Death Valley High: Dance Rock With Hardcore Roots — Interview
Death Valley High come from a fine tradition of groups like Alice Cooper, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and Marilyn Manson: bands that write music as dramatic and arresting as their image and lyrics. The San Francisco quartet is gearing up to release ‘Doom, In Full Bloom,’ their explosive sophomore album.
The record is jam-packed with one hook after the other, but isn’t especially easy to classify. “Julie Christmas once tagged it doom pop. We’ve also heard dancecore, and death pop, but we’d probably just call it dark, edgy dance rock with hardcore roots,” said Death Valley High vocalist-guitarist Reyka Osburn during a recent chat with Noisecreep.
‘Doom, In Full Bloom’ even features a killer cover of Katy Perry’s modern pop standard ‘I Kissed a Girl.’ “Hooks are important. Whether it’s a guitar riff, a drum fill or the way a word is sung, it’s gotta be something memorable. It’s like walking a high wire because we love both sides of the coin: raw nerves and broken bones on one side, and pop sensibilities on the other,” said Osburn.
In terms of the lyrics on the new album, Death Valley High kept true to their theatrical roots. “I like to tell stories in the way the TV series ‘Tales from the Darkside’ used to,” said Osburn. “We reflect a lot of horror themes in our songs.”
Some Noisecreep readers might recognize Osburn’s name from his work with the Deftones on their 2003 song ‘Lucky You.’ We asked him how the collaboration came to be. “I’ve been close friends with Deftones for years. We’ve worked together a few times, but ‘Lucky You’ was the first to see the public eye. I was hanging out with them in the studio and they were literally asking me to do ‘something’ on the record. I assumed they meant synth or guitar so I agreed. The next thing I know, I’m singing words and melodies with Chino in a dimly lit isolation vocal booth.”
‘Doom, In Full Bloom’ will be out this spring via MINUS head Records.
Watch the video for ‘Bring It Down’