the interview kicked off I learned all about the
bands’ curry filled bellies. After the interview
finished, Bruce, Denny, Nolen and I found a plethora
of board games and a net-less ping pong table
in their green room. Denny kindly hated on my
NY Yankees t shirt with: ‘I don’t
like your shirt by the way. Actually, I fucking
hate it.’ Ermmm, thanks Denny? And post-show
fun was had working the merch table.
guys. I trust the tour is going great, but how
(Bruce) We’re full
(Nolen) We’re definitely full. We’re
stuffed full of curry.
are worse ways to be! How’s the tour been
going so far?
(Denny) It’s going well.
(D) It’s not a facetious comment.
kind of reaction have you had from all the other
venues and cities that you have visited?
(B) Erm, pretty good overall. Friends of ours
warned us that audiences in England were very
stiff but for the most part, err
(N) We’ve gotten the majority of them to
(B) Like dance or shuffle around or at least
nod their head a little
(D) Washington DC has a similar reputation so
we’re used to dealing with playing there.
You know, arms folded, head bobbing.
(B) If people are head bobbing, that’s
good for Washington DC. Normally they’re
like (makes particularly bored and static facial
(D) Not as many people are holding drinks in
DC as they are out here, so that’s something
I’m worried about when he (Nolen) starts
jumping out into the crowd. If people are holding
pints and it starts flying everywhere!
(N) Oh I’ve made so many people spill their
maybe they should dance more and that way learn
to hold their drinks better when you’re
throwing yourself at them.
their own fault really.
has been your highlight of the shows so far?
(N) Probably the first show in London. At that
show the crowd was just going crazy! It felt
like we were back in Baltimore (Maryland). There
were actually some friends of ours from Brooklyn
(NY) that were also on tour but they had the
day off so they came to see us. So that was
been your best one. Obviously Cardiff is going
to beat that; there’ll definitely be some
head nodders in the crowd.
(D) I like the size of the room. I like playing
small places because the music translates pretty
well. It’s a little disappointing because
we don’t have as many places to run around
but I like playing in little venues.
(N) But there are multiple levels…so we’ll
see what happens!
of climbing? Lots of jumping off railings?
(D) Jumping into stuff.
into stuff? People with pints mostly.
have your own unique sound which you make with
bass, vocals and drums. Why have you chosen to
omit lead guitar?
(B) Guitars are overrated.
(N) They sound bad ha ha.
(D) Either that or bass is underrated; one of
(B) I dunno, it’s pretty economical for
us to do it this way and it works. We haven’t
really felt the need to fill up any extra space
sonically, and it works. If it ain’t broke,
don’t fix it!
‘Masks’ EP was out on March 23rd of
this year, what reaction have you had from it
since its release?
(B) Most people have been telling us they really
like it. The reaction has been overall really
positive. Several people have told me it’s
one of their favourite EPs.
(D) Which is cool because sometimes EPs can be
seen as a ‘nothing’ release, with
just throwaway stuff on it but we actually put
a lot of good material on it so we’re
pretty proud of it.
awesome, are there plans to make a full length
album in the near future?
(B) We haven’t made any plans yet.
(D) We’re all out of material ha ha.
those that may not have yet heard your EP, can
you sell it to them in one sentence?
(N) You’ll laugh, you’ll cry
(D) You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll
nod your head. You have to say this in a deep
movie voice though.
(B) (In deep movie voice) In a world where there
are no guitars. One band
(N) Takes on the rock n roll formula
(B) One band. Five songs. Takes on the rock n
roll world, you’ll laugh, you’ll
(D) It’s got like five commas in there.
A lot of ellipses.
fine. Commas, semi-colons, they make a sentence.
(B) It needs to be said in the deepest voice
you can possibly muster.
(N) With film footage with some storm clouds
(D) And where beyond the storm clouds there’s
like a couple of amplifiers and distortion pedals.
(N) And then Denny at the bottom chopping them
down and lightning is shooting out.
(B) There, we’ve got our next video idea.
Maybe don’t bother with an album, just
make a movie!
Double Dagger forming from the remnants of other
bands like League Of Death and Economist, what
caused you to leave your old bands and create
(B) Man, that was a while ago
(N) I had a little more hair then.
(B) Well Nolen’s and my band, League Of
Death, had just broken up as our drummer had
just moved to England.
(N) Our original drummer left and then Denny
was sort of like a temporary replacement drummer
for a few shows and then one day we all came
to practice and all of three of us were like
‘How about Denny joins full time?’
(D) My other band, Economist, eventually became
full time and I was on guitar and sang in that
band, so playing guitar and especially not singing
are not my primary instruments at all so I took
drum lessons to focus on drums being my primary
instrument. After a while it was like if I really
want to be concentrating on music and concentrating
on playing drums then it follows that Double
Dagger was the group to move to.
the rest is history.
(D) Rock n roll.
is a Double Dagger?
(B) It’s a footnotes symbol for if you’re
annotating text. The first footnote is usually
the asterix, then you have the dagger which
is the cross shape
(N) No, it’s the asterix then it’s
the double asterix.
What makes you a double dagger?
(N) Because we’re the last footnote at
the bottom of rock n roll.
(All crack up laughing)
(B) We’re the last rock band.
(N) We’re the last rock band in America.
It feels that way sometimes.
(D) Yeah it does.
Double Dagger disbanded tomorrow what would be
your best memory and would you have any regrets?
(Long pause as the trio think)
(D) If we disbanded tomorrow my regret would
be that we didn’t finish the European
(B) The best memory would be all the sights and
all the sleeping sitting up.
(N) Yeah, I fall asleep sitting up a lot. I can
sleep in almost any position.
(N) That has happened. I was standing about 10
feet from the stage watching this really boring
band playing and I started like just tipping
over and all of a sudden this guy’s back
was right there (motions very close to his face).
I had to jerk back.
(D) To be honest, and I’ve said this before,
some of the greatest memories recently have
been some of the home town shows because there
have been a lot of younger kids coming out from
the suburbs of Baltimore, that you don’t
normally see at shows in towns like that. In
small cities you’re used to seeing the
same 70 people at every show.
(B) It feels really awesome that we can get these
young kids ampped about something, to come down
to the city, ask their parents for rides or
whatever. So that’s really cool.
(D) That was like me in High School trying to
come down to the city to see shows cos I was
excited about something so it’s cool to
be more than just a ‘thing to do’
that night’. Those shows were really awesome.
have support tonight from Friendship. What do
you think is more important in friendship, the
lie or the truth?
(B) Nolen should take this one cos he wrote the
(N) Errr I mean the lie makes things easier sometimes
but you can’t have a lie unless there’s
a truth first. So the truth would have to be
the most important.
(D) We really like Friendship. Those guys are
(B) Their band name is our reality.
(N) It’s no lie.
Dagger hail from Baltimore, which seems to have
an incredibly diverse music scene breeding the
likes of pop-punkers All Time Low and dream-poppers
(N has a bewildered expression on his face)
D: (to Nolen) You’re not familiar with
All Time Low?
(N) No no no no, this is the first time I’ve
ever heard somebody outside of Baltimore mention
All Time Low!
(B) They’re very popular here.
They’re pretty big over here.
(B) Yeah, they’re big.
(N) Wow! Ok, sorry, back to the question.
problem. So with music like that coming from the
same place as you guys, what has made you what
you are today? You guys are a lot more substantial
than the likes of perhaps All Time Low and Beach
House whose brand of pop are kind of more perfect-for-a-night-out-and-your-hangover
kind of music. Why has Double Dagger turned out
the way Double Dagger is?
(D) Well first, thank you. And second, I don’t
know. I was saying this yesterday and we don’t
really have a set thing we are trying to do.
We’re just trying to do it. I don’t
know, I can’t really verbalise our mission
except being a “real” band, I guess.
(N) I think all our goal is to write and perform
the kind of music each of us like to err
(B) To see or listen to. I think we’re
all kind of, I mean I’m speaking for myself
and I think and I’m definitely interested
in bands that have some sort of force or energy
behind them. I think maybe one of the impetuses,
impeti, for Double Dagger was to create a band
with an energy behind them because I think we’re
all, in terms of style, we’re all influenced
by indie rock and punk bands from the 80’s
and early 90’s because back then indie
rock actually had some balls to it. I think
a lot of indie music now is just very generic
and don’t have energy to it. And I think
we have a lot of comparisons to 90’s bands
but I think to an extent that’s because
we’re trying to channel some of that energy.
(D) Throwing the shows for me at first like because
I was in high school and seeing a live band
play, that was like, it shook me or whatever.
It was like an energetic thing. I think now
things have progressed to a point where it’s
a lot of solo dudes writing just real low key
stuff. Putting stuff out there for the sake
of it just existing or people having a project
or something like that but that doesn’t
interest me. I can’t directly speak for
either of them but I feel like we’re probably
on the same page and none of that stuff really
grabs a hold of you. Music should. Live music
should, at least we think it should.
agree. A lot of
indie and punk bands tend to be a bit wet now
and making music because they know how to play
three chords and not because anything really excites
do you guys have any messages for your fans who
are coming to your show and will be reading this?
(D) Start a band. Not a crap band though. Nothing
shitty. Yeah, definitely start a cool band instead
of a solo project with like 12 looping pedals.
(N) If you come to the show just come with the
mind that you’re gonna have a good time.
You don’t have to dance like your parents
are watching you.
(D) Right, and just because we’re a loud
rock band doesn’t mean it has to have
this connotation of violent, aggro atmosphere
because it’s not. Just because we’re
loud and get sweaty and stuff doesn’t
mean we’re like total meat heads we just
like to play at a loud vibe to transmit that
energy better than playing quietly.
(N) Yeah never mess with something that like
Dan from Friendship was asking about after our
third show, he was curious about the interaction
and the confrontation with the audience that
came from this point of sort of aggro or angry
point of view but I guess the interaction with
the audience, to use the British term, is more
‘taking a piss’, or ‘the piss’
ha that’d be gross.
(B) I hope not.
(D) That would be a very different show!
(N) That sort of invisible wall that is usually
there that separates the band and the audience
I think all of us are just kicking that down.
you so much for doing this interview. Your sound
check got me a little bit excited so I’m
looking forward to the show.
Interview by Jessica Acreman