Interview | DZ Deathrays

Before DZ Deathrays returned home to take the stage at Blurst of Times Festival,  drummer Simon Ridley took some time out during their UK tour to chat about their sophomore album Black Rat, intenational touring and and moving on from their thrash rock beginnings.

Where are you guys at the moment?
We’re just outside of Reading.

How have the UK shows been?
Yeah really good actually. Last night was quite good.

You guys are heading off to Europe in a couple days, where are you looking forward to playing?
I’m really looking forward to going to Berlin. We’ve done a couple of German dates in the past and they’ve always been really fun. It will be good to be back.

You added a third member to the band this year, has that lightened the load a little for you guys?
It hasn’t changed that much, it sounds a lot better though. People seem to still be getting really into it. The whole two piece thing was really a necessity thing for us and now to have an extra guy up there wailing.. it’s good.

You were in the US earlier this year as well for SXSW, how were the shows this time around?
We haven’t focused on the US that much because the album’s not out there yet but it’s good because this year at South By coming up to me after the shows who have been to other shows we’ve done in the past. It’s been really good that we haven’t lost a whole lot of fans over there.

People talk about ‘Black Rat’ as a move away from your thrash rock beginnings, what was different in the process of this record coming together compared to Blood Streams?
Blood Streams we had most of the songs written and road tested over a period of three years. This time we did it all in one year, in about three different sittings. We did one session outside where we did two weeks of the house and then we did a few more in a studio just outside of Brisbane and then the last one we did over three or four weeks in Brisbane in a nightclub. The writing environment was a lot different. We didn’t have any of the songs tested and we didn’t actually have them completely finished. We had the songs about eighty or ninety percent done when we took them into pre production, which was never really done on Bloodstreams or anything else.

How does your music come together?
We just sit in a room and just jam out – that’s pretty much it? Shane will usually have a riff idea and then we’ll just flesh it out. That seems to be the only way we really write which is good and bad because then we don’t write shit when we’re on tour.

What kind of stuff did you listen to growing up?
My mum used to listen to this 4bu Classic Gold station – lots of mo town stuff which was good. Then like metal, Nirvana, grunge, all that sort of stuff.

What have you been listening to in your downtime on this tour?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Frank Sinatra on this tour. It’s good.

What else is coming up that you’re looking forward to?
We’ve got a run of shows when we go back at the end of October with Blurst of Times Festival which I reckon is going to be so good. Pretty much all of the bands on the line up, we’re friends with. It’s going to be a really loose week of catching up with friends and drinking and playing songs.