EXCLUSIVE Interview: You Say Party! We Say Die!
Chuck Norton, DeadJournalist.com
What you need to know about You Say Party! We Say Die!:
- You Say Party! We Say Die! (YSP! WSD!) is a Abbotsford, British Columbia-based band;
- The band is comprised of Becky Ninkovic, Krista Loewen, Derek Adam, Stephen O'Shea, and Devon Clifford;
- YSP! WSD! released their debut album Hit The Floor! was released in 2005 (and re-released in 2006);
- Their latest album, Lose All Time, was released in 2007;
- The band is signed to Paper Bag Records (Tokyo Police Club);
- YSP! WSD! formed after meeting and riding at critical mass;
- After forming, the band tried various name, but stuck with "You Say Party! We Say Die!" around the time of their first performance as a band. In a recent interview, the band recanted how they would come on stage and shout, "You Say Party!" and their friends in the audience would shout, "We Say Die!";
- YSP! WSD! just completed tour and will be taking some time off before working on their third full-length album.
DeadJournalist.com proudly brings you this exclusive with Stephen O'Shea of You Say Party! We Say Die!.
Now that Lose All Time has been out for several months, how has the fan reaction been to the album? Is there anything, as a band, that you'd change about the album?
Actual fans of the band have loved the new album. They've taken the time to sit down and actually listen to it more than one time through and understand what it is we as a band are trying to do and appreciated the ways we've grown. Hipsters, scenesters and the rest trying to be cool have quickly dismissed our second record. They wanted Hit The Floor! part two, I guess.
We're happy to be weeding out the weak.
We're proud of the songs we've written, but the recording of Lose All Time was rushed. There are certain production levels and even putting the the songs together as a cohesive album that we would change. Looking back you can always find something to do differently, and through the course of playing live the songs have begun to change and you wish you record these newer versions.
All in all, we've needed these two albums to happen to get us to the point where we can stand confidently looking towards our third record.
It's not surprising that your songs have a lot of political overtones considering you were involved in critical mass prior to forming YSP! WSD! What do you see being the topics that will influence your next album?
To tell you the truth, we haven't written a single song for the new record yet. We've been touring so much that we haven't even discussed themes or ideas. Obviously Becky burried the politics a slight bit deeper on our second record and created a more emotional tinge as compared to the "in your face"-ness of "The Gap".
I hope that we continue along this route. Our real goal is to balance all five of our wants and needs in this next record. Not all five of us are politically minded people - some of us just wanna rock.
But jokingly, and not likely to make it to the album, I did suggest that write a song about how much I hate paying for the toilet in Germany called "I Don't Care About Sani-fair". I think charging to the toilet creates a false economy. haha!
How has the band's sound evolved over the past few years? How do you see it evolving in the future?
The band has changed from the beginning with the constant flux of member changes. Derek and Devon both bring new influences and talents to our band. Our current line-up isn't the band that made, Hit the Floor!, and it would be unreasonable to expect the five of us to make that. As a live band, we've managed to incorporate more preformance ideas beyond just handclaps.
For the future, we're planning to take the spring off the road and begin exploring our musicianship more. We're planning to spend longer hours in the rehersal space, jamming out ideas as opposed to forcing songs together like we have in the past. We're working towards sounding like the five of us, instead of the dance-punk flavor of the week.
You can really tell in the second half of Lose All Time that we left the album as more of a question mark for the future instead of an exclamation point of now. We're growing and we knew it then. We won't be staying the same.
Which do you enjoy more, performing live or writing and recording?
Hands down, playing live.
As a band, you tour extensively. After several years, how has the on-the-road lifestyle effected the band?
We have alot more wrinkles, and likely, devestated livers. Actually, the touring has made us more and more commited to this band. The more we tour and the more we meet other bands that tour, we've discovered more and more of what we want as a band.
Touring all the time isn't easy. After a certain amount of time it starts to feel like a job. You get too familiar with it. We've struggled with that but have managed to find ways to keep things interesting and not mundane.
The longer things go on, the closer the five of us become. We've left our friends back home and we don't have the same social circle, because we're gone so much. The five of us have become a new family of sorts. It's for the best.
Do you see a difference in the European audience vs. the North American audience?
No. Music fans everywhere speak the same language, they demand to be entertained.
What is your favorite part of performing for a live audience?
I've carried the hope that there will be a chance that they crowd will circle pit during our music. I consider it the greatest honour of all time!
The most bizarre thing that has happened to you while on tour is ... ?
We tend to lead pretty normal lives on the road - other than a few of us getting wasted a lot and making fools of ourselves. But I think the most bizarre thing is actually what our fans are doing. We have a certain group of fans, none of them knowing each other, that seem to be in competion with each other trying to see us in as many different countries as possible. We never know where they're going to turn up next, but we're always really glad to see them.
Who and where was your first concert?
My first concert was a punk rock show, in my suburban hometown, on the half pipe, in the back of a skateshop with bands that have all broke up now. But they will always be some of the best bands I can remember.
Is there a band or artist that you've discovered this past year that you've recommended to your friends?
Time and time again, it would have to be a band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They can make ANYONE dance. They're called, Shout Out Out Out Out.
Who were you listening to in 1997?
Radiohead's OK Computer had just come out. A breath of fresh air amongst all the post-grunge.
Which do you prefer: Vinyl, CD or MP3?
It's really hard to listen to vinyl while we're driving from city to city in our van. Our prefered method of music enjoyment is actually tape cassette. We have over 250 different tape cassettes in our van. They can get thrown around the van and dropped but they won't get scratched. It's really the best of all worlds.
One Drink, One Album, One Movie:
A large glass of a cola beverage, Cloudead - self titled, Brazil