Interview: The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die


Since the release of their first proper studio full-length this summer, The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die have become one of the most talked about new bands in the alternative landscape. Transcending genre boundaries, the group are making their presence felt on a slew of diverse tours, having recently wrapped a short run with veterans Brand New, and currently gearing up for a Canadian tour alongside The Front Bottoms. Drummer and gourmet hot dog enthusiast Steven Buttery kindly answered a few questions for in order to bring our readers up to speed with the band’s progress.

You guys released a full-length record in June entitled Whenever, If Ever. Since then, the album has received a great deal of critical acclaim, and the band’s popularity has seen significant growth. Were you expecting that type of reaction prior to release?

I don’t think any of us expected to move as many units as we have, or Billboard chart or anything like that…but with the amount of work that went into the making of this record, it feels pretty good to get this level of recognition for it. I really never would’ve believed that TWIABP would be mentioned in Pitchfork or anything like that. We’ll see how long we can stay [on] their radar though.


TWIABP-Whenever-If-Ever-front-cover_1500x1500stretched-e1369640510229Whenever, If Ever was put out via Topshelf Records, which has also been getting a lot of buzz lately. How did you go about getting on that label’s radar? What motivated you to sign with them over others?

Greg and Chris had a previous relationship with Topshelf through an older band of theirs (My Heart To Joy). When Greg joined TWIABP, he passed along the Formlessness EP to Kevin and Seth and things were cool from the start. As far as a label, they definitely have their priorities set to our interests. They are also friends first, as opposed to being a label figurehead or something like that. Really good dudes.


As a band that blends and delves into a variety of sounds and genres, do you find that you’re able to participate in a more diverse array of tours than other acts?

We definitely have some wiggle room when it comes to signing on to a tour…We played with Finch earlier this year and Brand New even more recently. If some wild noise band asked us to tour we would probably also do it. It’s not even so much that we can relate musically to different styles of music, but more that the tour becomes way more interesting for both ourselves and whatever audience may be there. When we do our own tours it’s really nice being able to tour with friends, like Dads and Pity Sex.

The real point of this is that genres shouldn’t be a totally defining point for a successful show, and that diversity should be a welcomed thing in music, and art in general.

What are some of the benefits and drawbacks that arise as a result of having eight musicians in the band?

Waiting for the bathroom at truck stops/houses/venues…Having to wake up the other 7 members before a long drive. There’s more benefits than drawbacks though.


This must be the most overused question in the history of music journalism. But for once, I cannot help but ask it: What was the inspiration for your band name?

A lot of people make bad decisions in life; this was ours.


Follow-up question: Surely you must shorten the name when speaking among yourselves. Which abbreviation gets used the most?

“The Clippers”.


Throughout your travels as a band and as individuals, what are some locations that have offered particularly outstanding hot dogs?

Rochester, New York, and most certainly Chicago.


Can you please describe the best hot dog you’ve ever ingested?

Whoa. Okay. There’s a place in Chicago near where Swerp mansion used to be…they served Polish Sausage, and if you don’t order it correctly they won’t serve you…blah blah blah…anyway…good peppers on it, relish, mustard, pickles. Damn, yeah.


Which member of the band is most likely to wrestle a grizzly bear?

Josh would wrestle it into submission; Steve would teach it to read better than Greg.


Any additional words you’d like to leave with readers?

End Greg Horbal.

Related Posts: