Video: Vial swing a hammer to DIY gatekeeping in re-recorded “Or Die”

Minneapolis’ Vial first released the song “DIY” on their debut album Grow Up in November. Now, the band are back again to tackle industry gatekeeping and DIY bros with a new video and re-recorded version of the song “Or Die.” Sóley Moss has the scoop:

Vial is a badass power pop band with a politically charged, femme-forward outlook. The band of students, one still in high school, are cutting the scene wide open with in-your-face equity-demanding tracks. Vial is releasing a re-recorded version of a track, “Or Die,” taken from their first album, Grow Up, released last fall. The song was written in response to the homogeneity, sexism, and racism in the local DIY scene.

Vial says of the track, “The audiences in the scene are diverse, you look out at people of color and women. And then everyone on the stage is a cis white dude. It’s exclusive, it’s a bro club. So we said, if you won’t let women and non binary people into your social circle, we’re going to make a new one.”

“Or Die” is a critique about the DIY scene as a whole. “The video is autobiographical in that each of the segments is something we’ve gone through/dealt with in the industry thus far, whether it be stereotypes or disregard, etc. We hoped to make the point that folks who aren’t at gender, racial, or monetary advantages just don’t get the same consideration as other bands and artists. Slo Martin (they/them) shot and edited the video so masterfully and was able to capture a lot of the light-heartedness of the song too — it’s essentially a big diss track about everyone in music and encourages folks to reflect in on themselves and how to be a better advocate!”

The re-recorded version of “Or Die” and the accompanying music video is my everything this week! In the current state of affairs, this track is exactly what we all need right now. A massive, bold, hilarious call out to stop buying into our own bullshit and hold ourselves to a higher standard — all facades aside.

Sóley Moss is a writer of children’s books, songwriter, and artist attempting to wrap her mind around 21st century living in the midst of a pandemic. 

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