Dr Razzu recorded 25 tunes across last year live in the studio last year on a 1970s 8 track Tascam reel to reel recorder. In 2016 they plan to release 2 to 4 of those tracks at a time in quick succession and then eventually put an extended release together with 20-30 songs spanning 10 years of writing and playing music together. As I write this the first two tracks Hiding From Vampires and Sleep Forever are already available the bands BandCamp page, and by the time you read this at least 2 more will be out. It’s a busy year ahead for this powerful 3 piece, and a great year for their fans!
Dr Razzu are essentially an alt-punk garage trio with melodic, catchy choruses, Beatles-esque harmonies all met with big grungey riffs. There’s a bit of something for everyone in there, whether you’re a pop queen or a punk rocker the chances are you’ll find something in Dr Razzu that appeals to you. And live, no matter who you are, you’ll be dancing.
I caught up with Lead Singer and Guitarist James Cakes and asked him about the recording:
“A lot of people ask about recording analogue. It’s not a fetishised thing like some people have, it’s not about that, it just sounded better, We’ve tried different approaches over the years but nothing really captured the live sound of the band, this was the most conducive way to do that. The way we did it was just turn up, plug in, hit record and go for it. It’s a massive learning curve – we had a few duff sessions and a complete technical meltdown a couple of times but ultimately it made us play better and sound better.”
With plenty of lo-fi 90s influences including Sonic Youth, Pixies, and Neutral Milk Hotel it’s no surprise the band felt comfortable producing similar sounds to bands they listened to growing up. The band love music in general though and listen to a wide range of interesting things as James points out:
“I’m listening to a lot of techno music at the moment. It hasn’t yet had bearing on what we play though. Alex (Bass/Vocals) listens very widely to a whole bunch of stuff. Si (Drums) loves his metal, and a lot of pop music so there’s a lot in there. Then there’s a lot of minimal stuff, 3 chord punk bands, we have a big appreciation for certain folk singers – Bob Dylan is a big personal influence.”
The Sleep Forever/Hiding From Vampires Double A is fun, quirky, catchy and exciting. Coming in at just under 4 minutes in total you’re left wanting more, and the good news is there’s plenty more to come. Lyrically the band try to capture a mood in a playful way, as James says “Sleep forever only has about 4 lines… Basically we get an idea and fucking hammer it to see what we can get out of it”.
But there’s comedic element in there too, Vampires is actually about being hung-over and on a comedown and feeling spooked by everything around you, but in James’ words “you’d never guess that though I don’t think. It’s more like a child-like fun kind of song really. Alex’s lyrics are much more poetic, mine are stripped back and raw, his are more nuanced and yeah…poetic I suppose. He’s written and sings the 2 tracks on the next release so you’ll hear the difference. I think what I’m really hoping is that this extended release will make people realise that we don’t just do the 3 chord punk songs we play live. Some them are more tender, delicate. Some are snapshots, a combination of new and old.”
Get Sleep Forever and Hiding From Vampires as well as future releases throughout the year at http://drrazzu.bandcamp.com/releases and follow the band on Facebook to find out about upcoming gigs, more music and everything else.