Ahead of the beginning of a run of singles for UK indie-label SoundHub, Mike McGrath-Bryan talks with Eoin Leahy, drummer from This Place is Death, about the band’s past, their creative process, and their recent recording excursion.
It’s been a little over five years since This Place is Death started gigging around Cork, quietly but steadfastly appearing on bills all over the city and plying a craft equally rooted in throwback alt-rock and psychedelic rock’s poppier inclinations. Eoin tells of how the band as it is today came together. “In 2007, we got together to play in Frank’s side-project Suburban Circus. Due to other commitments, it didn’t work. In 2011, the three of us found ourselves looking for a new band to form, we got together, had a few practices, wrote a handful of songs, and This Place Is Death was formed. In 2013, we recorded and released our first E.P., Low Light, and did gigs & promotion for over two years.”
Like any band, there’s likely a diverse range of influences from person to person, and TPID are notably the sum of the aforementioned. Bringing them to the table to create something new is a little more intuitive than it sounds. “Our influences range from Nirvana, to Depeche Mode, to Nine Inch Nails, to The Jesus Lizard. It’s a big mix of all different genres. Writing a song happens very naturally, sometimes songs will come just from playing together in jamming, most of the time it starts off with Frank and myself, then when there’s a structure and flow, Barry comes in, and a song is created.”
The band’s graft began to pay dividends late last year, when UK-based indie label SoundHub found the trio after a call for talent brought the band to their attention. “It all happened through Twitter, where the guys in Soundhub messaged us asking to put songs in for submission. We put in Low Light, the guys got back to us through email, liked our songs, and invited us over to play a showcase. From that we were offered a deal that we currently have. In January of this year, we went to SoundHub studios in Belper, UK and recorded three songs, which were then sent to Metropolis Studios in London to get mastered. Tom and Barrington from SoundHub were amazing to work with, very relaxed, creative environment, they treated us like family and we learned so much from our experience. It was amazing.
This month, the band’s first new material in two years releases, with single ‘Caught Inside’ releasing through their new label. What’s SoundHub’s plan for it? “Caught Inside will get released in 120 countries around the world. The label’s plan is for the song to get as much exposure as it can get. Caught Inside will be distributed through (renowned distro company) The Orchard. If all goes well, the plan is to release the other two singles, Sympathy and Crash.”
To accompany the release, a pair of launch shows on the 19th and 20th of August are in the offing, with the band serving up consecutive sets at metal mainstay Fred Zeppelin’s and the Mardyke complex’s basement venue, UrbanJungle respectively. “The first one is our own, headline, launch show. We’ve got The Magnapinna playing support, a new band which consists of ex-members of (Leeside sludge-metallers) Five Will Die. Show two, we’re playing UrbanJungle, and will be hosted by Pethrophile Promotions. These guys always put on excellent gigs, guaranteed to be a rockin’ night. Our single and video drop on that day.”
The question being asked of any grunge-related outfit near Cork at the moment is that of the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s sole Leeside appearance on the 20th. How have that band left an imprint on the trio as players and as individuals? “Without Nirvana, we wouldn’t be a band, or playing music full stop. These guys opened the door for people everywhere, their music is timeless, and with each generation people find Nirvana, and the cycle goes on. They made it possible that you can form a band, and actually get somewhere with that genre of raw, passionate music.”
With singles ahead, what else is next for the three-piece? “The single is dropping August 20th, with the video too, it’s a little throwback to 80s slasher flicks, shot by the lovely guys at Deep Red Productions. Keep an eye out for that. After that, we will release Sympathy, and early next year, Crash. We’re very excited for people to hear these songs, the production and mastering are something else. And please support the music, local bands deserve every bit of support.”
This Place is Death release Caught Inside on August 20th, with the launch show on the 19th at Fred Zeppelin’s. Available for pre-order now on iTunes Music Store.