Two-piece ‘thrash pop’ band DZ DEATHRAYS (all caps, as Madvillain might say) are the Australian DFA1979 and, for once, they like the comparison. It makes my job much easier, let me tell you, to be able to say you should imagine those guys, except bringing more relentlessly fun, good times. You’ll have a headbang-induced nose bleed, sure, but you’ll also have a smile plastered across your face.
I chatted to one half of the duo about hobo poo, dolphins, a pretty lethal drinking game and making music that “makes you want to whip your face back and forth”. RAWK!
Which DEATHRAY are you?
You’re speaking to Shane Parsons. My partner in crime Simon Ridley, but he is somewhere in the middle of Australia stuck in the bitch seat of a tour van.
You’re not with him?
I’m at home in Brisbane.
…packing boxes of all my stuff in my house, getting ready to move into a nomad lifestyle for the next few months as we are on tour the whole time.
So would you say you were a thrash band or a pop band?
It’s more thrash party… but I guess there are some elements of pop in there somewhere. We just want our music to have good hooks. We just feel we are a pop band who plays their music with a thrash style at times.
Do you think pop needs more thrash?
Yes definitely! I love hearing music that makes you want to whip your face back and forth.
You “started playing at house parties”, and thought you’d end there, how does it feel to be way bigger than that?
Kinda crazy, we never expect anything from this band and so far everything we have accomplished has been bigger than our expectations. I think if we ever decide to end this band we will do it with a house party gig, what the band was originally created for.
You’ve been compared to DFA1979 for “sleazy riffs”, and “skuzzy fun” – comparisons are lazy, but as comparisons go that is a pretty rad one…
Well that’s EXACTLY what we say! When we began as DZ we listened to that DFA album a lot. Now we still love that band, but I guess we have been influenced by other bands out there as time’s gone on – it’s still way easy to relate their musical style to ours though. Skuzzy bass has become such a massive part of our sound now, so I guess we’ll always get the DFA1979 comparison. We don’t mind.
Any luck hooking up with Andrew WK yet?
We were SO close at our showcase at SXSW this year. He headlined our show, so we stuck around a) to see the show and b) to try meet him and get some party times in… Unfortunately, he has a lot of people who want to party with him so he was nowhere to be seen until he ran on stage from the back alley of the bar carpark. Then at the end waved and sprinted off again
He has a whole life philosophy based around partying. Do you live the DZ DEATHRAYS sound? Is there a code of honour? A party manifesto?
We always try and play the same show no matter what crowd is there. No matter what, we want people to still see a good show. We won’t just stand there if no one is in the room, we will just get lost in the show and get loose anyway.
Do you wish other bands would loosen up a bit more?
Only when it comes to gear share! Of course, no one wants to lend their gear to bands who then trash it, but most people will look after your stuff…
What fuels DZ DEATHRAYS’ intense live shows (or you lives, generally)?
Intensity. I think they just can’t be played any other way. We really feel almost out of place on stage now when we don’t have our lightshow with us. It’s such a massive part of the show and adds to that intensity.
What would the DZ DEATHRAY cocktail recipe be?
Sailor Jerry’s, vodka, tequila, Fanta… wedge of lime. Measurements depend on how hard you want to party.
Does it have an accompanying soundtrack for the making and the consuming of this beverage?
The first Bronx… you have to finish one and be able to make one within each track. I think you would make it to white tar and be wasted.
How do DZ DEATHRAYS impress their friends/the girls?
Free drinks, mostly, but the amount of girls who come up and ask me about my pedal board is quite impressive.
You’ve got a reputation for debauched tours – any funny stories?
Had to load my gear while stepping over two hobo poos in a stairwell. Worst load in ever….
Tell me a joke.
Why couldn’t the dolphin turn around in the hallway? Because it was driving a tractor!
This post originally appeared on Spoonfed on 14 May 2012