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INTERVIEW: Dead 27s

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been fantastic! We are getting really excited about the next record we have coming out. We have been getting some mixes back from Count (aka Mikael Eldridge), who is mixing the record for us, so we have been focusing a lot on that. The fact that he is mixing it is exciting in and of itself… he just won a Grammy for some work he did on a Mavis Staples track. Also, Ben Ellman from Galactic is the producer for the next album. So, between that and hitting the road you have a group of pretty happy musicians. Thanks for asking!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Don’t Want To Live My Life Without You”?

When we first got together to work on original material it was the first song that Trey brought to the table. Its a fun tune that has a lot of that 60’s and 70’s soul influence and a really catchy hook. It has been really well received by our fans and by independent radio stations around SC and NC. Trey’s falsetto on the chorus and Wallace’s guitar solo make it a great song for people who are just getting introduced to us.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

No event in particular, its more about a general feeling of having a crush on someone and they don’t know it. You want to let them know, but maybe you’re not sure how and its driving you crazy. If you’ve ever had that kind of crush on someone you can definitely relate to that feeling.

Any plans to release a video for the single or any other track on this record?

There are a few recent live videos of us performing the song and other songs on YouTube that show where the band is going , but we don’t have any plans of doing a formal music video for it at the moment. We do have some fun video ideas and want to bring those to life on the next record for sure. We’re gonna get goofy and have fun with them for sure.

Speaking of videos though, we have been posting a video of a cover song on our Facebook page every Friday and have been having this little “Happy Friday” series that has been pretty fun. We basically pick a tune, video us playing it real quick and post to FB wishing everyone a “Happy Friday.” Everyone loves Friday, haha, so it’s about having a good time. So every Friday, head on over the our Facebook to start you weekend off right.

The single comes off your latest Chase Your Devils Down – what’s the story behind the title?

It’s about staring down adversity in the face and overcoming it. It’s about not letting your devils chase you, and not letting them change you–at least not for the worse.

How was the recording and writing process?

The song ideas would generally come from Wallace or Trey for this album. Once they pitched a song, the rest of the members would do their thing with it. This was in the very early stages of the band, so the whole thing just kind of happened. When we hit the studio, we pretty much had the songs together, but didn’t have as much time as we wanted to really dig in. So, what you hear is pretty much 5 guys playing some songs together. Not much changed on the songs in the studio from what we had written. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but that’s just how it was. We had some songs, we booked the studio, we went in a recorded the songs. It was definitely a great experience and our first experience in the studio as a band. We didn’t have a producer and we recorded the album at Truphonic studios in Charleston, so it was cool being in our home town just doing our thing.

Chase Your Devils Down is the end-result of four or five writing sessions held during the infancy of the band. We brought in a bunch of lyric and melody ideas and rounded them out with bridges and dynamic shifts. It definitely shows where the band originated.

Did South Carolina play a role in the sound of this record?

We are all from South Carolina, but I’m not sure if South Carolina has a “sound” so to speak. Maybe you can hear influences from the southeastern region more or less. Blues, soul and rock all heavily influence this band and those genres, if didn’t originate in the region, were huge in the south. Each band member likes a lot of the same music, but we are also into very different styles of music. More of that influence will be apparent on the next record, but for Devils, we were just dipping our toes in the water. Wallace and Trey did some great writing for the album, which has definitely helped lay the foundation for where we are headed musically. The goal is to continue evolving though. We want to take what we have and add to it and keep it true to our sound, but as fresh as possible.

Charleston probably played more of a role in our sound than what you typically associate with South Carolina music. We have a hungry and diverse scene, it encourages taking chances and crossing genres.

Influenced by a wide range of styles within the rock genre – did you focus on any in particular besides Blues, of course?

Yes, soul music, old stax records, the muscle shoals sound, Motown, and even things like jam bands, influence us on some level. There are some small elements of funk in there as well, which we are all huge fans of. As mentioned a little bit before, some of the newer stuff will have some more influences… even ones outside of the classic “rock” genre. But yea, good ole rock and blues were definitely at the heart of Devils.

We love taking rock riffs and sitting them in unexpected pockets. The soul and funk bands of the 70s were particularly good at that. We have logged many hours in the van listening to Buddy Miles and King Curtis.

What everyday living and love struggles have inspired the songs and lyrics on this record?

Most of the tunes try to find a common thread in an ordinary occurrence. Compared to our more recent material, it’s may not be as heady or nuanced, but still has some of the best hooks we’ve written.

One song in particular, “Let Your Mind Go” is specifically about that–dealing with life’s everyday struggles and not letting them get to you. Everyone has their own cross to bear, whether it’s your job, relationships, financial stuff, whatever. That song is about living your life and not letting the bullshit weigh you down. Throughout the whole record there is a recurring theme of facing adversity in some way or another. It might not be the focal point of a particular song, but there are bits and pieces of that all over the record for sure.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re constantly on the road and definitely have plans for a great Fall tour to support our next release which is titled Ghost Are Calling Out. There will be some pretty awesome show announcements coming up, that will include shows with Moon Taxi and Umphrey’s McGee to name a few. We are definitely getting pretty fired up for that Fall tour that will culminate with a huge hometown show/party in Charleston to celebrate the new release. In the meantime, you will be able to catch some great summer shows. Just head over to the website for all of the show dates.

http://www.dead27s.com/tour

What else is happening next in Dead 27s’ world?

We’ll continue to tour and play clubs and festivals. There are some pretty exciting show announcements coming soon and of course, the release of our new album, Ghosts Are Calling Out, will most likely be released sometime later this year. On top of finishing up the next album and playing shows, we will be just continuing to write and rehearse. Probably some good beach visits here in Charleston also.  It’s that time of year again, but man… it can get hot here in the summer! Also some gardening. Something about growing some fresh veggies, in particular tomatoes, in the salty Charleston air makes them taste extra special. So yeah, new album, writing, rehearsing, going to the beach and tomatoes.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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