DZ Deathrays are one of the hottest bands on the planet at the moment. The Brisbane duo are being feted by the NME as one of the hottest 50 bands in the world at the moment following whirlwind UK tour, and the video for the scuzzed out funk of their single ‘The Mess Up’, which was recorded on a budget of just $50, has been watched on Youtube over 50,000 times. As they prepare to have them play Tone Deaf’s massive party at Ding Dong this Saturday 18th of June, we caught up with Simon Ridley of the band to discuss gigging in Brisbane, drinking, poverty and … more drinking!
You started out playing Brisbane houseparties – was that just because they were there or is Brisbane’s live scene moving towards house and warehouse parties as venues keep shutting down?
When we first started a lot of our good friends were all in share houses together so there were always a lot of house parties happening that weren’t really connected to the music scene, they were just our group of friends mainly from Bundaberg who are all musicians. I think it is moving to house parties a lot now, noise restraints are getting ridiculous, venues are putting bands on earlier and earlier and it kinda just kills the whole point of playing in a rock n roll band if everyone is sober and the sun is still up when you have to play.
Starting out as a two piece and staying that way, was there a particular sonic palette you were seeking to follow?
When we started Shane and I were listening to a lot of DFA1979, The Bronx and Justice which is pretty obvious from the EPs. We still love those bands but I think as we get new gear and actually get better at writing hopefully we can cut out our own sound before our first album.
There’s quite a funky element to the songs on your latest EP, with hints of The Rapture, Gang of Four etc. Any particular inspirations behind that part of the sound?
A group of our friends moved in together in a house on Gebbie st in Brisbane and began throwing parties called “Gebbie Slow Burners” that only had slow burning disco tracks playing at them, stuff like Holy Ghost and so the song Gebbie Street was our attempt at writing a DZ slow burner.
You’re still based in Brisbane? Give us the DZ Deathrays quick guide as how to best spend a rock n’ roll weekend in Brisbane.
A couple of our friends run Thursday nights at Alhumbra bar called Lambda which always has awesome bands and we always scab free drinks there. Then Friday and Saturdays there is usually something on in the valley or a house party somewhere to knock back some drinks at.
You’ve been subject to a lot of hyperventilating UK music press coverage during your recent shows at the Great Escape Festival and so on. What keeps you grounded?
Being broke and having to come back to Brisbane to work full time office jobs helps. Also living in a garage during winter doesn’t hurt to keep the self-esteem low.
Are you planning to stay in Australia for the immediate future?
We keep trying to move over to Berlin but every time it gets pushed back a year… so yes.
Ok, THAT infamous film clip. Who’s idea was that? Have you heard from Jagermeister regarding it?
After we realised we didn’t have enough money to hire Jon Claude Van Dam to cripple a fat kid for our debut film clip Shane and I just came up with something that suited our budget of $50. Jagermeister seem to know about it but I don’t think they’re allowed to condone binge drinking… although it would be nice to know they cared through a gift basket maybe? (Jager people feel free to get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
What’s the worst thing you’ve done when drunk?
One of the advantages to being drunk is you don’t remember your worst moments. Waking up in a garden along the highway the morning after vomiting on myself whilst on a night link bus and consequently missing my stop and not having enough money to get home was probably my lowest. One of those moments where I felt like I truly failed at trying to be an adult…
Have you ever been arrested? If so, what for?
No. Let’s hope it stays that way.
What’s your favourite site to download music from? Is it legal to download it there? What releases do you have out and where can we download them?
I’d like to say yes…
DZ – Ruined My Life, DZ DEATHRAYS – Brutal Tapes. I’d try at www.isohunt.com maybe?
Lastly, but most importantly, where can we see you live in the near future?
SATURDAY JUNE 18 – TONEDEAF, DING DONG LOUNGE, MELBOURNE
FRIDAY JUNE 24 – MUM, WORLD BAR, SYDNEY
DANANANANAYKROYD TOUR DATES:
FRIDAY JULY 29 – ANNANDALE HOTEL, SYDNEY
MONDAY AUGUST 1 – EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB, MELB
CHILDREN COLLIDE TOUR DATES
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 3 – PELLY BAR, FRANKSTON
THURSDAY AUGUST 4 – KAROVA LOUNGE, BALLARAT
FRIDAY AUGUST 5 – THE BENDED ELBOW, GEELONG
SATURDAY AUGUST 6 – REPUBLIC BAR, TAS
SUNDAY AUGUST 7, REPUBLIC BAR, TAS
THURS AUGUST 11, GOVERNOR HINDMARSH, ADELAIDE
FRIDAY AUGUST 12 – MANNING BAR, SYDNEY
SATURDAY AUGUST 13 – CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE
THURSDAY AUGUST 25 – STUDIO 146, ALBANY
FRIDAY AUGUST 26 – PRINCE OF WALES, BUNBURY
SATURDAY AUGUST 27 – CAPITOL, PERTH