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Austin's Deathray Davies work harder than you do

Photo courtesy of Glurp Records
The Deathray Davies is neither death ray nor davies ... discuss. This indie rock band continues its tour, opening for The Posies at Plush on Sunday at 9:30 p.m.
By Michael Petitti
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 8, 2005
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The Deathray Davies is all that's right with indie music. The band members are lifers dedicated to their art, and the results can be seen in their tremendous output. Officially a band since 1999, The Davies has released five albums (most recently The Kick and the Snare) - if you're counting at home that's nearly an album a year, or more albums than Tool has released in their 15-year career - toured the country repeatedly (often as a supporting act for bands like Superchunk and The Breeders) and the members have maintained their day jobs.

Recently, Davies shaker and noisemaker Kevin Ingle spoke about life in the ever-prolific band, after wrapping up a day's work at his marketing job. Ingle notes that as all the members are committed to making music in their free time, their futures are almost sealed in stone.

"Yeah, I think it seems since we're on that path there's really no choices anymore," Ingle said. "I think after this tour we're going to start putting down tracks for the next record."

The tour Ingle speaks of just began yesterday in San Francisco, but the band is already preparing its post-recording tour plans.

Of course, this kind of relentless quest to constantly record all stems from the fact that frontman John Dufilho is about as productive as they come. The band came to fruition after Dufilho sent in a solo demo tape, disguised as his band The Deathray Davies, to the curators of Austin's famous South by Southwest music festival. Shockingly, he was accepted and had to compile the real The Deathray Davies, in some cases stealing musicians from other bands.

Now, Dufilho writes the lyrics and the skeletal outlines for the songs, with the rest of the band coming together to make them into full songs.

"John kind of comes up with the formulations for all the songs, and we go into the studio and knock it out," Ingle said. "He usually has a pretty solid idea for the song and then everyone contributes their own thing."

The band is also known for its exuberant, fun and raucous live shows, which Ingle finds particularly enjoyable.

"Live is always a lot more enjoyable," Ingle said. "You're not as focused about freaking out about sound, and you're more into having a good time and having fun. Live, our music is really rawer and more abrasive and bashed out and drunk, not quite as clean."

The sound, on record, that Ingle is referring to is what makes The Deathray Davies so special. Not only does its output seem to equal the older rock acts of years past, but its sound is certainly seeped in the British Rock Invasion sound of early Stones, The Kinks and The Yardbirds. Ingle cited two other influences that align perfectly with The Davies' simple and exciting music (plus, these bands put out their fair share of music in their time).

"I think we're all kind of influenced by Guided by Voices and The Ramones and things along that vein," Ingle said.

The band's future includes, of course, more recording and hopefully some touring through the Midwest.

"We're just kind of waiting to see," Ingle said. "We always plan, and plans always get changed so we never get married to anything."

What you can take to the bank is that The Deathray Davies will continue to do its thing long after its contemporaries and even bands it's played with have hung up their gear. Plus, the members will keep their day jobs.

"(Making music) definitely is a full-time thing priority and timewise," Ingle said. "We just have to supplement it with working."

See The Deathray Davies at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., with The Posies Sunday. Tickets are $10. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Call 798-1298 for details.

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