Houston Music

Artist of the Week: Indie-Rock Video-Game Savants Days Drive - Russians Love 'Em!

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

If we may be candid for a second, we've got to say we are pretty damned impressed with the amount of quality musicians that populate Houston. Our business model for national success may be a bit daffy, and support from non-musicians can occasionally be described as wanting, but act for act there is a wild amount of talent on display.

We mention this because the Artist of the Week column is nearing its 70th week and we still have a surplus of bands to showcase. Case in point, the perfectly polite blitzy indie-rock trio Days Drive. Prior to their name showing up in our inbox a while back, we had not had even one sniff of their existence. Yet there they sat, amid a stack of other deserving groups, waiting their turn to be made kings of the week.

We got our hands on a bit of their music and, despite them lacking that assholey, aloof-collective persona we mostly require indie bands to have before they're given proper consideration, we gobbled it up proper and were impressed. After the jump, read about Mother Russia, how to successfully traverse dimensions of the universe and tips for surviving should you be sucked into a game of Contra.

Rocks Off: Boring stuff first: Give us a run down of Days Drive. Before several weeks ago, we hadn't had the good fortune of hearing ya'll's music. We should recap in case others were the same.

Days Drive, "Abuse"

Days Drive, "Abuse"

Days Drive: We pride ourselves on being a three-piece; Brian on vocals/guitar/keys, Jason on bass, and Andy on drums. We've been together since 2006. Our first album, Navigate, helped us get featured on XM Radio's "Radar Report." That was cool because we ended up getting messages from people all around. Apparently people really like us in Russia.

RO: We really, really like the "Boring Saturday" video. Lots of fun to watch. There were a couple of things we wanted to discuss about it. We couldn't help but notice how nonplussed the three of you were with the whole "My Buddy Just Got Sucked Into The Television And Then Fell Back To Earth After Dying In A Video Game" thing. Is that something that happens to you all a lot?

Days Drive, "Boring Saturday"

Days Drive, "Boring Saturday"

DD: Yes, but you've got it backwards. We're actually Guitar Hero characters that escaped the game into reality after getting tired of being pwnd by Slash because noobs were controlling us. Our plan is to make it big in reality before we go back. But in the meantime, since we are video game characters, we can come and go as we please in other games. Tiger Woods PGA Tour might be fun. he's got a good game going on.

RO: Ah, okay. We think we may have figured out how you all were able to manipulate the separate dimensions of the universe. If you'll notice, when Jason initially puts the cartridge into the Nintendo, he doesn't click it down, which we all know is vital in making sure the game operates properly. You might want to call the Nintendo offices and let them know that children will be sucked into a game vortex if they forget to push the game down once it's inside the console. You all were really fortunate, but what if the next kid is playing Contra when he gets sucked in? That could be disastrous. You don't want that on you.

Days Drive, "Listen To the Rain"

Days Drive, "Listen To the Rain"

DD: First off, there is a little more to inter-gaming travel than we demonstrated.

RO: Of course.

DD: Things were going on behind the scene that involved a picture of Optimus Prime, a flux capacitor, a treadmill, some lasers and a green blanket. We can't explain any more than that because of the dangers mentioned above.

Secondly, Nintendo has a disclaimer.

Thirdly, Contra, excellent question. If someone were to follow our footsteps into a game like Contra we would advise [them to] unlock the extra life code, do not enter alone and keep a flame thrower nearby. We're all well aware of the dangers of gaming, and it's just survival of the fittest. If someone enters Contra without heeding our warnings, then that person probably didn't read this fine publication; lets face it, they'll get what they deserve. Just stay out of Battletoads.

RO: Friggin' Battletoads, bro. Nice one. I didn't realize this until near the end of the video, but the song that accompanies is actually very good. Were you all aware that you're a talented band? Or did that just sort of happen when you set out to make the "Boring Saturday" video? Surely, the idea for the video is what inspired the band's creation.

DD: Thanks, we appreciate that. We put a lot of time and effort into our songs. Some of us are perfectionists and we think that is reflected in our recordings. Over the years we've improved in our musicianship and recording techniques as well.

Believe it or not, the song precluded the video. The idea for the video came after we got tired of brainstorming ideas for a video and started playing Nintendo games. As far as inspiration to create the band, it wasn't so much the prospect of making millions with an Internet video. I'd have to say it was the thought that we could create some form of art that we could share with people and that they'd hopefully like. It's really great to hear from people who appreciate our music.

Days Drive plays Dean's Credit Clothing downtown Friday, December 11. Keep up with the band on its MySpace page.

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Shea Serrano