DIE was first formed in the winter of 2003 as a recording project between Jack Young and myself. It was my first foray into death metal as I had just begun to get into Opeth through friends and word of mouth and then Emperor through Jack. It was also my first year of having my own computer and non-shitty internet so my musical palette had gotten widely increased at that point...
Surprisingly, since the original tracks from the first album also mark some of our first forays into digital recording, these tracks are not mixed all that bad considering neither one of us had absolutely any idea what we were doing, just trying stuff out and seeing if we liked it or not. Grant it, these are now actually mastered, finally, after ten years...
The first song written and recorded was "Soft Soil." I had the chord progressions for the guitars (the verse riff is slightly stolen from Dave Matthews, don't tell anybody) and Jack finished up the drums. One of my favorite guitar solos I have done is on this song, with the backwards guitar solo totally being a Hendrix/Frusciante tribute to experimentation, which was always a hallmark of DIE songs, trying stuff that was atypical to "metal" and just having a "let's see what happens if we do this!" type of mentality.
The album was first released in April of 2004 with 8 songs, with "The Test," "Lifted and Taken," and "Orbital" being omitted here since they were re-recorded for future releases. It was distributed to some labels to which a few politely responded "record some more songs" and "are you thinking of getting a real drummer?" and sold to friends and maybe a few at shows that came later...
The bonus tracks are tacked on here, as I'm just trying to empty the vaults. The Emperor covers are vastly different, mix and songwise. "Closer to Narrow" is a leftover track from the "Sorrow's Great Deceit" sessions, never finished basically cause Jack never added any input to it, finished here as a solo effort. The 2009 demo is the last song we ever worked on together and is a good indicator of where we were going. Jack wrote the majority of it, and as usual, it's a solid fucking DIE song (he wrote all the good DIE songs). "Standard Practice 2010" features members from the 2006 live lineup, Pedro Lopez on (real? gasp!) drums and Pablo Rebolledo on the piano at the bridge. Vastly different from the 2004 original, it demonstrates pretty well how far our engineering/production skills grew from the old days of using Cool Edit Pro 2.0 and Fruity loops.
I still love all of these songs, from the other albums and even the original ones, and I still have fond memories of recording them with Jack and the artistic and creative magic that we were pulling by the tail out of the air onto the hard drives. Writing these songs gave me an outlet for something that I was struggling to deal with in my life, and that's a stock/cliche muscian answer but the truth is the truth. Some times you gotta live life to sing the blues...
Thanks for listening, reading, supporting, rocking,
Taft, April 2014
Special thanks to Erez Lasman, Sam Brokenshaw, Pablo Rebolledo, Edwin Lopez, Pedro Lopez, Jay Adkisson, Matt Duncan, and Dan Swano, who all contributed to DIE in one way or another throughout the years.
released April 15, 2014
Jack Young, Niel Anilao
Recorded, mixed, performed by DIE.
Drums on track 11: Pedro Lopez
Piano on track 11: Pablo Rebolledo
Remastered in 2014 by N. Yap Anilao at Matt Hand.
© 2003-04 Bogen, Mens, and Dunns Music.
all rights reserved