Interview With Dark Dazey

Up-and-coming psyche rockers from Los Angeles chat with InternetFM.

There’s a strange new flower growing in the American psychedelic rock scene.  Last month, Dark Dazey was in the midst of a large west coast tour, but they still took a bit of time to chat with us about their newest single and the other projects in the works.

Dark Dazey was formed by guitarist Cole Heramb as a solo recording project while a student at UCLA. Other friends joined and left the band over the course of a few years until the current lineup of Simon Hirschfield, Spencer Martin, Oliver van Moon, and Oliver Cooper emerged.  This iteration of the band is solid and grounded since the post-pandemic period, and they are writing new material on a consistent basis.  “We’ll jam every single practice to warm up, and within that jam, [we’ll get] at least a couple of usable riffs or general vibes. I’d like to be able to record a lot of music and that’s a great way of doing that.” With a wide range of influences spanning King Gizzard, Kikagaku Moyo, Crumb, The Roaches, and Sen Morimoto, their sound covers a vast swath of territory while still maintaining a solid identity: wild, groovy, funny, and above all dark, even in their more whimsical songs.

All of the band members started playing music at a young age. Cole in particular has been performing live for a very long time. “I had a guitar teacher who emphasized live performances, and had me playing in bars starting at age 9.” Oliver van Moon “I grew up playing… and recording various instruments in my bedroom. Playing various instruments in a couple different bands.” Spencer, “I grew up playing drums, and then guitar, then keys, then got really into synths. I brought some synths to Dark Dazey, and then I brought out some bongos.”

On where they got the name from, “It was this esoteric thing…. It just allows us to define whatever that means.  It’s kinda like Tame Impala, it doesn’t mean anything.” Meanwhile the rest of the band cracks up as Cole explains at length that the name is amorphous and it’s not from anywhere. Cole joins in on the laughter at the end.  From the psychotic freakout of NARCS, to the twangy haze of Howdy Blue, to the children’s program theme of “Chameleon”, to the frantic Aussie Psyche grooves of “Gong Song”, Dark Dazey have laid the foundations for a diverse and fascinating discography that promises to grow very fast.

The band’s first EP was released in 2020, during the pandemic, and being unable to record all in one place slowed down their output. Since the lockdown lifted, they have been rehearsing and recording all together, with improved results. “Gong Song we recorded all together in the same room” says Cole. “It really helps us record and bring the live feel to the record, which is something I feel like we’ve been missing in the past.” Simon adds, “We’re definitely proud of the first two records, NARCS and Howdy Blue, but it definitely doesn’t sound as electric. It doesn’t have that feeling.”

Their latest single, “Gong Song”, is a showcase of their different influences,  A mix of Babe Rainbow,  King Gizzard, and the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. The track weaves between chill surf rock  and heavy psyche headbanging riffs.  The song was primarily written as a jam, and as a bit of fun.  “We found this gong at Spencer’s grandma’s house… and we asked if we could take it home.  Spencer brought it home and we rang it out and asked ‘what note is that?'”  “We kinda wrote a three song suite in the key of gong.”

There’s a whole album of material from the “Gong Song” sessions, which the band plans to release one at a time to to build a bit of hype for the new lineup.  But that’s not all. Dark Dazey are also hard at work on a sister album to the Gong Song album, with a completely different style.  And there is also allegedly a triple LP being worked on too.

Dark Dazey just wrapped up a west coast tour and are hard at work finishing their next album.

The full lineup of the band is as follows:
Cole – Guitars, vocals
Simon – Guitars, vocals
Spencer – Keys, percussion, backing vocals
Oliver van Moon – Bass
Oliver Cooper – Drums

Dark Dazey video for “Gong Song”