Donnybrook (08 juin 2005)

For those who don't know, what's behind your band name?

It's a word used in sports, mainly hockey, to describe an insane brawl where both teams are killing each other on the ice at once. The origin goes deeper than that, but we don't care about that crap.

Are you guys big hockey fans?

Pat our other guitar player REALLY is. He's the type of dude that can tell you who played goalie in this game, in this year, and how many goals were scored on him. The rest of us just kinda go with the flow.

Does it affect you at all that there's a traditional celtic band that has the same name as you?

Yea. It totally killed the impact we were looking to make in the traditional celtic scene. Ha!

You toured throughout April with 100 Demons - how did that go?

It was a rager. We clicked with that band better than we could have ever imagined. So not only did we get to share the stage with one of our favorite most talented Hardcore/Metal bands around today, we got to make some great friends in the process. All in all the tour was outstanding.

I heard you guys just recently dropped off of your tour with Hoods / Since The flood - what's going on?

Well here's the story. We had 2 full months of touring planned. The last few weeks of touring is where we picked up with Hoods/Since The Flood/Bloody Sunday. All the shows before that ran perfectly smooth. Once the last few weeks came up, things started to get really hectic.

There were a lot of miscommunications with venues and promoters because of the headlining band (Hoods) not being able to make it on the tour. There was mad problems with the jerk off that booked the whole tour. And then to top things off for us, some of our band mates are having some legal issues and really needed to come home and clear those up. So in the end all the bands on the tour decided it would be best to cut the tour short and head home. So anyone who may read this that was looking forward to coming to any of those cancelled shows, we're really sorry about the trouble. Much respect to Since The Flood, Bloody Sunday and the kids in Augusta, GA.

What made you want to start this band?

Very simple. We love hardcore and are doing what we're able to do to keep things moving along.

How many lineup changes did you go through to this date?

We've had the hardcore band average amount of member changes. Nothing too fancy. We cycled through 2 bass players before finding our current bass player Danny who's the brother of our current and SECOND drummer Art. We also lost one of our vocalist because we used to have two which was a blessing in disguise. Because honestly...who wants a corny white dude in their band? Not us.

Donnybrook is often compared to acts like Madball, Death Threat, No Warning, District 9 - how does it feel to be compared to such established and respected bands?

It really is a great thing. It's also expected when these are some of your favorite bands that you listened to while deciding that it was time to start a band of your own. It's not that I sit and listen to these bands and aspire to mimic their sound, but when you listen to so much of these bands music their influence comes out in your song writing whether you deliberately try to or not.

You've played at CBGB's last year I believe, part of the Martyr showcase. How was that like? What's your take on the current state of the venue?

I think it's a lot of hardcore bands dream to one day be able to play at CBGB's. It's funny too because the place is a total shit hole. But you really can't deny the history there and just the overall feeling of the place. We've had the privilege of playing there a second time for the Sick of it All benefit show. I love the place and it's really sad to see it go.

Your sound definitely has an old school touch to it, but at the same time Donnybrook manages to remain very relevant to what music is today. What bands, past and present, have influenced Donnybrook's sound?

You know like I said before, any music that you listen to will in some way influence your song writing. I listen to tons of hardcore/punk from Infest to Leeway to Bury Your Dead. We also listen to lots of hip-hop which is how a lot of our vocal patterns are influenced. So all of that mixed with some sweet R & B is what makes up the influence of our music.

What's it like growing up in California's over-saturated musical scene?

What's it like trying to survive as a young band? What did you have to do to get noticed?

When it comes to the hardcore scene, if there's massive amounts of bands coming up in the area I don't see things as being over-saturated. I see that as a good thing that there's so many people making a positive effort to keep hardcore alive. And that's really how it is here in Southern California. There's lots and lots of bands coming up in the area right now, and that's definitely a good thing. It really isn't that hard to survive as one of these bands because there's so many different scenes in the area and so many opportunities to play the many shows that are always going on every week. All we did was play every opportunity we got and once we decided we wanted to try and tour we just got on the grind and made things happen.

What's it like having two brothers in the band? Does that ever create tension or is it rather something that pulls the band together?

It's definitely something that pulls the band together. There's only one odd man out in this band and that's our guitar player Pat. He's basically a brother to me and my brother Dre because they've been friends literally since kindergarten. Being family and always being close to each other before being in a band really helps when you're out on the road. You already know what it's like to be around these people every day of your life and you already know how to deal with it. So when you hear about us having some major band breaking blow up because someone was using someone elses or pillow or any bullshit like that.

As much as there are great hardcore bands coming out, there are also heaps of crappy ones pretending to be the shit. How do you manage to remain with the first batch and not slip into the other? How do you stay creative?
What keeps you want to fight the HC battle?

We are who we are and we've never been the kind of people to front. We're not pretending to be anything, so it makes it very easy to not slip into that second batch. To tell you the truth, creativity isn't our main concern here. Being in a hardcore band, playing shows for people who appreciate it, having fun on the road, making friends and literally doing what we love like a dream come true. That's what keeps us in this. I'm sure you've heard this all before, but that's because it's most definitely the concrete truth. When you hear people say "we're just dudes in a hardcore band. We're not better than any of you. etc." it's real. That's how we feel and that's where our music comes from.

What subjects do your lyrics deal with?

Everything from your usual "keep hardcore alive" song, to songs about raging and partying hard. The lyrics mainly deal with issues revolving around the hardcore scene. That's the main influence of this band, so that's what we express feelings about the most. We just tell things how WE see it.

How did you originally hook up with Sean and 1917, and how supportive were they of your move to Hand Of Hope/Eulogy?

Sean is a close friend of ours. We were starting a band at the same time he was thinking about starting a record label. We had some songs that we wanted to release and he had some money to do that. So all the timing and everything just worked out perfectly. He started a label with our 4 song EP being the first release. Since then he's made a really good name for himself and released some of my favorite hardcore releases of our day.

Moving to Eulogy/Hand of Hope was no sweat for Riley. He's still doing his thing. He's very supportive in everything we do, and I firmly believe that without him we wouldn't have been able to do the things we've done so far. Remember people: GET INTO IT!

You have a new CD coming out on Hand Of hope/Eulogy. These guys are really out there these days, helping out tons of new bands and whatnot; How does it feel to be on such a great label?

Yo man, it's really greater than I could have ever imagined. This label is just full of high quality dudes. They have been there for us in every way possible in the short time that we've been working with them. And I’m really stoked and honored to be part of the new Hand of Hope family.

Also remember people: GET INTO THIS TOO!

What's behind the title Lions In This Game?

Well, lions are rulers in their kingdom and really stay on the grind to keep on top. They don't let anything stop them either. Being in a band there's always people trying to get in your way and bring you down. No matter what band you are. There's ALWAYS someone out there that for one reason or another is going to "hate" you or think you're "the worst band ever and you should just quit". So the name of the album is just saying that none of that matters to us. We'll still be doing what we're doing regardless of what you think or say.

What kind of progression is there between your new record and this one?

Waaaaaaaaay better layout design that's for sure. I did the layout on our EP and I don't even know how to do that kind of stuff! We pretty much stick with same song writing. We haven't started playing rock or anything like that. It's definitely still a hardcore record. We have a more solid sounding recording on this one. It's no Killswitch Engage recording, but it's better than what we had before. I've always felt like, this is hardcore, we don't need to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a decent recording. We're not Metallica for Christ’s sake. So basically this new record is the step up from the last record that you would expect.

Most bands these days take their merch and graphics pretty seriously. What's your take on that, and who is responsible for Donnybrook's artwork?

For the CD artwork we can thank Michael Bukowski for that. He did an amazing job on it. It's one of my favorite parts of the new record. As far as merch designs and such, I do about 90% of that. I'm really into merch designs myself. I like to have lots of new merch that people can get into. Gotta keep people lookin fresh...nah mean?

Are there bands out there that you believe aren't getting the credit that they deserve?

Well...there's bands that I like that haven't reached the credit that I know they'll get. No injustice or anything like that where they've been working hard and doing there thing and no one will recognize that. If you work hard and really want it, you'll get credit from those that really matter.

If you had to put out a benefit show, where would you hold the event, what bands would play and what cause would you support?

It's ironic that you ask that because we're involved in the process of doing just that. A friend of ours Jason Thomas Velarde was murdered last year by some orange county police officers. The officers who did this have not been convicted. There's a show being set up somewhere here in the L.A. area that will be with our brothers in Death Before Dishonor, Shattered Realm and more to be confirmed that will raise money to help Jason's family with their legal fees. R.I.P. Jason.

What's going on with Donnybrook for the rest of the year?

Touring and playing as many shows as possible. We'll definitely be writing new songs and such. The new "Lions In This Game" record is coming out June 14th so you should cop that. For anything else anyone wants to know, check out our website: www.donnybrookhardcore.comOR for all you smooth players out there, you can hit us up on MYSPACE (the best invention since sliced bread): There's also some tracks from the new record up on the myspace account that you can listen to. So that's about it...peace.

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