The genre-blurring electro-pop-metal outfit, Deadsy’s second album, Commencement, has taken the back roads towards existence, originally having been slated for a 1999 release on Warner Bros. The album will finally see release on Korn’s Elementree Records, an imprint of Dreamworks, next spring.
But rather than piss and moan about the delay, the group has embraced it, using the time to record a handful of new tracks for the album as well as sign on with the current Family Values Tour, where they hope to court a fan base eager to receive Commencement upon its release. “It’s interesting to see what kind of reactions we get being completely unknown to most of these kids, because we’re playing for Linkin Park’s crowd and Staind’s crowd,” says Elijah Blue (a.k.a. Philips Exeter Blue — each member has a prep school informed stage name), Deadsy’s frontman. “But we’re getting a really good response after each song.”
With a band manifesto (printed at www.deadsy.com), stage names, arm bands, insignias and the air of private school gone amok, Deadsy — which also includes keyboardist Dr. Nner, guitarist Carlton Meglodon, drummer Alec Püre and drummer Craig — stick out amongst the straight-ahead guitar rock of Stone Temple Pilots and Staind, or Linkin Park’s rap-rock hybrid. “I’m very fascinated by Skull and Bones and secret societies and all that stuff that people are very curious about that create an air of mystique,” says Blue, himself a former student at Maine’s Hyde School. “That’s consistent with what rock is about. I think that the best music-art is made when it has a stamp of who you are and your life and what you’re about. [Prep school] was the environment that let me discover so many things that most kids wouldn’t have access to. Being a kid of privilege [Blue’s parents are Cher and Greg Allman], I often call this band ‘a perversion of privilege.’ Whatever I was going to do, it was going to be high-concept.”
And the band hopes that that concept will eventually prove to be a pull, rather than a push for fans. “When we’re on stage it’s still like a rock show,” Blue says. “Once you get into the record and the whole allegory of the band it’s a different thing. But our job is to make it so the kids get it and I really want the kids to get it. And I think one of the best way to have the first experience is to see us live.”
And having been signed to Elementree, the group also managed to tap Korn’s Jonathan Davis to lend his vocals to “The Key to Gramercy Park,” the album’s first single. “We’ve known Jon for awhile and we’d done a song in the past, but we wanted to do something that was a little bit more in your face,” Blue says. “[The single] has the freshness of what this band is with some beats that people can identify. It kind of serves as a Trojan horse, so the main thing we do doesn’t go over people’s heads. It’s introduction to Deadsy, and we really like it because it’s a really slamming fucking pop song.”
As with any high-concept band, Deadsy are already thinking ahead, having written a portion of their next album. “We’re thinking about albums and their succession as a story unfolding in itself,” Blue says. “We hope to be around for awhile. Like Bowie did, you gotta stay ahead.”
And as for which is worse, the debauchery that comes with life on tour versus life in a private school? “Private school man, absolutely,” he says. “Any environment that’s devoid of accountability and responsibility. As decadent as the rock lifestyle can get, we’re thinking about too many business things, too many grown up things interwoven with any of the debauchery you might experience. I guess that level of super ivory tower cloud of rock stardom is when you can get back to the accountability-free days of one’s youth. So we’re just pedaling just as fast as we can to get back to that place.”