As I mentioned in my review of Tasmania’s Party in the Paddock 2019, my schedule was pretty empty until the afternoon, when I was lucky enough to sit down with some of my hometown heroes, DZ Deathrays. After an overcast morning, around their arrival on-site, we were struck with a sudden severe thunderstorm, complete with thunder and lightning bolts hitting the parched landscape. It certainly made for an interesting chat with the boys which you can read below…
Ben: Firstly, thanks so much for sitting down with me guys!
DZ: Thank you!
B: What’s it like being back in Tassie?
B: Haha, yeah, we definitely turned on the weather for you guys… 2 months of no clouds whatsoever and then…
Simon: Yeah man, on the way here it was so dry! It’s crazy.
B: So if the rumours are true… you guys have just come out of the studio for your new album, correct?
B: Number four.
Shane: (counting) Wow, yeah.
B: How long are we expecting before we actually see this one?
Simon: Oh, two years I think?
Lachlan: Ha! Yeah. Sounds about right.
Shane: Ummm, I believe mid-year? Hopefully soon.
B: I know there was a bit of hype around Bloody Lovely after the successes of Bloodstreams and Black Rat, so is this one likely to be much different?
Lachlan: Hahah, it’s uh… pretty different.
Simon: Yeah, I think it’s definitely different.
Shane: I think it’s a lot different as an album, but… a bit heavier, a bit softer.
Lachlan: Trying a few different things.
B: That was one of the things I really loved about Bloody Lovely, it really built on the classic Deathrays formula but then tweaked it. Would I be correct in suggesting that this time you guys recorded as a three-piece?
Shane: Yeah, and not only that, this was the first album Lachlan was actually involved in, y’know, the writing side of things.
B: Ah yes! I had wondered how that worked. I’m from the Brisbane scene myself so I’ve been following you guys since you were DZ. One of my good mates is actually the singer for Velociraptor…
Simon: Ah, Jeremy Neale!
B: Yes, Jeremy. I’ve watched you guys since those days, so seeing the progression has been pretty rad. Starting out playing parties, then touring the world.
Shane: And having fun.
B: It seems like you guys have done a pretty good job of it so far. Every continent bar Antarctica.
Simon: Yeah, we haven’t got the Arctics yet! One day.
Lachlan: I really want to do Russia.
Shane: Yeah, we’ve pretty much done everything… not Japan. Those sorts of places. One day.
B: Just slowly taking over the world, one country at a time.
Shane: Japan is a great place, so I really want to get there.
B: It definitely seems like it. I remember back in the mid- 2010s when you guys were heading over to Iceland and those sorts of places, thinking that I really wish I was going and checking you out in these spots.
Shane: We never really anticipated we’d get to places like Iceland.
B: I guess that’s drastically different from playing somebody’s back yard party.
Simon: Haha, house parties in Iceland!
Shane: If you’ve been to Reykjavik and places like that, they all kind of feel like house parties. All the bars you go to are kind of small and kind of chill.
B: Compared to some of the places you’ve played now, I guess a small crowd like that would feel almost intimate.
Shane: Definitely. We’ll always do the party sort of thing, but there’s always somewhere overseas we can go and check out.
B: Speaking of overseas… do you think you’ll ever get invited back to SXSW?
Lachlan: Didn’t you guys go back?
Simon: Yeah, that was actually the first time. I mean, we’ve done it a couple of times since then.
Shane: Yeah. Austin’s great, but not at that time. It’s chaos.
Lachlan: It’s just musicians dragging gear around all the streets the whole time.
B: It sounds like one big party that goes in the entire time.
Shane: It is.
B: That’s why it was sort of surreal when we got the news back here that they were going to call the cops on you for playing how you play.
Shane: It was pretty obvious, considering what we were playing and where we were playing it.
B: Well… you guys do have a reputation for playing shows that can get slightly out of hand…
Simon: Hahah, yes.
B: One of the shows that I saw you guys play, back in 2012 I think it was, was called ‘Call The Cops’. In an old converted church.
Simon: Oh, the Rev! Yeah, I that one.
B: It was sort of insane seeing dudes climbing balconies and jump off into the crowd and insane shit like that.
Shane: It was crazy!
Simon: I remember seeing a girl jump off the speaker stack wearing heels, and everybody was tucked in and couldn’t get their arms up. She didn’t go out, she just went straight down. Oh man, that guy would’ve been hurting for weeks after that. I dunno how he didn’t come out with a broken collar bone or something.
B: Haha, oh man. That happened a lot that night. It was actually one of the first shows I ever shot. Seeing something that out of hand, it always solidified for me that, hey, this is what a DZ show is and you’ve gotta be prepared for shit to get crazy.
Lachlan: It does.
B: It feels like that captures really well onto record, so hopefully we get a taste of that insanity this time.
Shane: I think you do. It’s a surprisingly sort of punk record. There’s some really slow – I mean, for us – but listening back to it now that it’s complete, there’s a lot of really fast bits which is good.
B: It’s always something nice to have that sort of progression, where you can say, okay well we’ve got some slow stuff, but we’re always going to play the typical balls-to-the-wall brutal stuff.
B: I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to give it a spin.
B: Now that the studio stuff is out of the way, have you got much else on for 2019, other than the obvious?
Simon: Regional tour first.
Shane: Yeah, regional tour, then we’ve got some overseas stuff, then everything that follows on from an album. Essentially just what we’ve already been doing.
Lachlan: More recording!
B: It seems like you guys have pretty much only just stopped touring from the back of Bloody Lovely.
Shane: I dunno, we just love touring.
Simon: Sort of like, if we can find any way to get out on the road, we do it.
Shane: If we took too much time off, I think we’d lose our steam a little bit.
B: It definitely does seem like a bit of a freight train that you don’t want to rob that momentum from. But, it should be a really good year for you guys by the sounds of it!
Simon: Yeah, not at the moment! (pointing at the sky)
Shane: Hahah, oh, I can see the sun coming out so.
B: Hey man, it’s a metaphor! Clouds are parting! It’s gonna be a great show.
Lachlan: Haha true.
B: Hopefully you guys have a really good set, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you throw out for us.
B: Cheers for sitting down with WOS guys.
DZ Deathrays – Tour With The Lot 2019