By Jillian Dawson
When I was in high school, my friends and I would spend our weekends bouncing between coffee shops and random venues where we could see our favorite high school bands play - Blue Moon, New Moon, the Columbus Club, behind some random warehouse in a field. It was my first taste at live music in the midst of my love of pop punk - Green Day, the Ataris, MxPx and Antifreeze in heavy rotation on my walkman. My first time hearing Doozey immediately took me back to that time in my life and I thought, 'This is a band I would have followed around in high school.' Maybe that sounds like a slight, but it's not - the energy of the music and the band, that time in adolescence something I'd pay a pretty penny to bottle. Doozey's sound is infectious, with poppy sweet hooks and strong vocals, influence from Weezer, Motion City Soundtrack and Blink 182 evident. Lead vocalist and guitarist Andy VanDusen took the time to talk about the band in anticipation of Thursday's upcoming show at Rock Garden Studio.
Tell me a little history on the band – how did you guys meet/decide to be a band?
Well, we started the band in 2010. Ryan Patterson (Bassist), DeAngelo Harris (Drummer), and myself (Andy VanDusen, Guitar/Lead Vocals) all worked at Culver's at the time. We thought it would be cool to start a band. We set up shop in my parents’ basement and here we are.
Where was Doozey’s first show? How did it go?
Our first show was for a Christmas party that Culver's put together. The best word to describe it was "meh.” At the time, we thought we were real cool. Looking back, it was very evident it was our first show. We got to keep all of the leftover food though, so that was pretty neat.
You guys seem like a pretty close knit band – does being in a band together make you better friends?
In some ways yes and in some ways no. As we've grown up it has become harder and harder to hang out like we used to, but the band helps us stay close. I'm the biggest introvert you will meet so I rarely go out if it isn't to play a show. At the same time, it is a business. There are some tough discussions to be had but we always get through it; it's kind of like being brothers. You laugh, you cry, you yell a little at times, but in the end you still love each other like family.
Tell me about your most memorable performance.
June 2014 was a good month for us. We competed down at Summerfest for the 'Land the Big Gig' competition they run every year. We lived like rock stars for a week down in Milwaukee. We got to hang out with a bunch of other cool bands from around the country and played in front of thousands of people all week. We also learned what an "Uber" was. They gave us these schedules we had to abide by and at 8 am an Uber was to pick us up the first day we were down there. We thought an Uber just came and got us, none of the bands knew we had to actually order it, and so we were just sitting in our hotel lobby for an hour. Although we didn't win, we took second in the nation and made a ton of awesome memories.
What’s the songwriting dynamic like in your band – does one of you take the lead more with melodies vs lyrics?
I usually come up with the foundation of the song - the lyrics, melody, hook, verses, chorus, bridges, etc. Then we work together as a group to kind of spice things up.
Do you currently have any albums/EPs out?
We currently have 1 EP, 1 LP, and a couple singles available pretty much everywhere: iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, all those good sites.
What local bands do you like to check out?
We have seen and played with a ton of local bands; all of them have been awesome! The valley is a great place for music and I hope people don't take that for granted.
What band(s) would be someone you would kill to tour with?
For Ryan - Blink 182
For Me - Weezer
For Delo - Rick Astley. I think.
It’s the zombie apocalypse – who’s most likely to survive and why?
I'm gonna say Ryan because he is surprisingly very fast. He could outrun anything.
Let’s say your band was going to make a guest appearance in a movie – what kind of scene would you see your band set in… like a house party? In a dive bar? Prom? A spaceship?
We like those really dumb comedies and marvel movies so either a men's restroom or the Avengers base.
You can catch Doozey this Thursday February 16th at Rock Garden Studio - 7pm. Check out their upcoming show schedule on Facebook, Bandsintown and Twitter at @doozeymusic.