Shane Parsons

  • DZ Deathrays

"I love my new Esprit III! It is set up exactly how I need, with the 3 way w-90 pick ups not only being crazy responsive but also giving a versatile tone which works extremely well with my pedal board."

About Shane Parsons

Consisting of only two parts, it may be hard for some to comprehend a mere two-piece with the ability to create such a massive wall of sound. But this is a feat which DZ Deathrays has been able to conquer with results fashioned from a statically charged mix of influences like Death From Above 1979, The Bronx, Justice, Sunn 0)) and Lightning Bolt. With this combination of musical mentors as ammunition, they create a blend of driving monster beats firing over an avalanche of guitar similar to the sound of a squadron of attacking Panzer tanks.

It was clear from the onset that DZ was going to be big. By mid 2010 they had released their first EP in Australia, Ruined My Life (Inertia / Uselesss Art) and toured the country over. They’d toured with Crystal Castles (who personally invited them), Dananananaykroyd, Ratatat and The View; played live with Biffy Clyro and The Temper Trap; and joined festival lineups such as Big Day Out, Parklife, Field Day, Sunset Sounds, Playground Weekender and more. They had been Unearthed by triple j and received personal kudos from Mark Ronson, saying he ‘loved’ the band.

It was obvious, at this juncture, to step it up a notch and introduce the band to the world stage. A move which would prove to be momentous, and a move that required a new band name. ‘DZ’ already existed in the form of a US based dubstep DJ. To avoid being confused for a dubstep band, they quickly changed their name to DZ Deathrays, thus a new phase was born.

Shane Parsons ~ DZ DeathraysDZ Deathrays’ first venture out of the southern hemisphere was to CMJ festival in New York in 2010. They quickly returned for SXSW in March 2011 and already, the buzz was brewing. They were blogged about by Jen Long from the BBC, and included in Blunt Magazine’s Top 40 bands to see at SXSW in 2011. That buzz fed through to the UK, where in May, they picked up a spot to play at The Great Escape and toured the UK with New York punk outfit Cerebral Ballzy.
Meanwhile back home, they partnered up with Melbourne based label, I OH YOU to release their 2nd EP, Brutal Tapes, a mix of studio and house party recordings as well as some remixes from Yacht Club DJs and Surecut Kids. With all the excitement in the UK, it was time to officially bring the recordings to the motherland, and that they did in style.

To back up the May tour, they returned to the UK in October 2011, and put out not one, not two, but THREE releases.
1. Their EP Ruined My Life, out on Big Scary Monsters and Humming Records
2. A limited edition cassette version of the EP through the BBC’s Jen Long’s new label Kissability, through Transgressive.
3. A 7” of popular single “Gebbie Street” out on Too Pure through Beggars.

They backed it up with a UK/EU tour, playing with Male Bonding, Band of Skulls and joining the NME Radar Tour with Wolfgang.
The media reaction was off the chart. NME Magazine and Q Magazine had both placed them in their “Top 10 bands of The Great Escape,” before NME went a step further and gave them #8 in the “50 best new bands of 2011.” The accolades kept growing as BBC took the band under its wing, giving their song “Gebbie Street” a play on daytime radio with Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe giving the band ‘Next Hype.’ They continued to receive radio play on BBC1, XFM, Artrocker Radio and even did live sessions for all three of those stations.

By this time in Australia, the band had signed a full record deal with I OH YOU and publishing with Mushroom. They’d been personally picked by Foo Fighters to play three of their stadium shows on their Australian tour, which they happily joined between playing sideshows with F*cked up and touring with Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Only one thing was next. The debut album.

They came back from the UK and went straight into the studio at The White Room in Mt Nebo (just outside of Brisbane) to record the album with producer Richard Pike from PVT and engineer Neil Coombe. They created 13 in-depth, loud and focused songs that were to go on to the rest of the world. But first, they needed the rest of the world to catch up with them….

With EP releases in Australia and the UK, it was time for North America to get a proper introduction to the band and that came in the form of an EP released on 6th March by 3|4 (home of Odd Future, Bass Drum of Death, etc) in the USA and Dine Alone in Canada. Those labels, along with Hassle in the UK and I OH YOU in Australia, became the homes of the band’s forthcoming LP titled ‘Bloodstreams’.

The first single off the record was ‘No Sleep’, which was accompanied by a film clip starring Arj Barker of Flight of the Conchords. It was a parody on ‘You Can Call Me Al’ by Paul Simon, and it captured the attention of a lot of people – not to mention the 1.5 million fans of FOTC who posted the clip on their Facebook page. It received a world premiere on BBC1 by Huw Stephens, followed by an exclusive stream on the NME website, who turned it up a notch; placing the band at #4 in “20 Most Exciting Bands for 2012.”

‘Bloodstreams’ went on to receive impressive reviews from outlets such as NME, Spin and Artrocker, but namely Pitchfork, who gave the album a stellar review and a 7.4/10 rating. Pitchfork had already had an introduction to the band after NY party/punk outfit The Death Set covered their notorious video for “The Mess Up” and it received airplay on Pitchfork TV.

Apart from the album release itself, DZ Deathrays had been busy trekking all over the world after their 2011 October UK tour. They played 3 London shows in March 2012 (with one of them SOLD OUT), before they moved onto the USA for a SOLD OUT New York show with TRUST and performances at SXSW. They then returned to tour their album in the UK and USA (the latter with Bass Drum of Death) in May – July 2012. Their homecoming back in Aus took the form of their show at Splendour In The Grass where they literally took the crowd by storm. Their performance was so ominous it angered the gods and triggered a massive storm at the festival, causing huge crowds to join their stage and damaging the tent they were playing in. If that wasn’t enough, they then went back overseas to play Reading and Leeds festival in the UK and tour with TRUST and Blood Red Shoes in the USA. The band was then due to go to the UK for a tour with Pulled Apart By Horses, but it was sadly cancelled by the headline act, leaving DZ to pull together their own headline shows of which there ended up being more of. Additionally, they jumped on some more Blood Red Shoes shows at the last minute in Europe.

While this was happening, the year was ending up with some surprising Award nominations for the band. They ended up taking out the Queensland Music Award for ‘Export Achievement’, the Jagermeister Independent Music Awards for ‘Best Rock and Punk Album’ (they were also nominated for ‘Best Independent Album’) and finally the biggest achievement of the band’s career was to win an ARIA Award for ‘Best Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Album’.

To celabrate this, the band finished the year doing what they do best. Playing live. They played Homebake, Festival fo the Sun, Falls Festival – they even played a festival in Thailand!

They kicked off 2013 with a bang, supporting Sleigh Bells at their sideshows and continued on playing Push Over festival in Melbourne and their own run of headline shows of which nearly all SOLD OUT. Their next venture is a tour support of The Bronx and joining the lineup for the Groovin’ The Moo run of dates happening in May. After that, it’s straight back overseas again to play in their other successful band Velociraptor, do a few shows of their own, and jump in the studio with a few producers to start workin on album #2.