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?
Southampton, England. I’m not sure about everyone else.
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 individually?
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 endless.
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 release.
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?
Permanent 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 readers?
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?
Physical 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 goodbye.
(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
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013