We can’t deny it – we’re big fans of Mindless Self Indulgence and the moment they announced The Dead Betas as their UK support, we leapt at the chance to learn more about them – and we’re glad we did. Mix core punk elements and aggression with an addictive synth flaunt and you’ve got The Dead Betas, a band comfortable to play around with all spectrums of two contrasting genres to create something fresh. We’ll be seeing them this October, will you? Don’t wait until then to discover these guys, just keep reading…
Track for review – ‘Bint!’ – Following a synthy opening, vocals reminiscent of Gallows circa Frank Carter take the forefront as the punk element really kicks in. Flitting between distorted guitar and catchy synthetic counterparts, ‘Bint!’ comfortably mashes the contrasting styles that defines the band’s current direction to create an addictive number. Frankly, it’s a direction we’re happy to get behind!
IS: For those who have not heard of your band, how would you describe yourself and your sound?
Tobias Monsters (lead vocals/guitar): This is something we’ve always struggled with, so we keep it simple, we are a synth-punk band. If you like gritty British punk, and you like dancey synths, you’ll like us…probably.
IS: How did the band first start out?
TM: Myself (Tobias) and Aidan started The Dead Betas in November 2009. Aidan was heading over to mine to record my acoustic duo, the duo split that day, so i got drunk and forgot to tell Aidan not to bother, he turned up, and as he was there asked if i could do some vocals on one of his tracks. It worked, and for about a week we stayed up drinking wine until 4 in the morning writing songs with a laptop, a karaoke microphone and a cheap guitar. This was the birth of The Dead Betas.
IS: Where, ideally, do you want to take your music? What is there to achieve?
TM: Well this is an easy question, we want to do stadium tours for the next 30 years eventually retiring to our mansions with our trophy wives that are 40 years our juniors. Isn’t that what all self involved musicians really want? Unless you’re James Blunt, he just needs a cuddle and a romantic comedy by the fire.
IS: If you were to recommend a track to a new listener, which would you pick and why?
TM: Firstly I’d ask them what they’re into. I mean, our songs range from punk as punk can be to in your face dance. On the more punk end of the scale we have ‘Chav Chant’, it’s short, sharp hard and fast and it’ll make you want to beat yourself up in the mosh pit! For a synthy tune, I’d give them ‘A Night On The Town’, it seems to get everyone bouncing.
IS: If someone was to come to their first show of yours, how would you describe the live performance?
TM: In your face, loud and full of cock and balls. Charly’s the one to look out for, she’ll cut your head off before you can scream no, then use it as a prop while we terrify the remaining audience with an energetic anger fest that’ll make you feel like you’ve just done 3 rounds at the anger management clinic.
IS: How did you approach the recording of your EP ‘Blast Arcade-core’?
TM: If it’s honesty you’re looking for, we’ll give it to you. 1 room, 1 computer, a few crap microphones and a borrowed electric drum kit made the EP possible. We can’t afford any of this high tech wizardry or an expensive studio session, we don’t call ourselves DIY punks because we’re good at erecting a flat pack wardrobe! We have the grave fortune of having some great producers amongst the ranks.
IS: Was there a particular sound or narrative you had in mind going into the process?
TM: Not really, we recorded Blast-Arcadecore over a year ago now, and listening back on it, it was kind of the moment we began to really find our sound. We’ve definitely taken a slightly heavier road from there, dropping a couple of the lighter songs, but that was the first time we felt like we had “a sound”.
IS: How would you sum up the overall product?
TM: It’s like being blasted to the arcadecore.
IS: What are your favourite parts of being able to work in music? Anything you’ve done to date that you are particularly proud of?
TM: For me personally, I love meeting people, other musicians, tech guys, promoters, it’s great. We have built a pretty thriving scene down here in North Devon through our promo club nights Black Hole Promotions, and we’ve met so many awesome people through that. My proudest 2 things to date are definitely the success of our very own Beta Fest, we’ve sold out 3 times and all the younger bands have got to play with some real corking headliners, it’s an opportunity creator and it’s an awesome weekend. We also did an epic 21 date tour last September, and we were pretty proud of it, it’s so hard to realistically organise that kind of scale of tour when you have no money and no-one really knows who you are, but somehow we pulled it off!
IS: Is there anything coming up that you’re looking forward to, and that people should watch out for?
TM: There most certainly is. We have just landed the support slot for Mindless Self Indulgences UK tour in October. So I’m sure that’s soon to take over as the proudest moment of our bands history. 4 dates in Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London on 25th – 28th! We’re also going to be releasing a special edition of our song 15, with guest vocals from InMe’s frontman Dave McPherson to co-inside with the tour.
IS: Instead of just learning about your music, everyone seems to have a defining record and/or gig from growing up. What would you consider that defining show/record and why?
TM: For me, the defining record has to be ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ by Placebo. When I heard that album for the first time, the way it made me feel and the way it made me think, I knew I wanted to be in a band. And it was actually about a month after hearing that album when I was 12, that I formed my first ever band. We were named Beastiality, I played bass and sang and I was awful. But we all start somewhere…
IS: Anything you’d like to add?
TM: The Dead Betas feel it necessary to inform the world that we are owls, and owls reign supreme, so join our legion of Monsters, or you will be enslaved and forced to clean our beaks and ruffle our feathers.