After completing their second tour in eight months with Beartooth, and recent shows with Devil Sold His Soul and a slot at Hit The Deck festival, we recently caught up with Matthew Baxendale (Bax) and Matt Pask (Pask) from Dead Harts following three days on the Slam Dunk bill.
We talked touring with Beartooth, audience interaction and the scene in the ‘Steel City,’ plus as always the not so speedy Speed Round with the addition of the bands drummer Ant.
Last day of the tour (with Beartooth) and festival, how have the crowds been?
Bax: Sick! As always, playing with Beartooth we’re not the same music as them but the crowds seem to like it. It’s great!
Are you finding that you are gathering a younger crowd? Because I know talking to Ant prior to the Birmingham show last year, he was saying it isn’t the crowd you’d usually go for/get.
Bax: Yeah, there are some of the younger girls getting crushed up towards the front but it’s nice to play to the younger crowds. They’re the kids that plug it, come to the shows, buy merch and support everyone so it’s great.
You’ve been and watched Beartooth today, anyone else you’ve been catching?
Bax: Trash Talk everyday! To be fair, I only watched a little bit of Beartooth then I noticed Trash Talk were playing so I went and watched them. Comeback Kid, Bane and Gallows.
You seem to be touring all the time, and just go from tour to tour. Is that how you have to be keeping busy?
Pask: That’s how it is isn’t it?
Bax: We like to keep busy as much as we can, we’d like to be touring more. We’re very lucky to be getting some sick tours at the moment.
The album came out last year, have you had chance to gage the reception and reaction to that?
Pask: It’s been a successful release for us. I think it’s been the stepping stone up to the shows that we are playing now.
I know the Beartooth crowds and before that the Of Mice and Men crowds, the fans seem to latch onto a support band and go in knowing all the words. Are you seeing that?
Pask: There’s a lot of commitment from the younger crowd. Don’t get me wrong there are still people within the older kids, but the younger ones, if they latch on then you’ve got them. There is a commitment there.
Bax: So many kids singing along and stuff.
On the Devil Sold His Soul tour you were quite vocal about getting people on stage with you, is that what you want?
Bax: We prefer to play with no barrier, kids can get on stage and jump off and enjoy themselves.
Pask: It’s all about interacting with the crowd.
Bax: Obviously bigger bands on a bigger scale you aren’t going to be playing shows without a barrier, but we prefer people to do what they want and let loose?
Is that getting you into trouble? Because I know in Birmingham you tried to get a wall of death going, and the management didn’t seem to happy.
Bax: They told us before, don’t get a wall of death. But that made me want to do it more.
Pask: Health and safety has gone nuts hasn’t it, you can’t have fun any more.
Bax: It’s ruining it!
Pask: It is ruining it!
Bax: But we’ll fight as much as possible to break those rules.
You guys are Sheffield based, and there seems to be a pretty big scene coming out of Sheffield. Is it a close-knit community, do you all know each other and support each other?
Bax: Definitely! While She Sleeps I went on and did a bit of a guest with them yesterday, we’ve been mates with them for years. They’ve taken us out on tour. Malevolence bands like that, we’re all good friends in Sheffield.
Pask: Everyone know everyone!
Your all coming up at the same time as well.
Bax: Everyone helps each other out, Sleeps took us out with them and Feed the Rhino a couple of years back, which was great.
Speed Round (with the addition of Ant)
What would you like to be remember for?
Pask: That’s not a speedy question that!
Bax: Being the craziest fucking bastard ever.
Ant: Breaking stick on the reg!
Pask: I want to be recognised for what I do, the work we all put it in, I just want someone to remember it further down the line. That would be nice.
Dream dinner guest (dead or alive)?
Bax: Kurt Cobain.
If you could only play one venue for the rest of your career, which would it be?
Pask: Oh shit!
Bax: Download, Main Stage.
Ant: For me something without a barrier, on the floor, that’s five thousand capacity. I’m happy with that!
Pask: I don’t know, I haven’t tried some of the American ones out yet. There are a couple over there, I think House of Blues might be one of them. House of Blues in California.
Favourite swear word?
What was the last song that made you proper stop and listen?
Pask: I watched Pvris earlier on, I’ve forgotten what the song was called! ‘White Noise’ there you go.
Bax: Trash Talk ‘Destroyer.’
Ant: This is going to sound so corny, but when we first played the Impericon Stage the lights were on me so I couldn’t a thing, so I wasn’t sure if it was empty bearing in mind it’s a thousand capacity. So all the blinkers were on me, and half way through Bax said “right, thank you everyone” and the light guy spun the lights the other way, and when I saw how many people were in the room in just choked me up fully. So our own song, as gay as that is.
What did you have for breakfast?
Star Trek or Star Wars?
Bax: Star Wars!
Ant: Star Wars!
Pask: Neither, absolute turds both of them.
Ant: Just say Star Wars, class it as Star Wars.
Which album are you embarrassed to own?
Pask: I’m not embarrassed to own any of my albums, even Celine Dion.
Ant: Nothing, Luther Van Dross and the Carpenters and bands. You can’t be embarrassed by it, it’s the journey that got us here.
Bax: Justin Timberlake ‘Justified’ I fucking loved it.
Pask: You brought the fucker because you like it. Embrace it!
Huge thanks to Bax, Pask and Ant from Dead Harts. The album ‘Cult For The Haggard Youth’ is available from all the usual places iTunes and that kind of thing. You can catch the lads at 2000Trees in Gloucestershire, or I’m sure they’ll be back out on tour again soon.