Interview by Sarah Williams.
Leeds louts Daves knocked our socks off at Strummercamp earlier this year, so we had to get to know them better. There’s been a rumble in the underground about them recently, and it’s well-deserved. If you’re not a fan of Daves yet, I suggest you get them in your ears immediately.
Mixing up interesting hardcore grooves, stripped-back acoustic segments and classically punk rock vocals, Daves have fostered a unique sound that’s at once lo-fi, lamenting and loud. They’re one of Shout Louder’s top discoveries of 2019, read on to learn more.
Let’s start with the obvious: why are you called Daves? As I understand it, none of you are actually named Dave. Have you ever been accused of false advertising?
- Drinky: Yeah, it seems to anger people… but mainly by people who aren’t called Dave. We haven’t been taken to court yet, but I’m sure the bastards will come for us one day!
After watching you live recently, I was very impressed. You’ve got a great mix of hardcore and more more melodic, grungy post-hardcore elements. Which bands do you feel have inspired your sound?
- Drinky: I was raised listening to a lot of protest music really, my dad being quite political, so it came from Billy Bragg to Rage Against The Machine. But now it’s mainly Taylor Swift.
- Zach: Cliffy Byro, PUP, Green Day, Gallows, Manchester Orchestra, Spice Girls.
- Jaz: Face To Face, Rancid and Refused.
Lyrically, you seemed to address some issues around mental well being, without being morose. Are there any topics you gravitate to when writing?
- Drinky: I just try to be as honest as possible. I kind of take what I would be scared to tell someone, then write that in a song. I think being honest with others, especially in my music, could help other people get through similar situations and know they aren’t alone. Otherwise whatever’s making me angry, generally fascists and politics.
You’re based in Leeds, which is traditionally a hot-bed for top-quality underground acts. Could you give us a brief band history lesson?
- Zach: Drinky and I have been playing with each other for about 14 years in various forms and, after getting a little tired of each other, we needed to spice things up in the musical bedroom and add a third party to the mix. A few years back we found everything we needed in our already good friend Jaz: the sugar to our spice and everything nice.
You’ve mostly played shows in the North so far – in a dream world, where would you most like to tour?
- Drinky: Anywhere as long as I don’t have to drive. The US would be rad, I’m sure Trump would invite us for tea.
- Zach: Anywhere that’ll take us.
You’ve got your own coffee! That’s an unusual bit of merch, especially for a band who’s just starting out. What inspired that?
- Jaz: Zach is the coffee guy! He came round to mine one morning before a show with his brand and stuck a Dave’s sucker on it. We posted this and, in no time, my phone was ringing with people from the industry asking if this is a thing? Well, it is now! Plus it makes awesome espresso martini.
- Drinky: Check out Total Roaster which is Zach’s company and make your own coffee! We might get some tea bags next just so we’re not discriminating.
What have been your most successful and disastrous live shows so far?
- Drinky: We’ve been lucky since we’ve started really, I think from having experience in other bands we haven’t fucked up too bad. We’ve been too pissed at a few shows and not sounded good. Success wise again we’ve been lucky lots of great shows for us, Strummercamp was an honour to play and thanks to TNSrecords for that.
Tell us a secret about Daves.
- Drinky: None spring to mind, we’re quite open on stage about how we’ve badly tattooed eachother. We’re open books really.
What are your hopes and dreams for Daves in the future?
- Drinky: To continue to enjoy it. We try not to put too much pressure on ourselves really. Hopefully we’ll have a new release ready for the autumn time and be round and about playing plenty of shows. But hopefully all that leads to world domination and eventually one of us dies then an acoustic album and tour because we’ve blown all our money.
- Other than that just to have fun and meet awesome new people in our amazing scene!
Interview by Sarah Williams.