METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Missi and Som, so glad to be catching up with the both of you. Thank you each for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
Your Chance To Die is an American death metal band from Columbia, South Carolina that started in 2007. What else can you tell the Metal Pulp And Paper readers about Your Chance To Die if they have never heard your music before?
MISSI: We have been around for a while but have definitely grown and matured through the last 10 or so years. So I would encourage everyone to give us a new and fresh listen even if they have heard us before. The band has changed lineups and we are very proud of where we are now personally and musically.
MPAP: Som had you heard of YCTD before you had joined the band?
SOM: Sadly, I had never heard of YCTD before. I can't really say more about this fact haha.
MPAP: So, let’s talk about the addition of Som for a moment. In 2015 YCTD added a second vocalist, Simone 'Som' Pluijmers to the line-up. Missi was there any special rhyme or reason why you wanted to be a duel female fronted band after eight years of only being fronted by you?
MISSI: We definitely didn't expect it to happen or plan for it. Som filled in on a tour I couldn't be a part of and we became great friends. We started tossing around the idea of singing together and it wasn't until we actually tried it once at a show that we realized we were on to something.
MPAP: Had this been something you had been thinking about for a while, or was it just out of the blue that you decided to go in a different direction and add a second singer to the band?
MISSI: It just fell into place honestly.
MPAP: How did you hear about Som? Had you heard her previous work when she was in Cerebral Bore?
MISSI: Yes, we all had heard of Som and her work with CB. I never thought she'd agree to do the fill in tour because she is such an icon of women in metal. I was estactic when she agreed and when we became such good friends so quickly it was a natural process to invite her to become a permanent addition.
MPAP: At one point was there ever a list of other potential singers that you were thinking about, or were you dead set on getting Som from the beginning?
MISSI: No, we had never even thought about having two vocalists.
MPAP: Som what did you think when you found out there was an opportunity to sing for YCTD?
SOM: I had been avoiding joining bands for over 3 years by now. And Missi was actually the first one I ever responded to, cause I told myself to get back on that horse and stop fucking around. I forced myself to respond to her e-mail, thinking I was just going to fill in for one tour. Once we actually spoke we got along really well and our manager came up with the idea to form a two vocalist band.
MPAP: Once you got the gig, what was it like to be singing in a band again after being out of the music scene for a few years?
SOM: Nothing had really changed for me. It felt good to be part of a band again, like I never stopped doing it. But I was also very protective, not knowing that the love they gave me was pure and real. I didn't really know what to think and I kept to myself that their true colors would come out soon. Not knowing that they weren't hiding behind a mask.
MPAP: Did you have to dust off your vocals?
SOM: I had been making vocal covers ever since and I sing whenever I like to sing. My vocals definitely weren't what they were while I was on tour singing everyday. But they'll get back there and I'm not ashamed to sound a little raw.
MPAP: When did you both first meet? And when you did, did you hit it off right away knew it was the right thing to be working together making music?
MISSI: I picked Som up at the airport in Charlotte and we didn't stop talking until she left to tour in my place. We agreed to do a couple of shows together out of curiosity and honestly it came together very naturally so it's been a lot of fun working together.
SOM: Missi picked me up from the airport. It actually gives me tears in my eyes thinking about it again. We gave each other a big hug and hit it off right away, we didn't stop talking, which is very rare for the both of us. I had never met someone so genuine, it was like a long lost sister and we had to catch up about everything. It was very hard leaving her behind for tour and taking her spot. It didn't feel right.
MPAP: Ex-Nihilo means ‘out of nothing’. Is there a story or concept behind picking that name for the title?
MISSI: YCTD has been through alot in the last 8 years and there have been many times I've thought about giving it up. The rebirth of the band and for me personally, as a musician and an individual, has been the concept behind the name and all of the songs. I feel very passionate about each song on this record.
MPAP: YCTD was recently picked up added to Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label Group? This is pretty big news to hear?
MISSI: Yes we had a couple of very bad record deals in our past and have been waiting for the right label to come along. EMP is hands on with the band and believes in us which is what we were really looking for.
MPAP: This is something putting YCTD in the right direction correct?
MPAP: What made you want to join YCTD after leaving Cerebral Bore back in 2012 Som?
SOM: It didn't even cross my mind until after we met. Even though we already had the conversation that we could do that via chat. We both just didn't see it happening cause of your next question haha.
MPAP: Did you ever have second thoughts about joining a band that already had a singer?
SOM: We both really didn't like the idea. Not because of attention or anything, we just never envisioned ourselves with a second singer on stage. As soon as we played live together though, it felt right. The missing piece of the puzzle was found and after that it just felt weird being on stage without her.
MPAP: After leaving Cerebral Bore, did you ever plan on singing again?
SOM: Yes, I never planned on quitting entirely. Cerebral Bore was my dream come true and just imagine leaving your dream and smashing it into pieces yourself. It kills but I had to, I was mentally torn apart. But it made me so much stronger and I learned who I really am throughout the years. I was just scared to join another band again. Being in a band together takes alot of trust and supporting eachother. It's not just fun and giggles, it can either make you or break you.
MPAP: Did you want singing to be your main focus again after taking a break?
SOM: Singing has always been my main focus, my entire life. Of course it was Britney Spears and The Spice Girls at first, but I always wanted to be a musician/singer. And that's not something I am ever willing to give up on. I found my goal when I was a puppy and I should be grateful for that. Some people are still stuck inventing themselves in their 40s. Life is all about re-inventing yourself, but my dream has always stayed the same.
MPAP: Let’s talk about what else makes up the core of YCTD. Ron Dalton was also just recently added to the fold. What a great addition to the band? Where is he from and what does he bring to the YCTD table?
MISSI: Ron has been one of the best additions to the band we've had (in addition to Thomas and Som). He is from Charlotte NC and he brings years of experience playing guitar and writing music. He is also an easy going and laid back person so has added to the unity of the band, which is so important.
MPAP: Since forming in 2007, how do you feel you the band has grown over the course of 10 years?
MISSI: Crazy to think it's been 10 years. It'd take a book to talk about our journey (which may not be a bad idea at some point). I have grown as a vocalist, not worrying any more about what people have to say or think. I'm very comfortable on stage and with who I am as an individual. It wasn't always like that. As a band, the members have changed and the music has matured. I believe we are finally at a point where we can compete with any band out there and are looking forward to showing the world YCTD reborn.
MPAP: Som since joining YCTD, how would you say your vocals, your presence, your experience has added to everything?
SOM: The only original members in this band are Missi and her husband Coca. They have re-invented their style completely with a new drummer, Thomas White, and guitar player Ron Dalton. They all have added a lot of new to this band. It isn't the same band and sound anymore, we all helped in this band. That's what I love so much about this band. It's not just one person, everyone does their own thing and own instrument, we all respect it, and we all support it. There's so much freedom. For example; Missi wrote the lyrics, Thomas does his drums, Coca and Ron do their guitar and bass and I wrote the patterns. We just do what we feel we're good at.
MPAP: When writing the lyrics to a song is completed, how is it then decided which one of you will sing which parts of the song?
MISSI: I usually have an idea of the concept of the song, Som takes on writing patterns to the music and then I put in the lyrics. Som lays down the final touches and will assign parts to each of us. When we got into the studio things changed a little as we got a feel of what it all sounded like.
MPAP: How would you compare Ex-Nihilo to your previous 2013 release, The American Dream Missi?
MISSI: It is above and beyond anything else we have done. It has depth and each song really is a work of art. The American Dream was something we were proud of at the time, but this new record really takes the cake.
MPAP: Did you approach everything different this time around recording it with now having another set of vocals to add to the mix?
MISSI: It was a little different but since Som and I both have alot of experience recording it wasn't difficult or stressful. We just sang our parts and changed what didn't feel right until we achieved the sound we wanted.
MPAP: Missi, you and your husband, Coca, who is also the guitarist in YCTD, have gone through quite a few lineup changes over the years. Would you say now that Ron and Som are the missing pieces for YCTD?
MISSI: I would have to add Thomas in there too. This is the first record Thomas actually wrote and recorded drums on and it has taken the songs to another level. Ron's dedication and hard work helped coca out tremendously in getting the songs finished. And Som, I never thought was missing something until I met her. Now I can't do it without her. As a band mate and a best friend.
MPAP: "Omega" is the first single released off Ex-Nihilo? What is the song about? Will there be a video for it soon to follow?
SOM: "Omega" is actually a song, including "End of Siege," that already existed before I joined the band. I remember talking to Thomas about how they needed a song to get them out there and he sent me "Omega". I was blown away and said “that's it”. We have a goal set to try and make a music video out of "Omega" but no promises. Our distance makes it difficult and we do everything at once when I'm there.
MPAP: Explain the album cover that artist Pierre-Alain D. // 3mmi Design did?
MISSI: It shows a being coming into life seemingly from particles. Another representation of the rebirth theme.
MPAP: Quite a few metal bands with a deep growl, guttural vocals are now doing songs with clean vocals, i.e.: Lamb Of God, Whitechapel, and now recently Suicide Silence. Would YCTD ever do this for a song when new material is recorded next time?
MISSI: We've talked about choir parts in some songs but not considered any actual cleans. Our songs seem to morph into being so you never really know what could happen in the future.
SOM: Nah, I myself think the small talk we do in the songs is already enough. People would die if they heard me sing normally.
MPAP: After the release of Ex-Nihilo, what’s next for YCTD and the remainder of 2017?
MISSI: Tour tour tour. So keep an eye out for those announcements.
MPAP: Is there anything else you’d like to tell your fans and Metal Pulp And Paper before we have to go?announcements.
MISSI: One quick plug, we do have a fundraiser happening through June to help us purchase a vehicle for tour. www.facebook.com/yourchancetodiesc and find the Indiegogo link to help us out. Thanks so much to every fan for their support throughout these years and for our new fans as well.
SOM: Metal Pulp And Paper, we love you. Chicken sandwiches! Thank you so much for taking the time to interview us. Every little support counts and this is more than little!
MPAP: Once again, thank you both for spending this time with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. Look forward to what Your Chance To Die does in the future.
Your Chance To Die / May 13th, 2017/ Interview #41