Louder Than WarÂ introduce the debut release from the exciting one-man beat inspired / alt rock artist ‘Death Threat Cassette’. It’s titled ‘Lo-Fi or Die’ & is an inspired mix between Lee Pequeur’s US alt-rock influencesÂ and his use of beats and synths which create something wonderfully hybrid, progressive and quite exhilarating. Carl Stanley interviews Lee.
The most noticeable thing about ‘Lo-Fi or Die’ are the numerous sound-scapes and styles, such as on the atmospheric ‘We Panic, We Cope, We Don’t’ which almost sounds like Nirvana covering some film score in trip mode.Â PersonalÂ fave ‘Missing without Action’ is DTC bringing out those sub-popÂ influences, its panicked vocal and a dark / melodicÂ guitarÂ line makes it a highlight among other adrenaline rushed rockers like ‘March with the Mongs’ and ‘First draft of Always’. But its clever move is in its cover of the Nirvana classic ‘SomethingÂ in the way’, presentingÂ somethingÂ were all soÂ familiarÂ with and twisting it intoÂ somethingÂ even moreÂ GothicÂ and bittersweet than theÂ original. How? â¦. well that’s both the pull and charm of ‘Lo-Fi-or Die’, experimental as well as powerful from start to finish, this is Death Threat Cassette.
Louder Than War: Loving Death Threat Cassette album ‘Lo-Fi or Die’…’Missing Without Action’ really is a great tune but who are Death Threat Cassette and how did it come together?
Death Threat Cassette: Hey Carl,Thanks a lot I’m really happy you like the album,Â Death Threat Cassette sounds like it would be a band but its actually just me.I set outÂ after my last band split to start a new band and began writing songs, thinking of possible names, etc but the band never really happened soÂ I’veÂ just carried on under the name.”
Louder Than War: And in the colorful name of Lee Pecqueur, is it just more fun working as a solo artist or is it a case of it just being easier?
Death Threat Cassette: I do enjoy working alone but I do sometimes miss being in a band as well, both have their benefits and bad points but I would say working alone has probably been theÂ main element that’s shaped my songs and sound for DTC as I had to find a way to fill the space where a band should be.
The name was inspired by the film ‘Saw’ and those little tapes that are left for the victims, I was watching it one night and Death Threat Cassette just shot in my head from nowhere but it just seemed to fit my music. My name Pecqueur is french but I was born in Northern Ireland ,some people say I should play as Lee Pecqueur but I’m happy as DTC, its a little more mysterious.”
Louder Than War: Really like your Nirvana cover ‘Something in the Way’, sort of shows where Death threat Cassette are coming from when you hear what you have done with a tune most are familiar with, that song is quite a dark track as it is but you’ve seem to have made it sound almost ghostly.
Death Threat Cassette: Thank you that’s very kind of you to say, I worked with Jack Endino who produced ‘Bleach’ for Nirvana and was looking through some pictures from that time in Seattle and just felt compelled to record a Nirvana song. I do see that darker more slow intense sound as being a big part of my future music the last song on the album ‘We panic,we cope,we don’t’ has that darker vibe.”
Louder Than War: All recorded at your home as well I understand- is it a case of living in there more then the living room, are all the songs on the album from over a number of yrs writing and recording in that studio?
Death Threat Cassette” Yeah, I recorded everything at home in my little DIY studio, there were many lost nights spent in there but there’s so many good things about recording at home like not being against the clock as studio time can cost a fortune and sometimes that impacts on your music, being in a space that’s comfortable and stress free helps me a lot. The songs I picked for the album were written over the last few years, I really wanted to bridge the gap between my previous band and DTC so the first song on the album ‘Yoko of Noid’ is about the end of my last band and tried to put the songs in a chronological order from that point. I had newer material but I wanted to document the time that had passed,the process of recording usually starts with me sitting down with a guitar and loop pedal, once I have something I like I start to build the beats,samples and backbone of the song on my computer I input the beats into the studio & then build upon that with the guitars & vocals,its probably not the way other people would wish to record but it works for me.
Louder Than War: You can hear a pretty strong ‘trans-Atlantic’ sound in there on tunes like ‘March with the Mong’s’, whats theÂ influencesÂ and what would you call yourself in terms of genre, if you can?
Death Threat Cassette: I would say my biggest influences were from the U.S Such as Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr,Sammy and pretty much everything released on Subpop, but I do have a ‘Half a Cow records’ tattoo which is anÂ AustralianÂ record label that had a big impact on me starting out. I would say the genre that might bestÂ describeÂ my music is Alt-Rock but with the electro elements such as synths, samples & drum machines, I’m sometimes unsure where I fit.”
Louder Than War: AÂ song like ‘We Panic We Cope We Don’t’ is like nothing I’ve heardÂ lately, its almost psychedelic in a way- do youÂ feelÂ that originalityÂ Â is one of your strengths, sounding new,fresh and very much yourself unlike the return of certain musical styles that seem to be popular again?
Death Threat Cassette: Thank youÂ I’mÂ really proud of that song and see it as a glimpse of where I’d like to take things musically,Â I’veÂ always tried to be as original as I can be without trying to be obscure for the sake of it or hurting the song.Â There’sÂ a lot of bands out there that seem to be happy to play it safe or just walk the line, I’d lose my motivation if IÂ didn’tÂ think I had something of my own to offer. Its the creative side and the experimenting with music and songs that gets me the most excited.”
Louder Than War…and whats the tour plans Lee, for death threat cassette….when can we hear the album live and what are your shows really like
Death Threat Cassette: I’mÂ back out live in January and the plan is to keep that going right through 2013, due to the recording and releasing of the album being a one-man operation I had to sacrifice the gig side of things to make the album now its back to being about the live show. Although I’m a solo musician I play the way I would with a band, lots of energy and injuries, I can promise it wont be the normal one man band. No cymbals between the knees with me, just dirty beats and noise.”
All words by Carl Stanley. More writing by Carl on Louder Than War can be read here.