Baltimore's Double Dagger make some of the most temper-tantrum, kicking-and-screaming, guitar-less post-hardcore-meets-rocket-pop you'll hear just about anywhere right now. In fact that is the last time I will try and describe what they play because describing music just never works, it's for people who write and read and care about Pitchfork and hyphens and genres or whatever. Double Dagger is just great.
You guys used to be in an outfit called League of Death. Now that is a band name. Whatever happened to it?
Bruce Willen (Bass guitar): League of Death died.
How did it die? Was it suicide or death by other means?
The drummer actually left to live in England.
So England killed League of Death?
I guess so. We were just trying to make this evil heavy metal band but we weren’t really very good musicians and it all just came to a natural end.
Did any of the evilness carry over to Double Dagger from League Of Death? The confrontational live element, maybe, but we just wanted to do this high energy thing and make it catchy, not quite so evil. We used to break a lot of things and Denny, our current drummer, really beats the hell out of his drums so I guess that has remained consistent.
Where are your guitars?
I just wanted to play the bass after having played guitar in League of Death and it just wound up that way. We just couldn’t find a guitarist that suited what we wanted to play. It wasn’t like we were inspired musically by Lightning Bolt or whatever, but I guess seeing bands like that made us think, “Hmm, maybe we don’t need a guitar.”
Tell us more about Baltimore. Is it all like The Wire and partying with Dan Deacon at Wham City with Daniel Higgs from Lungfish wandering around the place nonstop?
Nolen Strals (vocals): Well, we’re not really affiliated with Wham City but we’ve sure played a lot of of shows with those people. The scene here is so small that everyone knows each other and the bills are really varied which is good and everyone just helps each other out.
Bruce: Funny you should mention Daniel Higgs, he lives in the apartment below me. I keep an eye on his place when he is on tour and water his plants.
You’ve sold it. Maybe I’ll come visit soon. Your Post Typography design company made the nice poster accompanying this interview. How did you go from playing rock and roll with no guitars to doing graphics?
We just made a few sleeves and then set up the company and somehow it ended up becoming our job.
Double Dagger - "The Lie/The Truth"