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The Dead Will Tell, Facing the Gallows

Dead Gallows Tell

by Jana du Plessis / 06.07.2011

Metal is a highly contested area of the South African music scene. Two of South Africa’s leading hardcore bands, Facing the Gallows and The Dead Will Tell recently toured with US metal legends The Ghost Inside. Generally it’s a life of partying from one gig to the next and working themselves to the bone for the love of metal alone. And while Devon Straticzuk slated FTG’s performance in Kempton Park, the response on our message boards was so strong, we thought it’d be a good idea to pin them down and have a little chat. 

Mahala: OK, so can we start?

[Three band members leave the table in search of a spot in Long Street where they can smoke a joint.]

Facing The Gallows: Our answers will be better when we get back.

How long have you been doing what you love, assuming that you all love touring and sleeping in vans for the sake of bringing death metal to South African audiences?

The Dead Will Tell: Since 2006, and we only call it ‘death metal’ so people know what the hell we’re talking about. It’s actually death core.

FTG: We’ve been around for four years and it’s metal core, man, the screaming shit.

Why this death core genre then, something that obviously doesn’t attract wide audiences?

FTG: It’s a passionate genre, a raw expression of emotion. If you’re pissed off, you want to scream. So we channel that emotion into our music, but we’re all chilled people. The thing is it’s not particularly attractive music. When people hear it the first time, they think it’s like kill your cat or kill your mother. People are ignorant and don’t give it a chance.

Who comes to your shows?

FTG: Anyone can enjoy it, from 12-year-old kids to 80-year-old grannies. Bryan’s dad comes to all our gigs.

The Dead Will Tell, Facing the Gallows

You just performed at an all-ages skate park in Stellenbosch. How did you get around using swear words in your lyrics?

FTG: We don’t give a fuck. You can’t censor swear words in a live show. Why change our songs just because of the crowd?

TDWT: Jeremy [vocals] used ‘ef’ instead of ‘fuck’, but swear words do make it sound better.

You toured with The Ghost Inside how was that?

FTG: Those guys are really famous back in the US, so we were just happy to be touring with them. And it helps that they’re all very chilled guys.

TDWT: And they like to party.

Tell me about your respective creative processes.

FTG: Bryan (vocals) writes the songs from personal experiences, observing society and interrogating our values and ideals. Then the lyrics follow. And then we all turn it into songs.

TDWT: We first write songs and fit it with the music later. Spencer (drums) is the main musical influence. He writes most of his music on his computer. He doesn’t have a girlfriend, he has a computer.

What do you guys see when you’re onstage?

FTG: Boobs.

TDWT: People having a good time.

FTG: Yeah, and people like us, who come to enjoy the music and hang out with their friends.

TDWT: Playing in front of a dead crowd is really hard.

FTG: As long as people are bobbing their heads, you know they’re enjoying themselves.

And what about money, are you making any?

TDWT: We all do this for the love. We’re not making any money from it, but it’s given us good exposure.

FTG: It’s damn hard work and we have to do everything ourselves; from advertising to carrying our shit around. We do it because of our shared passion for the music.

Anything crazy that happened on tour?

TDWT: A few hours into the first leg of this tour, on our way to Durban, Bryan got wasted and vomited in the van.

Dead Will Tell, Facing the Gallows

FTG: It didn’t happen on this tour, but at one of our gigs at Tempo’s in Joburg, when it was still open, this guy from the East Rand did a stage dive and landed on a girl’s head. She slipped a disc, but she’s fine now. We had to stop playing and help carry the girl out. It was hectic.

What next?

TDWT: We’re working on a split record with FTG, called This is Hate City, which we’re aiming to complete by the end of this year.

FTG: Yeah. And more touring.

TDWT: And a Range Rover would be nice.

Dead Will Tell, Facing the Gallows

Dead Will Tell, Facing the Gallows

Dead Will Tell, Facing the Gallows

5   2
  1. Metal is Embarrassing says:

    I love how interchangable the things these guys say are. Absolutely zero personality comes through here. This could be any band, this could be any style of guitar-based music (or not even guitar-based, actually). They make for really uninteresting interviewees. Blah.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    My favourite line is “Bryan (vocals) writes the songs from personal experiences, observing society and interrogating our values and ideals.” He’s interrogating our values, is he?! Wow, what a philosopher, what a legend.

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  3. Murray says:

    @ Metal is embarrasing. Stupid questions get stupid answers. It’s up to the interviewer to probe, to interrogate. That’s the only way to get interesting, diverse, thoughtful answers.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    these guys are too humble to toot their own horns, you have to do it for them.
    Anyone actually heard the dead will tell release? it’s defining. these bands dont mention the multiple international acts they’vejammed with and attention they’ve got, dont mention their own international tours, dont mention any of the kind of shit that would be typical of a press interview.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    listen to the album. the interviews will become irrelevant.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    As uninspired as these answers may seem, the questions seem like they were written 5 minutes before the interview…

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  7. PoorlyExecutedScreenName says:

    Look these guys obviously love what they do, and they’re not complaining about shit, which is more than I can say for half the people I know. You either like the music or you don’t. Doesn’t mean anything about the people they are. They’re rad guys who are always willing to hang out and have a good time with anybody and everybody.

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  8. Pieter says:

    For anyone who cares, The Dead Will Tell has released their album for free here:


    Stop hating, start participating.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Mahala: Find another other SA guitarist who could replicate that shit as TDWT do live on stage.

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  10. Andy says:

    Jeez why are we the haters. We just did an interview. It’s totally positive. Talk about a persecution complex

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  11. Anonymous says:

    The interview is only as bad as the interviewer – that is why some interviewers fail and some become famous. Have a good look around, a good interviewer can get the best out of even the most uninspired guy!

    Unfortunately, the inexperience and lack of skill shows through with the questions; granted, most of the responses are not inspirational, let’s face it. However, don’t let this detract from the music and for some songs, the message behind the music. After all, this is what they do first as opposed to ‘Toast Masters’!!

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  12. Metal Womble says:

    A mediocre interview should not detract from the music: I’ve seen FTG live and, and although their particular sub-genre isn’t really my thing, they’re good at what they do, and their passion, energy, and obvious love for what they are doing comes across and sweeps you up. \m/

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  13. Anonymous says:

    “Mahala: Find another other SA guitarist who could replicate that shit as TDWT do live on stage.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – you clearly know nothing

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  14. Ho Chin Min says:

    Wanker core!

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  15. Jay says:

    -Typical Average Interview
    -Predictable and contradicting answers
    I’d rather attack the bands for providing shitty answers rather than attacking Mahala for doing a typical interview with normal questions.

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  16. Jay says:

    @ “Anonymous says:
    July 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm
    “Mahala: Find another other SA guitarist who could replicate that shit as TDWT do live on stage.”
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – you clearly know nothing”

    Agreed. It’s clear that most people have issues coming to terms with the fact that every person is easily replaceable, especially when it comes to guitarists in Metal and definitely when it comes to guitarists in substandard S.A. Metal.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    The Dead WIll Tell set a special precedent. I dont know many Cape Town band members who could keep up. Who, dean and charles from Sabretooth? Meh. The kids from Heathens? Hardly.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    I’ve done a few interviews in the past myself and what I’ve noticed EVERY TIME is that no matter how prepared the interviewer is, the articles outcome is really based on the band’s “vibe.” ….what type of article did you expect if some of the band members needs to get stoned before giving (and I quote) “better answers?”

    If there’s nothing to feed off, there’s nothing to write about.

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  19. brad says:

    everyone needs to smoke a blunt, if you like the music go to a show

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