When Chuck from Deep Elm sent me the latest releases from that great label a while ago, I was totally blown away by their four new bands. These bands, Sounds Like Violence, Fire Divine, Lock and Key, and Burns Out Bright, are among the best bands Deep Elm has ever signed, so I immediately decided to do interviews with them. As they're all new to the label, I came up with the idea of doing something like a "Sounds Like Violence Vs. Fire Divine Vs. Lock and Key Vs. Burns Our Bright" thing. Therefore I sent all of them more or less the same questions to see what their answers would be. The result can be seen below. Hopefully you like this idea, I think it's cool, haha. Feedback is appreciated.


Hey there, who is answering my questions? How are you at the moment and do you have any introduction to start this interview off with?

Hi Stefan, my name is Daniel Petersson and I'm the drummer of the band, I'm doing great. Summer is approaching!! (Yeah, that's indeed great! I'm enjoying this time of the year, too. - Stefan)

This is Tad, I play guitar in Fire Divine. I'm feeling pretty good, even though It's been raining a lot and I'm a bit bored.

Hey, I'm Mike. I play guitar in Lock And Key.  I'm doing alright at the moment, and thanks for talking to us.

Isaac: I am Isaac Stone, I play bass and sing for Burns Out Bright.
Forest: I am Forest Montgomery, and I play guitar and sing backup vocals for Burns Out Bright.

You know, this is one part of four interviews I'm doing with all the new Deep Elm bands (Burns Out Bright, Sounds Like Violence, Fire Divine, Lock and Key), and as you are new to Deep Elm please give me a short history of the band. When and how did you guys get together, did you play in other bands before etc. etc.?

Andreas (singer, guitar), Daniel (bass, vocals) and Philip (guitar) sort of grew up together and I hooked up with them about ten years ago. They were starting a band and were looking for a drummer. We played together for years under different names. Then for about three years ago we sort of had a break from each other. We of course hung out, etc, because we are best friends. But we didn't play together. Then after about a year Andreas asked me if I was interested in going down to the rehearsal and try some new songs he had written. I of course was. Philip passed by and he joined us. The songs were finished in like one hour and it felt great. We then called Daniel and we started to make music again. It all came together great and it felt better than ever, this is when we found "our sound" so to speak. All of us have always played in different bands and we still do, all about making music. Well, the five of us have all been in bands since we were very young, say 12 or 13. The five of us began hanging out together all the time. We all had our own bands going and what not. At some point we got tired of watching t.v. together and starting playing music together instead. Lock and Key first got together in the Fall of 2001.  Originally we were a three piece and neither Josh (bass) nor I were in the band at the time.  Ryan (vox) and Trash (drums) were in this band called Fastlane for a while.  After that band broke up they wanted to keep playing so they, along with the bass player from Fastlane, started Lock And Key just to do for fun and not take too seriously.  I joined in April 2002 after I had been heckling them for a while about letting me try out.  After that we did a crappy demo and played some shows.  In August '02 the bass player left and we found Josh shortly after. It was at that point that we decided to start taking the band way more seriously. Forest: We started in late 1999.  We got together through mutual friends and classified ads. Chris, Isaac and Bryan were in other bands before, this is my first band.

Is the EP your first release or has there been another record on a different label before?

It's the first record we have released under the name Sounds like Violence. We have released some singles on our own under different names.

This is the first for Fire Divine.

The EP is actually a re-release.  Originally our friend put it out on a local Boston label, Irresponsible Records.  He basically did it as a huge favor to us and we are so grateful to him for it.  The Deep Elm version has been remastered and will be distributed worldwide. Isaac: We've released two EP's independently, and one called "Incandescent Light" was released on Butt Lettuce Records, a local label from our hometown Columbia, South Carolina. All of them are now out of print.

As I said, all four new Deep Elm bands are interviewed by me, so please comment on the other three acts. Did you meet them yet and how do you like their music?

Hmmm...I haven't really heard their records...just the songs that are featured on the label samplers. I think it sounds good, but if I had to choose a favourite I must say that I'm interested in listening more to Fire Divine. I've got to ask the label for their record!!! I haven't met any other bands yet, I've talked to a few through e-mail and everyone seems nice. As far as the music goes I can honestly say that I have heard none of their albums just songs from compilations and everyone is great. I think the four of us all have really bright futures in music. We played a couple shows with Burns Out Bright on our last tour.  Those guys are awesome dudes and an awesome band.  We hope to do a tour with them sometime soon.  Sounds Like Violence and Fire Divine are awesome bands as well.  We haven't had a chance to meet them yet but hopefully our paths will cross soon. Forest: We've played with Lock and Key several times, and we love those guys.  They ROCK, and are a great live band.  We've only heard the others because they live far away, but we think they are all great bands and look forward to meeting them sometime soon.
Isaac: Yes.

I think you stand for some kind of "new" Deep Elm sound. In the past Deep Elm released mostly Indie bands, but nowadays the new signings are more rocking and going into different directions. Would you agree and what do you think about Deep Elm in general?

Yes, Deep Elm might have changed some direction compared to the past records but I think it's all about what they like right now. They are not looking to go more "rock and roll," but to sign and release great music that they like. We like Deep Elm a lot (So do I! - Stefan) and they really are engaged in getting great music out to the public. I would totally agree. I have liked Brandston and Appleseed Cast for a long time and when Deep Elm contacted us I thought it was a bit of a departure for them from what they have typically put out in the past. I think there is an obvious departure from pretty straight forward Indie bands into us...the newer bands that still have that Indie sound, but crossed with a harder rock sound more and more. Deep Elm is a great label to be on, they have a history of good bands that do well. Hopefully we can become a part of that also.

I don't know that I would say that Deep Elm is changing their sound.  I just think they're focusing on that style now where as before the were more inclined to the Indie rock sound.

Isaac: I would say yes, the label is definitely taking a new direction soundwise.  The new bands are a good bit more rock than in previous years.
Forest:  We really enjoy being on Deep Elm.  We speak with the owner of the label almost daily, and know everyone that works there personally.  It's like one big happy family, without actually being family.

Your first release on Deep Elm Records is an EP, so when will a full length come out? Did you already write some songs for that one and what can you tell me about the direction the songs are going into?

The plan is to get a full length out at the end of the year. Some songs are finished and they are a bit more diverse then the EP. The Pistol is pretty much a straight-forward rock album. We have some more mellow songs, like the one on the Emo Diaries Chapter 10 and some that are more like the ones on the EP. Right now Alin and Bob are on tour with their other band A Life Once Lost. As soon as they are off tour we are going to sit down and figure out what we're going to do. We wrote a few songs and I would say that we have taken the EP, which I like, and as far as songwriting goes expanded on some of the ideas we hinted at in the EP. The EP is literally the first four songs we ever wrote, in the order we wrote them. The next release will probably be VERY different. We're actually going into the studio in about a week to record our full length. We're hoping to have it out some time in the fall.  Our sound is progressing in the way that its not as straight-forward as some of the "No Fate" stuff.  I'd also say its getting a bit heavier. Forest: It should come out in early 2005.  We've written several songs for the record already, and they're a little more aggressive than the EP.  They are a little faster as well.  I don't imagine the entire record will be like that though.

Did you or Deep Elm ever come up with the idea of putting a tour together with all the new bands? What would you think about such a package in general?

No we haven't thought about it, but it would be an awesome night of music!!!  Might be to hard to book shows for four bands...and could an audience handle four bands on one night? (True, I think that two or three bands per show are enough. - Stefan)

That's a new idea to me. A tour is a tour and I would love to go out on the road with some fellow Deep Elmer's.

No one has brought that up yet but I think it would be a great idea.  I'm sure we'd be down for something like that.

Isaac: It's been brought up, but with everyone's schedules as they are right now I'm not sure it's coming anytime soon.  We would absolutely be up for it though, it's a great idea.
Forest: Yeah, everyone is busy doing their own tours and writing music, so I don't think it will happen in the near future, but it would be a lot of fun.

I think bands like Thursday, Thrice or Poison the Well opened a lot of doors, because more and more people are into this kind of sound, mixing both melodic and aggressive parts. What do you think about these bands and how do you write the music for Fire Divine and Burns Out Bright? Were all songs for the EP already finished before you went to the studio or did you have to complete some parts in the studio?


We're from New Jersey so Thursday is a band that I've seen play for a long time. I like their records although I haven't heard the new one. I'd say I'm a fan though.  I've never really listened to Thrice or Poison the Well so I won't comment on them because I don't know (Well, you should at least check out Thrice because they're awesome - Stefan). As far as how we write songs, it's all about just playing. All of our songs originally come from jamming. I've used the word natural a lot when describing the band and the reason is that's what it is. We never forced a song out we never sat down and said "we're gonna write a song today." It has always just happened. The songs you hear are a great look at each of us.  I'd say for the most part we just write parts and songs together, whatever happens happens. We did have it all mapped out when we entered the studio for the most part. Subtle things were added in the studio, the piano parts some guitar stuff but we pretty much knew exactly what we were doing when we got into the studio.


Forest: I'm not as big a fan of those bands as I used to be, but they did definitely open up a lot of doors for this type of music.  I know for a fact that they've all worked very hard to get where they are, so they deserve respect in that right.  As for writing, we write for ourselves.  All of our songs are liked by everyone in the band.  We usually write the songs together as a unit, though sometimes someone will have most of a song written, and we'll put the finishing touches on it.  All of the songs are written prior to going into the studio, with the exception of "Twenty Two" from the EP.  That song was written in the studio while we were recording vocal tracks on the other songs.

Some members of Fire Divine played in June Spirit and A Life Once Lost, right? Who was that and are those bands still around or have they broken up? What do you thin about those times nowadays?


Alin and Bob are in a van with A Life Once Lost as we speak. (Ooops, didn't know they're still in the band - Stefan)



What are you doing besides the band, do you have jobs, are you studying, do you play in other bands besides Fire Divine etc.?

I'm also studying, and the rest have some odd jobs, but we're trying to focus on the music and not let the jobs etc take too much time. Yes, we play in some other bands but Sounds Like Violence is the priority!!! We all pretty much just play music. Since Bob and Alin are gone Jordan and I jam all the time just for fun. Besides music I really don't do anything else. I have a job managing a restaurant but that's about it.

Ryan and Josh are currently in their last week of school.  I graduated college a year and a half ago and am working at New Alliance.  Trash works at a record store.  Once Ryan and Josh graduate we hope to do the band full time.

Forest: Chris, Bryan and I do remodeling when we aren't touring, and Isaac works in a deli. Very glamorous.
Isaac: Yes.

How did you get that deal with Deep Elm Records? Did you send them a demo or how did they get to hear from you?

We recorded four songs (three are on the EP...You Give Me Heartattacks, Grow/Blow, Perfect) on a demo and sent it around. Deep Elm got the demo, liked it and called us. Might sound to easy but that's how it happened.

We sent out the EP exactly as you hear it. Deep Elm called us back and wanted to use a song for a compilation and it snowballed into a record deal from there.

Yeah, we just sent them a press kit, went down to North Carolina and played for them and the rest is history. Forest: They practically begged us to be on the label.  It's pretty pathetic really.  They actually signed a deal with us.  Our friend Will, who now works at Deep Elm, was going to intern there and mentioned our name to them.  We sent them some songs and they came too see us play.  LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. RECORD DEAL ON LOCK.
When I first heard Sounds Like Violence I felt reminded to Dinosaur Jr. because of the vocals and the sometimes melancholic harmonies. What do you think about that comparison and how would you describe the sound of Sounds Like Violence?
Thanks for the comparison. We like Dinosaur Jr. and have listened to the band for years. We haven't thought about the music sounding like Dino but that's cool. Describing our sound is always hard. I haven't got a good answer but I would call it great rock songs with a lot of passion and attitude. Man that's lame!!  (No way! - Stefan) Ha ha ha. The music is there to make you feel, whether it's anger, joy or horror...it doesn't matter. You're gonna feel something.  Sorry I can't do any better than that! As I said, it's a hard question!! --- --- ---
What's going on in the Swedish scene nowadays? Some years back there was this huge MelodyCore boom with bands like Millencolin, No Fun At All etc, later on came bands like the Hellacopters, Gluecifer, the Hives and so on. Also the sXe scene was pretty big I guess. So what about all these scenes nowadays, are they still alive or is there a new sound from Sweden big at the moment?
The Millencolin scene isn't that big anymore. They had a sort of revival a few years back but it's disappeared again, Hellacopters, Hives etc are still going strong. There is a new album from the Hives coming this summer. I don't know what you mean about the sXe scene (I meant all those straight edge bands that came from Sweden in the mid 90s - Stefan), but in general the music in Sweden focuses on teenage angst, pop or Dance music. --- --- ---
On the thanks list for the EP you thanked Stretch Arm Strong. As I like this band a lot I wonder if you played together with them in the past? Are you friends with them?
--- --- --- Isaac:  They are our best friends, and our favorite band to play with.  We LOVE those guys. They have helped us out so many times, and been great friends to us.  We've toured with them several times, and played with them countless others.  They do more for music and for more bands than anyone will know.

Who came up with the cover art for the EP, was that a concept of yours or did Deep Elm propose it?

We wanted a rough cover that reflected the band and the music. A friend of ours, Peter Johansson, had done a few covers before and he's really good. After talking about what we wanted he made the cover. So it was our idea.

That's all the label. I love the artwork but cannot take and credit for it.

Our friend Joe did the concept and design.  He runs an online zine called Calamity Project, www.calamityproject.com. Isaac: I believe it was a collaboration between the label and Jeremiah at a company called Dog Machine Media. We like the artwork very much.

Will you come over for a European tour in the future (I hope so!!)? What do you expect from Europe, not only musically or have you been to Europe before?


We would love to tour Europe, that would be amazing. I've never been there before. Bob and Alin just got back from Amsterdam last week and they said it was amazing being in Europe. Book it! I want to go!!

I've personally been to Europe a bunch of times but never as a band, so I'm pretty excited to see what that'll be like.  I know the other guys are also pumped to do a European tour in the future. Forest: We hope so.  We've received a lot of emails from overseas about touring there, so we'd like to get there and play for those people.  None of us has been there, except for Isaac, so I'm not sure what to expect.  We've heard from fellow bands that the music scene is pretty great, and that everyone really loves and supports bands there.  Sounds like an awesome place to tour!
When I first heard Lock And Key I felt reminded to Hot Water Music because of the rough vocals by Ryan and Mike. But you're definitely having your own style. Would you agree that Hot Water Music influenced  your music and what do you think about the Gainesville four in general?



We definitely get the Hot Water Music comparison all the time.  Personally, Hot Water Music isn't really that much of an influence on me but for the other guys that band is pretty essential.  This doesn't mean I don't like Hot Water...I think they're awesome.  I'm just not as big on them as the other guys are.


"No fate" was produced by Ethan Dussault from Garrison. How did you get in touch with him? Did you get to know him because you played a show together with Garrison? Are you satisfied with the job he did on "No fate"?



We never played with Garrison (Well, I thought maybe you did - Stefan).  Ethan is the only guy from that band that we know.  I met him when I started interning at New Alliance Studios.  We also knew of him before that because he did Jericho RVA's EP, whom we're good friend with.  Basically we've become really good friends with him and love the work that he's doing now and hope to do all of our records with him.


I think we're at the end of this interview. Did you like it and do you have anything to add?

Yeah I liked it, some tough questions!!! I don't have anything special to add. I just wanna thank you on behalf of Sounds Like Violence and make a big shout out to everybody at Deep Elm and everyone that likes the music! See you out there! Best...Daniel (sounds like violence) Thanks!

Just want to thank all the fans for buying the EP and e-mailing us with kind words. It's greatly appreciated. Hope to see you all soon. Especially if you're in Europe, I want to go.

Thanks again for talking to us and hopefully we'll be able to play for you guys soon! Forest: Great interview, booyah!
Isaac: Good questions, laaayyyda!