Soon after their recent split release on Flail Records (USA) and SBÄM Records (Europe), we sat down with folk-punk band Days N Daze and singer-songwriter Andrew Paley (featured on IDIOTEQ at this location) for a double interview on their new music, some politics, Europe and several random issues.
Andrew Paley’s original is a new wave and 80’s pop influenced track with a driving bass reminiscent of Paley’s band The Static Age. Days N Daze had in turn recorded the track for a covers compilation in their own sound guise. After positive fan feedback, this split 7″ was now created, interpreting punk rock in different ways, but still spiritually united in their DIY spirit.
The 7″ is available in different colors in the stores of Flail Records and SBÄM Records. Both labels had previously put out releases from Days N Daze.
Hello everyone! How are you doing right now? How do you pass the time right now?
Andrew: Hey! I’m hanging in there, thanks. Mostly writing and recording in the back of my house, hanging out with my cat, and looking forward to playing some shows ASAP. Somewhere in there there’s a lot of reading, some video games, and a number of half-completed projects of various shapes and sizes.
Jesse (Days N Daze): Can’t complain over here!! Just been tryin’ to keep busy. Idle hands, right? Been writin’, playin’ virtual shows when I can, and streamin’ some games through the DaysNDazeOfficial youtube page on Wednesdays and Sundays. Also, we started up a Days N Daze Discord with the help of some close friends and we’ve been doin’ virtual open mics every Friday so that’s been fun.
What computer game are you playing right now?
Andrew: I recently finished up Ghost of Tsushima which I had a blast with, and a perennial favorite is still Overwatch. Also, I may/may not be playing The Last of Us II again at some point in the near future.
Jesse (Days N Daze): My wife, Veronica, and I have been streaming the Final Fantasy 7 remake lately. V’s a fan of the franchise, and it’s my first time playin’ a Final Fantasy game, so it’s been cool experiencing it for the first time with her commentary. Our buddy Andrew who plays in Slummer, one of my favorite local Houston bands, has been poppin’ in as well to lend me some nostalgia goggles so it’s been a really good time. Not at all what I was expecting. From what I knew of FF I was thinkin’ it’d be entirely turn based so I’d have ample time to think and plan out my next move, but it’s fuckin’ intense!! Definitely recommend checkin’ it out if you’ve not played it yet.
According to Instagram you like cats more than dogs. Is that right?
Andrew: Dogs are totally cool too, don’t get me wrong, but yeah — if I had to choose, I lean towards team cat.
Jesse (Days N Daze): Haha, is that what our Instagram says? I love both, but I’m allergic to cats so unfortunately I can’t indulge in the kitty cuddles so much as I can a puppy puddle.
Are you recording new songs? Are you planning any new releases?
Andrew: Yeah, lots. It’s been a great way to stay sane through all this. I have about 7 or 8 songs in the works for a followup to the album that came out a few months ago, Scattered Light, and I’m also working on a new record with The Static Age after a multi-year hiatus too. The Static Age’s record is now mostly written and drums and bass have been tracked — I’m working through the guitars and keys now in collaboration with our guitarist, Nico, and vocals continue next week. I’m also banging on some ideas with my friend Ross, who goes by StayLoose, as a followup to the collaboration we did a couple of years ago too.
Jesse (Days N Daze): We’re holding off on recording any new DND stuff for a bit as we’ve still not had a chance to tour on our last release, Show Me The Blueprints. Definitely wanna play the SMTB tunes live before we throw any new tunes out into the void. I am, however, workin’ on a new Escape from the ZOO album, and a new Chad Hates George EP. EFTZ is a ska punk band I’m in with my wife, and CHG is another acoustic project that my sister, Marissa, and I have had goin’ for 8 or so years now.
The “The Fest” in Florida is supposed to take place. Are you already planning for the festival?
Andrew: Man, I can’t wait! I’m really looking forward to getting down there in October, so everyone wear your masks and get your shots and let’s put this crazy pandemic era behind us.
Jesse (Days N Daze): Still kinda up in the air unfortunately. Covid has made booking a nightmare, but so long as it’s safe for everyone we’ll be there!!
Do you make any other plans and do you just let things happen?
Andrew: At this point, I’m also set to play Moon Runners Festival in Chicago in early October. Beyond that, there are lots of touring possibilities in the works for Spring and Summer 2022, but not much planned for the end of 2021 out of an abundance of caution. I had tours booked for March and August of last year, and we rescheduled them at least a couple times…at this point, we’re not locking in anything major until we’re quite sure we won’t have to cancel it again at a later date.
Jesse (Days N Daze): We’ve had stuff planned since before the pandemic. We’ve just had to keep pushin’ back, but hopefully sooner than later we can start confirming some dates.
We try and be as proactive as we can with booking and touring and stuff, but it definitely is nice when somethin’ just falls in your lap. Can’t count on it though so seems smarter to try n make your own luck, ya know?
What do you think about the Coronavirus policy of the USA? Has anything changed for the better because of Biden?
Andrew: I think the federal government’s efforts to set up for vaccine distribution and ensure access under Biden have been pretty great so far, minus a few hiccups. The hardest part is that the inertia of Trump’s failure to take the pandemic seriously and empower experts in organizing a response — one of the after effects of which is that a sizable part of the country just refuses to mask up or get a vaccine for the common good — is still hurting recovery efforts. Overall, it continues to be a bit of a weird time in America.
Jesse (Days N Daze): I think the pandemic has been handled poorly in the states for sure. Biden’s roll out of the vaccine has been pretty successful though, it seems. My folks both got their shots, my sister has had her first, and my wife n I get ours tomorrow. Way sooner than I was expecting. So on that front it’d appear the new administration is prevailing over the last. Also, nice to have people in the white house that treat covid with the seriousness it deserves.
Do you look positively into the future or is skepticism predominant?
Andrew: Man, that’s a hard one. I think I’m a hopeful pessimist? Or maybe an optimistic realist? I try to stay positive, but also rooted in an understanding of the way things are and what we can do about them. I certainly don’t have faith in all things eventually working out, but then there’s the excitement and challenge of figuring out how to get them there. I guess I’m an optimistic nihilist? This is giving me an existential crisis.
Jesse (Days N Daze): I try my damndest n keep a positive outlook always!! It’s easy to look at the future and notice the obvious, the scary, the unescaple darker bits that wait for us all as time ticks away, and of course, those cynical, skeptical, pessimistic thoughts do find their way into my mind, but I try my best to acknowledge those negative thoughts, give them a moment in the limelight, and then let them dissolve and continue forward giving everyday and every opportunity the benefit of the doubt. We only get one go around as far as I know, and ya only get one shot at every moment, so ya may as well focus on the good that’s bound to happen rather than the bad. Plus, I think positivity breeds positivity and we could definitely use some more of it these days.
You both released the song “Caroline” on a 7″, which originally comes from Andrew Paley. What does the track mean to you?
Andrew: I always have trouble explaining songs because they’re about more than one thing to me. That said, I guess Caroline is mostly about grappling with the isolation and exhaustion of being infinitely connected and how easy it is to get lost in constant information, weaponized dopamine, endless background noise — especially when the world feels like it’s falling apart. And there’s also a glimmer of hope in there, too.
Jesse (Days N Daze): I adore that song. I had to listen to it dozens of times while doin’ that cover because I really wanted to do it justice, and I never got tired of it. I still jam the original version all the time!! What does it mean to me? It just gives me a really strong sense of freedom every time I hear it. Like that feeling you get the first few miles of a road trip. I’m not sure if that’s the feeling what Andrew meant to evoke, but the lines that I pay the most attention to on top of the whole vibe of the song sonically just makes me feel like my lungs can hold a little more air.
How did the connection to SBÄM Records and Flail Records come about?
Andrew: The Flail connection came through Days N Daze — they’ve been working with Scott over at Flail for a while now, and when Days N Daze picked Caroline as a cover for The Fest comp last year, that more or less got Flail on board initially, I think. And since then, Scott’s been nothing but awesome about everything with the release. And then on the SBÄM side, my band’s manager, Felix at Flix, had been working with Stefan on various projects, and we got to talking. Not sure exactly the flow of events to be honest, but it’s been awesome with Stefan as well — in fact, we’re now doing The Static Age’s upcoming album with him/SBÄM too!
Jesse (Days N Daze): We got in touch with Flail through touring with Bridge City Sinners. Scott Michaud who runs Flail plays bass in Bridge City so that was kinda just homies helpin’ homies. I believe our friend Jay Crash who handles the brunt of our booking got in touch with Jesse at Fat Wreck in the UK who in turn helped get us in touch with Stephen and Tom at SBAM to help out with some overseas distribution to cut down on shippin’ costs for our European friends that may wanna grab some merch. So yeah, just knowin’ people who know people I s’pose. Haha, Whit could probably give ya a more concise recollection of the relationship as she handles more of the business side of things.
What is your relationship to Europe and do you have any special experiences to share with us?
Andrew: Ah, I absolutely love every time I’ve ever been. I’m not sure, but I think I’ve been over for tours either with my band or alone probably 10-12 times at this point, starting with The Static Age’s first tour there about a decade ago now. There are too many amazing memories to recount any single one, but in general, I’ve met many of my favorite people and dearest friends across those trips, and I truly can’t wait to get back over there — hopefully sometime in 2022!
Jesse (Days N Daze): We’ve been over thrice now I believe, and it’s been an absolute blast everytime we’ve had the chance to visit!! Europe holds a special place in my heart because the first time we made it over I was able to bring my whole family along for the tour. It was just so awesome to be able to see all these new places with my folks and my sister and my wife and my band all together. My dad is a big Anthony Bourdain fan too so it was really cool to be able to hit up little pubs and biergartens and things with him. They were like really in the thick of it with us too. It was a proper days n daze tour. It wasn’t like they were crashin’ at hotels. Haha, I mean my mom was slammin’ beers at punk shows and sleepin’ in squats every night. Some of the fondest memories I’ve got were forged in Europe so I’m happy to make it back every chance I get.
Which song from Days N Daze should we listen to, Andrew?
Andrew: I’ve been really digging their latest album a lot. I think my two current favorites are Flurry Rush and My Darling Dopamine. I especially love the dual chorus in Flurry Rush that flips from “it’s cool, we got this” to “…maybe we don’t,” and then My Darling Dopamine’s chorus gets stuck in my head on the regular.
What song from Andrew should we definitely listen to, Whitney and Jesse?
Jesse (Days N Daze): I’m really diggin’ “Dirty Jeans” lately. Everytime I listen to it I feel like I’m in a movie. Definitely recommend blastin’ it in some good headphones. Also, “These Days” is a bonus track off White Rooms (Reissue) and it’s phenomenal. It’s like a snuggie for your ears.
Last but not least: Do you guys have any ultimate Pandemic tips for us?
Andrew: I’m not sure I’ve totally figured out this pandemic life thing (and I hope to develop very little additional expertise going forward), but from what I can tell the two tricks are: keeping busy with the stuff that you find fulfilling (whatever that is), and keeping in touch with friends and family. That’s pretty much it — I think I would’ve gone nuts by sometime last Fall if I hadn’t jumped into like a half dozen creative pursuits and just kept my focus on making stuff. Oh, also, the basics: eat well, drink sparingly, and wash your damn hands.
Jesse (Days N Daze): Clear goals and a schedule have been invaluable to me this last year. It’s been easy to become stagnant and to allow the ennui to settle in since lockdown last March, but havin’ goals to work towards and rituals to keep markers throughout the day help to keep my head on straight. Also, My wife and I have been lucky enough to be at my folks place this last 12 months so we’ve got a wonderful support system around us. If you’re on your own through this please remember to reach out to your loved ones. It’s important to maintain that social interaction, easy as it may be to succumb to social anxieties and embrace the hermit within. If you’ve not got family or friends to reach out to, or there are things you don’t feel comfortable speaking with them about, remember there are also professionals in the support industry that you can get in contact with or you can even just shoot us a message on our Facebook or Instagram!! I’ll gladly have a chat with ya anytime!!