Over the past couple of years live music around the country has been siloed off into our own individual states. Now though as borders have reopened bands are finally able to hit the roads again & tour everywhere. When Perth band Death By Denim play Oxford Art Factory this will all change.
For the past two years the indie psyche-rock band have been locked behind Western Australia’s iron border. In a recent interview with City Hub the frontman of Death By Denim, Nik Iliadis, chatted about the inspiration behind the band’s name, their musical influences, their new approach to creating music & the excitement within the group for the upcoming East Coast tour.
Given the band’s unique name we had to ask Nik where this idea was born. In response Nik explained that it was guitarist Palle Mazzulla’s fashion sense at uni which led to them taking on the name Death By Denim.
“During our first year of uni Palle would wear triple denim or just too much denim for someone doing a law degree. One of his friends told him that he was ‘killing denim’ for them, so straight away Death By Denim sounded like a cool name for a band.”
From that moment forward the bond between Nik & Palle was formed and slowly started to solidly as they wrote music music together. As the relationship between Nik & Palle began to cement itself they quickly realised that they would need a couple more musicians to fill out the band & thankfully they were able to add people quite organically.
“The band grew really organically,” recalled Nik. “Palle had a mate, George, who played bass & keys, so he came on board straight away. Then George had a friend, Hamish, who played drums. Honestly it all came together within a few weeks.”
Whilst the members of the band came together naturally blending their varied musical influences took some time but was also incredibly exciting.
According to Nik, “everyone had a lot of different ideas” when they came together. For example, “Palle was a massive 80s hair metal fan. I was more of a Brit-rock or R&B fan. George liked a mixture of everything. Then Hamish is into more riff-rock like Royal Blood for example.” Blending all of these influences & inspirations is what has set Death By Denim apart from everyone else on the Australian music landscape.
Death By Denim’s new record Moonbow is a fantastic showcase of this new sound. Not only is this record uniquely Death By Denim but the pure joy the band felt during the recording process shines through in the music as well.
“When we get into the studio there’s all sorts of different sounds flying around,” Nik recalled when asked if it’s exciting trying to distill all of their influences down into their own sound. “It definitely is exciting…especially now that George & Hamish have started putting in their mark as well, that has been a good change for the music.”
With Moonbow the band also took a new approach to recording which saw them spending more time ruminating on the music rather than immediately releasing songs into the wild. This change was both a conscious decision & one enforced by the current state of the world. Looking back on the creative process for Moonbow Nik said, “having the time to record but then sit with songs & go back to re-record if needed was really good to have… I think in the future we’ll also spend more time at the studio instead of just cranking out songs in a short period of time.”
In terms of creative inspiration for Moonbow the pandemic environment also throw some curveballs at Death By Denim.
“It was harder process writing this new record because we weren’t able to do much,” explained Nik. “We didn’t want to write about just sitting at home in isolation. We wanted to find something cool to write about, so once we were able to get out on tour in WA last year we got our juices flowing again.”
As they now gear up to keep the creative juices flowing by heading across to the East Coast for a string of live shows Nik said that they are all “very excited” for. In particular Death By Denim are excited to play at the Oxford Art Factory.
“Even though we went out for a tour pretty much exactly a year ago it feels like it has been so long. We haven’t been to places like Sydney & Melbourne for so long. Our last Sydney gig was at the Lansdowne, which Palle says was one of his favourite gigs. As much as we love Perth & WA we can’t wait to get over & play to our East Coast fans.”
For those East Coast fans who are planning to head to a Death By Denim show Nik said they can expect to see them “have a good time on stage & bring the energy” at the Oxford Art Factory.
“A lot of our songs are somewhat mellow so a lot of people that have never seen us before but listen to us on Spotify are surprised by our live show. In the live setting we bring the songs to life with a lot of sing-a-long moments & stuff like that. It’s just an inclusive good time!”
Apr 1. Oxford Art Factory, 38/46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. $30.09+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.oxfordartfactory.com