Interview: Keeping Jazz Alive with Demon Days

Friday, September 14, 2018

In the thick of their 'Magic Eye EP' tour, I had a chat with loveable and crazily talented Perth band Demon Days. We talked Jazz, their EP and live performing.

You are in Queensland’s capital for BIGSOUND, was that the Brisbane leg of your tour? How many dates have you done so far?

Bella: We had one in Adelaide — did a City Sounds in Brisbane and had a Perth show.

How are you finding tour life? 

Bella: It's very tiring and exhausting. But the shows are fun — it's kinda just the in-between that's strenuous.

Marley: I think you need to just remember to treat yourself.

Bella: Before we went on tour I got a massage.

Some bands want to give their audiences two different experiences. One with the EP and one being the live show. How much will the live show differ from the recorded version of Magic Eye. Will Demon Days gives us extended sections and go free-jazz on us?

Bella: We have a lot of improvisation in our set. The solos you hear on our EP will not be played live.

Mark: We try and keep it pretty loose keeping, true to the jazzy vibe. Our loose structures make it easier to play with each other and interact.

Bella: Compared to how chill I come across on the EP, I'm pretty energetic on stage. I think it comes from my dance background — I just want people to party with us.

The EP is very Jazz influenced, which is a genre that mainstream media sometimes ignores. How important is it to keep those genres alive?

Bella: I think we have those Jazz influences by accident. I personally write to how I'm feeling and I don't really care if other people like it. If they do, then that's great. But I think for us, it's very important to make music that we like playing. You can tell when a band likes what they are playing. You see it on stage when they are enjoying themselves.

Marley: And I think our influence has always been the Hiatus Kaiyote kind of thing. We're kinda just trying to put our own individual spin on it.

Mark: To a degree, I feel like it's just in our system.

Marley: We gravitate towards those kinda sounds naturally.

Bella: That kind-of LA hip-hop sound or early-jazz.

Even if you don't end up sounding like every single one of your influences, I find little specks exists somewhere. Do you have a favourite song on the EP that perfectly mixes them all and gets you all really excited?

Bella: I think everyone has a different song on the EP that they like.

Mark: I like '6056' a lot because it feels the most us.

Bella: That song does feel like us the most, but I like 'Moths' purely because I think it's beautiful and very different to everything else on the EP.

Whether intentionally or not, the Magic Eye EP is full of messages, especially the lyrics containing feminism chronicling the struggles and being strong as a woman. How important was it to you to express those messages?

Bella: Well, all my lyrics are autobiographical — I never write about things that aren’t true or that I haven’t experienced. I try to write from a place where I know I resonate with and obviously feminism is a huge part of that, being a female in a highly male-dominated industry. I have grown up learning how to overcome all the challenges that come with being female. Also, I went to an all-girls school, which can come with a nasty culture of competition, hence the meaning behind 'Daria’s Smile'.

Thank you for hanging out with me today! 

Bella: No thank you for having us!

Written by Roy Gordon (@yorgordon)

You can listen to Magic Eye by Demon Days below:


You can catch Demon Days at the below shows:
16th September - Clancy's Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA
12th October - Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA
Check out more information here

You can read our review of Demon Day's EP Magic Eye here