Interview with The Deadthings; December 2007

It seems like the Deadthings have been around for years now, but in reality it was only 3 years ago that you guys released your debut EP "When Hell Sleazes Over". Now with the releases of your 2nd full length album "Dead Over Heels" how do you look back at the past 3-4 years?

Well, I guess in some ways it feels like we've been around a while but in reality it's been exactly 5 years this October since we played our first show. In that time we've put out an EP and two full length releases, 5 video clips and played a ton of shows including a stint in the USA. We like to keep things active and moving forward. I think the last 3-4 years have been a blast, but it wasn't until Nikk Murder returned to the band that we found our groove, then when Trixxi Trash came in shortly after we released our first album "Who Killed Holly Would" we really solidified as a unit.

When I first stumbled upon you guys you were quite a dark sounding punk band with rock influences. "Dead Over Heels" sees you moving in more of a melodic direction. Has there been a purposeful move in this direction?

Well from when we began to where we are at now, there's been a few line up changes and that has played a part in the overall sound. I think as we've gone along we've all let our individual influences seep into the band's sound. As for the sound on the new album, it was definitely a conscious decision. After the feedback from fans and critics on the last record "Who Killed Holly Would?" I took note of the songs that seemed to stand out to people, and while I think we kept to The Deadthings style, we certainly moved in a more accessible melodic direction.

On first listen to the new album I was thinking Warrant…. Black n Blue… Are these comparisons that you are pleased to hear?

Of Course!! That's great you can hear that on the album, they are two bands that are a major influence on me, so to hear that, it is very cool. We all have many influences and on this record we let more of those melodic hard rock influences show through.

The Deadthings seem comfortable dabbling in genres ranging from glam, to punk, to melodic rock, through to metal. Where do your loyalties lie?

Having four people in the band that write songs will always create a different dynamic and style from one song to another. Our loyalties lie in everything that we love, and that covers most of those genres. I'd say as a band we are essentially a hard rock band with a glam/sleaze image that crosses over into Glam, Melodic Rock and Metal.

Can we expect to see any singles lifted from the album?

At this point I only see value in doing videos for TV and You Tube etc, pressing CD singles, doesn't seem to be any use unless it's as a promo for give away. We have done a new video for our version of the 80's synth song "Send Me An Angel" and we plan of following that with three more videos off "Dead Over Heels". Once all the videos have been released we'll include some live footage, etc and release our DVD that has been in the works for some time.

It is widely known that members (Leigh Van Hell & Nikk Murder) of the Deadthings have experienced success in bands such as Voodooo Lovecats and Boydotcom. Where else have the band members honed their skills?

As well as Boydotcom, Nikk has previously played with Ruby Doomsday and The Flesh Hounds, I believe there is a Flesh Hounds CD out there somewhere. Leigh also had another project in between Voodoo Lovecats and The Deadthings called Slam. Dave mostly played acoustic material prior to The Deadthings, and still plays acoustic shows regularly. Trixxi and myself also currently moonlight in the Australian Poison tribute band Cry Tough, prior to The Deadthings we played in various bands but nothing of any note or that had released any material.

Riding on the success of "Who Killed Holly Would" the Deadthings scored some premier support slots in the US with the likes of LA Guns, Pretty Boy Floyd and Revlon Red. How did the band find this experience and how were you received in the US?

It was an excellent time and something that really brought the band together, we got to play with some of our heroes and strut our stuff at the world famous Whisky A Go Go to a sold out crowd. I was very surprised at how well we were received by the audience, it was great. All the bands treated us very well and were great to get along with.

I hear that there were a few famous faces in the audience checking you out.

Yeah at various shows, but it was pretty surreal to look out and see Lemmy or Taime Downe just to the side of stage watching us.

Did you find that the audience in general knew any of your material, or was it all new to them? Did you win them over?

There would be a small group at each show that seemed to be familiar with the tracks from our myspace page, but otherwise we were playing to an audience that had no idea about us, we would just go out and do what we do, give 100% and leave nothing behind. It certainly seemed that we won the crowd over every night.

Anybody that has seen you guys live will know that you pride yourselves in an exceptional live show. What inspires the Deadthings to put on such a show?

It's pretty simple really, we feel we have to live up to the past performances put on by all of our idols; we're die hard fans of hard rock and couldn't imagine it any other way. We'll often get video and critique our own shows, see where we can improve and see where mistakes can be fixed. There is always something that can be better!

Are there any plans for a live album of live DVD in the near future?

We've had plans for a live DVD for some time, and we actually shot a show in HD at the HiFi bar with Full Pyro etc, however the audio track didn't record properly so we are unable to use it as actual Live footage. The footage from that show ended up being used to make the "Dead Girlz Don't Say No" video clip. So since then our aim has been to put together a compilation of live performances plus all our video clips and we hope that this will be ready by mid 2008.

I read that you recently signed a record deal with Big Bang Records. It's the first I've heard of these guys. Who are they, what do they do, who do they represent, and how will your association benefit the Deadthings?

We signed with Blastzone Entertainment and initially our album was to be released on their sub-label Big Bang Records, we recently changed the agreement to release the album on my own new label Pink Blood Records, still through Blastzone Entertainment. The album will be distributed through Nightmare and Koch throughout USA/Canada/Europe. At the moment Blastzone is working with Legs Diamond to re-issue some of their albums amongst other artists. The Guys at Blastzone are fans of hard rock music looking to provide an avenue for genres that are often looked over; we liked their enthusiasm and understanding of the genre and made the decision to go with them.

The new album features a re-recording of the track "Kill For Thrills" that originally featured on your debut EP. What was the reason for the re-recording of this track?

It's one of the only tracks we still play live from the When Hell Sleazes Over EP, when Nikk returned to the band, we immediately felt the difference he brought to our sound, particularly this song, so when we went in to record the new album we wanted to re-do this song and show it with a bigger drum sound, modified arrangement and sharper production.

Your position as Australia's #1 glam metal band in undoubtedly due to the fact that you are the hardest working band on the circuit. What towns / cities / states / countries can we expect to see you tour in support of the new album?

Thanx for the compliment, we love playing and believe it's the backbone of any band building their name. We'll be taking the "Dead Over Heels" tour on the road through Melbourne / Adelaide / Sydney / Brisbane then as we approach the US summer in July we aim to do a two week tour through the USA. All going well we hope to make it across to the UK/Europe following that later in the year.

The increased access to the web has let fans all around the globe experience the gory glory of the Deadthings. What is the most obscure place you have received fan mail from?

To be honest I'm always surprised at how much fan mail we get from the UK, which is what motivates me to want to get over there and play. But places like Argentina, Spain and Russia are probably the most far away places we've received fan mail from.

The majority of your songs have a definite horror theme. Where do you draw the ideas for your songs? Do you see a time where you may have to change the focus of your song writing?

It can be a little problematic, just the fact we are somewhat painted into a corner, theme wise. It's always supposed to have been music shrouded in darker themes, not necessarily horror as such. I think on the new record we have tackled that issue the best we could. Songs about heartbreak, suicide, revenge, hate, betrayal, etc all loosely tied into a theme surrounded by darkness.

You recently provided a couple of video clips for the 35th anniversary release of the classic horror flick "Children Shouldn't Play With Deadthings". How did the band get involved with this project?

This was put together by Blastzone Entertainment and the DVD company VCI Entertainment. When Blastzone found out that this was the movie that the band's name was taken from, they approached VCI about including our videos as DVD extras. Of course with all of us being Horror Movie fans, we were very stoked to see this come together. It's an honor for us to be included on this Zombie Horror Cult classic.

When you guys first hit the scene a few years back you did so at the same time as a whole new breed of Aussie glam/sleaze/melodic bands. Hell City Glamours, Teargas, Sebasrockets, The 5 Venoms, etc. What do you think of these bands?

I like all of those bands in one way or another, and they are all still out playing which is great. I think Teargas are awesome, even though their newer more modern metal sound may be a far cry from their initial melodic rock style, I think they are great at what they do. On the trashier side I think Sebasrockets are great and miles ahead of the other bands in that New York Dolls/Toilet Boys style!

Are there any other up 'n' coming bands you think we should keep our eyes out for?

Not particularly in hard rock or glam, but I think that Catwitch are much underrated as a band, even though they are goth metal/rock in style they have some great songs and are often short changed by their shock rock/goth vampire image.

If the Deadthings were a cocktail, what would I have to mix to make one?

I'm guessing you mean bands here….
A Shot of RATT,
A Shot Of Lizzy Borden,
A Shot Of Zakk Wylde,
A Shot Of Kiss,
Filled to the top with a whole lot of Warrant

Quick answers….

Beer or bourbon?
Beer for me and Scythe, Bourbon for LVH, Murder and Trixx.

Leather or lace?
Leather on me, Lace on her.

Murderdolls or Motley Crue?
Motley Crue.

Girlfriend or groupies?
Both are great, though they tend not to like each other!!

Jason (Friday 13th) or Michael (Halloween)?
Jason is an unstoppable Killing Machine!

Pink or black?
Tough choice! I love both, Pink if I have to.

Rocking or rolling?
Always Rocking.

Are there any other plugs you want to put out to for fans out there?

Thanx for the interview Lindsay and Thanx to Spice for the support on Glitzine.
Check out audio and video from our new album "Dead Over Heels" at URL.
Details to purchase the album are on our myspace page.
Thanx and keep Rokkin like Don Dokken!

Interviewed by Lindsay B.

Visit the Deadthings Website