The Dead Revolt: Howling, Lizard-Free Indie Rock
Rocks Off loves four things:
- The Dead: Zombies rock tits, there are no two ways about it.
- Revolts: As long as they are not aimed at the Rocks Off contingent, a revolt is just about the most interesting that can happen on any given day.
- People who collect ceramic cows.
- Genuine indie rock.
So when we happened across a Houston band that covered at least 75 percent of that list - we never explicitly asked them about No. 3 - we made certain to work space for them in the now indomitable Artist of the Week army.
Keep it moving to read some convenient alliteration.
Rocks Off: Tell everyone everything they need to know about your band in exactly six words.
The Dead Revolt: My friend Kamar describes us as "A calamitous coalescence of chaotic creativity."
RO: We should probably address the name; it is a bit curious. Exactly what is going on there? The Dead Revolt? Is that, like, saying that the dead (zombies) are revolting? Or maybe is it a revolt that was once taking place is now done and it finished unsuccessfully? Or is it just some cool shit to say?
TDR: I guess it's kinda what you want it to be. We thought of both of those scenarios and we just decided that no one had taken the name so we took it.
RO: To that last question, what is a "Mar Iguana"? Is it some sort of sea lizard? Are there even any sea lizards? Can you name your next album Sea Lizards?
TDR: "Mar Iguana" has nothing to do with lizards. I believe it is about the consumption of a certain plant material actually. We have names for our next album but we'll call a song "Sea Lizards."
RO: To that last question, "Mar Iguana" is an excellent song. It's sporadic, but kind of a controlled sporadic, if that makes any sense. And George's mini-indie howl is just about perfect on it. And it'd make for a proper upper-level song on Rock Band 14. We guess what we're trying to say is, can we have a shirt of y'all's to wear while we nap?
TDR: Yeah, that is probably one of our favorites to play. We had been playing for a while and had written the other songs on our album; "The Substance of Things Not Seen" and that was the last one that we wrote for that album. It really pushed us into a new direction musically. A lot of our new songs have that feel to them.
And as to your shirts question, we'd love to have you sleep in our clothes but unfortunately, we don't have any shirts yet, but soon, hopefully.
The Dead Revolt at Walter's on Washington
RO: Oh, and you're aware that the aforementioned song is 5:24 long, right? FYI, B L A C K I E released an entire album that was about 10 minutes long.
TDR: I know, our songs are pretty long. "Mar Iguana" is a short one compared some others. I mean, B L A C K I E is great but we gotta impress. Songs like "Vulpecula" and "Half/Plant-Half Ghost" are longer than 10 minutes. We compose long numbers live especially 'cause we want people to get lost in the music, not just listen.
We are indie artists, we do what we want. I think people like the unedited sound we have. We don't decide how long our songs are based upon anything, we have lots of ideas and we mold a song to what we think it should be.
RO: Let's say you were in charge of setting the lineup for the ideal Houston indie-rock concert. Which five acts are on the bill, and who gets to headline?
TDR: Well, if you're asking me, obviously we would want to headline. But one of my favorite acts in Houston is a band called RIVERS (we cap the name 'cause they assure us it's in all caps). We played with them a few times and they definitely got our attention. Tax the Wolf too. We played at Fitz with those guys and we really admire what they're doing. Also, Wild Moccasins and Smoke and Feathers from Austin. That way the show would be a nice mix of genres.
RO: After listening to your music for about two seconds, it's immediately clear that you all are heavily influenced by Lil' O. How'd that come to be?
TDR: We actually prefer the big 'O instead of a little one. I mean it's all or nothing with us. But we sort of think of ourselves as if Led Zeppelin and the Mars Volta had a baby, and Pink Floyd and The Fall of Troy had a baby and those baby's had a baby. Then that wonderful little ball of joy would cry like us.
RO: Anything you want to make sure gets mentioned? Now's the time to do it.
The Dead Revolt is about us getting to do what we love, writing music not just playing it. Our band is a simple three-piece but we think its sounds much bigger. Our styles and capabilities as musicians have taken shape over the course of many years of playing and practice.
Experience The Dead Revolt live, with RIVERS, December 23 at The Mink. Tickets are (not) $1 million.