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Friday, March 14 • 10:30pm - 11:00pm
Drop Dead, Gorgeous

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There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a band grow in an organic fashion. And that’s exactly what Drop Dead, Gorgeous have been doing at a rapid clip for the past few years, from the release of the Be My Valentine EP, to their debut full-length, In Vogue, to their latest effort, the beautifully brutal Worse Than A Fairy Tale. The Denver, Colorado band, whose eldest member clocks in at the ripe age of 21, started from the ground up, slowly but confidently clawing their way to the top of their genre, winning over one fan at a time, thanks to their intense, screamy post-hardcore. It’s hard to believe that DD,G are already delivering their second album! But the band continues to strike while the iron is hot, while the kids are hungering for their white-hot blend of hardcore and emo. The time is now for Drop Dead, Gorgeous, and there is no better way for this band to make a statement than with the concept-driven Worse Than A Fairy Tale. To date, the numbers add up to this: Drop Dead, Gorgeous have accumulated over 165,000 friends on their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/dropdeadgorgeous), have enjoyed 7.3 million plays of their songs on MySpace, as well as having over 2.8 million page views. At Pure Volume, they’ve amassed millions of plays, and have landed on both the hardcore chart and screamo charts. Clearly, Drop Dead, Gorgeous are quickly becoming recognizable and the word is spreading virally. But Drop Dead, Gorgeous are much more than a bunch of eye-popping Internet stats and hyped new media numbers. It’s the music that speaks at the loudest volume, and that’s what caused Alternative Press magazine to deem them one of their “100 Bands You Need To Know,” calling the music an ”expertly mangled mélange of serrated guitars, blast-beat breakdowns and sharp-tongued sarcasm.” Worse Than A Fairy Tale, which finds the band switching from micro-indie Rise Records to Suretone, is a smart, if not brilliant, concept album that’s an interactive experience for the listeners and the fans. The album tells the story of a serial killer who goes on a killing spree in a small town called Saylor Lake. Essentially, Saylor Lake is your typical Pleasantville: a safe, suburban town -- until the killer lets loose! “Each song is about murders that are happening,” says keyboardist Aaron Rothe. “The narratives are told from the perspective of the killer and the victims. But we never reveal who the killer is. It’s for the listener to figure out. Whoever listens to this record has the task to try and figure it out. Every song is a piece of the puzzle!” The website, www.worsethanafairytale.com, will feature cool postings related to the story, and the artwork for the album is tied into the mystery/concept. The album is a participatory experience that deliberately involves and engages the listener! “We hope that our fans dive into it and love it as much as we do. We don’t just want a melody to get stuck in their heads. We want it to mean something important to them,” Rothe says. Talk about a band that’s directly connected to its fanbase in the most intimate of ways. That’s what’ll give Drop Dead, Gorgeous the staying power that so many bands strive for, yet so few achieve. Turns out, vocalist Danny Stillman put the album concept together after the band recorded In Vogue, which by the way, went on to sell over 30,000 copies. The rest of the band was super into the idea, and took the time to put the whole storyline together. Drop Dead, Gorgeous are truly the thinking fan’s band, and they stay one step ahead of their peers in a crowded genre by thinking outside of the box. Rothe admits that the genre is overpopulated, and that the band needed to take several steps to stand out, something they’ve succeeded at. “We wanted to separate ourselves, without going too far and without being too weird,” he admits. “We took our time writing. We kept it heavy and dark, and extremely intense, all at once. There’s no triplet breakdowns or any of that stuff! It’s still screamy, but it’s also much more melodic.” These sonic strengths, combined with the album’s concept, elevate Worse Than A Fairy Tale to must-hear status. On Worse Than A Fairytale, DD,G exhibits necessary sonic growth. While lots of bands are playing music that’s heavier than a slab of granite, Drop Dead, Gorgeous keeps things interesting and unpredictable, thanks to their use of keyboards and pianos, which give the album plenty of rich dynamics. The new album, which was produced by Ross Robinson (Slipknot, At The Drive In) and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge, is dissonant, but melodies are omnipresent. “We’ve always loved keyboards, but we were worried about how well it would work,” says Stillman. “And there are not that many keyboardists out there, so there are not a lot to choose from. But we wanted that element in our sound, and we knew we could make it work, and we did. Having keys separates us from similar-sounding bands and it adds more melody to the whole sound.” Indeed, keyboards are quite atypical for such an aggressive, extreme band, but DD,G make it work, and as a result, the band is a well-oiled machine. “I’m not sure how we make it work,” Rothe. “It just does. We all have our individual tastes that we bring to the band and that helps.” In fact, the band’s deft use of keys serves to make the heavy parts sound heavier, thanks to the contrast. “We use string effects to add texture to the music, and to make it different,” finished Stillman. Worse Than A Fairy Tale was recorded in LA, with the aforementioned Robinson, who is known for pulling passionate, razor’s edge performances from the bands he works with. Rothe says his band was fully inspired by Robinson, who helped them make the best album possible. “He is a musical genius and an inspiring man,” he says. “It was a long process. We went over our time limit, by a month, during the recording process, but what we got out of the experience was simply amazing. It was, at times, frustrating and exciting, but in the end, it came out great. I remember when we got started. We tracked drums first, and we’d all sit around in the studio, just us and him, and it’d be all quiet, and he’d ask each of us what we thought each song was about. If you read the lyrics fast, you’ll think the songs are just about someone getting killed, but if you go deep into it, you’ll see these songs mean more and can be applied to something more personal.” Indeed, there are layers upon layers of meaning on Worse Than A Fairy Tale, which require the listener do to some work. But it’ll be an enjoyable labor of love. DD,G, who’ve toured with Senses Fail, Scars Of Tomorrow, Inked In Blood, Folly, Look What I Did, Eighteen Visions, and Bullet For My Valentine, have played to over 5,000 fans as part of 2006's DirtFest, a Michigan festival featuring Silverstein, Every Time I Die, and Black Dahlia Murder on the bill, and played Bamboozle Left as well as the East Coast's Saints And Sinners Fest, are enjoying a hard, fast education in the music scene, and the music business, as they hit the road. Their young age isn’t a hindrance; in fact, it helps. It’s one of the key reasons they relate to their fans, and vice versa. “If anything, it’s a benefit. Our fans are young, so it works out for us. The business side, well, we have learned a lot, and we’ve have managers and tour managers who take care of the business aspects, so we can just do our thing and rock out,” says Stillman. Although the members of DD,G look good and present themselves in a stylish manner, that stuff is all secondary. “We care about our style, but it’s not a big deal,” Stillman says. Displaying wisdom beyond his years, he finishes, “Everyone cares how they look, but that’s not the most important thing. The music is most important.” And that’s the very attitude that will help Drop Dead, Gorgeous grow and develop into one of the underground screamo’s scene’s brightest stars.
http://2008.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/72098.html

Friday March 14, 2008 10:30pm - 11:00pm
La Zona Rosa 612 W 4th St

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