Interview With Death Becomes You - 14th March 2004
Photo Of Christopher Lee © Copyright DBYWe had a chat with Christopher Lee, the drummer from Death Becomes You before the band took to the stage as Wenesday 13's backing band on the London leg of the UK grave yard a go-go tour.

First of all, for those who have never heard of you, or your music before, could you introduce yourself and describe your music.?
Yeah we call our style of music, we patented it, we call it "grave wave". Which is basically what punk rock would be nowadays; if they didn't legitimise punk rock and make it into a family affair with these cute cuddly little kids singing about their girlfriends. You know, people who want to experiment and want to bring back that "fuck you" attitude to rock and roll, and don't care about anything besides their art, doing what they wanna do, and not putting limits on it. 'Cause everything today is people fitting into a category. We have no category that's why our record 'Make It Bleed', there's little influences from U2 to Rob Zombie to everything. As long as it's good and it's got dark feeling to it and it's got heart and soul, and you know, it's real, that's all we care about we're not here to like, fit into a specific genre.

Now, on your website, you describe your influences as The Ramones, Kiss, Bono, Sex Pistols and Elvis Presley amongst others. Was this the music you grew up with and who would you say was the most influential person or band to you?
It's hard to say who's the most influential because, well, we're all brothers and we all grew up in a really open household where my mom and dad raised us on music. When I was five years old, John who's the vocalist, John Janos, he had the first Kiss record, and I was five and I saw it and, there you go! I saw it and, you know I saw the cover and I was enthralled, I was five years old. I saw the blood and everything, I was like "what the fuck is this?" and they were on a TV special, when I was probably about six, and I knew that was it, you know? I got one of their records I got 'Kiss Alive 2', when I was six and I was only like, playing drums and I knew right there I wanted to do music. I would say Kiss and Cheap Trick when I was about six then you move on to Def Leppard when you're like, ten, when MTV came along, and then about eighty-five I discovered the Misfits and The Ramones and stuff because MTV was actually playing The Ramones twenty-four, seven in the eighties. I took in everything I saw on MTV and that band really stuck out along with discovering Slayer and Voivod in eighty-five. I mean I liked everything it didn't matter how heavy it was, whether it was punk, hardcore or speed metal, if it was good and it had all the things I'm looking for I was into it. I mean my influences they go way down the line. Everything from like, fucking, Marvin Gaye, my dad raised us on that shit, Smokey Robinson the whole nine. Anything that's real, you know rhythm and blues and all that shit. We're into music, we stun people all the time we'll talk about music and we know shit about bands and artists people don't know nothing about. Because I never liked sports, I never liked all that stuff other people liked. I gave my life to music and I absorbed everything.

Photo Of Christopher Lee © Copyright DBYIn previous interviews, you described how when you were younger, you were fascinated with (and I quote) "death related totems", such as skeletons, skulls and tombstones; and also how you enjoyed horror movies. Was there a specific moment in your life when you decided you didn't want to be like the majority, and you wanted to live the life style you live right now?
Yeah right from the time I was old enough to walk, being raised to think for myself and being allowed to talk to people, like my mom and dad raised me to be real outgoing as they did all of us, and when you're a little kid you're not supposed to walk up to strangers and start talking to them and I was always like that. I remember being five or six years old and playing with Star Wars figures, and Darth Vader appealed to me way more than Luke Skywalker because even then something I wanted to know; why? who decided he was the bad guy? What made him the bad guy? And the bad guy as Anton LaVey used to say, the bad guy will always look cooler, always have cooler things. There's an aerodynamic and whatever you want to call it, like things that are evil, like evil castles. It's always the architecture. From there to Darth Vader, he had the helmet, tall, black, dark evil figure, and there's Luke Skywalker representing the light. Nice little white shirt, his whole light saber and his cute little hair. You go from there. I just always found skeletons and all that stuff just really fascinating. Underneath all this, beneath all the flesh we're skeletons and John was like from the time I can even remember, he begged my dad to take him to every horror movie that came out. I remember being five years old and seeing a movie called The Boogens, and Humanoids From The Deep, because John was nine and he was mental. If it was hard he had the toy. He knew the movies. He had the magazines. That's such a part of us. That's like the website, all the quotes, it all comes from my head, we live this day and night. I constantly think what's the next slogan for the band and catchphrase?

What are your favourite horror movies? Are there any particular movies you'd recommend the fans check out if they haven't all ready?
I think horror movies, once it became a Hollywood thing, towards the nineties, especially today, horror became about everything but scaring the shit out of you. It's about getting some famous actress on TV to sell a movie and nothing more. My favourite movies are pretty much Dawn Of The Dead, the first Halloween movie, Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, the Evil Dead films, ReAnimator, Zombie -the first one, Night Of The Demons, Demons 1. Anything to do with Zombies especially. There's nothing more terrifying than living in a world that's finished and the dead are walking the earth. "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth". There's a lot of movies. Everything!

When you started out, you had a bit of a hard time, right? What with your warehouse being robbed of your equipment, being jumped by other bands and people basically not believing in what you were doing without even checking you out first. What would you say to those people who doubted you in the first place, now that you've just signed a deal with JMB Records and are touring the UK with Wednesday 13?
All I can say is, everything I've ever wanted to do, I'm fucking doing it now, and for all the years these things crept through your brain and made you wonder about yourself and your band and where it's going to go. Obviously it wasn't me, you were the asshole, and I was right. You fucked us and here we are! I was thinking about the club that banned us when we started playing with Wednesday, and I was thinking, I'm going to fucking be on my way now and we're still going to be banned from your club but we're the only band in Fort Lauderdale doing a god-damn thing while they're all playing to their friends. And this is what it takes to get where you got to go. Let me deal with all the adversity and the bullshit. I'll go through it all over again because it's been a really interesting trip and through it all it's made us keep our wits about ourselves and keep us really grounded. There are no egos in our band.

Photo Of Christopher Lee © Copyright DBYYour album 'Make It Bleed' has just been released in the states on JMB Records, will it ever see a release date in the UK, or will we have to buy it on import for now?
Let's see how well this whole thing goes with Wednesday and we're been talking with a label called Jungle Records and let's see what kind of response we leave England with. If there's mad kids we're going to get this fucking record and we're going to set something up. We're already looking into coming back on our own in September because your country is amazing and you people actually give a fuck about music and not fashion.

How did the deal with JMB Records come about? Did you know the Grushka brothers before you got the deal?
Yeah we've been friends with the guys in New Found Glory for a long time. I've known a lot of them since we were kids and they always just stood back and looked at us and had the impression like, "you guys are fucking out of your minds"! Ian who played on the CD, his brothers, Nevin and Jarett knew we were doing this record ourselves and we recorded everything ourselves and the whole nine, and they turned around last year and said "we're staring a label and we want to put it out". It's better to have someone else handing that side of it than me having to handle that too.

I also believe Nicodemous was arrested the night of the record contract signing. Are you allowed to tell us more about that?
Yeah, basically we are the Sex Pistols of now, we are the Motley Crue of now, there is no law, we make our own laws, and you abide by ours. Basically on the way to the office to sign the deal, Nic' rammed the security gate and fucking broke it with his car. The security guard called the police and Nic' had an outstanding warrant for some violations and the cops went after him and he got arrested. How many bands can claim the night they signed their record deal that fucking happened to them?

Okay, you're playing the second show of the "Graveyard a Go-Go" tour tonight in London with Wednesday 13, but what would the fans expect to see at your own headlining shows?
Our band, we're not contrived we're not calculated. We refuse to do anything that other people are doing. We have our own vision. Our band is just lots of attitude, really violent energy on stage; this is like therapy for us. Nic' breathes fire while we play, he spits blood. I would say we're like the Kiss of now. If Kiss had balls back in the day and didn't try to be so fucking safe, you would have us. We're Kiss without pulling out all the stops. It was always like, Jean could have taken things to the tenth degree, and it never quite went there because they didn't want to turn people away, they wanted the cash. We're like the un-dead version of Kiss. It's all about the show, it's all about the characters, we believe in this, it's our own world that we created.

How did the warm up shows in the US go at the end of January, early March? Did you receive a good reception from the Wednesday 13 fans?
Yeah it was excellent. The crowds were small because North Carolina's very spread out, but the people that were there were absolutely mental. There were kids with Murderdolls tattoos, the whole nine. This girl, Kathleen, cut her leg open while we were playing, and she ripped open the tattoo she got two days before. The kids were great, I mean it was more concentrated each show we went to.

Were you a fan of Wednesday 13, Murderdolls or Frankenstein Drag Queens before you were asked to do these shows?
Yeah we all bought the Murderdolls record right when it came out. We saw the video for "Dead In Hollywood", and I thought "thank god there's hope for rock and roll, there's a band that's doing what needs to be done like us". We all had the record and we were definitely into it.

Have you ever been to the UK before? How do you like the weather?
Your country is absolutely amazing. I've wanted to come here ever since I was fifteen. It's kinda cool to be here now after reading Kerrang after all these years. Reading about all the venues, and my favourite bands coming over here and playing Mean Fiddler and all these places. To actually be playing them right now. To think of the fucking brilliant bands that have been on the stage it's awesome. I'm a total Damned freak. I'm a total Elvis Costello freak. The Sex Pistols, the whole nine. Now I see where it's at. Now I see where the culture is at, it's fucking cool. It's the best place in the fucking World. People here are really hospitable. We could not have been treated any better. It's awesome.

And the food? Many bands who visit these shores complain about the food.
Except for the fact you put mayonnaise on fucking everything, yeah! I have a phobia against mayonnaise. It looks like fucking baby batter, it looks like sperm. I don't eat anything that resembles baby batter.

Finally, is there any statement you'd like to make to anyone reading this interview right now?
If you really care about music for music's sake, and you haven't heard of us and you want to see what the future of rock and roll sounds like, go to our website, order the 'Make It Bleed' CD. We put our fucking lives into this and we physically have bled for that recording for every song on that record, we've always drained ourselves writing those songs, making that CD. I could not be more proud of that thing. It's like my fucking child. I listen to it every day and I'm like, I can't actually believe I did this. It's amazing. I've wanted to do this my whole life and I started playing with my brothers, and we're doing this, and to look back from all the years you wanted to be in a band, and wanted to do something with your life and to be doing this. it's kind of overwhelming at times. Now that my dad's not here any more, especially doing this, I think about him a lot. It's kinda depressing in a way, because I wanted to see what he would think. I'm sure he sees all this but I wanted to be like "I fucking told you when I was ten! Whatever the fuck is going to happen, it's going to happen". I don't know how but it is, and it's happening now. We're the most fan friendly band ever. We love hearing from people. You want to email us go right ahead! Link us to websites, go ahead.Photo Of Death Becomes You © Copyright DBY There's no time for ego doing this. I have sat outside these venues every fucking day for three hours to talk to these kids, and gave them stickers and the whole nine, when I could have been playing rock star and going out and looking for someone to fucking shag. There's a job to do and we're here to do it. It's awesome just great. All you guys are fucking awesome.

Have a peaceful death, courtesy of Death Becomes You.

Interview by Trigger
 Band Members

John Janos (Vocals)
Christopher Lee (Drums)
Nicodemus (Bass)
Gory (Guitar)
 Latest Releases
Death Becomes You - Make It Bleed
Release Date - 1st April 2004
1. Intro
2. Planet Graveyard
3. Cadaverized
4. Bad Day At Salem
5. And Crows Will Dig Your Grave
6. I Wanna Live
7. Scratch The World
8. Bats In Your Belfry
9. Cobwebs
10. The Hearse
11. Lay Waste The World
 Band Related Links
Death Becomes You Myspace
Death Becomes You Official Site