Driller Killer
with Cliff on Sep 23, 2002

After almost ten years of brutalizing their listeners’ ears with a heavy combination of punk and metal, Driller Killer brings us their latest release Cold, Cheap & Disconnected. With a fantastic production and hammering tracks, this album could be described as their best to date. Time to catch up with singer Cliff to talk about the album, the band and the upcoming ten year anniversary.


The new album almost crippled my speakers! Did you have as much fun recording it, as I had listening to it??
Well, it was a different experience for us recording it. We worked with a different technician, but that didn’t seem to work out well. In the midst of production we weren’t happy with how it sounded. Our technician was more into Led Zeppelin drums, which doesn’t really fit Driller Killer. Things weren’t looking good, so we decided to work with our old technician again. We moved over to a different studio and in the end everything turned out fine.

You must be happy with the outcome? The reviews have been great so far.
To be honest, I was surprised by the way it turned out! Our previous record was more of a big blur of sound with lots of guitar dubs. People who liked that, will be probably be disappointed by the new record, since this one’s way better produced. We do set out to change a bit, but not that much. We want to grow, but there will always be similarities between our older albums.

Lyrically, it’s a familiar story...
Yeah, there’s a lot about drugs and other ordinary DK stuff there, but we also write about different things like in the song “In the Name Of Namedroppin’” which is about MTV. I name all these bands like Linkin’ Park, but instead I call them Stinkin’ Park.

  You also recorded a great rendition of an old Runaways song.
You know, we did a lot of other covers, but with this we wanted a challenge. I was listening to all the older records I used to listen to and this particular song seemed like a challenge to play. I didn’t let the other guys listen to it that much before we recorded it, because I didn’t want it to sound the exact same way as the original. To make it sound more like a Driller Killer song, we altered the lyrics a bit. Even our labelboss thought this wasn’t a DK song at first, but after listening to it, he really liked it.

  Besides a fair amount of raging metal, there’s also a LOT of old fashioned British punk in your sound. Discharge, Exploited, but I also hear a US band like DRI.
DRI? In which song. There was this other guy I talked to and he said the same thing. I guess it has to do with the crossover. We also put old hardcore together with metal, just like DRI did. I mean, hardcorepunk is the basis of our songs. We have, for instance the disharmonic stuff that Discharge also did. And I used to play in Anti-Cimex. I actually started Driller Killer as a side-project in ‘93. Our first record was very metal, but today I would say our sound is fifty-fifty. When I think of punk, I think of the old bands like The Exploited or the Varukers, not the new stuff, I don’t actually know it.


Ok, there’s that definite punk aspect, but the other foot is firmly planted in metal. Do you have any acceptance problems by either punks or metalfans?
When you play in real clubs, we play to the metalheads. Punks never want to pay to get in. Don’t get me wrong, we like to play in squats, but we do have to support ourselves when we’re on the road and playing in squats is more of a “pay-to-play” thing. Political punks are always a challenge to win over. Sometimes these punks come up to us and say things like “we didn’t pay to get in, but we do like your music.”

We always dedicate songs to those PC-guys like “I Couldn’t Care Less” or “Fucked For Life.” We do try to keep it fun. As long as things don’t errupt in violence things are cool. Violence shouldn’t be part of this scene. But metalheads seem to have accepted us. That’s probably because we stay true to ourselves. We do change our sound a bit, but it’s just small changes. You know Driller Killer will never start experimenting with keyboards or anything like that.

Your 10 year anniversary is coming up. Anything special planned?
We were thinking of putting out a compilation with older 7”’s and tracks from various split singles and compilations and some unreleased material. The only problem I had was that there wasn’t anything left from 2000 until now. Everything that’s on the new album is the only material we’ve got from that time period.

On the other hand, it might not be such a good plan. We’ve got some really strange recordings of me singing on our Brutalized album while being totally drunk. That’s all good fun, but who’s going to buy it? Probably the die-hard fans only. Ah, well, maybe we’ll wait until our 11th anniversary.

And after all these years in the musicbizz, what’s left to gain?
Oh quite a lot. It’s going to be a challenge to come up with an even better album than this one, since this is the best we’ve recorded! Maybe we could find the perfect cover song. And yes, we’ve done many: Black Flag, The Runaways and recently a Conflict cover.

  That must have been a nasty surprise to all those PC punks!
Absolutely. Besides Crass they were always the political band around back in those days. And those pc-people who are into Conflict sometimes label us as a fascist-band. Ridiculous, it seems that these days when you wear a combatpants, you’re immediately labeled a nazi! So you can imagine their surprise when we told them we were going to do that song. But we really wanted to do the song, not just to piss of some pc-punks!

(Miguel Tegen)

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