DZ Deathrays: Party Hard
Remember that time we stood in a circle with Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham, Jack Black and Dave Grohl and discussed Led Zeppelin? Yeah, neither can we, but DZ Deathrays frontman Shane Parsons can.
It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done,” says Parsons of the tour he and bandmate Simon Ridley found themselves on last December. “Most of the time when you go to rock shows, there’s rock egos, but in the Foo Fighters camp it’s just not there at all.”
After getting a hold of Parsons between his stints trotting around Toronto in the pseudo Australian weather, we quizzed him on how the duo went from playing raucous house parties to having just made their second appearance at the annual South By Southwest festival in the US.
“When Simon and I were in Denzel, our band before DZ Deathrays, we spent a year and a half in Brisbane just trying to get a support slot and it was almost impossible. I think we got one and we opened for Birds of Tokyo and Regular John and that was our big thing. After two years of doing that, you kind of get sick of it and we decided that we were over it and we just wanted to do what we did in high school, and that was play house parties and just have a good time.”
As luck would have it, it was shortly after that that the band’s fortunes changed and they began being offered shows throughout Brisbane.
“I wish we played more house parties,” says Parsons of his past, “but they’re kind of hard to do in Brisbane ‘cos cops shut them down all the time.”
Despite having left the house party scene, Parsons and Ridley are still yet to escape being shut down by the man. During their first performance at the famed Texan festival, the duo were kicked off stage for being too rock’n’roll.
“That was the most sterile environment possible,” Parsons laughs. “It was a bit of a storm in a teacup situation. We went to play our first show and they said we had 25 minutes, so we hopped on stage and I thought it was gonna be a pretty good show. There was a good little crowd coming around and we were on this tiny little stage with tiny little amps. It was almost like an acoustic gig for us, so we just turned everything up really loud. We got about three songs in and the organisers came up to us and told us they had to cut it and they shut off the PA because we were too loud.” It’s a feat that would make their idol Andrew W.K. proud.
In amongst causing a ruckus overseas, the boys have found time to finish their debut album, Bloodstreams. Off the back of two previous EPs, the duo have managed to cut 13 tracks of pure, raw thrash pop in the same vein as Death From Above 1979.
“We just wanted to have an album that was true to being what an album used to be,” says Parsons of the new offering. “We didn’t just want a bunch of singles on a CD. We did 14 songs in 14 days and I know for bands that do demos it sounds easy, but once you’re in the studio and you’ve got room to move, it actually takes up a lot of time when you’re doing 11 and 12 hour days. The first EP was really DIY, it was just a bedroom recording, and then for the second EP we did some more studio work, and for this one, we just wanted to be the next step up and have a full studio album. It’s not a polished record by any means, it’s kind of got a live feeling but without being in your face the whole time. It’s got a lot of room to breathe.”
Take a deep breath folks, the album’s out and ready to kick in your ears right now.
Bloodstreams is out now on Mushroom.