Radar Band Of The Week – No.48: DZ Deathrays

Surfing in on a riptide of chaos, the Aussie duo gatecrash the thrash party

Something seems not quite right when the shaggy-haired goofball in front of us meekly announces, “Hi, I’m Shane Parsons, I’m 24, I’m Aquarius and I like long, wistful walks along the beach.” His buddy, Simon Ridley, creases up into his beat-up tee and leather jacket combo before conceding that, yes, Parsons is talking utter shite. DZ Deathrays aren’t the beach-combing, star-gazing types.


Bred on house parties and booze marathons around their hometown of Bundaberg (where the rum of the same name comes from – handily), the Aussie duo are the latest graduates from the scene exploding out of the nearby Gold Coast. A drums’n’guitar/garage’n’disco fusion, they christen their sound “thrash party” and recorded part of their thundering DFA 1979-meets-AC/DC riffage EP ‘Brutal Tapes’ at a particularly frenetic house party last year. “It was crazy,” remembers Simon.

“The ceiling was only, like, a foot above your head, and there were people crowdsurfing in there, getting all smashed into the roof while we played.” It’s this sort of thing, coupled with early video ‘The Mess Up’, which sees the duo down Jäger shot after Jäger shot before chucking the whole lot up again, that has given the band an enviable reputation as being, well, a tad full-on. It’s not something they’re worried about. From skinny dipping with touring partners Crystal Castles (Simon: “Usually they’re covered up but we just got drunk at 3am by the pool…”), to ‘liberating’ golf buggies from backstage festival areas (Simon again: “We took a detour through A-Trak’s rider to steal his beer, but then his security dudes formed this big circle around us”), theirs is a world of all-out messiness punctuated by amazingly gnarly punk-funk.

Live, it’s total and utter chaos, with Shane spending much of the set bounding his way around the audience while Simon perfects the art of drumming while downing stray beers. From here, the band have it all mapped out: a mooted deal with Hassle Records (Trash Talk, Rolo Tomassi), a new base in Berlin (party capital of Europe, natch) and, according to Simon, “a really killer, full-on album” . You have been warned…

Need To Know

• Simon occasionally plays while wearing a helmet with a strobe light on it

• Shane says being in a two-piece is “like having another girlfriend”

• The band’s worst gig was when they played to two people in a gambling centre a few years ago