North London gypsy punk trio take to the stage in bloody gin-soaked skeleton costumes aboard a pirate-ship shaped artelier… just another night out in East London.
It’s like a vodka party in a hurricane. Dr Sultana shouts into a megaphone, Al throws beer at Chairman Meaw, Hitachi!, Wampa and Spencer Brown, all bloody in their tattered once-new Mexican sea shanty threads, heads on pikes - the perfect accessory. Guy throws cymbals back. They thud wet and buttery against Spencer’s head. They continue to play loud and fast, their best Melt Banana impression, their best Soil & "Pimp" Sessions, Fanfare Ciocarlia impressions, and the people don’t flinch: they dance, gyrate and fornicate. The East End 6-piece, both individually and as a band unit, have tried to calm them down, but it never works. Welcome to the wonderful world of Deathray Trebuchay.
Dazed Digital: Where'd the name come from?
Deathray Trebuchay: A Trebuchet medieval siege catapult and a Deathray is a deadly ray from the future, so we combined to two, made them rhyme and came up with Deathray Trebuchay.
DD: While we're at it, where did the love of costumes - namely skeletons and pirates - come from? Who's your favourite pirate? Mine's the one from Hook played by Dustin Hoffman.
DT: Definitely a chick called Anne Bonny who disguised herself as a man so she could become a pirate. That’s dedication. The costumes are about forgetting the bullshit and problems of this life to allow us and the audience to go totally, totally crazy. As for the skeletons, they serve as a reminder of our mortality and we use them as a meditative icon to transcend ourselves before shows.
DD: Do you like Gogol Bordello - a band you‘re often compared to?
DT: Yea man, they kick ass. They have the fury and it’s the real deal. They’re definitely into skeleton worship.
DD: Would you agree that "musical madness" is a fair summary of you guys?
DT: Sure, but it’s ordered madness… it’s all written down and memorized. We rehearsed for 8 months before our first gig. Mash up music is the new black.
DD: You're more of a live band... would you say that statement's fair?
DT: Yeah, it’s all about the live act. The record supports the tour, not the other way around.
DD: If money wasn’t an option, how far would you go with live theatrics? Describe your perfect live set.
DT: The best gig we did was on a 10 meter pirate ship in some vaults under London Bridge, so probably a pirate ship moving through a crowd at Glastonbury. We are all big 80’s metal fans, so some flamethrowers, super sized air fans and hydraulic stage would probably be involved as well.
DD: Are you the best live band there is?
DT: Yes, certainly. Of this or any age… with the possible exception of Metallica and Zeppelin.
DD: It's an odd concept to mix both punk and samba... has it been done before?
DT: Not that I know, but then mixing stuff up is fun. We want to bring the whole world into one of our sets. Someone once described our sound as ‘one CD from each section of rough trade’, I liked that.
DD: Ok, I'm going to name a few either/or's and you can say which you'd rather do in your live set
- George Bush mask or Nixon mask?
DT: Nixon – you don’t fuck with the classics.
- Projections of Bad Girls or Leona Lewis' breakthrough hit Bleeding Love?
That gives me an idea...
- Live gorilla or polar bear?
Polar Bear, for certain, especially as our producer Seb Rochford’s band is called Polar Bear. Although you should check out the markhor, which is basically the best animal ever.
DD: How famous do you want to be?
DT: We are aiming at an eventual Christmas number 1.
Deathray Trebuchay are currently touring with Acoustic Ladyland and their next single Number 6/I’m Gonna Kick You In the Ass is out on digital release 2nd February.