DZ Deathrays: "We wanted a quick turnaround"

Interview DZ Deathrays: “We wanted a quick turnaround”

With their new album out this summer, Australian duo DZ Deathrays aren’t ones to rest on their laurels.

DZ Deathrays come to Reading & Leeds with brand new album ‘Black Rat’ in tow. Well, we say brand new, but the record has already been out in the pair’s – that’s vocalist / guitarist Shane Parsons and drummer Simon Ridley – native Australia for some time. “It’s not ideal,” admits Simon of the enforced delay. His band mate is a little more philosophical. “I thought it was a big deal,” Shane says, “but it happens so often to Australian bands that it’s just expected. Your record will come out in Australia, then a few months later in the UK, and then six months, maybe a year later, it’s America. It’s fine, it just means that we’ve done our tour in Australia, and now we can focus on the UK and Europe too.”

The new record follows not only debut album, ‘Bloodstreams’, released back in 2012, but also winter 2013 stop-gap single ‘Northern Lights’, which as Shane explains, was their way of apologising for album two taking a little longer than they’d planned. “We wanted to record the album last year,” he says, “but we didn’t have the songs ready and we were trying to sort a producer. Once you stop touring, it’s hard to get back and get that momentum again, so we really wanted to get new music out and back on the road again.”

With producer Burke Reid (who’s also worked on fellow Australian Courtney Barnett’s debut full-length) in tow, the pair decamped to a studio just outside Sydney at the beginning of this year. “We wanted a quick turnaround,” says Shane. ‘Black Rat’ was released in both Australia and the US back in May, just a few months after they began recording in January. “I think we’re going to try and do the same again for the next one.”

DZ Deathrays: "We wanted a quick turnaround" DZ Deathrays: "We wanted a quick turnaround"

Before that, of course, comes the small matter of touring. And with touring comes dealing with reluctant travellers. “It's funny,” Shane laughs. “In the UK, as soon as you announce tour dates, there are people complaining that you're not coming to your town. It's like literally 40 minutes away, you could get a train or whatever! We get it in Australia, too, because we're not playing Newcastle or whatever, and I guess it's three hours away but that's not far in Australia. Or America either. And both are not as bad for it as here!”

They've got dates planned in “little small places” as well as Brighton and London in the lead-up to Reading & Leeds. Middlesbrough, Hull, Wakefield, and Northampton are among the places the pair will visit. “We're not doing Liverpool or Manchester or anything,” Shane explains, “these are kind of leading up to the record. Then we're supporting Band of Skulls in November.”

The duo play the BBC Radio 1 / NME Stage on Saturday in Reading and Sunday in Leeds – something they weren't previously aware would make them miss Blink-182. “Naaahhhhh,” they both cry. “I missed them when they did the Australian run!” “I'd love to see Blink,” muses Simon. Shane agrees. “Yeah, it'd be awesome.” They are, however, excited about their own set. “Yeah!” Simon enthuses. “Last time we did it was so much fun, and this time I guess we know a little bit of what to expect.” “We're doing a bigger stage this time,” Shane adds, “we're now in the one The Cribs played last time we were there.”

Taken from the August issue of DIY, out now. DZ Deathrays’ new album ‘Black Rat’ is out now via Infectious Music.

Tags: DZ Deathrays, Festivals, Features, Interviews

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