February 12, 2008 -- Revered by Revolver magazine as “one more band you should
know about,” The Bangkok Five returns with their sophomore album, WE LOVE WHAT
KILLS US, due out May 13 on Long Live Crime Records (distributed by MRI/ Red).
“These songs were written by a band on the road being a band,” explains lead
guitarist Sweeney. “There is a brutality that you will hear in every guitar
note, word and drum beat.”
WE LOVE WHAT KILLS US is the follow-up to the band’s 2006 debut, WHO'S GONNA
TAKE US ALIVE? (Universal). The first single from that album, “Spread Eagle,”
hit # 1 on several tastemaker indie rock radio stations across the country,
leading to tours of Europe, Canada and the U.S. with bands such as Hot Hot Heat,
The Cult, The Stooges, The Bronx, Buckcherry, (International) Noise Conspiracy
and Papa Roach.
The sophomore effort marks the first time the band--Frost (vocals), Sweeney
(lead guitar), Coatez (bass), Blanco (drums), Bobby S. (guitar)--will release
music in two languages, English and Spanish.
As vocalist Frost explains the decision to make a bilingual album: “I left for
Europe when I was a teenager to escape the banality of California life and the
feeling that I had no future. I ended up in Spain and lived there for a few
years, learning the language, the music, and the lifestyle. I started to DJ at
various clubs and picked up a real love and deep respect for the scene. When I
came back to Los Angeles, I discovered the Latino culture I loved was here all
along, living, breathing and making great art. It was a natural progression to
translate WE LOVE WHAT KILLS US into Spanish. This record is about L.A. and
what goes on here. To ignore the Latin culture and its people would be to
ignore the real Los Angeles.”
Produced by the band along with Manny Nieto (The Mars Volta, The Circle Jerks,
The Breeders), WE LOVE WHAT KILLS US was recorded live to tape at Wetandry
Studios in Echo Park, California. Manny also engineered and recorded the album.
“When you record to tape, you have to play everything perfectly,” says Frost.
“It keeps the music really honest. We rehearsed until we felt we would go
insane. In the world of Pro Tools, you can fix little things like a missing
kick drum, or a bad note. The world of tape does not forgive anything, so you
have to play it right or do it again. We used all of our own gear to keep it
sounding like we do when we perform live. It’s great because you can hear
buzzing all over the tracks. There’s no sterility here. This is warm and fuzzy
The songs on WE LOVE WHAT KILLS US deal with the pain and uncertainty in the
lives of the band as an exhaustive tour in support of their debut album left
them with disrupted personal lives. Frost’s girlfriend had to be put in rehab
for drug addiction, while drummer Blanco came home to an empty house and a note
from his fiancé wishing him luck in his life. She had enough of his rock & roll
lifestyle and decided to leave him.
One song in particular, "Outlines of Us," stems from a haunting, yet all too
realistic experience while out on the road. “It’s a torch song written about
some ghosts we met at a flop house/hotel back east,” says Frost. “We stayed the
night at this shit hole and when we woke up in the morning, we realized we all
had the same exact dream about hair, blood and brains that were splattered all
over the walls of our room. We concluded there had been a murder/suicide there.
So I romanticized a classic, archetypical ‘if I can’t have you, no one will’
story about the anti-hero murdering his one and only true love, when he realizes
she doesn't share his desire. The spurned lover then destroys everything,
including himself, when he realizes she cannot be his.”
For Frost, The Bangkok Five is the only way he knows how to live, complete with
all the ups and downs: “I am homeless and broke because of this thing I have to
do called music. My father sent me to a shrink a couple of years ago to find
out what was ‘wrong with me.’ After an hour, the psychologist concluded that I
had ‘John the Baptist Syndrome.’ I will do this or I will go crazy, or kill
myself. I consider myself afflicted. I owe the government thousands of
dollars. I don’t have a driver’s license because it’s been revoked. I don’t
have medical insurance. I have warrants out for my arrest. I don’t care...I
am a punk in the true sense of the word. The music I make has destroyed my
Hence the album title: WE LOVE WHAT KILLS US.