March 2012, Spindle Magazine Issue 5

“We’re retards. Well I’m a retard, but I can play the guitar,” Die! Die! Die! front man Andrew Wilson tells me.

Noise punk trio Die! Die! Die! hurtled out of New Zealand in 2005 with their eponymously named debut. In the years since, they’ve released two more albums to critical acclaim, toured with everyone from the Pixies to Wire and have spent years at a time on the road. Now, talking to them at The Great Escape, they’re about to head back into the studio to record their fourth album.

“We haven’t got all this planned out on a map so it’s gonna be really interesting what gets created,” Michael Prain muses.

While this may be a much anticipated album for their fans, Die! Die! Die! are best known for their frenetic live performances, garnering the reputation of being New Zealand’s most exciting musical export. So how does that on stage chemistry translate into the studio setting? “Our first album we recorded there was this wanting to get an instant documentation of what we were like live, because I hadn’t really been to any recording studios so I was like, ‘I want to sound like exactly what I sound like now in one take’. I mean that’s changed a bit… It’s a lot more clinical environment being in a recording studio; you don’t have that same instant excitement so you’ve got to recreate in other ways, which is kind of the most exciting thing about it.”

It will be their second album to be released with their label Flying Nun, a relationship they once said they were taking a chance with; there’s no love lost when it comes to record labels. “They are all pretty much fucked and they have no taste and they don’t know what they’re doing and they’re all dying and it’s a fucking beautiful thing watching them shrivel on their turtle shells and feeding the air,” Wilson.

Despite this though, the band have always been able to maintain control over their own sound and direction. “I remember once we had a manager that said we should try to write more pop songs on the next recording and she had a short shelf life immediately after that statement.” This fourth album will see more of the same.

“It’s just gonna be straight up alternative rock!”

Final thoughts from Die! Die! Die!?

“Umm, record labels: I love!”