Believe or not, a couple members of Austin’s the Trey Stapleton Band started out listening to the Beach Boys and playing in ska bands. Their sound could not be further from those styles. It’s country, it’s rock, and it’s great! Keep an eye on these guys over the next year as they gear up to hit the recording studio and play more shows! To get to know the Trey Stapleton Band, please listen to our interview below. Check out the band’s website, http://www.treystapletonband.com.
Happy Thursday everyone! I’m back with part two of my interview with local band Dangeresque. Last week, we covered the band’s halloween costumes, among other things. This week, we get a little more in-depth about the past, present, and future of Dangeresque. Listen and read below!
Upcoming Dangeresque shows
2/14 – Trailer Space Records – Austin, TX
2/23 – The Prophet Bar – Dallas, TX
3/1 – The Parish Underground – Austin, TX
Rory: So, what have y’all been working on recently? I understand that you released an EP recently on Bandcamp and…so just talk a little bit about that and anything else you’ve been working on recently.
Alex: Tomorrow we get our, uh, reel…our analog reel in the mail and we’re gonna record our next EP this weekend. That’ll be called “Die Dangeresque Die,” and it’s pretty much already worked out and…so we’ll record that this weekend and then…we record at our buddy’s place an analog, reel-to-reel everything…mixing and mastering setup…I think we have ten minutes left on another reel, and I think after this reel we’ll have maybe ten more minutes and so we have a couple of songs we might try to put out as singles…We’ve been planning this EP for a while and we’re pretty focused on that I think…We’ve been working on some new songs almost every practice.
Adam: Our last EP was called “Boots.” We put it out on Halloween and, uh, we did the same recording process for that that we’re gonna do for our new one…That one is available online and it’s also available on tape. We got it printed onto cassettes. And if you buy a cassette then you get a free digital download obviously. Maybe not obviously, but you get one!
Brian: You can get one!
Rory: So, on “Boots,” Brian was telling me a little bit about this, there’s a song called “Ice Cubes and Alcohol.” It sounds…here’s what I wrote down: it sounds like a fucked-up country drinking song…So, what the hell is up with that song? Were you guys wasted when you recorded it? What’s goin’ on?
Brian: I didn’t say that…
Adam: We were wasted when we wrote it, when we recorded it. We try to get drunk before we play it but sometimes it doesn’t always work out.
Ben: Yeah I mean, there existed at one point a version of “Ice Cubes and Alcohol” for the EP where it’s just so painfully obvious that we were just completely wasted.
Brian: Mostly in the vocals.
Ben: It’s mostly just me [howling]…constantly throughout the whole song. And the song’s ruined because of it, because there’s like 47 [howls]
Alex: I guess you could say that was the first Dangeresque song that was ever written…because we wrote in 2009 or something?
Adam: Yeah, something like that. Alex and I were on a trip…visiting my sister in Albuquerque, New Mexico…and Brian’s cousin, Will, who we’re really good friends with [and] we grew up with him, he was there too…We were supposed to go to the store to get something when my sister was doing an errand, so we didn’t get whatever we were supposed to get. We just got 40s instead…and at some point during the night someone said…I think it was Alex who actually said the phrase “Ice Cubes and Alcohol” and we were like “Yeah, that should be a country song.” There was a guitar right there, so I picked it up and I was like “Bam! This is the song!” and we were all just really drunk, uh, trading off verses…We had the chorus, we wrote the chorus that night…
Alex: The chorus is rock-solid.
Adam: It has stood the test of time. The other verses came a little later.
Alex: It was kind of like a party song for a while where it would get played and we’d do the chorus and Adam kind of had some verses…it was just kind of like chorus [then] some random person just makes up a verse. And usually it revolves around ice cubes and alcohol.
Ben: That’s kind of like your focus.
Adam: You always want to bring it back to ice cubes and alcohol. It all comes back to ice cubes and alcohol. That’s just a fun, country drunk song…That’s a good one, I am fond of that one…That one’s a big fan favorite I think.
Alex: When we play it live with our buddies, The Gorgeous Hands, they always get onstage and help us sing it too…the more people singing drunkenly about how much they love to be drunk, the better. I dunno, call me crazy!
Rory: So, you guys record on tape. So, when you record, you record all at once? There’s no separate tracking?
Adam: Uh, there is some separate tracking. We have the ability to record…because, basically, when you mix it all down at the end of the recording, at the end of the editing and recording process, and that’s when you bring all the tracks together…This next time we’re going to try to record everything together and try to just do it that way, because live sound is kind of what we want to capture.
Rory: I just have a couple more hard questions then we got some more fun ones. So, what makes Dangeresque unique? Is there anything that you guys think sets y’all apart from every other band ever?
Ben: I feel like in a lot of ways…most people when they think of bands, they’re not really imaging as the band and how the band interacts and all that stuff because you’re just hearing the music. But I think as people we are definitely set well apart from other bands because I just feel like we have a different attitude about music than most people.
Alex: Yeah…we bring it together and definitely, I think, feed off of each other in ways that maybe a lot of bands don’t where it’s like each individual member writes their piece and then they bring it together and fit it together at that point. But we kind of all do it together because we share things…to me, it always feels like a sharing process. So, one of us is really bad, then I guess all of us are really bad.
Brian: I’d say the thing that really draws me into this band is, like, the camaraderie we have. Not just in hanging out, but when we’re playing. We all definitely feed off each other…somebody just has a cool lick, or like a riff, and they’re just kind of dicking around on it, everyone sort of comes behind it and brings their own voice to what they’re doing. And all the songwriting happens so organically. It never feels forced when we’re writing a new song, it just kind of happens. So, it’s just…it’s a lot of fun.
Ben: Yeah, we are very much on the same wavelength…once that little funky lick starts that starts off the jam, everybody picks right into it and we’re fuckin’ off, five miles down the road already, dust in the air. It’s awesome.
Rory: Cool. Alright, so, some fun questions. What was the drunkest/rowdiest show you have ever played?
Ben: That was…rough.
Adam: We played a show at Beerland and things just weren’t goin’ our way. So we responded by just getting as drunk as we could.
Brian: Completely, irresponsibly drunk.
Adam: And before we showed up, we got really drunk too.
Alex: The problem that that show, I guess, showed us was when you play last you need to, like, not as drink much earlier…If you play first, it doesn’t matter because you get there and you maybe have time for one beer, but we had enough time for ten beers.
Brian: But, in our defense, by the time we went on…was it on like a Tuesday or something or like a Wednesday night? And we went on at like, what, 1:15 in the morning? Like, there was no one there! The only people that were there was like the sound guy, bartenders, and then the other bands that played…like a couple of members of that band.
Alex: They did say that that was the worst/best show they’ve ever seen and, I don’t remember it. That’s not something I intend to do, but it happened.
Brian: We did it.
Adam: That’s why we all got sober.
Rory: Oh, you’re sober now?
Adam: Clean and sober.
Rory: Alright, when was that?
Adam: That was…November? November.
Ben: Not that long ago!
Rory: That’s one of the drunkest months of the year, man…Um, so if you could open for anybody, dead or alive, who would it be?
Adam: He draws a huge crowd!
Alex: Currently, I would like to open up for Spoon. I think that would be pretty sweet…But dead…fuckin’ Beethoven.
Brian: We’re basically the same kind of music.
Alex: He’s very aggressive. As a composer, he’s very dark.
Ben: James Brown…that would just be insane.
Rory: Alright, so, James Brown’s my favorite so I’m just gonna use that one for the next one. Um, so, this is really for anyone whose listening. Why should I go…why should I show up early for the James Brown show to see you guys open?
Alex: Because we’re going to set the mood. We’re going to set the mood for James Brown. We’re gonna be super good, and he’s gonna be like “Shit. I’m gonna have to be even better”…And then he’s gonna be even better and, you know…we’re gonna make him nervous.
Adam: We’re just gonna tee it up for him…Basically, he’s gonna get a big softball. All he has to do is knock it out of the park.
Alex: And I think that’s what an opener should be. Everyone’s like “Oh shit. Are they gonna be better than the big band?” And then the big band has to step it up and they’re like “Fuck these guys…Why’d they have to be good?” And since they’re the big band, they know how to do great stuff. They just knock it out of the park. And it’s kind of just like “Good job, both bands.”
Adam: But the thing is, people really go crazy when we come on stage with them during their encore…that’s when the house really comes down.
Brian: Literally comes down.
Alex: And then a year later, James Brown’s opening for us!
What do Fun, Marty McFly, and Emma Watson all have in common? They’re all involved, willingly or not, with Austin-based band Dangeresque. I define their music as an unhealthy mix of punk, country, and good old fashioned rock & roll. But Dangeresque’s persona is truly defined by the high energy and positive attitude they bring to their music, two important qualities that are perhaps unparalleled in Austin. Their message is simple: all good things in excess, including music, booze, and fun (but not the band Fun).
If you truly want to get to know Dangeresque, listen to part one of our interview below. Check out their music at http://dangeresque.bandcamp.com and pick up a copy of their most recent EP “Boots.” Look for a new EP this spring and be sure to attend one of their shows to get the full experience! I heard a rumor that the band will be providing beer on their Valentine’s Day (2/14) show…
Upcoming Dangeresque shows
2/14 – Trailer Space Records – Austin, TX
2/23 – The Prophet Bar – Dallas, TX
3/1 – The Parish Underground – Austin, TX
The written transcription of part one is below…Look for part two next Thursday!
Rory: Give a little history of the band…How did you guys come together? And also, how the hell did you come up with this name “Dangeresque? What’s that all about?
Adam: Dangeresque is a lovely little reference…Any internet savvy fan can find the origins of it, but it has to do with our childhood, and it’s sweet and totally badass. Um, we started…Alex and I had this wacky idea to move down to Austin a couple years ago, three years ago actually. And we messed around for a while, worked through different lineups, finally convinced Brian to join us and then once Brian was in, Ben knew it was legit. So he moved down to Austin and he joined up as well…Alex and Ben both moved from Denton. I was living in Los Angeles at the time and I moved back to Austin.
Brian: I got involved after we hung out at FunFunFun Fest.
Adam: Yeah, I ran into Brian at FunFunFun Fest…
Rory: What year?
Brian: Uhhh, 2011?
Adam: Yeah, 2011. I was like “Brian, you play the drums? Uhm, do you have a drumset?”
Brian: And I said “Yes. I do.”
Adam: And I was like “Do you wanna play with us? And see if you maybe you wanna be in our band?”
Brian: And I said “Absolutely.”
Adam: So he came over and after a couple of songs Alex and I did a telepathic exchange, and we asked Brian to be in the band.
Alex: Yeah, officially. Which I don’t think we ever did for Ben… [laughter] Well we literally started as a two-piece with Adam and I both on guitar and singing, and a keyboard with a drum machine in it and then we got a different drummer and a bassist. And then we went back to Adam and I, then we got Brian and we were a three-piece for a while…with no bass so we’ve had a lot of…changeups, but ever since Ben joined it’s been…it’s been good.
Ben: Pretty much solidified exactly what we are now.
Alex: Yeah, pretty much cemented it all together.
Rory: Describe Dangeresque’s sound for me in your own words.
Alex: Aggressive. Exciting…fun?
Adam: Fun, I think, is a good word for it.
Ben: Yeah, it’s very fun…it’s exciting
Alex: It’s like a good fun.
Adam: It’s fun, but not like the band Fun.
Brian: Right. Nothing like the band Fun. [laughter] Very different.
Ben: What it really does boil down to though is…the thing that supports the band and the sound, really, is just a really solid friendship. A very tight bond. And when we get up onstage, it’s not about anything else than us just having fun with each other and seeing where we can take it, and what kind of wild shit we can get into. End every set with a round of high fives just cuz, it’s just hangin’ out.
Adam: It’s fuckin’ right.
Ben: It’s the right thing to do.
Rory: Who do y’all listen to in your free time? Not necessarily…maybe it doesn’t sound like Dangeresque.
Adam: We actually put an ad out on Craigslist when we were looking for a drummer, and uh the three bands that we said we were really influenced by were the Pixies…
Alex: Oh, I wanted to do them at the same…
Adam & Alex: the Black Lips and the Rolling Stones.
Adam: So, those are three bands that we are definitely quite fond of.
Brian: I would say that our musical tastes are actually pretty broad. We don’t just listen to Black Lips, Pixies, Rolling Stones.
Adam: No, no, no. That’s maybe more indicative of our sound…who we try to emulate musically. Who are you into right now, Brian?
Brian: Right now? I’ve been listening to a lot of Tame Impala…the new Toro’s pretty sweet.
Adam: Toro y Moi is great…I always listen to a lot of the White Stripes…Spoon! We love Spoon. Spoon is awesome, Spoon’s great. What else? Right now we’ve been listening to a lot of rockabilly. Some good old fashioned rockabilly. And we like some reggae, some dub-reggae man.
Rory: So, Austin has a very eclectic music scene, as I’m sure hopefully everyone in Austin knows that. Maybe people outside of Austin don’t. But, how do you see yourselves fitting in to Austin? With all the different music…each night you could go to a different spot and see something different. How do you guys see yourselves fitting into that?
Alex: Austin is really, really weird because there’s just so many bands and there’s not too many “scene” peers. It’s more like we fit in with our, I don’t know, just our attitude basically…It’s less about the music when you’re in this scene with these people that we’re in with.
Adam: We get put on these bills with bands that I feel like a lot of times we’d be like “Why are we playing with them? Musically, we don’t fit together.” But then you see the show and it makes sense, more in terms of energy and, like Alex said, attitude. Something about that is kind of what’s separating us right now and, yeah, it’s hard to say where we fit in because, in Austin, there’s a ton of rock…every band is a rock band…
Alex: I think sometimes we probably feel like we don’t really belong to a scene here.
Ben: When somebody’s asked us what we are, we say “rock.” To the Average Joe, that means…nothing. It means nothing.
Alex: It means Nickelback.
Adam: Yeah! Rock is Nickelback, it’s the White Stripes, it’s U2, it’s the Rolling Stones…it’s the Sex Pistols. Where are we in that? Maybe we don’t know where we fit in. Maybe we don’t fit in in Austin.
Alex: We fit in on a wavelength that we share with certain people, kind of like same ideology and commitment to music. But, I don’t think that we really have anyone I’d say is…
Adam: Maybe we just haven’t found ‘em yet.
Alex: At least, maybe not in Austin.
Rory: So it’s all about attitude and energy.
Adam: One of our best band friends is the Gorgeous Hands. That’s another band that we are friends with…
Ben: It’s like our sister band.
Adam: Yeah! We play with them a lot, we’re good friends and everything. We do a lot of shows together, and they are very different from us. They just have such a different sound.
Ben: They have a much poppier, lighter sound. It’s focused on a lot of harmonies.
Alex: Onstage, they come across very similar to us.
Adam: Yeah but onstage…it’s this attitude of just really enjoying the moment I think, and really embracing the community aspect of the show. Like, you really feel like you’re in it with the crowd. You’re not just performing for the crowd, you’re playing a song and you’re with the crowd. They’re all there too…It’s a good experience, I think, when we get on a bill together.
Adam: In Dallas at Prophet Bar, we’re doing a CD release for Samantha Crain. She is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Oklahoma…She’s been in the industry forever. She’s really young, I think she’s younger than us. And she’s been in the industry with other bands and stuff for a long time. But I think now she’s going on her own…
Ben: She’s got some buzz!
Adam: She’s got some buzz, and we got lucky enough to be asked to play the show to open for her. So, we’re super excited about that.
Ben: This will also be another one of those instances where…we’re not really anything like what she’s doing. I feel like we’re going to be a lot different from her…we’re going to play to the crowd though.
Rory: I think one good thing about playing in Austin is that…there seems to be a lot of people here who listen to a lot of different stuff. So, even if you’re on a bill with someone who maybe sounds different than y’all, maybe that’ll open you up to new fans.
Ben: Absolutely. We like to try and cater our sound to that sometimes…well, not that much but we do like to do that, and it’s interesting because we’ve had…we played specifically like at a show at Club DeVille once. When we went in there we were like “Oh, we’re pulling back. We’re not being that ‘Dangeresquey.’” And the sound guy there was like “Oh my gosh, that was amazing you guys. You gotta do a residency.” And we got this residency at Club DeVille and it’s been a really huge blessing getting that.
Adam: The residency was back in October…It was awesome! We got play on Halloween night. It was sweet. We all wore costumes.
Ben: I was Parker from Alien.
Adam: Alex had a fat suit.
Ben: He was a fat boy scout.
Brian: I was Chance from Homeward Bound.
Adam: I was Marty McFly from Back to the Future.
Alex: We putting on little themes for a show where I guess it’s never really told to anyone else.
Ben: For special shows we end up building up this silly hype or get some schtick that’s just involved with that show. We had a show we were making a poster for…and I included a picture of Emma Watson on it..we were tweeting about it, we were like “Emma Watson’s coming tonight!” Onstage, we thanked her again.
Adam: “Emma Watson! We are so glad you could be here tonight! This next song’s for you!”
Brian: I don’t think anyone got that.
Alex: Well, maybe people thought that she was there at the show because I think we very genuinely thanked her for being there.
Ben: Yeah we did! We said it a few times. It was awesome.
Adam: If she’s listening, thank you again Emma Watson
Rory: We’ll have to make sure to get this to her people, man. She’d love to hear that.
Hey all you Austin music lovers, I would like to introduce the newest member of the Austin After Dark family Rory Burbeck. Rory will be hosting a bi-weekly show highlighting new Texas music artists and great places to get a few drinks. So check in every other week for Thirsty Thursday with Rory Burbeck. To get you ready here’s an interview Rory did with up and coming Texas artist Zach Nytomt.
Founder of Austin After Dark
Zach Nytomt describes his music as “soulful, swampy, and soothing.” Based on what he’s showed me so far from his upcoming album “Love Street,” his music is as he described it. But there’s much more to it than that. The one statement that stood out to me during our interview was this: “Texans are not afraid to do things different.” Read it again. Digest it. While some of you more ardent Texans may be screaming “DUH!” at your computer screens, this quote is applying more and more to Texas music. And Zach Nytomt may be leading the way.
A lot has changed since he started playing open mics in San Marcos and Austin a few years back…He has quietly built a solid fan base throughout the state, has just finished recording the aforementioned debut album, and is looking ahead to big things in 2013.
Although Zach has been busy recording and absolutely killing in his live performances, he found some time to sit down with me for an interview. Who is the person behind the music? Why does it matter? To find out how Zach got here and where he is going, follow the link to our conversation below.
Austinites, Zach assured me that many live performances are in the works for this year. Stay tuned, and keep an eye on his website: http://www.zachnytomtmusic.com
It’s time for another weekend here at Austin After Dark. I hope everyone had a happy and safe Independence Day celebration. As much fun as I had having a day off in the middle of the week where I didn’t have to pretend to be sick it’s really throwing off my weekend state of mind. As much as I fly by the seat of my pants I still do have a few routines I tend to stick to and having a Wednesday off has really thrown a kink into my schedule. It might be hard to believe but I’m not a big fan of doing a lot of work on a Monday. With yesterday off I’ve got two Monday’s this week, but that’s a small price to pay to have two Friday’s. I guess the only solution is to get out and see more music tonight; that always works. On to the weekend picks.
Friday starts off with a hard rocking show at the Dirty Dog featuring Street Light Suzie, Broken Teeth, Hyde Park Showdown and Chronolung. This a great lineup with veteran talents like Broken Teeth to the new generation in my favorite young rockers Chronolung who just keep getting better. Erik Larson and Peacemaker return to the Mean Eyed Cat. Erik mixes his past in rock and roll with a base in country and puts out a sound everyone can enjoy. Threadgill’s has Suzanna Choffel and Kacy Crowley. This will be a beautiful show as the sun sets and these songbirds serenade the crowd. And there will be some funk and soul at Frank with Whitey on the Moon and Ryan Harkrider & the Nightowls. You’ll be dancing, singing, jumping and of course partying when these bands bring the good times.
Saturday beings with the Folk of July Fest at the Mohawk. This show will feature a mass of great folk, indie and more all day long including Hello Wheels, Kalu James, Leopold & His Fiction, David Ramirez, Slowtrain and many more. It should be a picture perfect scene with Vallejo at Uncle Billy’s on the Lake. It might be a bit hot but the fans will cool you down as you rock out with a great band and a great view. Suite 709 has a CD Release at Antone’s with Ben Baxter, Tje Austin and Deep Ella. Suite 709 has kept improving on their sound that combines soul, rock, and some R&B and have created a great new record to show it. Finally Aimless Gun plays out on the patio at Little Woodrows at South Park Meadows. Aimless Gun is perfect for a summer night under the stars bringing country, rock and a whole lot of fun.
Welcome to First Spin, a look into a new Austin album every week. This week I sat down with Haydn Vitera from Movimiento Rockero. We take a look at their new compilation CD “Movimiento Rockero 2012”. You can get more info on where Movimiento Rockero will be having shows and get info on their CD at http://www.movimientorockero.com. Keep up with Austin After Dark at http://www.atxafterdark.com. To hear the entire interview and some tracks off the record click the player or subscribe to us on iTunes.
It’s time for another weekend here at Austin After Dark. I’ve been trying to figure out all week what’s more annoying, complaining about the heat or complaining about people complaining about the heat. Never the less you can tell it’s really hot and everyone is talking about it. Musicians playing underneath lights anywhere this summer you get me sympathy but please, bring some extra deodorant for the after party. In all seriousness remember to stay hydrated if you are out at any of the wonderful shows that will be outside this summer, your friends may give you grief for drinking water but you’ll feel much better the next day. Now on to some cool picks for the weekend.
Friday starts with The Soldier Thread and Zeale at the Parish. The Soldier Thread and Zeale have both been taking big steps over the past year and this a great opportunity to see these two bands before they start touring more regularly. Hotel Vegas has Roxy Roca and Hard Proof Afrobeat. This will be a great combination of funk and soul with amazing musicianship to top it off. And the Scabs return to Antone’s with Leopold and his Fiction and Black Pistol Fire. Still my favorite project by Bob Schneider thee Scabs continue to pack the houses and get the whole room dancing.
Saturday begins at the Lucky Lounge with Blessing and the Curse. Blessing and the Curse brings a unique style of softly written songs brought to the stage with massive power. Foot Patrol is at ND at 501 Studios with Afrofreque. Foot Patrol will be performing a sure to be entertaining tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Bad”. And finally Frank has Befriend the Bears, Rikavista and The Chorderoys. Frank once again puts together a lineup of quality bands for an affordable price that is worth every penny.