Image by Joshua Halling
Every Time I Die are unstoppable. Formed in Buffalo, New York in 1998 and now onto their eighth studio album, the hardcore stalwarts have weathered storms that would have seen many other bands call it quits, from numerous line-up changes to family crises, emerging at the other side with an astonishing resilience and a power that never wanes. “This band is constantly presenting us with new challenges that help us to grow and understand ourselves better,” explains vocalist Keith Buckley. “I can’t imagine putting an end to something that still has so much to offer us.”
With an 18 year career under their belts, Every Time I Die are still as relevant now than when their breakthrough album, 2003’s Hot Damn! was released, if not more so. Its blend of metal, hardcore and dirty rock ‘n’ roll grooves with Buckley’s signature shrewdly acerbic lyrics caught the imagination of many, allowing ETID to forge a path they’ve continued to furrow. “Timing was everything, but we were also five dudes that had spent our entire lives listening to music and developing our tastes knowing in our hearts that we wanted to be in bands,” says Buckley. “Hot Damn! was when we finally began to hit our stride. It was the beginning of something special and people sensed that.”
This band is constantly presenting us with new challenges that help us to grow and understand ourselves better
While ETID’s longevity is down to their phenomenal output, it’s also their determination to keep evolving while remaining true to themselves in a constantly changing musical landscape that has kept them anchored. “The real challenge with so many new bands appearing all the time is staying true to what you know. The bullshit tends to reveal itself as such sooner or later. Our excitement to find new secrets is evident on stage and I fully believe that everyone at an ETID show feels like they are part of some unveiling. It’s not just watching a band perform. It’s a group effort to find something new to be excited about.”
Though ETID’s latest record, Low Teens, is perhaps their strongest to date; razor-sharp, urgent and primal, it was born of harrowing circumstances very different to any previous records. Buckley found himself rushing home from tour to be by his wife’s side during a life-threatening pregnancy complication. Mother and baby are now “doing wonderfully,” but the gut-wrenching uncertainty left it’s mark on Low Teens. “Lyrically, Low Teens came from a place of sincere anger and desperation which was unique to any other record. I could write an entire essay about this but at this point I’ve learned how to narrow it down. The main difference in approach is that I had absolutely no sense of humor when writing Low Teens. I had lost it. I’m still trying to get it back.”
The sardonic observations may be gone for now, but musically, the urgent desperation of Low Teens drives the album forward in a caustic blaze of huge choruses, lurching breakdowns, unhinged vocals and the added dynamic of new drummer Daniel Davison’s powerhouse energy. There’s a hunger in Low Teens that defies ETID’s eighteen years and will no doubt translate into a relentless fervor during their already frenzied live show. Their last Newcastle show saw barriers removed and wonderful chaos break loose, so what will happen during their upcoming UK tour is anyone’s guess. “If the club allows it, we remove the barriers always. Kids take care of each other. Bouncers hurt people. They don’t understand the relationship between us and our ‘fans’. Its an organism.”
Every Time I Die play Riverside Newcastle on Monday 19th December. Low Teens is out now via Epitaph Records.