COURTESY STEPHEN ALBANESE / LC MEDIA
Success looms for Disaster
Rolling Stone has put the Los Angeles trio high on the watch list
"The need to materialize in reality as frenzied as it is unknown, the world of irrational experiences and thus what is Year Long Disaster ..."
Year Long Disaster
Supporting punk-metal band ASG
Thursday: 9 p.m. at Breakers Bar and Grill in Haleiwa, 66-250 Kamehameha Highway; free, 21 and over; call 637-9898
Friday: 9 p.m. at Anna Bannana's, 2440 S. Beretania St.; $7 admission, 21 and over; call 946-5190
Saturday: 9 p.m. at Boardriders Bar and Grill in Kailua, 201-A Hamakua Drive; $7 admission, 21 and over; call 261-4600
Thus e-mailed a well-read Daniel Davies, trying to convert into meagre words what the full-blown sensory experience the band conveys live. With music mates Rich Mullins on bass and Brad Hargreaves on drums, the Los Angeles trio had the distinction to be labeled one of the "10 Artists to Watch" in the recent issue of Rolling Stone. And with a rockin' new album to promote on the action sports-related Volcom Entertainment label, Year Long Disaster will do a series of shows supporting label mates ASG while the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is happening on the North Shore.
The guys plan to take in the competition, winter surf permitting, while they're here. "Our drummer Brad is a surfer," said Davies. (Me) and Richard are victims of genetic dispositions that correspond with those people who love to watch others endanger their lives through amazing feats of physical prowess conflicting directly against the forces of nature and laws of science."
If Daniel's last name sounds familiar to longtime rock 'n' roll fans, that's because he's the son of Dave Davies who, with his brother Ray, were the foundation for Brit legends the Kinks. The young Davies reportedly picked up the guitar as a teenager to bond with his dad, although one early, specific memory he has of being with his father on the road was "sitting in back of the tour bus playing Pac-Man."
When asked what, if any, advice he gave Davies later when it looked like the boy was going to follow in his footsteps, "he said to get a good lawyer."
Writing while on tour in England, Davies said "last Wednesday, I was in London and was able to hang out with him. He and I had breakfast together where my father unveiled the funniest Robert Plant impression you have ever seen. We then went to some book stores and discovered we both love Yeats and Oscar Wilde. Later that evening he attended my gig at Water Rats. It was an amazing time."
Plant and the recently reunited Led Zeppelin play a role in Year Long Disaster's '70s heavy rock-inspired sound. You can hear it in Davies' voice and the band's lock-groove sound on such album tracks as the opening "Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu" (taken from the classic Spaghetti Western movie title "For a Few Dollars More"), "Destination," the bluesy stomper "The Fool and You" and "Let Me Down."
You can also hear a bit of his dad in his vocal, and their music is a mongrel of other classic styles of rock emanating from L.A., the South, England and Boston via early Aerosmith. Listen to the band's breakout song "Leda Atomica," or the chugging "Cold Killer," or the grand crunch of "Galea Aponeurotica," and if Year Long Disaster can approximate that studio sound live on stage, they should be jawdroppingly good.
On their songwriting process, Hargreaves wrote that "Rich brings the riffs to practice, then we jam them together, and after we get them slightly situated in a rough order, Daniel takes them to his room and does not emerge until there are lyrics."
Former drug buddies Davies and Mullins -- now sober for four years after a serious stint in rehab together -- were looking to form a band in late 2004 when they caught Hargreaves playing in a L.A. bar with a side band, apart from his regular stint behind the drum kit for megasellers Third Eye Blind. The two were duly impressed and later asked him to jam with them.
Coincidentally, Hargreaves was a big fan of Davies' dad's band, and even played as one of the Kinks on the now-defunct NBC musical drama "American Dreams." Needless to say, Hargreaves was blown away by the connection, joined Davies and Mullins, and now Year Long Disaster's star looks to be ascending.