Long Island NY’s Out Live Death got their start in the spring of 2014 after their previous band Live Fast Die Fast disbanded after a long run. In their two plus years together they have landed some pretty good opening slots including ones with bands like Antidote, Dave Smalley, Pro-Pain, H2O, Wisdom In Chains, Slapshot, Maximum Penalty and more with another opportunity to show the scene what they’re cooking up on January 5th in Amityville, NY when they open for Madball. The members of this band have always seemed to put out good hardcore music in this no non-sense, here we are, take us or leave us kind of way. They aren’t that new cool band that everyone jocks and hypes up but they will always give you a good set with a ton of effort and some catchy ass songs to boot. We caught up with lead singer Paul Turano and guitarist Lenny Leonardi in this late November 2016 interview. The rest of the band is rounded out with: Paul Woz on drums, Rich “Rey Rey” Allegretta, guitar, and Andrew on bass. Thank you to those who contributed photos to this interview!
IE: What’s up guys? This band grew out of Live Fast Die Fast who had a nice 7 year run that produced 3 releases along the way with a solid fan base around Long Island and in other pockets in the Northeast. When I see the members of Out Live Death I notice right away that the core of the old band is still there on vocals and with both your guitarists. Why was there a decision to have LFDF break up and with Out Live Death are there any noticeable changes with what kind of songs you are writing or the direction you see the band going in? From an outsiders view it seems like the same band with a new name.
Lenny: That's one of the best things about hardcore and punk music to me. It’s the friendships you make. If it wasn't for LFDF I would've never met a bunch of good people who I've become friends with from the Northeast to even Long Island. Shit, I didn't even really know Rich and Paul before LFDF, but now I've been in a band with them in one way or another for 10 years. That's what made the decision to break up not an easy one. The time and effort we put in. But it was just time. Like Rich has said: sometimes you gotta just pull the plug on grandma. So with this band now we can do whatever we want as far as song writing. I understand you think it sounds like LFDF, it's the same members, but we are doing stuff in this band that we wouldn't have thought of doing with LFDF.
Paul: You love to ask me this question, don’t you? Haha. Yes, 4/5’s of LFDF is in this band. I think that should tell you something. Things got to a point with LFDF where it stopped being fun. I am not here to air out dirty laundry because it’s no one’s business what happened, but I will say there were some things that happened, all towards the end, that really bothered me, I know they really bothered Rich and Lenny too, things that were apparently damaged beyond repair, so we pulled the plug. With O.L.D. I think one of the noticeable changes is that we are all having fun again. I think it shows when we play and I know it feels different when we practice and write new stuff. So yes, it is LFDF with a new drummer and a new name, but we won’t ever play a LFDF song. In terms of a direction, I think with our current political state and my general distaste for half of humanity, I think our songs will be heavier.
IE: How hard (or easy) was it to just let all the LFDF material go and start over from square one? Is there anything song wise that has been carried over to the new band? How did it feel to have that clean slate sort of speak?
Paul: It was real hard. Those songs got people moving, singing along. I loved those songs. I loved performing them. That being said, I love what we are doing now. What I noticed is that the songs we have written for O.L.D. have matured much quicker than the early LFDF songs did. It felt great to have that clean slate and see where the guys were gonna go with this. Once we stabilized the lineup with Paulie Woz, the songwriting process really became fun, and we started writing some great songs.
Lenny: It was difficult to let that material go considering how much time and energy we put into writing all the stuff. I love those songs, although I've never listened to them recorded because by the time you’re done recording, you’re sick of them but I enjoyed playing them. As far as carrying anything over musically, no but if it sounds like something LFDF would've done, it makes sense considering Rich and I play guitar in O.L.D. as well. I really liked starting with a clean slate for the simple reason we could do what we want that maybe we wouldn't have done as far as writing.
IE: You guys have tapped in to some of the hardcore strongholds that run north of your home area of Long Island along the East Coast. Can you talk about some of the better places you guys have traveled to for shows, and why do you think on a whole the band gets shown more love out of state as compared to in state?
Lenny: I'm gonna try to put it nicely so it don't look like I'm talking shit about Long Island. I enjoy the New England area (it may not show with my bandmates cause I hate sitting in the van for hours), but the shows are always fun whether it's at Midway Cafe in Mass. or Firehouse 13 in Providence. For some reason we always get a good response. I don’t know why but it could be that people who go to a show don't hang out outside while a band they don't know is playing.
Paul: We love playing off of Long Island but I will say that nothing beats when you get a good response here. The problem is that shows like that are few and far between. I think we get good responses when we’re on the road because people in these cities really make it a point to support ALL of the bands. It is very rare to see them outside when bands are playing which really makes all of the time in the van worth it. We played a show at the Meatlocker in NJ, with Scary Stories and Comb the Desert, and every person was inside supporting the bands for every song. For whatever reason, Long Island can’t seem to do that. Long Island has its pockets and cliques and sometimes it’s hard to break into them. SBC Bookings is really trying to change that.
IE: In early October you traveled up to Montreal and played a Montreal SPCA benefit show to help the cause against legislation there against pitbulls. Was that show done to tie in with other shows over that weekend for your band or is the topic of protecting pitbulls something more personal for one or some of you within the band?
Lenny: That show was fun. I know it meant more to both Paul’s because they have pit bulls, but when we got up there and seeing people walking their dog with muzzles on their faces, it was fucked up and that's when I was glad to be a part of the benefit. The show itself was great and all the bands who played were awesome and the people were into it even with me rocking my Rangers hat! Haha. It just amazed me that people that probably never heard us were dancing. We also played a show that weekend in Vermont at a place called Jim's Basement.
Paul: That weekend was great. It was the first full weekend that O.L.D. did. Woz’s wife is from Montreal, so we went up there knowing a few people which was nice. When we got asked to play for that cause, it was a no brainer. I’ve had pits since I was in college. They are the most misunderstood breed out there. I will never own another breed besides pit bulls. My guy that I have now, Mookie, we rescued from a shelter. He had a week to live in a kill shelter. I can’t imagine life without this guy. The bands we played with in Montreal were awesome, especially Offside. The venue (Katakombes) was one of the best venues I have ever played in, and the reaction we got was awesome. It was a trip to have people from a different country dancing and singing along with us.
IE: I didn’t really like the name Out Live Death when I first heard it but it has grown on me as I have gotten to know the band’s music better. Where did the name come from and if there is a meaning behind it what is it?
Lenny: Haha thanks, I actually came up with the name while talking with Paul one day. What happened was our original drummer Paul Howe and bass player AJ were in bands together named Out Of Step (which I was in for a couple of shows) and Death Dealer and Paul, Rich, and I were in Live Fast Die Fast, so we knew we wanted a name to tie all our previous bands together so I took one word from each name and came up with Out.Live.Death. It just happened to be O.L.D. which was funny because we are that as well.
Paul: It coincidentally worked out in chronological order as well. Out of Step, LFDF, Death Dealer. We joke around that the name has really deep meanings, but not really. I can’t really think of any other names we kicked around.
IE: I have noticed during your live sets that Paul has a notebook usually at the foot of the stage and from time to time will take a quick look at it and then put it back down. What is in that book and what are you looking at?
Paul: OK, so I get shit for having my binder, or as Shawn from Zero Rights calls it, the hardcore trapper keeper. Truth is I was a high school and college wrestler. I still coach and wrestle with the bigger kids on the team. I am almost positive I have had at least 3 concussions, probably close to 4 or 5. So while it may seem that I don’t know the lyrics, I have them there in case I forget or get stuck. If you ever saw us play live, you know I don’t just stand there reading from a lyric sheet. I know my lyrics well. They are personal to me. I just never want to be the guy who forgets them and then anxiety takes over and it spirals out of control.
IE: You guys came out of the gate pretty fast when you announced the new band and shortly afterwards you had the 3 song EP titled “We Ain’t Dead Yet” out which was followed up with another 2 songs released online this past May. What is in the works as far as the next official release? Are you working on new songs yet and when can we expect that to be out? Are the plans to also include the 5 previously released songs on the next release as well?
Lenny: As of right now we are writing and we have a bunch of songs plus the 2 online ones so maybe a full length but I could be wrong because they don't tell me anything.
Paul: You see Lenny, it’s a good thing we did this interview. Now you’ll know what the plan is. The next official release should be in early spring 2017 sometime. It will be a full length. We are trying to decide if we want to put everything on the full length or not. We have about 6 new songs that aren’t recorded yet, so we will see how the writing process over the winter goes. Unfortunately, after this assholes inauguration, there will be plenty to be angry and vocal about.