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"We’d like to think the world’s a bit of a better place with Deadsy in it."
——Exeter Blue I aka Elijah Blue Allman
WANTED: DEADSY ALIVE
Time to grab the key to Grammercy Park from Deadsy’s Exeter Blue I by Noelle Tinker
 Seems like everyone’s talking about Deadsy...both good and bad. Maybe because it's taken several years and several labels to get their debut album Commencement (Elementree/DreamWorks) released. Maybe it's because we love the songs or the scions of rock legends (Cher and Gregg Allman's son Elijah Blue is the front man, but he goes by the name Exeter Blue I). Maybe it's simply because the anger and the brutality of nu-metal has finally played itself out and we’re ready for something different. Maybe, just maybe, we’re ready to trade lyrics about skinning someone's ass raw with a chainsaw for words that are actually euphonious and artistic. This group of spoiled, prep-school neo-new wavers hailing out of Malibu offer just that. This death-metal-influenced synth-pop is both far ahead of its time, yet evokes the familiarity and the comfort of the past.

Imagine the heavy, overdriven guitars of Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel underneath the deep and gloomy vocals of Peter Steele and Brad Roberts. Now mix that with the dulcet melodies of Gary Numan, Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream, then top it with the attitude of Grace Jones and the overall feeling of Rush and you have a pretty good idea of Deadsy. Some say it's a bunch of ridiculous nonsense; some say it's not only genius but transcendental. Originally signed by Korn’s Jonathan Davis to his Elementree imprint, Deadsy is the future…at least according to HITS’ own Noelle Tinker "Tailor, Soldier Spy."

Why did it take five years for this album to be released?
We were signed to Sire in ’96 and we recorded an album which was not anything near what this album is. When Sire left Elektra, we went with Sire waiting for another home for Seymour [Stein] to put the record out through. We kept recording more songs so we would have a more updated album. Seymour then found a home for us with Sire at Warner Bros. the summer of ’99. We had a bunch of new songs… It was supposed to come out that fall. Then Sire merged with London Records.

You didn’t feel a sense of frustration?
I was more concerned with developing the craft. I always knew that it’s about the slow, steady establishment of something that’s going to be there for a long time. I wasn’t really concerned. I was having a great time doing whatever the fuck I wanted. Ultimately, I trusted in fate to lead us to a good home where we could establish a foundation that would allow us many, many years of our full artistic endeavor.

How did you end up on Korn singer Jonathan Davis’ Elementree label?
Jonathan wanted to buy us out of our contract. We tried to get out of our Sire deal, but just couldn’t do it. Basically, in the fall of ’99, the axe came down and we were dropped from Sire. Warner Bros. gave us the option of either putting this record out with half the budget or they’d give us the record back. Obviously, my mom had just made them some disgusting amount of money, so they gave me my record back and that’s when it became a situation where I was a free agent with a record that had no overrides. Since no one had to pay any money to the label, in a matter of two months, we had a fucking amazing new record deal with Jonathan and Elementree.

Your lyrics are powerful.
It’s all about creating a situation where kids feel they’re part of a special kind of socio-culture art movement. We want our music to help people feel like they belong. Hopefully it will elevate the natural initiative and they’ll realize knowledge is power, art is power, and appreciate life as power. It’s about more than just how many records you’re going to sell. We’d like to think the world’s a bit of a better place with Deadsy in it.

Gene Simmons had a large personal influence on you as a child.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are from being at Kiss concerts. Obviously, at that impressionable age, when the brain is raw and you have those visuals and context being hammered into it is going to have an effect. When I think of art and rock, I think of that presentation, the grandiosity, the intensity that Kiss delivered. My band is the ultimate equation of the act of putting a very specific kind of art in a very specific kind of context... putting art out into the world. Our music is made by real people—it’s a fucking brotherhood that stands for stuff like deep-rooted beliefs, time spent developing and nurturing…all those places that our lives have taken us. So in that sense it’s Kiss, but it’s also—ya know—a little bit of Scooby Doo too.

Your sound has influences from ’80s new wave to death metal.
We like to turn people on to stuff that they wouldn’t have been turned on to—being able to translate the little obscure treasures in our world for them.

We have a couple of songs that touch on ’80s nostalgia, but most of the synthesizer work that we try to touch on is ’70s prog, like Keith Emerson and Rush. On the next record, you’ll find that we have our own library of sounds. We are setting out to do something extremely specific and tailor-made for our personalities. It’s not like punk, where it’s fair game for everyone.

Do you feel influenced by your mother?
The only influence that I get from my mom is the sense of going big. I really respect her showmanship and her ability to push it to the edge. It’s a familial trait that has been instilled in me, too.

How do you feel about all the emphasis people put on you being "the son of Cher and Gregg Allman"?
That’s their problem. My life doesn’t run off that clock.

What was it like opening up on the Family Values tour last fall?
The response was great. Of course, there was the challenge of winning the crowd over without them knowing anything about you, but you got to see the rock & roll experience in its purest form. We didn’t look at it as a fearful thing; we looked at it as the ultimate scenario to be turning people on to Deadsy for the first time. We seized that with fucking utter confidence every night. We gained a lot of new fans. We really look forward to going back out there with Korn and Puddle of Mudd and seeing all those new fans this June. Hopefully, this time there will even be some people comin' to see us.

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