Mannequin Death Squad & DZ Deathrays Interview Each Other

Mannequin Death Squad & DZ Deathrays Interview Each Other

Celebrating their collaborative single ‘Safe and Warm’ the two bands chat touring, guilty pleasures, songs they wished they’d written and more

Image: Top - DZ Deathrays; Bottom - Mannequin Death Squad.

Announcing their new album with an absolute bang recently was Naarm/Melbourne-based rock/punk duo Mannequin Death Squad, announcing their sophomore full-length alongside blistering new single Safe and Warm, featuring none other than longtime faves, DZ Deathrays.

Opening with a menacingly EQd guitar riff, Elly Vex’s powerful vocals soon enter the mix before the EQ’s taken off to let the fat riffs reach their full potential and pummeling drums join the party. Giving off big, anthemic vibes, Elly and DZ’s Shane Parsons trade vocals in a punk rock call and response fashion.

Speaking on working with DZ Deathrays for their new single, MDS say "'Safe And Warm' explores the lengths that people will go to stay comfortable and not inconvenienced, even if it's to their downfall. Shining a light on reliance and control, it explores how complacency can be exploited in all areas of life. Listening back, the song definitely inspires us to become more self reliant and responsible for our own destiny, free of external control. It also feels like a battle between weakness and strength that pulls back and forth throughout the 2 minutes and 39 seconds of guitar-driven chaos.

The idea for bringing in Shane (DZ Deathrays) was really fun too. The song was pretty much finished, but we felt it needed an extra edge and level of play. We immediately thought his vocals would fit the vibe and intensity of the song. We love the DZ stuff so it was cool to have him DM us back on Insta saying he's keen to be on the track. We absolutely love how it all came out."

The new single comes alongside a fun and frantic music video that captures the intensity of Safe and Warm, with quick shots and rapid fire editing propelling things as the band jams out.

To celebrate the release of Safe and Warm, Mannequin Death Squad and DZ Deathrays asked each other some questions for Pilerats!

DZ Deathrays asking Mannequin Death Squad

Tell me about playing at a festival in India; what was the highlight of the tour there?

It was an amazing time. Soundchecking at 7 am in the foothills of the Himalayas was pretty insane, and then playing headline slot for an hour to a few thousand people was next level. They all sang the words back to us so it was very special. Finished off the night with a rave in the forest with heaps of new friends. That made for a rough trip home the next day, haha.

What’s your live set-up? Are there any tricks to getting your massive sound as a 2-piece?

We keep it pretty simple because so much can go wrong with only two people running things. We both play drums and guitar and swap halfway through the set. We run our pedal board through a guitar and bass amp and switch between them with an AB pedal and a micro pog to drop it down an octave. It's kind of like Royal Blood except for the opposite because they use a bass, I think. We also add a fuzz pedal to make it slam into the heavy bits: good fun but lots of pedal dancing.

Each member of the band’s guilty food pleasure while on tour?

Elly:
UK - Ploughman's cheese and pickle sandwich every day.
AUS - Rebel Whopper meal (with a voucher code, lol) from Hungry Jacks.

Dan:
UK - The biggest Margherita pizza I can find.
France - I was averaging at least three croissants daily; it was getting out of hand, haha.

What part of the world is your favourite to tour and why?

There are so many places we love to tour, but Scotland would have to take the top spot. We sold out our first show in Edinburgh, which also happens to be our favourite city in the world—so gothic and beautiful. We always take some days off to explore the Highlands and sneak in a show in Inverness. The fans are great, and we have also made some lovely mates there. We can't wait to get back to that part of the world.

When you’re not working on the band, what are you doing?

We both work full time outside of the band which takes up a lot of our time. As well as being a fully independent band, there isn't much room for much else. But when we can fit it in, Dan will be either running or lifting weights and I will be either seeing family and friends, or op shop hunting!

Mannequin Death Squad asking DZ Deathrays

Weirdest place you've slept on tour?

The timber floor of a guy called Joey Turbo in Atlanta.

Favourite dive bar in the world?

Gun Club in Hamburg, Germany.

Song you wish you wrote?

E-talking by Soulwax.

Funniest music video to shoot?

My Mind Is Eating Me Alive video was pretty fun; we just hung out and did dumb shit in an apartment on camera, and then it looked wild after adding hilarious VFX.

Favourite hobby/skill or interest outside the music world?

Hobby… playing Nintendo Switch.

Mannequin Death Squad's new single Safe and Warm feat. DZ Deathrays is out now

Safe Warm

Follow Mannequin Death Squad: Instagram / Facebook

Follow DZ Deathrays: Instagram / Facebook

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