Denial of Life Proudly Rides for Tacoma Hardcore Scene on Debut Releases

Photo: Oginee Viamontes

Denial of Life is a hardcore/thrash crossover band from Tacoma, Washington. Forming in 2019, the group dropped a self-titled debut EP at the end of that year, and the two-song Scheming to Suffer single in 2020. 

With Denial of Life gearing up to release an LP as well as a tour this year, I spoke with guitarist Logan to learn more about their world.

Before we dive in, let the people know who you are and what you represent! 

My name is Logan, I play guitar. Brenna does vocals, Nicky plays drums, and Spencer plays bass. We represent northwest hardcore and the Tacoma DIY community.

Was there ever a moment in your life that happened and made you think, “Damn, I want to do this music shit forever?” 

I can't speak for everyone, but some of my first early touring experiences were really chaotic and special and definitely made me want to play music with my friends for as long as I possibly can. 

I read that you all were pretty tight before forming the band. How did you all meet and usher in Denial of Life?

Totally. We've all known each other for a long time before DOL, which I think is pretty cool and comes thru in our music and writing process. I came to Brenna with the idea of starting a Sacrilege-type band knowing she'd be a great front person.

We initially started with another drummer, then hit up Nicky to come aboard. He was hella skeptical at first, but we ultimately won him over. Which is good causes he's a powerhouse. We then hit up Spencer for bass cause we've all known him forever. It came together super organically. Tacoma baby. 

What birthed the name of the band, Denial of Life? And what does it mean to you?

Denial of Life comes from the song “Denial of Life” by Death off of their Scream Bloody Gore record. We had a few different names we were messing around with, but Nicky brought up the idea and we all liked it. We're all big Death fans even though our music is different.

I don't think we necessarily have any big thoughts on what it means or its implications. I think we just felt it was dark and bleak and encapsulated the energy we try to bring to the stage and to our records. As well as encapsulating what we see every day around us. 

Photo: Oginee Viamontes

Being based out of Tacoma, I bet there is a unique hardcore scene out there. How has the hardcore scene in WA helped shape the style for DOL? 

Tacoma definitely has a unique hardcore scene and a very rich history. Being located so close to Seattle, Tacoma often gets slept on or doesn't get the love we feel it deserves. That's why we try hard to rep the city that we're from. Tacoma has had some really amazing bands and DIY spots that were strongholds in the hardcore community for years.

In the past couple years, we've lost a lot of those spots, but they are now starting to come back. So the Tacoma scene these past two or so years is definitely making a strong comeback and demands respect. Fuck with or disrespect Tacoma, we fuck you up. That's how a lot of us feel. 

What is a crazy memory you can remember that happened at a DOL show?

Damn, that's a tough one. We've played a lot of shows in our short period as a band. For me personally, playing Tijuana was rad and definitely a pretty crazy show. It was our first time playing out of the country as a band, and we played at this cool squat/community space. It was on the like third floor of this building and the room was filled with mirrors.

I think the show started at like 11:30pm and we'd been on tour for like three weeks at that point. So we were all pretty zapped. At one point during the set, Spencer stood up on top of his bass rig (which we were borrowing). I remember looking over and thinking “damn [laughs] what the fuck is happening?” I don't think any of us slept that night. The next day, we got back into LA and our van got stolen. 

Photo: Julio Hernandez

What are some challenging aspects about getting the band up and running especially with everything that has been going on in the world for the last couple of years? 

Hmm, that's a tough one. Being in a band is definitely a labor of love and can be logistically really challenging. Because we've known each other for so long, we all communicate really well and have no issues personally between us. I think the biggest challenge for DOL so far is being strategic about how we represent ourselves, what shows we play and what shows we turn down, how we want to roll out our record or how we want to handle touring and booking, etc.

The logistical side of things. COVID obviously threw a wrench in some of our early touring plans, but I think we really used that downtime to our advantage to write and find our style and sound. I personally don't think we'd be the band we are now if he hadn't had two years or whatever to sit in our practice space and write.

DOL isn’t just a band making music into the empty ether. There is an important message behind the music. Do you feel it’s always important to have a message behind the music or is it okay to just to create something?

I'ma defer to Brenna for this one. 

Brenna: I think it's important to have a message behind a song, but not necessary. As long as there is passion and emotion behind the words, you're screaming into the audience they'll feel it. And that's what breathes life into the music for me.

Photo: Chrisy Salinas 

What is the creative process like with DOL in terms of writing and producing tracks?

Our creative process is usually always collaborative, but the specific process changes depending on the song/riffs, etc. Nicky has been in the fucking zone lately and wrote some absolute rippers that will be on our upcoming LP. In addition to being one of the best drummers in the scene, he's one of the most talented songwriters I've ever worked with. 

But usually, our process will start with either Nicky or myself bringing a riff or a collection of riffs to practice. Trying to arrange the song structure, not liking the arrangements, rearranging everything, throwing out riffs, bringing in new riffs, sitting on everything for a week or two, and finally coming to a final product.

I think we sat on Scheming to Suffer, which is a relatively simple song, for weeks. Making minor tweaks and adjustments until we felt it was perfect. We definitely take our time and are super particular about our arrangements and the subtleties of a new song. Our upcoming LP will be a great display of our writing style. 

Being in a band there’s always going to be hurdles that come in the way. What are some hurdles, whether they’ve been creative or personal, that you’ve faced as of recent and how did you overcome them? 

Again, I can't speak for everyone, but I would say our biggest singular hurdle with DOL is being patient. We know that we are a really good band with a lot of potential. We’ve been sitting on our record for months and we know how good it is and how much people will like it. 

But it's been hard knowing that we have to be patient throughout the process and let it happen how it needs to happen, even if it takes longer than we want. All of us just want to tour and be on the road as much as possible and because COVID, etc., we haven't been able to.

So being patient with the process is definitely one of the hardest lessons we've had to learn so far.

Photo: Julio Hernandez 

What’s the roadmap for DOL looking like for the last half of 2022 in terms of shows, music, surprises, etc.?

Well, we have a lot we are really excited about. We'll appear at Hold Your Ground Fest in Toronto in September and have a full US tour booked around this festival appearance. We'll be playing a lot of spots we've never been to as a band, so were hyped about that. We will also be releasing our first full length sometime in the next few months around this tour.

We have been working so hard on this record and can't wait for it to be out in the world. Aside from that, we definitely have a few surprises up our sleeve that y'all will just have to wait and see.


A post shared by D.O.L (@denial.of.life)

What are some final words you’d want to give out to your fans whether they’re new or old? 

Keep sleeping on Tacoma, y'all. 

Check out a grueling performance from Denial of Life via Sunny Singh below:


Denial of Life on social media: Instagram | Bandcamp


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