and we got to play some of those xCanaanx reunion shows. We came over twice in 2005 and the shows were so sick, the hangs were even better. We played Sheffield at the Broomhall centre that fall on Guy Fawkes day and bought heaps of fireworks and ran a muck all night being bad little boys it was great. We came twice in 2006 and the shows were even better. I’ll never forget our sets at the Plug in Sheffield that summer, and then our Ninja Fest set at the Underworld that fall. I can’t wait to get back. Those 2 shows we did a few years ago were amazing.
DR: What has been your personal favourite DTN Record?
DW Life on the James is my favorite. The old stuff is cool, but we were so young and clueless and careless then, we just didn’t know what we were doing and it gets on my nerves now. Maybe that’s the beauty of those old recordings I don’t know. I just love LOTJ.
DR: Any new DTN in the pipeline?
Not yet, but I think the Japan tour got us motivated to write new stuff.
DR: Let’s talk about your main focus, Terror. When did you join and how did that come about?
DW I joined in the late spring of 2008. We (DTN) had played shows with Terror over the years, toured together at the end of that winter in 2008 and become friends. They knew that we’d be slowing down after that spring so Daniel could go to Medical School and groater was quitting. Their bass player parted that spring, and they asked me if I wanted to take the spot. At the time I didn’t know if Down To Nothing was gonna break up, or just not tour much anymore. Terror was one of my favorite bands so it was kind of hard to say no.
DR: You guys tour like crazy… how does this effect your home/personal life? Is this a full time thing for you … I guess it has to be hard, right?
DW Yeah we tour a lot, but we’ve slowed down some too. I’d say we’re averaging 6 months a year now. When the tours are long and back to back it’s very hard on the brain and the home life. Being away from friends, family and girlfriend that long sucks. But when it’s spread out there’s a good balance and it’s easy.
DR: What do you find to be stand out differences, apart from style, with playing/touring with DTN & Terror?
DW Terror is more serious. We still have a lot of fun don’t get me wrong, but that’s our job. So let’s say Terror is professional. DTN is just goofy chaos vacation basically.
DR: What have been some of your favourites places and shows with Terror?
DW Terror in Poland is something else. Some of my craziest shows have been there. Serbia too. I’ll never forget when we played there in 2009. People were piled to the ceiling. We did SE Asia twice. Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines were just bonkers. Huge shows and people stage diving with no regard for human life.
DR: I read somewhere that you were going to step in for Scott and sing on Terror euro tour this summer, did this happen? How was that?
DW That happened this summer. We did a 6 week US tour, and on the 3rd to last show Scott slipped a disc in his back. I had to sing the last 2 shows of that just to get us home. We had a European tour starting 3 days later, so there was no way Scott could do it. We thought about cancelling it but we had so many flights booked to and within Europe it didn’t make sense. So we played as a 4 piece for six weeks with me on the microphone. It was really cool, everybody knew the situation and still came out to support the band and we had some really good shows. I think stuff like that is what separates hardcore from the mainstream. Everybody knew our lead singer was out, and we were over there playing a man down and all the kids still came out and sang along and had our backs. It was really cool. Scott’s all healed up now thankfully, I’m excited to be back on the stage with him, it didn’t feel right without him.
DR: How has the new Terror record been received?
DW People are loving it which is always rewarding to hear. I can’t wait to play the new songs live, it’s always fun to play something different, especially when the crowd reaction is good.
DR: Last but not least- what does The Straight Edge mean to you?
DW No drugs, no alcohol, and separating yourself from the norm. I don’t think of it as a “movement,” or any of that corniness. To me it’s just a cleaner, positive lifestyle. It’s very punk when you think about it. Every normal person drinks alcohol. It’s normal to have piercings and tattoos now. Not drinking is still weird.