Deadaires is a band born out of necessity. While all the members have impressive pedigrees, having cut their teeth in celebrated Florida punk acts like Against Me! and True North, Deadaires is an entirely different beast. It all began last year when having left Against Me! after twelve years, Andrew Seward (bass, keyboards, vocals) moved to St. Augustine, Florida, and started working at a music venue with Ryan Murphy (vocals, guitars). The duo casually talked about starting a recording project and recruited drummer and co-worker/visual artist Jeremy Rogers (drums/vocals) to fill things out. Jeremy has been an instrumental part of the St. Augustine punk scene for 15 years and has also played in countless bands. "I had pretty much stopped playing music when the three of us starting playing together for fun, but as soon as this project started it came together in a way where we got that tingly feeling like when you start dating someone," Seward says of the band's unexpected beginnings in 2015. "You start daydreaming, and daydreaming is a good thing when it comes to creating something you love."
Recorded during lunch breaks, weekends, and the occasional vacation day, Deadaires was tracked incrementally over an eight-month period at Seward's house on an eight-channel mixer, a refreshingly far cry from the major-label albums he'd made in the past. "The whole record was a freeing moment in the sense that we work so much that there wasn't time to make a professional record on a budget, so we made something that was more fueled by sporadic intensity," Seward explains. "This was the most unstressed album I've made since I was 16 years old making records in Alabama," he continues. "Everyone agreed on everything or we didn't go forward." That charismatic connection and collective collaboration is evident on songs like,"Constance Demario," a midtempo sing-along that recalls some of the best moments of D.C. post-hardcore, but played through the prism of the Gainesville punk that these musicians helped pioneer. It's heavy without being macho and tender without sounding whiny. It's the sound of adults rediscovering the joy of what being in a band felt like before the complications of adulthood set in.
Lyrically the album focuses on the members' collective personal experiences. It's inherently relatable to anyone trying to come to terms with the present without disavowing his or her past. "We weren't trying to be thematic. It was just us looking back at the past decade of experiences and the fact that we're all the same age and coming from the same type of place," Murphy explains. "There's a melancholy to it but there's also a frantic desperation to these songs because I think that's just where we are in our lives." Once the recording was finished the band took it to close friend and renowned producer J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines) who masterfully mixed Deadaires. "J. was able to take these songs and make you feel like you're actually in the room as we record it live which is pretty amazing considering that it was all recorded separately," Murphy adds. Finally the album was mastered by another longtime friend, Brad Boatright, who recently worked on the soundtrack for the breakout Netflix series Stranger Things.
Speaking of strange things, although all three members imagined that their touring days were behind them once the album was finished, they all agreed that they needed to start performing these songs and recruited Alan Mills as their live guitar player. "We've played three shows, but it feels like we've been playing together for years because on some incestual level, we have been playing together for years," Seward explains. "That's the whole thing. We didn't plan on starting a band but the actual material motivated us to be a band." Whether Deadaires is building quietly climactic post-hardcore anthems like "Exit Polls," or channeling their aggression into controlled chaos on "Poor You, Poor Me," Deadaires is an album that's reassuringly familiar without regurgitating the past. It's the kind of album that references the Afghan Whigs as much as it does Fugazi because it isn't trying to be either of them. Sometimes our most creative moments are the unexpected ones... and this album is teeming with those types of tiny revelations. - Jonah Bayer