EXPANSION: DZ Deathrays plan to add touring guitarist Lachan Ewbank to their permanent line-up.YOU’D be forgiven forthinking thatDZ Deathrays would be basking in the afterglow of their album Bloody Lovely.
Just like that most Australian of titles suggests, the record is enjoying abloody lovely reception. The latest single Like People is getting flogged on triple j and its video, featuring ex-Wiggle Murray Cook, is streaming strongly on YouTube.
The thrash-rock two-piece’s upcoming album tour has already sold out shows in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and three in their hometown of Brisbane at The Triffid. It’s a feat that DZ Deathrays vocalist-guitarist Shane Parsons proudly says has them “on the leader board” alongside Bernard Fanning and Dune Rats.
DZ Deathrays – Like PeopleYet Parsons isn’t resting on his laurels. Work has already began on writing the band’s fourth album, despite Bloody Lovely only being released in February.
“We just want to have a lot of songs ready to go to pick from and also it’s a good way [to fill time], otherwise I don’t know what I’d be doing, because we’re not touring at the moment,” Parsons says.
“If I’m not touring I want to be working on writing, to make sure my work ethic is up to scratch.”
Change is also afoot in the DZ Deathrays camp. Touring guitarist Lachlan Ewbank has been writing the new material with Parsons and drummer Simon Ridley and is likely to become a fully-fledged Deathray.
“He wrote this record with us, so he’s part of the band,” Parsons says.“Which is great because he’s had so many ideas over the years and there’s songs that are just sitting there.
“When you put all of us together it puts our songwriting into the next gear and we’re churning out a lot more ideas. We’ll see what the quality’s like when it comes to recording, but it’s exciting.”
DZ Deathrays formed 10 years ago after Parsons and Ridley moved to Brisbane from the sugar cane town of Bundaberg. Their EPs Ruined My Life (2009) and Brutal Tapes (2011) made a ripple, before their debut album Bloodstreams (2012) caught the attention of influential US music site Pitchfork.
Their second album Black Rat (2014) continued to expand their raw, yet dancey, brand of garage rock with stand-out trackGina Works At Hearts.
For Bloody Lovely Parsons wanted to reach another level. Itinvolved him deconstructing everything from hip-hop to pop music to discover what made a truly great song. It resulted in Bloody Lovely being DZ Deathrays’ most melodicrelease.
“I listen to lots of different music and to the way it’s written and why certain things sound great to us,” he says.“Whether it’s an amazing vocal performance or thegroove that they’ve got sonically.
“I’m always trying to listen to a song and go, ‘I know I love this song, but why do a like it?’ Then Itry to find those reasons and remember them for when we’re recording.”
DZ Deathrays play the Cambridge Hotel on May 10 with Clowns.