An Interview with Elijah (vocals, guitar, synth, bass) and Dr. Nner (synth)
by Lex Marburger
Taking their name from an experimental animation short about a dead child (as seen in Spike and Mike's Twisted Film Festival), Deadsy is a deep, heavy band that incorporates elements of '80s New Wave and Dark Rock/Metal into a swirling mass of electronics and ultra-distorted bass. Their eponymous debut album is rich with low vocals, ear-piercing keyboards, and massive crunch.
Okay. The CD came in with no bio, no cover art, and no photos, so I don't know anything about you guys.
Elijah: That's okay. It will all slowly unfold.
I know it's my job to describe what you sound like, but I sometimes have trouble figuring you guys out.
Elijah: Morbid Angel meets Brian Eno. In Tron-land.
I was thinking more Type O Negative meets Gary Numan.
Elijah: The Type O thing, we want to take what they do and bring it to another level. We touched on it with this album, but where they have a more reverberated sound, we like to keep it tighter, more space age. It's a quest. We haven't hit the sound we hear in our heads completely, but our next record is going to blow this stuff away.
So, "Are `Friends' Electric?"
Elijah: Yes. Numan helped us out, but we try to use each of our influences in a synergistic equation. Like Eno's attitude, the way he proceeds. When I say "influences," it's not so much the songs or the sounds, but the attitudes. I love Roxy Music, not just for the sound and the songs, but because Brian Ferry is a classy motherfucker, and he can also rock so hard. The Eno I like is the Eno/Byrne, Eno/Fripp stuff. Anything he did past the '70s, except for My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, I didn't really get into. The whole "art" thing... We go about everything in this band like a great big piece of artwork.
You use all these old keyboard sounds, too.
Dr. Nner: It's an incorporation of all the things we've liked.
Elijah: Bauhaus, Numan, Morbid Angel... ultimately we find our identity from out of what we enjoy listening to. We're on a diehard mission to make the sickest thing possible.
Dr. Nner: I joined this band because Elijah took all his influences and tied them into one thing that rose above it all. He sent me a demo, and after listening to it, I just left and joined him.
Digital or analog?
Both: All analog!
Elijah: Nothing was MIDI, no sequencers! Not one second. But we hate Moogs. We can't reveal all the toys we use, but you can be assured that there are no Moogs anywhere on that album. I fuckin' hate Moogs. (general laughter) I'm gettin' T-shirts made that say "Fuck Moog." We love old Roland stuff. Prophets, JP8s... We also love doing covers. You can look forward to lots of those.
Speaking of covers, you sound a little like this one-off band called The Replicants, who paid homage to all the '70s and '80s bands, and used lots of old keyboards as well.
Elijah: You think so? Well, sort of, but they're all about guitars. They're more accessible, we're more relentless. But live is where we're always thinking. In a year, we won't be playing a single tune off this album.
Dr. Nner: It's a constant evolution. I wish we could map this out, it can get really confusing. We're onto something new every day.
Elijah: We're on a mission, to create this super, super crazy heavy huge music.
Dr. Nner: We're ambitious young guys. A little overbearing at times...
Elijah: The artery of this band is the whole New England Prep School thing. The whole legacy and prestige of New England, and these kids just coming up and smashing and robbing all the organization from it. All the debauchery, the uniforms, the crests, the blazers. We love all that shit. People might not understand all of that, but they will. It was only a few years ago. Renn was held back a year.
Dr. Nner: Elijah has done a great job saying that I'm stupid.
Say it was disciplinary. Not that you're stupid, you're a delinquent.
Elijah: That whole version of New England life, we're really into that. We went to prep school together at The Hyde School. We have two other members of the band... We can't reveal their names, but they're named after prep schools.
What, like Loomis-Chaffee and Cushing?
Elijah: Was that a guess? Our drummer is Loomis-Chaffee and our bass player is Chote Rosemary.
Dr. Nner: And every once in a while, Elijah will be Exeter and I'll be Miss Halls.
So does that mean your bass player does a lot of coke and then gets caught?
(bellows of laughter) Elijah: That's what we're talking about! That's why that world is so great! The debauchery! And on the weekend you can go home and get more money from your parents to go back and do more drugs. The usual concept of prep school is such a misleading idea! It's like college before college. Awesome. You understand us.
Dr. Nner: I think Lex is privy to this knowledge.
Elijah: We've done a bunch of interviews, and you're definitely the forerunner of understanding our incorporation of this life.
Well, I went to Cushing -
Dr. Nner: You did? Oh, Jesus!
So I know a little about someone taking bad acid at 4 AM and running naked across the quad in the middle of January (No Mom, it wasn't me).
Elijah: At last, we've landed!
Dr. Nner: Do you play bass?
Elijah: Here's the deal. That was us. We're the ones who ran the whole underground. The kids who were full New Wavers but still made the dress code. So we're taking that into this world.
Dr. Nner: We were the preppy punks.
If you had a choice, who would you want to tour with?
Elijah: There's no one, really. It would sort of be like the lesser of all evils. We will probably be touring this summer with a couple of big-name bands. Not like Pearl Jam or anything.
Dr. Nner: Journey asked us to go, but we turned them down.
Elijah: We're just kids. We can't relate to a lot of bands. But there are some I like. I'd like to tour with Korn, even though that's a different audience.
Any response from the Goth scene?
Elijah: Yeah, we got four stars in Propaganda. We want to take that scene, too. There's a heavy Goth thing in our music, but it's time to take it into the future. Time to put away all that lace and shit.