Or so we are led to believe by this south coast band who have forged a reputation as an incendiary live act. Fast, furious and notably more heavy than their earlier recordings the new track builds on an audience who have seen them play major festivals and hold their own against the big boys.

Dead! have been touring extensively for a couple of years now and releasing a steady stream of music. We had a listen to their new single ‘UP FOR RAN$OM’ and a chat with Sam Matlock on the eve of their first major headline tour.

Where did the name Dead! Come from?

There’s a German philosopher called Nietzsche and he wrote some books, I think it’s in ‘thus spoke zarathustra’, there’s a chapter called GOD IS DEAD! and it carries a very carpé diem sentiment. The band was born out of us not knowing what to do with our lives but knowing we enjoyed music so it seemed quite apt.

What’s ‘Up For Ran$om’ about?

I was trying to give the band a solid British rock edge, something that really came out swinging but in a sleazy cool way as opposed to being heavy for the sake of it. Alex wrote his lyrics about this character and story. About not doing things you don’t want to do. I think we’d like to leave it to the listeners to decide…

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Is it true that you come from IOW, did this make it tougher or easier to be in a band?

The band actually formed in Southampton where a couple of us tried to go to Uni haha. It was difficult, fortunately we caught the end of the Isle of Wight’s strong music scene. Venues got shut down shortly afterwards and it faded out so quickly it was horrible. But I guess it forced us to move away and engage in a more national music scene over a local one. One Isle of Wight venue re-opened recently and we all went down to check out the bands. There was about 200 kids knowing every word to every band. It was great. Hopefully it means the scene is back!

Where and when was your first gig, were you any good?

I think it’s on YouTube somewhere haha. It was at The Cellars in Southampton (RIP). We played too fast and got scared. It was a local competition to a play a festival, we didn’t really want to win, we just presumed everyone would bring their friends so they could impress the judges, therefore the crowd would be huge. But we did end up winning so maybe we weren’t that shit!

It’s tough to make a living in a band, why do you feel its worthwhile?

Honestly to walk away and find something else that removed all the stress and came with a savings account would be amazing…but impossible. This is it, music is the one. Yeah it’s a hard job but i don’t know if anything else could be as rewarding. It makes me feel like I’m really engaging with life as opposed to just surviving… Music has helped us all throughout our lives in one capacity or another, it’s important that a few of us in each generation stop off to give something back y’know?

The Damned Restless Future is the name you’ve given your fans, how important are they?

It’s actually the name of the first track we ever released, although it was only ever a demo. Our fans know how important they are. I don’t want to be wet but I haven’t seen a band with a fan base so pro-active with flyering, word of mouth, keeping their fucking cool at shows. We couldn’t be more grateful or prouder of them all.

Your online presence with its ‘isdead’ suffix ( / #Downloadisdead etc) seems like a really strong brand, who’s idea was it?

I think it was actually our manager’s……the name is hard to find online but it offers marketing opportunities like that, and it looks brilliant huge on a poster or shirt. You put that word in front of somebody and it makes them think…

Sum up the band in four words:

Your Favourite Boy Band

When can we expect a headline tour and/or album?

We’re on a headline tour right now! (first date 29/7) We’ve just dropped a new single, shits gonna go down in the next few months so get on board now before it goes crazy X


29th –  Bristol, Fat Lip
30th –  Kendal, Kendal Calling

1st – Glasgow, The Old Hairdressers [DRF #6]
2nd – Edinburgh, Opium
3rd – Newcastle, Head of Steam
4th – Liverpool, Maguires Pizza Bar
5th – Cheltenham, Frog and Fiddle
6th – Chester, Live Rooms
7th – Leicester, The Shed
9th – Coventry, Empire
10th – Derby, The Venue
11th – Huddersfield, Parish
12th – Doncaster, Vintage Rock Bar1
4th – Tunbridge Wells, Forum
15th – St Albans, The Horn
17th – Dover, The Booking Hall
18th – Brighton, Sticky Mikes
19th – Milton Keynes, Crauford Arms

8th – Bestival, Lulworth Estate

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