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Discourse on purpose with Daisybones

Photos and feature by Lauren Khalfayan, find more of her work here

I play this game with myself all the time I like to call “Is it that deep?” For Daisybones, the answer is a resounding “no”. The garage-rock, jangle-surf outfit from Lowell, MA resorts to basement ready satire jams who’s real meaning (or lack thereof) might float over the moshers’ heads, but no one seems too concerned about that. We froze our asses off outside of Trans-Am and talked about their new album Gold, if art needs to have purpose, and creative constraints while jumping off random shit.

People have strong feelings about this, so potentially polarizing, but does everyone know their zodiac/astrological signs?

Dillon: Virgo

I was wondering because listening to it, I don’t know if you all write the music and lyrics or how that’s split up…

*everyone points at Dillon*

You do both?

D: All

My inclination was Scorpio or Pisces but I was clearly wrong and know nothing

D: I think my rising sign is supposed to be a Scorpio. I had a girl who did my whole thing

Birth chart?

D: Yeah

Yeah some people are not into it at all. But I found the album very interesting because… did you go into making the album with the intention that it was going to follow a very specific theme and then you created the songs or did you have a body of work that you selected specific pieces from to be a part of this record?

D: I had a general idea of what I was trying to accomplish and then I would just kind of write stuff and see how it would fit into the record. I wrote the last song first, we basically wrote it immediately after we wrote the first record, and then we started trying to write the first song to the record. I remember reading somewhere, I think it was Earl Sweatshirt who said he wrote the last song first because then he knew how he wanted it to end, but then he wrote the first song so he knew how he wanted it to start, so I wanted to explore something like that. So I wrote the first song and then I was just mostly thinking of pacing and literally at one point just writing songs like “We need a track seven”.

So very formulaic

D: It’s like kind of dumb how meticulous and calculated it actually is

Dumb in what way?

D: Like I can’t believe I did that to myself (laughs)

In terms of driving yourself crazy? 

D: Yeah. I like the idea of putting limits on stuff and then being forced to explore things within a confine. I think that’s a really great way to access so different ways of creativity. Some form of like improvisation within a structure.

I thought it was interesting that the album was described not as a coming of age story, but a post-coming of age tale. What was the thought and feeling about focusing on that sentiment? What about post-coming of age makes it so much more significant or impactful than coming of age?

D: Well I think it’s mostly to do with the fact that it’s mostly where I see myself. Like the way I describe this record is it’s simultaneously the most personal and impersonal ever; the whole record is written from personal experience but the way that it’s written is supposed to be dark humor and satirical. So it’s like me being cathartic and simultaneously making fun of myself. In that regard I would describe it as post-coming of age cause that’s where I’m coming from right now.

As an artist where do you think the balance is between satire and finding true elements of yourself to share?

D: I think the best way to do it… I mean a lot of people don’t realize that it’s satire. A lot of people talk to me and say the music means so much to them, which is cool, they’re allowed to do that. I think the best kind of satire is satire that holds some kind of truth. And sometimes satire isn’t saying something is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just looking at something from a different point of view.

On the album you talk a lot about youth and innocence and the loss of youth and innocence to these other vices or demons. The romanticization of youth — what drew you to speaking about that topic?

D: I don’t know. There is a certain aspect of romanticization of youth and innocence, but I think it’s more used as a literary tool as a contrast to other aspects of growing up. Because growing up is essentially just relative. So you need that basis.

Relative in what way?

D: Well maturing as a person is all relative. If you grew up as the oldest child and your dad wasn’t around and you had to be the man of the house or whatever then you’d probably be grown at a young age so by the time you’re thirty you’re like I’ve already been grown. So maturity is all relative. Different people probably equate maturity to different aspects and different attributes to a personality and character traits. SO it’s all subjective and relative, but for brevity’s sake, it’s easier to say young and innocence and by contrast to just say the opposite, where everything else lies

Do we think that all art needs to have a purpose

*collective no’s and yes’s and kind of’s*

D: We’ve talked about this, but most of the shows we play are basement shows and so those are shows people go to to bring drinks and see friends and party and all that. On the outside, this music does sound like energetic, that kind of punk style. Everyone wants to bounce around and dance to it and some of it sounds a lot happier than it might be. So in that sense, there’s a lot of purposes and non-purposes colliding, but also good music is good music. So if it comes out good it doesn’t really need to have a purpose

What quantifies good?

D: Our taste. We have control of everything so far so that’s good

Is there fear that’s something you’ll lose control over?

D: No cause if we were ever compromised by anything we just wouldn’t do it

Strong moral high ground. So you mentioned “Daiquiri” — a lot of the songs have not blatantly obvious titles. What was the thought process behind that.

D: Basically all the songs don’t have any particular meaning to them. They’re just working titles that got through the filter cause when I come up for a part for a song, I’ll just voice record it on my phone and I’ll have to name it. So it’s just whatever random words come to mind or what I would describe it as.

Jordan: We also just spend time yelling out random words at practice. I think “Crush” was like that

D: There are a lot of songs that were titled just by looking at the room and pointing at something

J: “Art has purpose”

Is there any shit you guys never get asked to talk about that you want to?

D: Don’t litter.

J: Don’t take anything too serious. One thing that bugs me, not that bugs because I’ve done it before plenty of times, I should think everybody has [done this] as a band, but I think one thing we do very well is on social media we put off this image that we don’t really care about anything. Like this is just a show. It bothers me sometimes, again it’s just a personal thing I guess, but when a band writes essays or long posts about like “thanks so much for coming to the SHOW! So much support!” and like no offense, but it was just a bunch of homies there. When we released the first record, we made a quick mini paragraph like thanks to the people that recorded, thanks to the people that got us our first shows, and that was it. Nothing too big. But behind everything, it’s all very meticulous. We have a point with what we do, but we kind of put out the image that we don’t if that makes sense?

Lucas: I think everyone needs to, for their band, create their own image, and when you make it so personal where every show is the biggest day of your life it flatlines you a little.

D: To add to that, a large aspect as to why I think I would quantify us as moderately successful is that I’m having the time of my life. I get to travel with my best friends and play some music that I like. We’re kind of like having fun with it. There are obviously aspects to take seriously, but at the end of the day we’re just in it for the ride.

Find more of Daisybones on Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp.

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