What is your name and role within DZ Deathrays?
Simon Ridley – Percussion / Hospitality Rider Enthusiast.
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I live in Brisbane, Australia. The music scene here isn’t the biggest but it’s a very supportive, eclectic one and I think it’s because of that there are a lot of amazing artists constantly coming out of this town and onto the national/international touring circuits.
How did DZ Deathrays form?
Shane and myself were initially in a 3 piece band however once our drummer left we then decided to start a new project just as a two piece and that was it.
What’s been happening recently?
This year started with us recording our new record: Positive Rising: Part 1 in Los Angeles. Then we came back to Australia, did a 3 month regional tour before hitting up a few shows and festivals over in Central Europe. Now we’re just about to go into the studio again to finish part 2 this month.
Your new album Positive Rising: Part 1 will be out August 30 via I OH YOU, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
A major influence of both parts has been the introduction of our session guitarist Lachlan Ewbank joining the writing process. He’s been quite the driving force behind the record and we’re all really happy about the overall outcome of the tracks because of it.
How did you go about writing the music and how long did the album take to write?
We began writing mid 2017 and tried to get ahead on demoing it before the release of our last record Bloody Lovely. Then we continued writing in between tours for that album.
Where and when did you record/produce and master and who with?
We recorded the album in L.A. with Miro Mackie in his studio in North Hollywood. We wanted to get out and try something different to the last few records we had done at the Grove Studios which are like an hour out of Sydney.
How did you approach the recording/production process?
Miro has a pretty set format for recording so we stuck fairly close to that. Basically working 10am to 10pm for about two weeks straight. A bit of recording everything each day, burritos for lunch and ending with a nice whiskey night at the end of each session.
What did you find most challenging and rewarding whilst creating this album?
I think just getting the US visas to record it in America was the hardest part. Everything else was actually pretty great! I think having Lach on board and us all working together as team was the most rewarding part. We also had a bunch of friends come into the studio and add extra parts. Kirsty Tickle was able to come in and put down some backing vocals and Sax. Matt Caugthtran also came in and put down some vocals which was something really special for Shane and myself as we’re massive The Bronx fans.
What programs/instruments did you use?
It was a fairly standard Pro Tools setup. We kinda just used whatever gear they had at the studio as we were limited to bringing our own due to the flights. I think the main plugin we got behind was Sound Toys’ Valhalla Reverb. That’s in there a fair bit.
What did you learn through the creation of this album?
I think each time we just push ourselves to see what we can pull off without taking the band too far from what it is that we and the fans enjoy from it. So for this record adding things like saxophone and having friends around brought the vibe up.
You’re touring Australia in October/November, how do you prepare for live shows?
Drink the rider and crack dumb jokes along with a couple of stretches. We’ve got a great team with us now so there’s not a lot of stress backstage and we’ll do a few days pre production to make sure everything is going to work for everyone involved.
Any shows in particular that you’re looking forward to playing?
I love playing at the Forum in Melbourne and this is the second time we’ve been fortunate enough to be able headline so I’m very excited to get back in there. We’ve never played at the Astor before so I’m also looking forward to how that goes too.
What do you like to do away from music?
I don’t really do much else to be honest. Pizza and movies with the Mrs.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Press Club, Alkaline Trio, Electric Zebra… I guess I’m going through a bit of punk rock thing again according to my Spotify history.
What’s planned for the late 2019 going into 2020?
We record Positive Rising: Part 2 this week.
Release Positive Rising: Part 1 at the end of the month.
Album launch/signing parties start of Sept.
Eu/UK headline tour in Sept/Oct.
Aus headline tour Oct/Nov.
US/Canada tour in Nov/Dec.
European tour with The Darkness in Jan/Feb.
Then a few more tours that aren’t announced yet along with the release date for Positive Rising: Part 2.
Any secrets that you care to share?
My Wifi password is: 6E36FBD890. (Go easy on the torrenting please!)
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Thin base pepperoni pizza, Mountain Dew, my couch.