Didn't know what to make of DraculaZombieUSA at first. Didn't know if their sounds were for me. Sometimes, I see a band's name and I get this notion of what they're going to sound like and then I just forget about them for a while without even properly listening to their stuff. I'm bad like that sometimes. Not most times, but it happened with DraculaZombieUSA. Why is that? I love Dracula, Zombies, AND the USA. Plus, members of Man In Gray are somehow involved in DraculaZombieUSA, everyone knows I love MiG. Pssh, silly guy from EAR FARM. DraculaZombieUSA's for everyone!
Now, if I could only decipher what in the world is going on with their lineup. "Franchise band"? Huh? People that live on the West coast in the same band as folks on the East coast? I'm too simple to figure out what's going on with all that, so I went and asked Bryan to explain a bit:
"First it was Andy Influence and Will Collision featuring Travis Gravitas (Andy and Travis from the Unsacred Hearts, Andy now of OK Go). Will wrote all the songs and played it off a laptop, Travis played live drums, Andy played bass. Everybody sang. Danielle (the Anvil) added vocals too (look for her in Stereogum's indie rock hottie's of '05 list or whatever it was). They changed the name of the band, for convenience sake, to DraculaZombieUSA. Andy left NY and joined OK Go. DZUSA continues with shows as a three-piece. Will and Danielle left NY for California.Ok, NOW I get it. Fuck YES. This sounds like an amazing concept! I used to mess around with a groovebox and loops back in the day and dream of something just like this. Except in those dreams, my music wasn't nearly this dope.
Will and Danielle acquire musicians - (this is still in the beginning stages, nothing definite yet) drums, guitar, trombone. This will be DZUSA West (Deluxe!). Travis acquires singers - Tina and Bryan (aka BBruxxx) from MiG, Mary, D-Hella, Gena, occasional others such as Smilin' Andy Bean smacking a wooden fish. This is DZUSA East. The music is the same original stuff made by Will, Trav, and Andy, played off an iPod. Travis still plays live drums over it. Everybody sings and dances and uses anything they can find as percussion."
What's so 'dope' about this stuff? For starters, DraculaZombieUSA packs that same carefree, fun approach that you find on Ween records. But DZUSA's approach comes across more along the lines of the group-fun of a band like The Go! Team. They're combining live drums and drum machines with samples, synths, loops, guitars, vocals, and lord knows what else. The result of this melange is music that's equally interesting, fun, and moving. No, not moving like the theme to The Man From Snowy River, moving as in it'll get your ass in gear. No matter who you are, DZUSA will awaken the dancer within. Heck, I'll betcha that music like this will make nerds and librarians dance like their socks are on fire. For that reason I can understand people wanting to compare DZUSA to LCD Soundsystem or Underworld but those comparisons fail to convey the fact that DraculaZombieUSA has made something very human and organic out of a formula that usually equates to calculated robotic dance grooves.
I've selected two of the four songs DraculaZombieUSA makes available on their official site and their MySpace page. I happen to like these two better than the others at this moment. It's changing though, almost as I type, because all four songs are really great. In fact, I'm having to fight the desire to remove one of these and put "The Summer Jam" in its place. No no, I'll stick with these.
Today's recipe for fun: margaritas, cervezas, fun in the sun, and music by DraculaZombieUSA.
"Thomas Window Paine"
Go to Serious Business Records to buy their album!
See DraculaZombieUSA live - 11 May, 2006 @ Fontanna's