We’re living in a weird time with the current events of the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement. Everyone’s lives have been turned upside down. How are you currently holding up with everything that is going on in our world right now?
The first large chunk of quarantine time was spent finishing up the EP, so we would have mostly been in “studio lockdown” anyway even without a nasty virus out in the world. And lately it’s been getting everything prepped for the release, finishing up editing the “Parasite” video, etc. It’s been lots of work but we’re lucky to be able to do it almost exclusively from home.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been a long time coming & we hope real change happens in this country so we can all evolve & help bury systemic racism six feet deep. Since things have been so upside down with all of our lives due to the virus, we are hoping the silver lining in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement is that more people are paying attention than ever before since there are less distractions right now. In the meantime, voting the right people into office, donating where we can, using our platform to educate & talking to others around us that might not understand the significance of this movement is what we have been doing in that regard.
Besides that, we’ve been finding time to read/listen to podcasts/watch some movies+tv & talking long walks & drives. It’s definitely been trying since we do so much from home anyway and this is an even more intense version of that - we wish we could tour soon because it’s been rough not having that option as musicians.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
We both come from musical backgrounds - Tony has had a long career in the music industry with his band Eve 6 and producing and songwriting with other artists. Danyell took piano lessons & played flute from 3rd to 7th grade & came out of the closet as a singer in 2013 & started writing songs and performed around the LA area in a small local band. Both of us have had music coursing through our veins for quite some time!
How did Dead Posey come to be?
We knew each other socially for a few years before truly making music together for Dead Posey in earnest. Both of us were doing our own music and supportive of each others’ work, but hadn’t dived fully into working together until 2016. It just felt like the right time - Danyell had a vision for a new project with this dark, alluring aesthetic, and it felt right to do some songs with that in mind. Things started to click really quickly from then on, and we were off to the races. On top of that we also became a couple, and now a married one at that.
For new listeners of Dead Posey who may have just stumbled upon your music, how would you describe your band, and what sets you apart? Can you talk a bit about the sound transition from “Freak Show” to “Malfunction”, and what inspired it?
We’re a duo from the City of Angels (LA). Danyell is the lead singer/producer & Tony is the Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/producer. We make rock n roll music and enjoy anything subversive and twisted. We’re pretty in-house, doing everything from writing, recording and mixing to photo shoots and video edits mostly ourselves. For the ‘Malfunction’ EP, we pushed ourselves to not rely too much on sounds from our earlier work, while still retaining the core elements of what makes us sound and feel like us. To go with darker lyrical themes of the EP, it’s a hybrid of the gritty/bluesy influences of our past mixed with a new digital edge.
What is your writing process like?
We’ll both bring in our compiled ideas: guitar riffs and beats that Tony has stashed away, and lyric and sonic ideas that Danyell has concocted. From then on, we’re both in the trenches; for each song it’s like a tug-of-war of both our minds, constantly challenging each other to dig deeper to get to the real essence of what we want to say. While we’re both very interested in all the nuts and bolts of the production and sounds and all that, we try to get the core elements of the song (lyrics, melody, chords, feel) all dialed-in pretty early in the process so we have a strong foundation to build on. With this EP in particular, the actual songwriting happened very quickly – it was the production and getting things sounding just right that took some time.
Who/what are some of your influences and inspiration for your sound?
Sonically and lyrically, our inspirations are Depeche Mode, The Kills, NIN, Marilyn Manson, Garbage, Joy Division, The Doors, QOTSA, and many more. We took a few steps with this EP into a darker sonic place, bringing in touches of industrial sounds and synths to layer the songs further. Lyrically, we lean toward artists and bands that are truly provocative and have sensuality and depth to them. Our general artistic godfathers of inspiration are Salvador Dali, Edgar Allan Poe, and David Lynch.
There was a last minute change to the “Malfunction” EP cover art. What was the original concept and why do you feel that this alteration was necessary?
Originally, we had an actual brain scan of Danyell’s brain with a couple artistic flourishes as the cover. We came up with it in the middle of the recording process before the songs had become fully fleshed out. By the time we were in the final stages, the music was more vibrant than the cover, so Danyell came up with the concept in a moment of inspiration in the last couple days of work on the EP. We shot and edited the photos ourselves, and there it was!
Who are some of your favorite artists? If you could have a dream collab with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Fave artists listed in the previous question - but some more are Shakey Graves, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Cigarettes After Sex, Mazzy Star, and The Black Keys. Pretty much any or all of the artists mentioned would be incredible to work with!
In June, you released your new EP “Malfunction” with a coinciding music video for single “Parasite.” And you recently dropped a live UK performance video for “Holy Roller.” How has the process of creating music videos changed for both of you?
The visual element of Dead Posey is very important to us and always on our minds. David Lynch films, Edgar Allan Poe poems and imagery & surrealism photography & art such as Salvador Dali are all major visual inspirations. Often, when first working on a new song we are already discussing visual elements that go with it. Sight and sound go hand in hand for us, so we’re always excited to do music videos for the songs. Of course, due to the state of the world we were pretty limited in what we could do so far, but were able to make things work pretty well. For “Parasite”, we had some footage shot from some months back, and were able to fashion it into a music video for the song - editing all ourselves on Final Cut. We have a great animator working on a video for “Head Of The Snake” right now which we’re excited about.
What else can we expect from Dead Posey coming up this year?
Short term, it’s about getting “Malfunction” into as many brains as we can, using whatever tools we can to do so (livestreams, interviews, etc). Long term, we are starting to compile material for our first full length album that we are gonna be diving into soon. And then of course as soon as the world isn’t upside down we are looking forward to getting back on the road & touring as much as humanly possible.
Do you have a release timeline for a debut full-length album anytime in the near future?
Our hope is in the first half of 2021, with a handful of singles leading up to it (hopefully starting as early as Sep/Oct of this year).
What is one cause or organization that you are passionate about?
Environmental causes, helping the homeless (particularly here in LA), the Women’s movement, and BLM/racial equality are big ones. The world is in a state of real flux right now - there’s a lot of bad happening, but real change is occurring, and it’s important for activists of all stripes to be diligent for us to all evolve.
Some of your cited muses include David Lynch, Edgar Allan Poe, Salvador Dali, and Jim Morrison. What are your favorite David Lynch films and/or films in general? Favorite books? All-time favorite albums?
Favorite films are probably his “LA” works (Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway) - it’s hard to look at our hometown the same way after seeing those. David Lynch also has some music that’s worth a listen & a book called “Catching the Big Fish” that’s a good read. Poe’s poem “The Black Cat” is a fav & Salvador Dalí used to create these surreal photos that we love - one example is the naked women arranged to look like a large human skull as he sits in the frame with a black top hat on.
What is the main thing that you would really like for people to take away from your music?
To feel connected to something & make it their own.
Due to our current circumstances, live shows are placed on hold indefinitely and touring is at a standstill right now. However, many artists are finding new creative ways to interact with their fans amidst all of the chaos; utilizing their social media platforms to share content, check in with their audiences, participate in livestreams, perform songs and put on “virtual concerts”, and provide insight into their new routines in quarantine. Do you have any plans that are similar in nature, to help pass the time until shows are back up and running again?
We popped our cherry for livestreams when we did one on Twitch for SPIN Magazine around the release of the EP, and it opened the door for us to that world. It was fun to do and, though it will never replace actual live shows in front of audiences, it is a legit way to give fans some semblance of a performance. We plan on performing a couple cover songs stripped down over the coming weeks, and possibly another livestream or two.
Do you have anything that you would like to tell our readers?
Be kind to one another & we will get through this crazy ass time. Us humans are resilient, so cheers to the future.
Thank you so much for your time, Danyell and Tony! I really love the direction you’ve taken in “Malfunction” and I look forward to hearing more new material from you two soon! Stay safe and take care!
Many thanks and same to you, cheers!
Interview By: Bri Rodriguez
Photo By: Neto Velasco