"Things are coming around again..."

From ripping apart small house parties in Australia to a London residency, DZ Deathrays have come a long way for a duo who’s favorite past time is throwing up on a Monday night. Not so fresh from a very long flight, Shane Parsons and Simon Ridley arrive into England with some very exciting news that’ll take them that much further: the band are being signed to Hassle Records and their debut album, ‘Bloodstreams’, will be released on May 7th.

We’ve all seen the aptly titled ‘Mess Up’ video and the fit inducing carnage of the ‘Rad Solar’ clip, but are the Brisbane duo as hardcore as the rumors make them out to be? Clash visits them at London’s Old Blue Last on the first night of their three day stay to find out the truth behind the image.

DZ Deathrays - No Sleep



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There’s been a sudden rise in mainstream popularity for punk and thrash. Bands like Cerebral Ballzy, Fucked Up and Bleeding Knees Club are getting bigger. Why do you think there’s such an outcry for this genre of music?

Shane: Because there’s so much synth pop that’s been going for the past 5 or 6 years. I think everyone’s just sick of that stuff.

Simon: The ‘80s was really synth driven and now people have just got back to guitars. Things are coming around again.

What can we expect from the debut album ‘Bloodstreams’?

Shane: It’s a bit better...recorded.

Simon: Yeah we didn’t record it at a house. Well, there was a house, but not a house party.

Shane: We did it pretty quick, we did like a track a day. We did fourteen tracks, so I think it’s twelve on the UK release. It’s a little bit different in parts, there’s some slower stuff and some pretty heavy stuff. Once you hear the whole album it’ll make sense.

How does the music scene in England differ from Australia?

Simon: There’s a lot more places to play in England. We’ve been touring Australia for three years now, pretty solidly. I guess it’s kind of weird, like the BBC, they’ll play a rock band, then a dubstep band, then an R&B song in a row. In Australia, it’s more like this station plays hip hop, folk, dubstep. The rock scene in Australia is not like the one you’ve got here, bands you’ve got here like Pulled Apart By Horses and Turbowolf, that really edgy rock thing. In Australia, there’s underground rock bands, but if you’re a big popular band it’s really commercial.

How do you feel about the Kickdrums’ hip hop song ‘Want My Blood’ (samples DZ Deathrays’ ‘Teeth’)?

Simon: It’s kind of funny, because Rockie Fresh is really good and then there’s that sample of ours on there.

Shane: Yeah, it’s cool, we’re friends with those guys. We met them in New York last year and hung out. At the very start when we first met them they asked us if they could do a remix, so I gave them some songs to remix and they didn’t do anything with them for ages. Then all of a sudden they sent us this thing and they said “we’ve done this, we’re going to do a film clip and everything for it.” We were like fuck, that’s awesome.

Simon: Yeah, everyone loves it; everyone in Australia. It got so much press online, our Twitter feed was mental for weeks.

Can you see yourselves playing bigger places, or do you prefer more intimate venues like the Old Blue Last?

Simon: After the album we went and done some shows with the Foo Fighters, in actual football stadiums. It’s really different, it’s awesome because you’re playing a stadium and it’s the loudest fucking thing ever, but it sucks because there’s like five fences between you and the first person in the crowd, so it’s really disconnecting. Playing house parties and little venues because is unexpected, you don’t know what’s going to happen; you don’t know if anyone’s going to end up on stage on top of you, stuff like that.

You say you started at a house party and you most likely will end at one. What’s the best party you’ve been to?

Simon: I can’t remember the best party I’ve been to, that’s probably why. All I can remember are the moderate ones. We went to an apartment party on Wall Street, it was sponsored by a tequila company. It was a house party and had a DJ and shit, it was pretty wild.

Shane: Yeah, that was intense.

Simon: We really wanted to see Wall Street, but we didn’t have the time to do it during the day and then we ended up at this party on Wall Street! It was a whole lot of rich people throwing this party and somehow we were there.

Shane: A lot of models and rich kids with good inheritance and stuff, and then there’s me and Simon like “hey, we’re here for the free drinks.”

At the house party to end all house parties, who would your perfect guests be - living or dead?

Simon: I would invite ‘90s Robert Downey Jr and ‘80s Tim Allen, when he was doing all the coke. It would be awesome to have Nicolas Cage there, he’s supposed to be crazy. A friend of ours has a friend who deejayed at Nicolas Cage’s wedding and apparently he got married dressed as Elvis.

Shane: I would love to party with him.

Simon: And we’d get Andrew WK to be playing there.

Is there anyone you would love to work with?

Simon: It would be cool to work with Justice, we’ve always loved those guys.

Shane: Ethan from Crystal Castles, we’ve toured with them a few times in Australia and we really appreciate what he does. I really like Derek Miller from Sleigh Bells. All sort of electronic stuff.

Although still exhausted from the long haul flight and a hectic day of running round London, Simon and Shane still manage to put on intensely chaotic show fueled by a few simple lights, Carlsberg, and an array of face-melting new songs. A quick and energetic ‘Teenage Kickstarts’ is debuted, which certainly validates the earlier statement of “pretty heavy stuff” being on ‘Bloodstreams’. The set goes on to combine new songs with known favorites such as ‘Teeth’, ‘The Mess Up’ and ‘Gebbie Street’. The whole gig leaves the crowd reeling in a daze of sweat and newly acquired tinnitus, along with a coincidental urge to grow long hair and buy leather jackets, much more proof than needed that DZ Deaathrays are no party trick. They are the real deal.

If there’s anything to take away from tonight other than the fact that Nicolas Cage is pretty fun from any era, it’s that DZ Deathrays are on a warpath to destroy your brain one cell at a time. Well, mission accomplished.

Words By Jamie Carson
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