It seems that whenever the California-based band Deadsy hits the studio, complications ensue. In 1997, the band’s first release was placed on the back burner while the record company changed ownership. In 2002, after a second and third struggle, the debut album “Commencement” was released. The road to a sophomore follow-up also contained its share of obstacles.
“We had no label for a while,” singer and guitarist Phillip Exeter Blue I said. “We could have made the record on our own, but I did that before and don’t ever want to do that again.” Time passed, and more delays on both the production and writing ends of the process lead to of “Phantasmagore,” which finally dropped in August 2006.
With Blue at the helm, Deadsy is additionally comprised of Dr. Nner on the synthesizer, Carlton Megalodon playing the z-tar and guitar, drummer Alec Pure, and Creature on bass. Deadsy’s “undercore” style is summed up by Blue as “heavy metal and space rock with synthesizer.”
Older fans will notice that the original entity logos representing each member of the band have been replaced with a single, unifying logo. The band has also left behind its entity-themed uniforms. “We channeled Lou Reed and that jaded, early 70s junky goth vibe before lots of 90s rockers with the goth look,” Blue said. “We were always into Lou Reed and that kind of flavor.” When asked how he would explain the entity concept to new fans, Blue stated simply, “I wouldn’t bother with all the madness. The entities were an allegorical thing from “Commencement” and were left with “Commencement.” Now we’re filling the role of guys in black who are just fucking playing the music.”
The style and outward appearance aren’t the only transformed component of Deadsy. “The sound changed in quantum leaps and always will,” Blue said. “We’re not satisfied with yesterday and today; we’re looking forward.” One of the great things about the band is that they can create music that will appeal to someone who has never heard of them and still retain the support of those who have listened since day one. Blue calls the new music ” more guitar-oriented with more punk-inspired rock.”
True to his word, “Phantasmagore” starts strong with “Razor Love,” an energetic track with “carpe diem” spirit and transitions to “Carrying Over,” a song with an explosive, catchy chorus that tempts the listener to skip the build-up of energy in the first verse and go right to the heart of the song. Deadsy also does a great cover of the Rolling Stone’s “Paint it Black,” using Indian instruments to, as singer Blue phrased it, “capture the song’s essence.” Songs like “Time” show that Deadsy has retained its ability to write thought-provoking lyrics on philosophical or religious questions.
“I think every song is already written somewhere and you have to listen for it and then you’ll start to pull it out of thin air,” Blue said. “Bob Dylan thought he was a medium of the music and I feel the same way.”
Since the release of the new CD, Deadsy has been on the road. The band was part of the line-up for the 2006 Family Values Tour headlined by Korn and Deftones. Deftones then asked Deadsy to open for them on their fall tour. “We’ve always been musicians’ musicians,” Blue said. “John Davis [of Korn] and Chino Moreno [of Deftones] saw what we’re doing and know where we’re going with the music. We’re not writing for the radio. [Our music]’s about art, not bullshit, and creating something that moves people spiritually and mentally.”
After the Deftones tour, Deadsy plans to make a music video in the beginning of 2007. The rest of the year will be spent on the road, beginning with a headlining tour in Europe and Japan. Though the Deadsy/Deftones show in at the 9:30 Club on December 4 is sold out, fans are still invited to get in contact with the band for a meet and greet. “We want to thank the Legions (fans),” Blue says. “They are the lifeblood of the project. We really appreciate their devotion.”