Death Goals – The UK hardcore duo chat debut album, gender identity & their favourite records

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UK two-piece Death Goals sure make a lot of noise for 2 people on their recently released debut full-length The Horrible and The Miserable.

Hailing from Herts/London, the Chaotic-Hardcore duo released the record in June 2021. Having previously supported As Everything Unfolds, Pupil Slicer and Raised By Owls and receiving praise from the likes of Revolver, Brooklyn Vegan, 2021 is set to be a busy year for the duo with 2022 only looking bigger. 

Chatting with Montreal Rocks from their homes in the UK, Harry Bailey and George Milner are in fine form, admitting they’re quite taken aback by how well the album has been received.

“It’s really odd,” says Harry. “Lovely. And I’m so happy. I was very much expecting a couple of our mates would listen and be like, oh yeah, man, that’s quite cool. But to get the reaction we did from just the first song we put out, I was just like, oh, this is odd. And it just built from there. I’m still processing it a little bit. Like it’s not like overnight a million streams or whatever, but for us, I’ve been in this band from day dot and we’ve never had anything like this.”

When asked what the band is aiming to create with their sound, Harry says variety is the spice of life.

Death Goals has always been quite an eclectic mix of sounds. Like if you compare the first EP to now, there are core elements. There’s always discord. There’s always a breakdown. There’s always some screaming bits and there’s always some fast songs, but I always liked bands who are quite fluid in their genre like Converge, Every Time I Die. I like those bands who can do that, but they don’t lose that core. You can still go and mosh to any songs they play, but it’s different enough that you don’t get bored. We’ve seen a lot of black metal bands where it’s the same note, every song and I lose mind and that’s the same with any genre like that.

I love Biffy Clyro and each one of the albums is so different, but intrinsically Biffy, like they’ve always got a big chorus, but they have some songs, like the deeper cuts, like Convex, Concave on their first album. I’m just like, what are they doing?! Why is he screaming so much? And then they’ll play like a nice folk tune. I love being able to do that.

‌Lyrically, The Horrible and The Miserable touches on some themes that are extremely personal to the band, from mental health and drug addiction to addressing LGBTQ issues head-on with the song “Gender Traitor”. Harry realizes it’s not a topic that’s addressed often in hardcore music.

“I’m sure it would have been a thing I would have written about at some point. It was just more something that was on my mind currently. I think a lot of people found in lockdown, they had a lot of time to themselves and a lot of time without having to sort of put on their performative side. They were able to find themselves a bit more. I had a load of friends come out as non-binary over the summer. And that was wonderful. A lot of friends came out as queer, gay, lesbian, trans, whatever. It’s beautiful to see and it was so nice just to have people be so confident and I’d be like, yeah, this is me.

But then the downside of that is there was so much clear-as-day transphobia and homophobia in the press, all the stuff in America. It just baffles me that in this year where we are so advanced and we are capable of so many wonderful things, there are people who are still like, oh my, my child is gay. I’m gonna send them to a camp cause they have demons in them to convert them and make them be not what they are. It’s such a disgusting practice. I’ve got a platform where I can talk about it. I should talk about it.”

Death Goals are now beginning to plan live shows and say they would love to play in Canada, especially as they’re big fans of Canadian bands like METZ, Cancer Bats and Spritbox. In our interview, we chat about some of their other favourite music, what to expect from a Death Goals live gig and what their family and friends think of the band’s music.

You can watch the full interview below:

The Horrible and The Miserable is out now.

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