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DZ DEATHRAYS Bloody Lovely in Perth


DZ Deathrays are heading back to Perth this month, and are sure to have us feeling like the death rays of summer are hitting us early in September. After the release of their third full-length album Bloody Lovely this year earning the band a spot in the ARIA Top 5, the boys will be bringing
it and their 10-year Anniversary tour to Metropolis, Fremantle on Thursday, September 13 with the support of Canadian band PUP, plus local legends The Love Junkies and FOAM. ANNIE MUNROE caught up with lead singer and guitarist Shane Parsons to chat about touring, fanbases and set lists.

How have you been spending your time at home after getting back from the UK leg of your recent tour?

Just trying to get over jet lag. It really hits you coming home. I can go over there and get through it in a day, but it always takes a few days to get through it here.

Can you tell us a little bit about the differences between overseas audiences and home town crowds?

Well, I mean it depends where you are. The first time we went to South Africa was this year and we were blown away by the crowds over there. I think that’s mainly because they don’t get that much music coming over and everyone over there is really, really excited to see a band come over. There’s a small community of punk garage lovers who just get together and go to the shows and stuff. It feels like a show in Australia, almost. It’s a really great vibe.

With Europe and the UK and America and stuff, we’ve been going there for so many years and when we first started going over there, especially Europe, we were playing to two or three people. This trip that we just came home from was probably our best one. We had some filled rooms with the atmosphere inside of the rooms starting to feel like what it’s like in Australia. You could kind of compare it to what it was like five years ago in Australia. I think we are one of those bands that started at the very bottom and slowly picks up fans every year and slowly built our fan base. We did that in Australia. We toured for five years until it started to connect. We played a show at The Tote in Melbourne and every time we went to Melbourne we had to put jugs of beers at the edge of the stage to get people to walk up to the stage to be closer to the band otherwise they’d stand on the back wall.

That is so strange. It must be so surreal remembering that considering how excited your fan base gets for you now…

Well that’s it. We played this one show at The Tote and I think it was in 2012 so it was a fair while ago now, but it just went off. And I was like wow what happened here. So, I’m starting to see that happen overseas now you know, we played in Berlin and our show in Paris was crazy. London’s always been pretty good because there’s a lot of Australians there, so they bring the energy. It’s in those places where there’s not actually that many people there who even speak English – when you’re able to get the same atmosphere as you can in Australian shows. To me, that feels like a success.

Over your career, there’s been so much music come out of Brisbane. What’s been different about the scene and music over there in the last five years?

I always felt like Brisbane music comes in waves. There’d be this wave of bands, then there would be a bit of a low of bands coming out of there. Underneath the surface there would always be all these other bands grouping together with a little scene starting, and suddenly, you’ll get a band from that scene that really explodes. I think it all comes down to it being so small there so everyone really backs each because it’s a small community of musicians. Everyone would just hang out together and everyone would just appreciate each other’s music. I guess that’s the only thing I can really put it down to.

Can I ask what bands you’re excited about lately that are coming through the ranks?

In Australia, there’s a couple bands out of Sydney which is where I live at the moment that I’m excited about. There’s a band called Mezko who I really enjoy but I haven’t seen them live yet. They look like they could do really well. There’s a band called Party Dozen and if you haven’t seen them, be sure to because they’re awesome. They’re saxophones and drums kind of music. Internationally, there’s a band called Idles who are doing really big things in the UK and Europe. They’ve been around for a little while now and our guitarist got us into them. They just put their record out today and it’s really great. They’ve got like punk rock with a message but it’s kind of experimental too which is cool.

I read that you guys live in separate cities and wrote your last two albums, Bloody Lovely and Black Ray across states. What was that like?

We thought it would be harder than it is. We were travelling so much back in 2012 when we were in Europe that I came back to Australia and didn’t have anywhere to live, so my partner moved in together with her parents in Sydney. Simon stayed in Brisbane and moved in with his partner there and her mum. So we both just thought we’d see how it goes. We ended up writing ideas and sending them via email and we’d just get together to practice. Simon and I have played 800 shows together, so we don’t really need to practice so much but you just make time for it and work it out.

Can you tell me a little bit about some highlights over your career?

We’ve got so many. Some of the highlights include the first time we got to open for Foo Fighters back in 2011. We opened for them at AAMI Park and it was amazing to go to that level. We went from house parties to stadiums. It was a little bit crazy.

And then this year’s Splendour in the Grass you covered Highway to Hell with the original red wiggle, Murray Cook?

Yeah, that was amazing. It was really fun. That was Murray’s idea. We wanted to do a cover with him but we didn’t know which one and he just straight away was like, “lets do Highway to Hell.” He was backstage hanging out with us. He had his 1965 SG and he let Dune Rats get warmed up on it before their set.

Is there anything special you would have told yourself 10 years ago?

Nah, I don’t think so. I’m happy with the way it’s gone. We’ve made so many mistakes along the way but I’m kind of glad that we did. We weren’t just told the way to do it, we had to figure it out ourselves. I’m grateful for it because now we’ve learnt a lot of lessons along the way. I wouldn’t say anything special. Actually, I would. I would say write more.

How do you choose what you’re going to play in your setlist?

Usually we just play the songs we enjoy playing, along with singles. For this next tour coming up, we decided to go back and revisit some really old songs and some songs we haven’t played before. It’s weird hearing songs from the first EP next to songs from the third album. All of the productions are a bit different, but it still sounds like us which I’m happy about. We’ve been trying to change our set a fair bit recently. For many years we played Gina Works At Hearts as the last song of every set and it just got to the point where it was so boring. We started putting it earlier in the set and towards the end. It just took a little bit of writing other songs that would work after it.

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