(interview) Love Equals Death are back!

Love Equals Death from California are back with interesting releases and plans, so it was about time for me to talk with Chon Travis about various topics for my webzine.

HI GUYS, NICE TO FEATURE YOU IN MY ZINE. WHATS UP? CAN YOU TELL THE READERS SOMETHING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF LOVE EQUALS DEATH FOR THE READERS WHO DID NOT HEAR OF YOU? THE NAME OF THE BAND IS VERY INTERESTING.

Thank you for the interview, we are very grateful that you chose us. Love Equals Death is a band that started in early 2000’s in Northern California and split up around 2010 and reformed in 2019. The name means different things to different members of the band. To me(Chon), Love Equals the Death of fear, hate, and validation. To others it means that if you love something too much, you can kill it. Like a cat for instance. If you squeeze your cat too hard, because you love it so much, you are likely to kill it by suffocation.

TALK OF THE DAY IS YOUR NEW RELEASE. WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE SPLIT WITH THE STATIC AGE AND ALSO YOUR NEW SINGLE? HOW WAS THE WRITING AND RECORDING PROCESS? YOU GUYS HAVE SUCH NICE MELODIES AND HARMONIES IN VOCAL AND MUSIC LINES, SO WHAT COMES FIRST, LYRICS OR RIFFS AND MUSIC? WHERE CAN WE GET/BUY YOUR NEW RECORD? HOW DID YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH SBAM RECORDS?

I would first like to give enormous praise to Felix, Stefan, Adam, Tim, and The Static Age. What an amazing group of people. I have never been so happy to work with this group. The Split is a great appetizer. I think it helped get us in the writing mode for what’s to come and we also got to enjoy a band we never heard before in The Static Age. When writing songs, it varies. Sometimes a melody will come first, sometmes a lyric will appear to one of us, and sometimes you’ll hear a riff in your head that you can’t stop thinking about and if either one of those thrives with the whole group, then you usually get a song out of it. If you’re lucky. Thank you about the melodies and harmonies. The new record will be out on SBAM and will be available through them and various music outlets. We were introduced to SBAM by Mr. Felix Willinkonsky of Flix Agency. One of the coolest humans alive.

YOU DELIVER PERSONAL THEMES IN YOUR LYRICS TO THE SONGS, DO YOU THINK THAT THERE ARE TOO LITTLE POLITICAL PUNK BANDS LEFT IN THE SCENE AND THAT PUNK SCENE LOST ITS TOUCH WITH BEING PROVOCATIVE, ANGRY AND REBELlOUS?

You’re absolutely correct. I tend to write from a personal perspective, because it’s easier for me to write about real things that I have experienced rather than things that I’ve only heard about from someone else. I agree also that punk rock has gotten sod in it’s political stance across the board as well as that aggression that drew us all to it in the first place. I like the balance of both personal and political. I also think that the Casualties really deliver the anger, the politics, and the presence of trad punk rock all the way around.

DID YOU GUYS TOUR A LOT? DID YOU DO A EUROPEAN TOUR? WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EUROPEAN SCENE AND CROWD AND BACK IN USA? ANY FUNNY TOUR STORIES?

We toured often. We were always on the road and yes, we did tour Europe. There’s not much difference in the two. We have a good time wherever we go. We’re just grateful to meet new people and see old friends. Oh, and there’s always something funny going on…trust me!

WILL THE NEW RECORD BE IN PHYSICAL FORM(CD) OR ONLY DIGITAL? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT BANDS CAN STILL SELL ENOUGH HARD COPIES OF THEIR RECORDS NOWADAYS OR IS DIGITAL THE RELEASE FORM OF THE FUTURE?

From what I understand, the new record will be available in hard copy form, digital, and vinyl. I think that digital might be the way to go now, but there’s plenty enough people who prefer hard copies for them to be successful as well in this day and age.

WHAT WERE YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES GROWING UP AND WRITING AS A BAND? TO REPHRASE THE QUESTION, CAN YOU STILL REMEMBER THE FIRST PUNKROCK/HARDCORE SHOW YOU WENT TO?

Aha!? My influences growing up were Bad Religion, GBH, Social Distortion, NOFX, Jawbreaker and mostly The Misfits and Generation X. My first punk rock show was GBH, The Cro-Mags, and Death Angel. It was hard fucking core.

WHAT IS YOUR STANCE ON THIS COVID VIRUS AND ALL THE PROPAGANDA? HOAX? CONSPIRACY THEORISTS HEAVEN OR SOMETHING ELSE?

I feel that people are going to believe whatever they want no matter the truth or lies. Some of us can feel that there’s something wrong with the information and there’s a lot of us who will believe whatever new information is being fed is the gospel, even if it’s contradictory. It’s sad to watch people divided in any case.

WHAT CAN YOU SAY WERE YOUR PEAKS AS A BAND AND YOUR LOWEST POINTS ALSO? WERE YOU DISAPPOINTED A LOT OF TIMES?

The peaks of the band had to be the signing with Fat Wreck Chords, reforming the band in 2019, and signing with SBAM. The lows were splitting up, but because the band started up again, I can erase it. As far as disappointment goes, never.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PAY BILLS AND SURVIVE BESIDES PLAYING IN THE BAND? HOW IS LIFE IN AMERICA GENERALLY?

To pay bills, I buy and sell abandoned property through lien sales and auctions. It’s super fun going to auctions and bidding. Life in America is difficult for a lot of people right now. We are going through an identity crisis it seems. We are at a crossroads with racism and I think that we will see a big change very soon where it’s concerned and I believe the outcome will shock everyone in a good way. I’m always hopeful.

THIS IS IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS ONE. ANY WISE WORDS FOR THE END?

Thank you so much for the interview and my last words of wisdom would be, “If your heart is not in it, you need to also remove yourself”. -Chon Travis (Love Equals Death).

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