DAD on Memes, The Edge & Christopher Reeve

They’re not like a regular dad. They’re a cool dad.

Meet the punk/thrash metal band from NYC, DAD. Their music is a hefty serving of guttural vocals and throbbing hardcore punk riffs and beats. Though their gritty melodies feel like a scolding father, don’t let that intimidate you—these guys are actually a bunch of friendly misfits that skip the dad jokes and go straight for the long con.

“I was working as a janitor at an elementary school and I saw these three guys and they were dropping their kids off and I was like, “hey guys, you wanna start a rock ‘n’ roll band?” DAD drummer Jeremy Duvall jokingly tells BTRtoday about how they all met. “They were like, ‘ehhhh, we got these kids here …’ and I was just sweeping around shit all the time, so why not start a band?”

They actually met through playing in other bands in the music scene. The name DAD came from Watson being the “band dad,” which basically just means he handles most of the responsibilities. However, even with a band dad, these guys are like Lord of The Flies—chaos with no adult supervision.

This anarchic take on life, however, is unexpected when you hear the severity of their music. Though truly riotous, their most recent single “Domesticate Me” is an intricate haze of dark and brutal mayhem. Its intro of raw distorted guitar and the chaotic drums under frantic throaty vocals makes it seem like it could lead to crazy nightmares.

DAD plans to release singles this summer and a full-length album before the end of the year. Even if they say their newest album as a meme would be Bad Luck Brian, their music says it’s going to be a riotous and threatening force of metal. In the meantime catch them at Rubulad in NYC on May 26 and Clash Bar in New Jersey June 1 and read the entire interview with them below.

DAD, “Domesticate Me”

BTRtoday (BTR): So why the name DAD?
Jeremy Duvall (JD): Because we gave life.

James Watson (JW): We were hanging out at The Rookery and we all had other bands. I said, “I’ll be in another band, I just don’t want to be band dad.” You know what that means. I don’t wanna do all the work.

Jon Murphy (JM): James is band dad and uh… he took the role pretty quick. So, we kind of just called it DAD based on the fact that James is band dad.

JW: I didn’t want to be band dad.

BTR: How did you guys meet and come to form?
JW: David and I have been playing in different bands, temping in different bands, and doing all kinds of stuff for years. Like, [for] a long time. Jeremy and I have been jamming in a couple different bands for a while. But I knew Jon from the bar for forever. Jeremy, David and I had a side project that was three out of four [members of DAD] and then David and Jon and I started and brought Jeremy in after this other guy [on drums] disappeared.

JM: I was doing Makeout Club and we have been done for a while so we just came up with the idea of like, “let’s do something.” I needed something to do [musically] so I thought, “yeah, me, you [David] and James.” They were like “yeah, let’s do it.” So we started playing, having rehearsals and then Jeremy came on a little bit later. We were really happy to have him.

[Pause]

JD: Boring! I was working as a janitor at an elementary school and I saw these three guys and they were dropping their kids off and I was like, “hey guys! You wanna start a rock ‘n’ roll band?” and “they were like, ‘ehhhh, we got these kids here…’ and I was just sweeping around shit all the time, so why not start a band?”

JW: And then I sold of my landscaping business and my shares in the traveling agency on Wyckoff Avenue…

JD: By “landscaping” he means men’s hair. It’s called “manscaping” really. It’s not really landscaping.

BTR: Do you all share a love for the hardcore/metal sound?
JW: Hate it.

[All Laugh]

JD: Best answer!

JW: Nah nah nah, it’s cool. Actually, it’s an example of four people with different influences meeting in the middle and it comes out in an interesting way.

JM: I’ve always been a fan of metal, I just never had an opportunity to expand on it. I was listening to Converge and Some Girls and all this shit when I was a teenager. But I’ve never been in a metal band before this.

JW: I wanted it to be like Jesus Lizard, but louder.

JD: I liked punk rock when I was a kid. Then I started listening to Phish [and] I did a bunch of drugs and then my musical choices were not very good from there on. Then I decided, “what am I doing with my life?” Once that trip ended I realized it’s rock ‘n’ roll music and not being a janitor.

JM: Whatever it takes to not be a janitor.

JW: Or a landscaper.

JD: Manscaper.

BTR: Who are your inspirations?
JW: Well my inspiration has always had one underlying theme and that is to not be like Phish.

[group laughter]

JW: Solid fucking answer. I mean, it’s pretty obvious, you know? It’s pretty metal but the metal bands that I aspire to be like are usually a little more than just metal.

: Whenever The Edge started wearing a beanie, that’s what influenced me the most, that kind of music. Yeah, I just want to be The Edge when he started wearing a beanie.

JW: We actually call him The Edge when he won’t turn off the delay pedal.

[JD laughs]

JD: Yeah!

JW: That’s fair, right Jon?

JD: Ohhh… shots fired.

JM: I never turn off the delay pedal. It’s always on. You never turn that thing off.

JW: Modular foot switch!

BTR: What’s your typical creative process like?
JM: Yelling at each other, all the time.

JD: A lot of arguing and a lot of beer consumption.

JW: I’m usually on the deck smoking cigarettes until I listen through the wall and they’re actually playing the same thing for, like, more than a minute, and then I jump in.

JD: That’s probably the most honest answer.

[group laughter]

JW: I’m just waiting for my children to learn their Toys ‘R’ Us plastic instruments so I can be a dad and rock out with them, you know?

JM: Yeah, there’s a lot of riffs being thrown around. We wait till James stops giving us a stern look and then we know we’re doing it right.

JW: Oh that’s so true, actually. So I can mumble into the mic and make no sense. As long as they’re tight, I can do that shit and it’s fine.

BTR: What’s up with this upcoming album?
JM: Well, it’s done.

JW: Terrible. Terrible.

JM: [laughs] We recorded an album.

JD: It’s the greatest thing you’ve never heard.

JM: It’s probably the greatest album of all time.

JW: It’s the greatest thing you can’t post on Facebook.

BTR: Try anything new with it?
JD: Yeah. We tried to make it not suck.

JW: I mean, I tried a producer that I wanted to work with for like, years. John Meredith.

JM: I told David to play more than three chords and that was a new thing.

JW: Props to John Meredith.

BTR: Have a favorite track?
JD: All of them.

JM: I think “Hitchhiker” is my favorite track. “Hitchhiker” and “Money Will Roll” Wait, no, no, no…

JD: That’s not even our song. [laughs]

[JM laughs]

JM: “Hitchhiker” and “May Cause Health Problems” are my two favorite tracks. Maybe “Doomeater,” but I guess you’re gonna have to hear it whenever it’s released.

JW: “Doomeater” after I wrote my parts in the fucking studio, I really like it. Took me forever to figure that out.

BTR: Did any real life stories inspire the songs?
JW: Jeremy saw Christopher Reeve get thrown off a horse when he was a kid.

JM: Yeah he actually saw it.

JW: That’s actually … Alright.

[All Laugh]

JD: Wait a second.

JM: He was in the same park as Christopher Reeve…

JD: Alright. Alright. Wait a second… I was at the same horse race that Christopher Reeve happen to be at and there were jokes made about kryptonite around him. It wasn’t a good experience.

BTR: If you had to describe the album as a meme, what meme would it go best with?
JW: The Bad Luck Brian. You know, “no custody battle.” [All Laugh] I was thinking it could say “Bad Luck Brian,” but then it could say, “This Album Isn’t About You”.

JM: If Bad Luck Brian was our child, then he would be our album.

JW: Doesn’t bode well for the album.

JM: Bad Luck Brian did pretty well … on the internet.

BTR: What should we keep an eye out for in the future of DAD?
JW: Music videos and house shows.

JM: Lot’s of yelling at each other.

JD: Lot’s of yelling. Lot’s of fighting. No moms.

JM: Tons of shows. More releases. Tons of releases. Sick merch. A lot of calls from unnamed government agencies about your taxes. That’s gonna happen.

JW: I wrote a song called “You’re All Getting Audited.” It’s not a positive song.

JM: DAD doesn’t file taxes.

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