It’s been a busy couple of years for The World Is A Beautiful Place To Die And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die (from here on, shortened to popular abbreviation TWIABP). With a series of single tracks (including the stand out closing track on one of my favorite comps, Mixed Signals), non-stop touring, and their recently released, and critically lauded, full-length debut Whenever, If Ever, it’s not likely to slow down any time soon. They’ve landed what I can only imagine is a understandably coveted opening spot for none other than emo/aggro/noise rock titans Brand New, and will be playing with highly regarded Japanese instrumental math rock band Toe this October. The word you’re looking for, I guess, is “escalation.”
I was able to send the band some questions about who they are (since I imagine there are some of you scratching your heads), where they’re from, and what they’re all about. Be sure to give this a quick read, and check out their music as soon as you’re able. Their show with Brand New is sold out already, but they’ll be back around. It’s best to be prepared, you know?
Many thanks to Greg for answering these questions!
There are some readers on the site who probably are not familiar with the band – can you talk a bit about where you’re from and how you started?
My name is Greg and I play guitar for [The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die]. Our band is from Wilimantic CT, which is in the middle of the woods. We started by just recording songs in the basement of our guitar player Derrick's house. We toured a lot and then took a year and a half to finish our debut LP which is called "Whenever, if Ever". We all just quit our real jobs to do this band full time.
Taking a look at your show history, it doesn’t look like you’ve made it to Cincinnati before. I know there are a plenty who are excited about having you here. For the band, what dictates the cities you visit? Are you excited about coming in to a rather large area that you’ve not played before?
We actually have played Cincinnati twice. We played a house show when the band was just coming together and was just in Cincinnati with our friends Hostage Calm earlier this year. When a band is putting together a tour themselves a lot of times they're drawn to familiar places. When we come through Ohio we're generally drawn to Columbus or Cleveland because we have a lot of friends there. I think young bands usually want to reach out to new cities they've never been to but it's always hard going somewhere for the first time.
Also, in relation to your show history, you’ve played with a rather sonically diverse range of bands, and that’s something your sound certainly lends itself well to. Do you feel like this particular incarnation of the indie music scene is more open to having that kind of experience?
I talk to a lot of our peers who are scared to play with bands that don't sound anything like themselves. I don't understand why it's nerve wracking to some people. We all have a lot more fun when we play on shows with bands that make music radically different then us playing with indie and emo that sound the same every night.
With the way things have shaped up for the indie music scene, how have you navigated both the growth in popularity of the band and of the scene that it comes from? With labels like Topshelf, Run For Cover, and a few others at the height of their powers, what’s it like to see that happening from a band’s perspective?
It's fun to watch everything unfold. I work for Topshelf Records right now and I'm friends with everyone at Run For Cover. Derrick & Katie who play guitar and keyboard in the band also run a label called Broken World Media thats been doing really well this year. It's really awesome seeing all your friends getting recognition for the things they really care about. It's very satisfying.
Were you surprised about the reaction to the new record, Whenever, If Ever? Both critically, and in regard to the leak situation and how that was handled?
We've all played in a lot of bands that no one ever liked so it's really cool to have a lot of people tell us they've liked this record. I think we're all excited to get working on the next thing though. Handling the leak was funny. Derrick called me the night before everyone found it and told me the record was posted on a torrent website. I live with Kevin from Topshelf so we both kinda just got ready right there for the moment we would need to post the record on bandcamp.
It’s been a busy year for you guys. Between the interesting situation that arose with the release of the new album, along with a lot of touring – both headlining and support, and now the shows with Brand New, do you think things have changed for you all? Or, do you feel like this is one of those tipping point moments where the course of the band is more or less irrevocably altered?
Our band is always changing. People are coming and leaving. Attitudes and perspectives will evolve. We're all wild excited about everything we've got coming up, and I think that I could tell myself at 15 that at 25 my friends and I would all quit our jobs to tour I wouldn't believe it. I don't think these shows will really change the course of the band though. We've got a clear vision of what we want to do now. It'll be much longer periods that will shift us.
Things certainly aren’t slowing down after your dates with Brand New, either, as you have more shows set up with The Front Bottoms and The Menzingers – both bands who have garnered large followings over the past couple of years. Is there anything you feel like you need to do to prepare for these bigger shows? Do you feel like there’s a significant difference for these shows as compared to the smaller ones you play?
There's really nothing that special we do to prepare for any tour. We all just make sure we're in the same room and run over most of the songs we've written. I'm hoping we can get one or two new songs ready before we need to leave for those tours in the fall. I don't think the shows will be that different but it'll be fun to get to try to win over kids who don't already know us.
After touring extensively through the coming fall in support of Whenever, If Ever, what’s next for TWIABP?
We've got an ambient / spoken word record we're going to do with our friend Chris Zizzamia. I think he'll be preforming with us on our final date with Brand New. After that we're planning a split 7" series. Also we committed to do a split 7" with Into It. Over It. where we both cover Minor Threat a while ago that we need to record for. I can also say for a fact that our next LP is going to be called "Whatever, Forever". We're all excited to actually get to start to write again.
Anything else you would like to add or mention?
Death to New Years, Long live Happy Birthday.