Festivalphoto: You and Drew played together in Feline, then after the band split you recruited Al and played as Ultraviolet. Is that right?
Grog: Yeah that's true. That Ultraviolet period is probably a bit more public knowledge than we really intended because it was a kind of experimental time when we were finding ourselves again I suppose after Feline and we ended up taking the darker route.
Festivalphoto: So how did it change from Ultraviolet to Die so Fluid? Was it just a name change?
Drew: When we did Ultraviolet it was basically Feline under a different name because we got dropped by the record company and we wanted to do another deal. Then we realised that ploy, that cynical ploy was not going to pay off and we thought, right we want to do the music that we want to do now and that meant kicking out the other guitar player who wasn't really into that sort of music, and making a deliberate decision not to sort of kiss up to anyone in the business anymore and to start doing everything for ourselves.
Festivalphoto: You say about doing everything yourselves, but you're now signed with a record label - has that changed how you're doing things?
Drew: Well technically we're not signed - its like a licensing deal, so we license our records to them. I think they publicise that we're signed to them but technically I mean you'll find this a lot now - record deals arent black and white any more, there are lots of different ways you've got to deal with the record companies, and I mean we still own all our work. We make the records ourselves then license the master to them.
Festivalphoto: So they just do the work involved in distributing it then?
Drew: Yeah and they'll press it out and do a bit of publicity and that kind of thing.
Festivalphoto: You all have different musical backgrounds, how does that affect the music DSF makes?
Grog: Well hopefully in a positive way. I think its good to have lots of different influences to draw upon, you know that's hopefully how we end up with something different and you know we're kind of drawing from things a bit from the metal genre, some people think we're a gothic band. I think we think of ourselves as more of a post-punk kind of influenced band. But all those things are in there and its like a game where you can find the things you like.
Festivalphoto: A lot of people like to pigeonhole bands as being in a specific narrow genre.
Grog: Yeah, that's never interested us - we just want to make music that we think is really great and that we would want to listen to. That's really tough, I mean a lot of bands are really happy to have created a song, whereas we throw out more songs these days because we're perfectionists about what we do, and we're always trying to better ourselves.
Festivalphoto : You seem to tour a lot. How many shows a year do you play on average?
Grog: Well this year we've been working really hard. I don't know what the average is really.
Drew: It really varies from year to year. I think its not as much as it seems because we do a lot of trips but they're all quite short. Its quite frustrating because we'd like to be doing more.
Grog: We'd like to be do tours that are much fuller, so we'd be on the road for a longer amount of time so its much more concentrated. But hopefully the amount of travelling we've done this year proves that we're aiming towards - we're willing to do that.
Festivalphoto: I see you've got at least one date confirmed for September (playing the Happenstance festival in Wolverhampton with Voodoo Johnson, Winter Storm and others).
Drew: Yeah that's only just been confirmed.
Festivalphoto : When you played Dingwalls in London earlier this year, Drew actually smiled (briefly). Did anyone actually get a photo of this event or is it going to be a fact nobody believes?
Grog: He smiles
Drew: There were two pictures that went up recently where I was smiling, so I was like "That's it - Vindication, it proves I smile"
Festivalphoto: You're due to play Hard Rock Hell Road Trip in Ibiza next week.
Grog: Yes we fly out on Wednesday. Hard Rock Hell was brilliant for us last year when we played at Prestatyn and we regard that as quite a turning point for us, and we see this as another exciting adventure, we've never done something like that so it should be good.
Festivalphoto: You went down well at Hard Rock Hell and got quite a few new fans.
Grog: Well hopefully they'll show up again - all fly out to Ibiza, and you know it'll be warmer than Wales.
Festivalphoto: Its an odd place for a Goth to play - lots of sunshine.
Grog: Well I see a lot of them in Los Angeles where I live now, so its not so unusual
Drew: We are only going out at night over there, so I think that's generally what happens.
Festivalphoto: Like vampires - Goths only come out at night?
Festivalphoto : What's the song writing process in Die So Fluid?
Grog: We write individually then Drew and I send ideas back and forth, and that's coming to yet another new kind of place because I'm living further away then we're relying more on emailing ideas back and forth. That's quite interesting really and so far its been working really well. I think it demands you to be a bit more focussed, but yeah. Drew writes things that inspire me then I run with them and yeah its a pretty good arrangement. Al's more the pacemaker and throws in arrangement ideas, stuff like that. It always comes to a point where we have to play songs in, jam them out and see what works.
Festivalphoto: You've released three albums so far. when is the fourth one planned for?
Grog: I hope early next year.
Festivalphoto : "Not everyone gets a happy ending" took a long time to record, but "The world is too big for one life" was completed much faster. What changed to let you record so much faster?
Grog: Mainly finances.
Drew: With "Not everyone gets a happy ending" we had to go in the studio when it wasn't being used by other people and get a cheap deal, then save up money and wait for royalties to come in from the first album and it was because of that it took a long time. Now we've got a backer who will front the money for our albums so we can go in, and for the first time ever with this band do a proper month-long album session and get it done. It still took longer than I wanted it to because the bastard wanted to spend six months mixing it but there's not much I could do about that, so yeah that's the main thing - it wasn't that we hadn't got the songs, we just hadn't got the money to record it. Even in the end, just to get it done, I had to mix four of the tracks myself because we just couldn't afford to go in the studio and get them mixed, so I had to do it at home Nobody seems to have noticed so it was fine.
Festivalphoto: Ok a difficult one - What's your favourite Die so fluid song so far?
Grog: Oh my god that is difficult. I don't know if I have a particular favourite really. I suppose "Gang of one" really if I had to, if I was forced into choosing one. I just really enjoy singing that one, and it's a personal song so yeah.
Festivalphoto : What bands do you enjoy listening to?
Grog: Deftones, Perfect circle, Tool, all sorts of things.
Drew: We went to see Rush this week - that was good.
Grog: Well we both quite recently got into Rush. I didn't really know much about them to be honest for a long time and then a friends band did a cover of a song by them that I liked, and in America you hear them on the radio a lot more than here. Then I watched a documentary and they're a three piece and they're like this funny little family which kind of struck a chord in me, so its the three-piece affinity. It was an amazing show because they're great players
Festivalphoto: I went to see Roger Waters doing "The Wall" instead.
Grog: Drew went to that as well.
Drew: I think both, I mean obviously "The Wall", its hard to imagine a production level going past that, but the Rush show was great, the production on it, it had something going on in every song, so yeah two great shows.
Grog: We listen to a lot of different type of things as well.
Drew: We mainly listen to, at the moment, new wave stuff, late '70's Bowie and things like The Police
Grog: ...and I've been listening to heavier stuff, stoner kind of stuff, Goatsnake and heavier kind of things.
Festivalphoto : Grog Rox - why choose that name for yourself?
Grog: I didn't. Well everyone knows me as Grog, and it's a name that's stuck with me since I was a kid and that's fine. I didn't go out to make everyone call me that name, somehow it just stuck. Grog Rox was a Facebook accident, because you know you have to put two names in and I just put that in on a whim and suddenly everyone's calling me that in interviews and everything, so it's become my name. I suppose it's cool, and I said to someone recently I suppose its a bit like being called something like Iggy Pop, but cooler. It could have been worse couldn't it.
Festivalphoto : How are you finding living in the US? Are you getting used to it?
Grog: Yes I am. It takes a while because it's not like I'm holidaying out there, I'm living there and you know its very different to actually re-base yourself in a different country, but I am really enjoying it. It's a good place to go back to between tours, because its laid back, it's usually warmer, and its just refreshing really to be in a different culture. Even language-wise its more difficult than people realise - people don't understand me half the time even though they like the English accent, they still go "WHAT?" the whole time, and you learn to phrase things a different way just to get your point across.
Festivalphoto: Is it good work-wise for you living there?
Grog: Well I haven't really regarded it in that way so far, I've been travelling back here so much that there hasn't been that much time for me to do anything like that. But yeah its good for contacts, I've been to some really great shows, met some really great people, so things are bound to escalate, and we've always been planning to take Die so fluid there to work more after we did that tour with Mindless self indulgence, which went so well for us, but we'll see how that pans out because we still are yet to find an official release for this album in the US so we want that to happen hopefully in the next six months.
Drew: Its a bit mysterious because it has been released in Canada and we just didnt know about it. Its on the top seller list
Grog: Yeah some strange things have been going on recently and we don't want to name names, but a few things have got to be sorted out in the next few months.
Festivalphoto : is it true you design you own stage outfits?
Grog: Yes I design them and make them as well so that I can look completely unique.
Festivalphoto : There seem to be very few female musicians in rock music, but a surprising number of them seem to have chosen the Bass as their instrument of choice. Why do you think this is?
Grog: Its because they're all trying to be me (laughing). I don't know why that is, there are quite a few female bass players, but I'd also like to say there are quite a lot of really good female bass players, I don't know why, but quite a few spring to mind, so maybe its just something in female genetics
Drew: Its the phallic imagery of the guitar, and the bass is bigger, so women are drawn to it.
Grog (laughing ): That must be it !
Festivalphoto : You've played bass as a session musician for some artists who are very different musically to Die so fluid, which would you say would surprise people the most?
Grog: Well I suppose that has to be Melanie C because that's pop isn't it, although she'd like to think she's heading in a rock direction, but she never quite made it that far. It was a weird job to do but really fun and it was really worth it - it was a great time and I made money to fund making Die so fluid records
Festivalphoto : Who are you most proud of having worked with?
Grog: I guess that would have to be Ozzy. I got to do keyboards for the Olympic torch ceremony with Ozzy and Kenny doing their duet on stage in Pall Mall. That was very memorable.