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- Posted on Mar 1st 2010 7:44PM by Daniel Schneider
Dallas band the Daylights are difficult to define. In advance of the group's appearance at SXSW, Spinner spoke with Ran Jackson, while brother/bandmate Ricky Jackson and drummer Sven Lerche provided comical commentary in the background.
Describe your sound.
It's a sound we found after playing together for a few years, learning each other's strengths and weaknesses. I think we hit an emotional point with people. A lot of people want to put us in a box with certain bands' sounds. They'll call us Muse or Radiohead or Coldplay. But I see us as something edgier, harder than Muse.
How did your band form?
My brother and I were raised in Dallas, and we always played music together. I learned to play guitar in my senior year of high school, but I'd played piano for years before that. We met Sven through our manager -- Sven's from Copenhagen, Denmark. We met him here in Los Angeles. We had auditioned about 25 drummers. Sven was the last of them, and easily the best. We went out for a beer, talked for a while, and that was pretty much it. After our first show, we knew it was right. I guess that's not particularly exciting.
What are your musical influences?
All pretty similar. We all grew up listening to a lot of European music, a lot of Anglo music. From the Denmark area. Though not black metal! But lyrically, we're way more American. Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, those two are some of the best lyric writers from America. I look at them a lot. Definitely the Velvet Underground, the Smashing Pumpkins, Serge Gainsbourg. We don't just listen to rock, or indie -- collectively, we listen to a wide variety of music.
How did you come up with your band name?
Basically, we needed a band name really badly. When we couldn't think of one, we decided to let people pick it for us. We threw a party and wouldn't let anyone leave until we had a band name. We tricked people into thinking they were going to drink our beer, eat some good food. Really, we entrapped them.
What's the songwriting process like for you guys?
I know some bands just come in with individual parts written for the others to fill in the blanks, while others just sit down and play until they find something they like. But being together and listening to each other is really important for us. We lived in Nashville for a couple years, and we sort of had to unlearn the "Nashville Way" for a while, where you schedule a time and get together and write, like a machine in a factory. Now we just try to have fun with it. It's interesting being brothers and having a foreigner in the room, because we'll always fight over different things. One likes the song, one hates the lyrics. Or vice versa. A lot of the time I end up being the chooser. I'll have to stop them and say "Wait, play that one more time." We always end up writing our songs in practices, though. Everything.
What do you expect SXSW to be like this time around?
I think we've got a big enough following in Austin that when we bring the record with us, we'll be able to build off that, make something good happen. It's been a long, interesting process, so it's really good to have that in the bag.
Beatles or Stones?
We're definitely divided between ourselves. Two of us would say the Beatles, one for the Rolling Stones. See, the Stones are sexier, definitely, but the Beatles are better songwriters. The Beatles -- that's what our dad raised us on. You know, the first song I ever learned on guitar was their song 'Michelle.'
Who was your first celebrity crush?
She-ra, from 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.' Maybe Daisy Duke -- that's a little classier.
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