Days N Daze answers questions from Leftover Crack’s Sturgeon:
*answers by Whitney unless otherwise noted
When did Days N Daze start, how long have Jesse & Whit known each other & when did you first pick up instruments & sing together?
Jesse and I met through mutual friends and going to local shows back in 2007 when we were both still in high school. In 2008 Jesse dropped out to move with me to San Marcos, TX where I started college. We didn’t really fit in the town so we just started writing songs together and playing open mic nights. Eventually, we started booking shows with punk and ska bands because we really weren’t sure what genre we fit into but it worked. We had always loved traveling together so touring came naturally. In the beginning, we would just knock on doors and ask to open shows in every city we went to, handing out our CDs for free anywhere and to anyone we could. We had found our place in this world and we found it together.
Were the first songs covers? If so, which songs? What was the first “original” DnD song?
The first song we ever wrote was a goofy song about our hometown, we named it H-town, for Houston obviously. In the song we rewrote lyrics of Snoop Dogg and Biggie, which we thought was super sweet. At our shows we would cover Neutral Milk Hotel’s song “Communist Daughter” and Rosa’s (which was a local Houston band) song “Hitched Up Kids.”
Which was the first “good” original DnD song?
I guess I would have to say “The Freedom Song.” We still get asked to play it at shows and it was the first song we ever heard anyone cover, which was completely mind blowing and still is. But honestly, I think they were all awesome; even the shitty ones. We were just stoked to be creating something out of nothing.
How often did clubs let you open up shows when you’d just show up & ask?
Surprisingly enough, the majority of the time! Some of the the promoters we still book with and have stayed friends over the years. Others weren’t very kind and completely unamused by us. In those cases, we would just set up outside the show and busk. It still amazes me what not giving a fuck and doing what you want can get you, and understanding that not everyone is going to like what you do and that’s alright.
When do you feel like DnD became more legit with your own booked shows/tours/followers?
I think once we got a clear lineup of who and what we wanted for our band, I think this was around 2010-2011, we made up our minds that we were a four piece, guitar/trumpet/washboard/
Was there a clear catalyst for the change?
This came in 2013 after the release of our full length Rogue Taxidery and when we had finally gotten a solid lineup with Meagan and Geoff joining the band. We never expected anyone to ever really listen to our band so the past few years has been a very surreal experience for all of us.
What’s your favorite drink & what’s your favorite song?
Whitney: Vodka Orange Juice and “Where You’ll Find Me Now” by Neutral Milk Hotel
Meagan: Mangonadas and pickle juice with vodka would be my two favorite drinks. Favorite song right now would probably be “I Saw The Sign” by Ace of Base.
Geoff: Purple drank and “Purple Rain.”
Jesse: Lone Star! I mean, it is the national beer of Texas, right? Favorite song currently “Pork N Beans” by Weezer. Favorite song of all time “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen.
Leftover Crack’s Sturgeon answers questions from Days N Daze:
Jesse: Can you explain your song writing process?
Well, it’s different for every band, record & sometimes song. The majority of LoC songs have been built from the drums first on a four track. Immediately after there is s rudimentary bass line & usually two guitars added that are playing different parts. Ultimately, the arrangement is extended or toyed with and another part, like a bridge, is added as the very last thing to be written almost every time; and often up until the vocals are being recorded are the lyrics & vocal melodies. Out of everything that we do, the main thing that is painstakingly researched, changed & rearranged for years at a time perhaps are the lyrics. That might seem like a lot of thought for some of my mediocre lyrics, but, I’m trying to convey a precise political message usually and there’s not a lot of room for abstract vague-isms. It’s usually not meant to read as poetry.
Jesse: Did the guest vocalists on the new album write their own parts?
Well, Blackbird Raum and Intro5pect wrote most of the lyrics to “Last Legs” and “The War at Home.” I wrote some of those, but they’re cover songs to an extent, especially with BBR who had written “Last Legs” without any knowledge that we’d cover it.
“The War At Home” was a collaboration when it was first recorded though.
Whitney: What’s your favorite experience with touring with other bands?
Obviously Days N Daze and All Torn Up! Make the best line-up for me personally. I feel like I have so much in common with both bands not just musically, but in our collective personal experiences. Whether it’s struggling to exist as an anarchist hardcore punk band in NYC, which is no small feat in such a gentrified, crowded and expensive place, or the struggle of being taken seriously as musicians and artists as a crusty traveller. I can relate to almost everybody on these tours from the straight-edge vegan to the most avid drinker or drug enthusiast. We like to think that we can bridge these gaps and promote an often unseen unity between what some would see as polar opposites, but I only see the many similarities and relativity that it’s obviously a positive symbiotic relationship.
Geoff: What’s your favorite film actor/actress and how do they inspire you?
That’s a tough one. I find it hard to relate to an art form that mostly has the actor or actress relying so heavily on the writing and direction of others. So, I guess that the person would have to write their own material mostly and I feel as though that is mostly seen in the world of comedy. I’ve answered this question before because it’s so loaded for your average anarchist, and I remember writing similar “hemming & hawing.” I’ll have to skip this for now and come back to it.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve acquired from a fan or friend on the road?
The confidence to be myself.
Meagan: Who’s your favorite Spice Girl?
Sporty Spice! Best singer and strongest “female personality” if that’s what you can call “Scary,” “Ginger,” “Baby” or “Posh.”
Whitney: How do you handle separating your personal life and your band?
Mostly I don’t. Outside of playing music and relating to people that either do the same with or without me, or who create art that clearly informs or is informed by the mostly “punk” music world, I have very few friends. It’s not because I’m a snob though. To be honest, I never really had any friends before I started playing in bands and I find that when I’m not touring or recording or rehearsing, I still have trouble finding people to hang out with me whether they have a typical 9-5 job that takes up their time or they are too busy creating their own music/art to hang out with someone they’re not actively collaborating with. Or the fact that I’m really a very antisocial person if there are no commitments or structure to my daily life. I often flee to Mexico or Central America to travel alone because I don’t know what to do with myself otherwise.
Whitney: What do you like about touring again since the new album and why?
I think that putting out “constructs” and having it be more or less well received in general gave us a reason to step up our game both in our concentration on our performance and our attention to the details of our new and old recordings. Introducing the keyboard has made it much more realistic to attain the multiple instruments that we had tried to duplicate live like the strings on “Life is Pain” and “Operation MOVE” to the organs throughout “Fuck World Trade” and our new record. We even started to sound check for the first time in our touring career. I thought that it would make me lose my voice more often, but it’s done exactly the opposite and we all play better when we can hear each other.
Geoff: What’s your favorite song on the new album and why?
I really can’t pick a favorite song. I like so many of them for different reasons. I like “Don’t Shoot” – it was the first music written for the album at the end of 2011 and it was the last to have lyrics because I’m not used to singing such sparse lines of lyrics. But I found that every other attempt at adding more words and with different timings and melodies all buried the simple charm of the music. Another song that I had the music for since 2011 was “System Fucked,” which I think came out great. I suppose my favorite though is “The Lie of Luck” because it was not only the last song written and recorded for the record, it was the quickest all around. From the decision to try an arrangement that was made up in a few minutes, to the tracking of the drums, bass and guitars within the same hour to writing the lyrics and recording the vocals the next day. Lyrics which happen to be some of the albums best in my opinion because they encapsulate and expand on the political themes of our lyrics that I find most definitive to our music along with the ideas that I hold most dear.
Meagan: What’s your favorite candy?
Definitely chocolate based. I would have to go with one of those hybrids of a classic candy bar. It’s either the Reese’s Sticks or the yellow Snickers that has rice and peanut butter in it. I mean, I think that those are both poison & should not be abused as sugar and other addictive substances tend to be. But, yeah, I guess that I haven’t seen a “Whatchamacallit” in years, so one of those others seems to be carrying the chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, puffed rice torch…
“Whatchamacallit” obviously still has the best name. Oh, obesity, I will curl up in your warm embrace again some lucky day.
Leftover Crack Tour Dates:
6/23/16 Toronto, ON Canada Opera House
6/24/16 Toronto, ON Canada Rockpile
6/25/16 Montebello, QC Canada Amnesia Rockfest Amnesia Rockfest Tickets
6/28/16 Edmonton, AB Canada Starlite Room w/ Days N Daze
6/29/16 Calgary, AB Canada Dickens Pub w/ Days N Daze Tickets
6/30/16 Calgary, AB Canada Dickens Pub w/ Days N Daze Tickets
7/01/16 Vancouver, BC Canada The Venue w/ Days N Daze
7/02/16 Vancouver, BC Canada The Venue Tickets
8/06/16 Hamburg, Germany Grosse Freiheit Tickets
8/07/16 Hünxe, Germany Ruhrpott Rodeo Tickets
8/09/16 Glasgow, UK Audio w/ Days N Daze, Critikill Tickets
8/10/16 Derby, UK Hairy Dog
8/11/16 London, UK Underworld Tickets
8/12/16 Bristol, UK Marble Factory Tickets
8/13/16 Winchester, UK Boomtown Fair Tickets
8/14/16 Manchester, UK Witchwood
8/16/16 Saarbrucken, Germany Garage Tickets
Stay updated on Leftover Crack’s tour dates here.