Bio: Life Against Death is a DIY Vancouver band formed in 2004, bringing you the best of punk and metal in a blistering package of rage and thrash.
The current line up boasts the unique drumming of Scott Free, the blistering guitar work of Brett Roothless, Steve Huston the mad scientist on bass, and Twitchy Twitch’s vocal brigade of horror and doom. The four musically diverse players use their individual influences and backgrounds to create mayhem on the battlefield. With songs about passion, devastation and the future of the human race, Life Against Death will meet all of your darkest desires.
VanMusic: It’s Gillian aka Callander Girl from VanMusic and I’m hanging out with the band Life Against Death. They have just finished rehearsing and we are now hanging outside of their jam space and they have been gracious enough to give me an interview. Could you please introduce yourselves to the VanMusic readers.
VM: And what do you play?
VM: Can you tell us a bit about the history of Life Against Death?
VM: I know there is a bit of one..
Brett: 2004 is when the band started, the original singer of the band was Scott who is our drummer now.
Brett: Scott and I are the only original members
Claire: Actually lets talk about Scott for a little while..cause he’s not here (laughs), he had to leave, he vows never to sing again..he won’t sing..he wouldn’t even sing for me on my birthday and that was all I was asking for.
Claire: I don’t know something happened..
VM: What happened?!
Claire: Life Against Death happened..not sure exactly..(laughs)
Brett: Scott got old (laughs)
VM: Ok so 2004..and then..bring us up to date
Steven: Claire and I joined at around the same time, Claire was in June and I was in August of 2011.
Claire: And Scott was 2 weeks before me
Brett: But Scott was in the band before
Claire: He was apart of the prelube
Steven: Scott went off to do his Masters in English..he was doing that for a while..
Claire: Steve and Brett used to play together before as well..
Steven: Yes we were in a band called Last Plague before
Brett: And Scott and I have played together since 94
Claire: Now there’s a fun fact.
VM: If Life Against Death had a Mission Statement what would it be?
Claire: I can’t speak for everybody but for me it would be, ” The re-enactment of the very process of Life and Death and the irony and the humour and morbidity that comes with it all.
Steven: The name Life Against Death is open to interpretation
Claire: It means something different for everybody
Steven: I just want to play fast, heavy music and have fun
Brett: And Scott’s a paranoid schizophrenic and he used to be a midget
Steven: It’s hard to get Scott out of the house
Claire: And again we are just talking shit cause he’s not here
Brett: He really used to be a midget though
VM: Did he have a bone lengthening procedure?
Brett: Yes they got out the bone stretcher
VM: I heard that is really painful
Steven: He also got a penis enlargement while the were doing that too
Homeless guy walks by and says “If there is a will there is a way right buddy.” Yes! Cheers all around..
VM: Could you name some of your early influences? Bands/Artists that made you want to play music?
Brett: Yankovic (laughs)
Steven: Alabama …they were a huge influence on me
Brett: Thats about it Yankovic and Alabama really when I think about it.
Claire: (laughs)For me it was when I first heard anything in a drop tuning. It blew my world right open. I got back from South America and there was radio in English, everyone I talked to knew all these songs. Like Nirvana. Kurt Cobain was dead and I was like, who the fuck is that guy? I was catching up on everything. And then I switched radio stations from Z to the Fox. From there I started listening to heavier stuff, people were telling me to listen to Korn and Limp Bizcuit. I started going down that road..and it just got heavier and heavier..I couldn’t get enough of it.
Steven:For me I had a cousin who was really into Metal so he started lending me Slayer and Anthrax when I was 12 or 13 and that’s when it became Metal all the time. I started practicing my guitar and bass for like 6 hours a day. It was really Anthrax and Slayer that really kicked it off for me…Spreading the Disease by Anthrax and Haunting the Chapel by Slayer. Both those albums opened my eyes.
VM: Alcoholic beverage of choice?
Claire: Nice one..
VM: I know..a very important question
Steven: What time of day?
VM: Anytime of day
Steven: Well for breakfast usually I will do Vodka and Orange Juice, gentler on the stomach, in the middle of the afternoon I like to switch to beer and then for the evening I usually mixed ridiculous martinis with lots of Campari. I like bitter drinks..
Steven: Oh and Tequila when I’m celebrating
Steven: Of course
VM: Hangover central
Steven: None of the salt and lime shit either..just straight Tequila
VM: Straight up
VM: Holy shit, you must have a stomach of steel man..
VM: I respect that
Brett: I drink beer like it’s Golden Vagina Juice and I drink wine the same way..
VM: Red or White?
VM: Ya baby
Claire: I drink whatever I can afford
Brett: She drinks Wild Turkey
Claire: But I like really cheap, really strong beer. I like to get my mission accomplished
VM: Even when you have some cash you will go for the cheap stuff because you know that it will do the job quick?
Claire: Yes, I know that it’s going to take a fraction of the time and then I have all this money after
VM: You want to get drunk fast and save the coins
Claire: Save the coins man absolutely
VM: I get it
Claire: Cause spending all your money on beers is irresponsible
VM: (laughs) Your right ..I should know that by now! So Claire not only are you in Life Against Death but you are also in another band Joyce Collingwood. What do you find is the main difference between playing with
LAD and Joyce Collingwood?
Claire: The main thing is in Joyce Collingwood I’m playing guitar and in LAD I’m not. That’s the biggest thing that I notice (laughs) But LAD is more expressional in sound and in feeling.
Steven: In Joyce you do more of the music writing then in Life Against Death
Claire: In Joyce Collingwood I have to focus pretty fucking hard, I’m playing guitar and singing, writing lyrics..it’s actually quite complicated.I can’t do it drunk like I do with Life Against Death. (laughs)
VM: But somehow you still manage to get pretty drunk when you play with Joyce Collingwood (laughs)
Claire: I still pull it off (laughs)..but when your not holding an instrument, it’s a completely different thing..
Brett: When I would play guitar and sing in the studio..when we were doing vocal tracks I wouldn’t do them with my guitar most of the time. But I would pretend to play guitar while I was doing my vocal tracks.
Claire: I did that too..we have actually have footage of it..I didn’t know what else to do! (laughs)
VM: Well thanks guys for taking the time to talk to me
Steven: And thank you
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