Sunday, June 8, 2014

Crucialfest Four: Die Off, Heartless Breakers

Posted By on June 8, 2014, 11:00 PM

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If you're a rock or metal fan and you weren't a part of the badassery that was CrucialFest last week, I don't know if I can look at you for a while. --- In all seriousness, the four-day music festival conquered multiple music venues and featured some of SLC's greatest bands and a fine array of visiting acts, including a capacity-packed Urban Lounge for Red Fang.


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Rather than trying to run the gamut and go to every show I could, I picked one and stayed the whole day: the Saturday-afternoon show at The Shred Shed. Aside from going over to Wasted Space and seeing a few acts like Huldra, INVDRS and Visigoth, I got a great showcase featuring Light/Black, Done, Die Off, Abrams, Call of the Void, Heartless Breakers and the final appearance of Eons before they disbanded. Today, we chat with the two locals on the bill I hadn't interviewed yet: Die Off and Heartless Breakers. To view nearly 500 pictures taken at the show, check out this gallery.



Die Off (Darren Watts, Chase Cluff & Shaun Conway)


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Die Off on Facebook



Gavin: Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little about yourselves.



Die Off: We are three Utah natives who have heart for the heavy and somehow balance trying to be healthy and deliberately destroying our bodies with the party.



Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



D.O.: Growing up, we had a vast array of shitty nu metal, shitty punk rock and shitty rap. We were young and had much to learn.


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Gavin: How did you come together to form Die Off?



D.O.: Chase (our drummer) was frantically searching for a rebound after getting kicked out of Starvist due to two broken wrists, found out Shaun played guitar, and Darren's (bass) old band Philosofist had recently broken up. it was a match made in heaven.



Gavin: What pushed you to create more of a hardcore metal sound and how was it making it happen as a trio?



D.O.: Hardcore and metal is the shit we love. It just comes naturally. Even still, we all have different influences in the realms of the heavy. Shaun loves the grooves and chugs; Darren loves proggy, techy, deathy madness; and Chase is more into the punky hardcore, black metal and doom. Not to say that all of us don't enjoy and appreciate all the heavies.


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Gavin: In October 2013, you released a demo EP. What was it like recording that album and putting it out?



D.O.: Fucking awesome and fast. Bryan Lee brought his recording gear to our jam space (the basement of the Shred Shed), and we kicked it out in two days.



Gavin: Are you looking to record anything new or are you mainly writing material?



D.O.: Still in the writing process. We definitely take our time. Hoping to record a full-length by the end of the year.


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Gavin: Have you given any thought to touring yet or will you stick to local gigs for now?



D.O.: We definitely will, but like we said, we write slow. Once we have something to promote, we absolutely intend to tour it.



Gavin: What are your thoughts on the local music scene right now and the bands coming out of it?



D.O.: Our local scene rules. We are so proud to be from here. There is so much good heavy music coming out of this city.


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Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make the local music scene more prominent?



D.O.: Support DIY bands/venues. The Shred Shed is our home.



Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



D.O.: Cult Leader, SubRosa, Eagle Twin, Baby Gurl, Yaktooth, Turbo Chugg, Worst Friends, Making Fuck, Cicadas, Jetty, Settle Down, LaVerkin, INVDRS and Donner Partyhouse (Chase's other band). Honestly, we could go on and on.


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Gavin: What do you think of the rise of sites like Bandcamp and bands essentially marketing themselves?



DO: That's how you should do it, in our humble opinions. It gives the band the control to promote themselves, so in a way, you can sorta see who puts in the work and who doesn't.



Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of the year?



DO: A show or two a month and just trying to finish writing an album.


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Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?



DO: I guess just a big thanks to you for giving a shit about us, anyone that supports us and the local scene, CrucialFest. And stay thirsty, my friends.




Heartless Breakers (Bryan Lee, Chase Griffis, Matt Mascarenas, Sam Richards & Chris Farnworth)


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HeartlessBreakers.com



Gavin: Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little about yourselves.



Matt: A couple friends that play rock music together.



Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Matt: I was inspired by Rage Against the Machine at a young age. I heard "Know Your Enemy" for the first time and was obsessed with learning how to re-create the sounds he was making on a guitar.


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Gavin: How did you come together to form Heartless Breakers?



Matt: I was playing for a band based out of NYC while Chase and Bryan were working on Antics back in 2014. My band was breaking up, and I called Chase and brought up the idea of starting a whole new project, and he mentioned the idea of Bryan being a part of it. I spent a month in Richmond, Va., after writing, moved to SLC, and we started writing songs the next day.



Gavin: What was it like cultivating the band's sound and coming up with a voice that didn't blend in with the rest of the rock acts in town?



Matt: It was a very natural process. Someone brings an idea to practice, and the rest of us build off it until it feels done. We've never had a set idea of what we wanted to sound like—we just have to be really stoked on what we're doing.


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Gavin: How was it for you creating both a studio version of the band and a live version with additional members?



Matt: It started out as a studio version because we were able to finish writing & recording Prescriptions between the three (Chase, Bryan, Matt) of us and this way, we had something to show people we were asking to be in our band. We wanted to have a solid foundation of a band before then. Chris and Sam were who we had in mind in the beginning, so it was really cool for them to say yes.



Gavin: In 2013, you released your debut EP, Prescriptions. What was it like putting that album together and what issues did you have along the way?



Matt: Releasing Prescriptions was a great experience for multiple reasons. Not only were we stoked about how the songs turned out, but we were releasing this ourselves, handling PR, distribution, and released it under our imprint: Mountain Music. We also released Lighter Doses the same way. We are very hands-on with all aspects of our band, and it's been a great learning process and has worked to our advantage so far.


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Gavin: What did you think of the fan reaction to Prescriptions once it was out?



Matt: It was great. We didn't have any real expectations. Of course, we wanted to have as many people hear the songs as possible, but this was still such a new project that having our friends finally hear what we've been up to while locked away in Bryan's apartment was more exciting than anything. Now we've made friends from all over just from them hearing our band and reaching out to us. It rules.



Gavin: You've since released a second EP, called Lighter Doses, in January. How did recording that album differ from making Prescriptions?



Matt: We spent a lot of time on detail with Prescriptions and knew exactly how the songs were going to sound when going into the studio. Lighter Doses is an acoustic rendition of Prescriptions, and since these songs were already written, we went with a more relaxed approach and experimented a lot in the studio.


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Gavin: Are you looking ahead to possibly touring or staying in Utah for now?



Matt: We are announcing a tour soon. We'll be on the road more often.



Gavin: What are your thoughts on the local music scene right now and the bands coming out of it?



Matt: I've never been more excited about Salt Lake's music scene that I am now. I moved away for a couple years and came back to such a creative and inspiring place. Bands should work together more often.


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Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Matt: Golden Sun, Sights, I Am the Ocean and SubRosa.


Gavin: What do you think of the rise of sites like Bandcamp and bands essentially marketing themselves?



Matt: Bandcamp is a great tool for us. I'm all for anything that allows artists to help themselves. I think it's rad that we are now able to decide when we are going to release music, how we are going to tell people, and tour after without having to wait on anyone. We are too impatient.


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Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of the year?



Matt: New music and new tours.



Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?



Matt: Download our music for free at our Bandcamp. Listen loud. Thanks.


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