Dead Rabbits interview with Thomas Hayes

November 30, 2013

Dead Rabbits interview with Thomas Hayes

A sonic tumbling cacophony of perfectly planned and executed
psychedelia that skirts both shoegaze and drone while remaining firmly planted
in their rock’n’roll roots, Dead Rabbits do not disappoint.  Yet another member of the growing roster of
insanely talented musicians on Fuzz Club Records, Dead Rabbits debut album The
Ticket That Exploded
is quickly garnering attention amongst both listeners and
the industry.  The album itself is a
delightfully exploration into an area where the Jesus And Mary Chain would be
as much as home as The Velvet Underground or The Brian Jonestown Massacre for
that matter.  Which isn’t to call Dead
Rabbits derivative in any sort, they have a well-honed sound that is undeniably
all their own.  They’re gaining momentum,
working on a follow up to the nearly sold out The Ticket That Exploded and
prolifically writing new music.  I
recently had a chance to catch up with one of the founding members, Thomas
Hayes, and discuss all things Dead Rabbits with him.  Do yourself a favor and make sure you’re
listening to the album when you read this, you deserve some good music today
and I guarantee that this will fit the bill!
Listen while you read: 

What’s the band’s
lineup?  Is this your original lineup?
Neil and I
formed the band, since then we’ve had a few members come and go.  Just under two years ago the lineup we have
now got together, Me (Tom), Neil, Suze and Paul.
Are any of you in
any other bands?  Have you released any
material with any other bands?  If so can
you tell us about it?
Paul is in
another band, apart from that there’s nothing else.
When and how did
you all meet?
Paul, Neil and I
have been friends for a long time, since before for the band.  We knew the same people, went to the same
places and liked the same music.  Then we
were looking for a drummer and Suze got in touch.
What led you to
form Dead Rabbits and when was that?
Neil and I were
both recording music individually, when we got the chance to play together it
worked.  We started writing and recording
together, then in 2011 the band was formed.
What does the name
Dead Rabbits mean or refer to?  How did
you go about choosing it?
Dead Rabbits is
Neil’s name.  We were both making music
individually, Neil was recording under the name Dead Rabbits and it ended up
sticking with us.
Where are you
originally from?
England.  I’m not sure about everyone
Where is the band
located at now?
We all live in
Southampton except Suze who lives a few miles down the road.
How would you
describe the local scene where you are at?
There’s always a
lot going on, plenty of good venues. 
There’s no distinct sound though, a range of things.  Some of it’s good, some is just as bad.  Seems to be a lot of music coming out of the
city but I’m not sure it’s to do with any scene.
Are you very
involved with the local scene?
We play local
shows.  We put together our own
shows.  I put together one recently
though I’m not really involved in the local scene that much, it’s more just
friends who happen to play music as well.
Has it played a
large role in the sound, history or evolution of Dead Rabbits?
I don’t think it
matters where we are or what’s around us, we’d still be making the same music.
Can you tell us
who some of your musical influences are? 
There’s a lot of different stuff I can hear echoed in your music.  What about the band as a whole rather than as
We share a lot
of the same musical tastes, though we all listen to different things as
well.  That’s probably one of the reasons
you can hear so many different influences. 
Influences on the band as a whole, Jesus And Mary Chain, Chocolate
Watchband, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Velvet Underground, the list is
Can you talk about
Dead Rabbits songwriting process a little bit? 
Is there someone who comes to the rest of the band with a somewhat
finished product to work out with the rest of your or is there just a lot of
exploratory jamming?
We don’t have
any set method of songwriting.  It often
involves Neil and I bringing in our own ideas, playing them together and seeing
what works.  When we write like this I
tend to take what we’ve come up with and bring it all together.  Sometimes when we all get together ideas come
out of nowhere, we start playing whatever comes to mind and it works.  They’re usually the best ones.
Early on you
released a lot of your music for free via digital mediums, specifically
Soundcloud.  I know there are demo
versions of “Vanilla Skies”, “All You Need”, “It’s All In Her Head”, “I Think I
Know”, “Nothing Lasts Forever”, “Suicide, Severn”, “It’s Good” and “Just Like
Me” still posted there but don’t seem to be downloadable anymore.  However I also know there was a nineteen song
collection of recordings that was offered for free download in 2011, were any
of those tracks used for The Ticket That Exploded your debut 12” released by
Fuzz Club Records?  Are there any plans
to make all of that material available digitally or via a physical release in
the future?

All those songs
were recorded as demos.  “Heavenly Way”,
“M M B”, “When I’m Blue” and “It’s All In Her Head” were all recorded again for
The Ticket That Exploded.  We’ve got a
lot of new material recorded, including some re-workings of old material.  If we ever feel the need to look back again
then we will, but for now the new material is our main focus.
You released an
EP, Just To See You, in 2012 I believe. 
Can you tell us about that EP? 
What was the track listing, were a lot of those songs from the
Soundcloud and YouTube channels utilized? 
What format was it released on? 
Who released it?  When was it
originally released and how was it distributed?
It was a
collection of songs Neil and I recorded together as demos in a very short space
of time.  We ended up releasing it as
download through Flower Power Records. 
They were keen to put out some more of our music, so this EP is what we
gave them to release.
You also had some
music hosted on www.flowerpowerrecords.com, along with The Underground Youth,
who I just interviewed, and Black Karma Market who are the only ones who still
have music hosted for free on the site. 
Was that some of those early recordings that had been previously
released or were there some original recordings hosted there?  How did the collaboration with Flower Power
Records come about?
Flower Power
Records is Black Market Karma’s record label, in 2011 they asked us to join the
label.  We released six EPs containing a
mixture of previously released and unreleased songs.
Can you tell us a
little bit about the No Rights EP from 2012? 
I know it was acoustic and I believe it consisted of some songs you had
previously recorded electrically but I’d love to hear full details on the
The EP was
recorded but never actually got released, maybe one day.  But for now you can probably find some of it
on YouTube.
There was some
talk of a split 12” with KVB in mid-2012 and songs were even posted from the
upcoming release that was supposed to be on Mannequin Records.  Is that release still going to come out or
have those tracks found their way elsewhere?
As with the No
Rights EP we recorded five tracks but the release never actually happened.
You re-recorded
the track “When I’m Blue” for the Reverb Conspiracy Theory Vol. 1 which was
released by Reverberation Appreciation Society. 
Why re-record the track?  Do you
plan to re-record more of your old songs for future releases?
Like I said
before we’ve already re-worked and re-recorded a few old songs.  With “When I’m Blue” I thought it would be
fun to record a different version specifically for the Reverb Conspiracy.  The album version and the Reverb Conspiracy
version were recorded around the same time. 
It was fun to record the same song in two completely different ways.
Let’s talk a
little bit about the recording of The Ticket That Exploded.  It was an amazing album and I’m really
curious to hear how it was recorded! 
Where was it recorded?  When was
it recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?
Half of the
album was recorded live at a local studio and the other half was recorded at my
home studio.  We wanted to capture as
many aspects of the band as we could.  We
recorded half the album live, so we could capture that sound specifically,
bringing the stage to recording.  The
setup for the whole record was our standard live setup, two guitars, a
drum-kit, bass, keys and one vocal.  The
half of the album recorded at my studio was completely in my hands.  Neil and I worked on ideas, he would record a
few of the guitar parts and I’d take it from there.
It was originally
released by Flower Power Records in January digitally and on CD, when did you
decide to release the album on vinyl?  Is
the CD version still in print?
The album was
set for release on CD and digitally on Flower Power Records, then Fuzz Club
came and asked if we’d like to release the album on vinyl via their label.  Splitting the release between the labels was
the plan, but that fell through so we had to make a decision.  The music Fuzz Club was putting out was great
so we jumped on board.  We’ve got a very
limited amount of CDs, there’ll be some available via Fuzz Club soon.
Are there plans
for a follow-up or any other releases coming up?
We’ve been
writing and recording like crazy since before the release of the album, the
next record is coming together.  Nothing
is set in stone but we’ll definitely be releasing a single followed by an album
in early 2014.
With the recent
international postage increases where’s the best place for our US readers to
buy copies of your music?  What about
overseas and international readers?
Records are based in the U.S.  They’ve
got some copies of The Ticket That Exploded on vinyl in stock, or if you just
want to download the album go to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etcetera.
What do you have
planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?
We’re busy
recording at the moment, though we have a few dates booked here and there in
December.  Taking a trip to Switzerland
just before Christmas will be fun.
You have played
with some really amazing bands, who are some of your personal favorites that
you’ve shared a bill with?
The Warlocks
were amazing, The Blue Angel Lounge as well, Band Of Skulls were good, that’s
me personally though, I know the rest of the band liked Yuck.  It’s hard to pick a favourite.
Do you have any
funny or interesting stories from live shows that you’d like to share with our
Those who saw us
play a couple of years ago may have witnessed some funny moments.  Playing music that didn’t sound like what I
wanted, whiney managers, too much drink; it often resulted in my guitar taking
a flying lesson.
Where’s the best
place for our readers to keep up on the latest news from Dead Rabbits like
upcoming shows and album releases?
Facebook and
twitter are the two most up to date places to go.
There’s something
irreplaceable, almost magical about physical releases for me.  Having something to hold in your hands,
artwork to look at and liner notes to read all serve to make for a more
complete listening experience, at least for me. 
Do you have any such connection with physical releases?
releases are definitely preferred, a download is never going to be treated the
same.  Downloads are practical, but
there’s definitely something special about having some music that both looks
and sounds special; art in its own right.
Do you have a
music collection at all?  If so can you
talk a little bit about it?
My digital and
vinyl collections are always growing. 
Financial restraint is the only thing slowing it down.  Neil has a far broader collection of music
than me though he seems to have something new every week.
You’ve released
music on CD as well as vinyl at this point. 
Do you have a preferred release medium?
Not really,
vinyl is great but not everyone has a record player.  Listening numbers are cut straight away.
I try to keep up
with as much good music as is humanly possible, who should I be listening to
from your local scene or area that I might not have hear before?
There aren’t any
local bands that I love, though there are a few good bands.  Maths & The Moon and Spectral Park are
friends, so I’ll mention those.
What about
nationally and internationally?
I don’t
know.  There’re loads.  I’ve got no hidden gems; the internet has
taken care of that.  This year I’d say
I’ve listened to Goat and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s last albums more than
anything else.
Is there anything
that I missed or you’d just like to talk about?
We’ve covered a
lot, all is well.  Thank you and
(2011)  Dead Rabbits –
Just To See You – Digital – Flower Power Records
(2011)  Dead Rabbits –
Heavenly Way – Digital – Flower Power Records
(2011)  Dead Rabbits –
Self Destruct – Digital – Flower Power Records
(2011)  Dead Rabbits –
I Love You – Digital – Flower Power Records
(2011)  Dead Rabbits –
Look Inside – Digital – Flower Power Records
(2011)  Dead Rabbits –
Better Things For You – Digital – Flower Power Records
(2013)  Dead Rabbits –
The Ticket That Exploded – Digital, CD, 12” – 
Fuzz Club Records
©Jeff Moh
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013
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