The Daze
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The Daze

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Bandslam: Austin Screening 8/4/09"

not actually a review...just a video.

- Austin 360

"Envy Magazine Review of Straightjacket Hymns"

At 74 minutes, The Daze's debut album Straightjacket Hymns is overstuffed. If the songs were tedious it would be a death sentence, but The Daze perform with a vigor and ambition that make them seem like road-tested pros. The fact that the three members--guitarist/vocalist Evan Butts, drummer Aaron Lemke, and bassist Chris Ritchie--have only 59 years between them is shocking. Stylistically the LP ranges from hard-bound rockers ("Blizzard Woman Blues") to jangled-up road songs ("To Hear a Sound"). Butts' commanding voice and often virtuosic guitar playing lead the charge, but instead of soloing away like a madman, he blends with Lemke's Bonzo drumming and Ritchie's liquid basslines to create passages that are reminiscent of the hypnotic haze of Modest Mouse. The best melding of their playing prowess and sophisticated sound arrangements are "Come, Child," "Song for Newborn," and Heart of Darkness-inspired "Center of the Earth." But a few minutes could have been trimmed from 16-minute closer "Smithereens," and to the album as a whole. It's the one factor keeping Straightjacket Hymns from greatness, but The Daze are close enough on their first try to be very scary." --Jack Frink
4 out of 5 stars - Envy Magazine (August 2009)

"Appearance on Good Morning Austin"

Again, only a video. -

"Happy Daze, Indeed (Newspaper story)"

Happy Daze, indeed
Local band's fairy tale starts with gig in a movie, CD release

By Peter Mongillo
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's a bit of rock 'n' roll fantasy — three high school buddies with a love of Led Zeppelin form a band. A couple years later they respond to a casting call (one of the many benefits of living in Austin), and the next thing they know, they're in a trailer on the set of a movie, rubbing elbows with Hollywood stars.

That's exactly what happened to Austin rockers Evan Butts, Chris Ritchie and Aaron Lemke, aka the Daze, who will appear alongside "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens and Aly Michalka of the pop duo Aly & AJ in the film "Bandslam," which opens Friday. Other Austin musicians, including rock band Joker, hip-hop artists Zeale and Phranchyze, and KISS FM DJ Bobby Bones also appear in the film, which was partly shot at Hogg Auditorium on the University of Texas campus.

"Bandslam" follows the story of Will Burton, played by Gaelen Connell, a new kid in town who befriends a singer-songwriter, played by Michalka, as she competes in a high school battle of the bands. The Daze (and other musicians involved) appear as themselves and play an original song in the competition, which takes place toward the end of the movie.

Despite the fact that the film is geared toward a younger teenage audience, band members say director Todd Graff's movie offers something for everyone. "I was really impressed because I could see that it was going to appeal to a wider audience than just the 'High School Musical' crowd," Butts said.

The band also praised others involved in the film, including Hudgens ("Vanessa introduced herself to us"). "Everyone there was really nice," Butts said. "They all treated us so well even though we were just little unimportant people."

Butts and Ritchie, both 20 (Lemke is 19) have known each other since elementary school. They began jamming together about five years ago when Ritchie, who plays bass, and Lemke, who plays drums, were at St. Andrew's High School. They invited Butts, then a student at St. Stephen's, to play guitar. The three are taking the semester off from the University of Texas and St. Edward's to concentrate on music.

In addition to their big-screen debut, the Daze is releasing its debut album, "Straightjacket Hymns," this month with a performance Aug. 27 at Antone's (and a free show today at Waterloo Records). Austin Latin rock musician Rick del Castillo, who taught guitar to Butts, produced the album, which draws heavily from blues rock, with elements of folk and Latin music. "Blizzard Woman Blues," the uptempo rock number performed in the film, is a highlight.

Though the band is excited to be on the big screen, appearing on the soundtrack alongside artists such as David Bowie (who has a cameo in the movie), the Velvet Underground, Nico and Wilco was the real thrill. "That was what felt the best, really, just seeing the Daze, Wilco — wow," Lemke said. - Austin American Statesman


Straightjacket Hymns (2009)



Following the “green” trend right along with the rest of the world is homegrown Austin, Texas band, The Daze, with their uncompromising mission to create sustainable music - music that will be appreciated universally by all ages at any point in linear time. Inspired by a diverse spectrum of the greatest bands in history, Evan Butts (guitar/vocals), Chris Ritchie (bass), and Aaron Lemke (drums/percussion) began honing their chops by getting together to jam the timeless classics of Led Zeppelin. They have since evolved into a group that strives tirelessly for originality and exudes a transcendent quality aurally tangible to music lovers from all walks of life. With one of its tracks already hand selected to be featured and performed by The Daze themselves in this summer’s film, Bandslam, their upcoming debut release, Straightjacket Hymns, is currently positioning itself to serve as the unstoppable vehicle that will deliver them from the confines of obscurity to the world’s stage.
First impressions of these three music aficionados (aged 19 and 20 years old) are slightly misleading. What lies beneath the deceiving youthful appearance is an intuitive depth in understanding life, societal strains, and how to compose a song designed to “let the listeners really arrive somewhere if they’re willing to take the trip” as Evan puts it. There is an indelible wisdom possessed by each member individually, which far surpasses the collective 58 years of life shared amongst the trio.
This depth is strikingly evident in the concept from which the title of the album, Straightjacket Hymns, was derived. Lyricist Evan Butts admits the title may seem intimidating or pessimistic at first introduction. But contrary to this view is the optimistic interpretation whereby music, in a “quasi-hymnic” nature, enables its listeners and participants to temporarily break through the subconscious confinement via “some deep-seated, un-intellectualized, raw” energy. In his own words he explains, “A straightjacket is something that is both associated with insanity and is something that confines. It is not uncommon to hear people say ‘Oh we’re all a little crazy.’ Especially pertaining to people who are considered or who consider themselves ‘artistic’ or ‘creative,’ this craziness might be manifested in the development of an individual worldview, in someone’s idiosyncrasies, or in the way someone chooses to express their ideas and emotions.” Music provides the medium for artists misunderstood as “crazy” to escape the unspoken laws imposed upon them. He continues by defining a hymn as “some votive song or song of praise directed at a higher power” further explaining that he escapes earthly concerns temporarily when music invites him into “its world.” The goal he shares with his band mates is to provide this sometimes trance-like escape for their listeners.
Having been together for over four years, The Daze has already built an impressive list of achievements and outstanding performances. The symbiotic synergy of this group is rooted deeply in childhood. Evan and Chris met when they were each nine, and not too long after, their paths in music aligned. Evan took to the guitar and after much arduous contemplation, Chris made the fateful decision to differentiate himself by making the leap from guitar to bass despite his prior drive toward guitar. What brought Aaron into the scene was an extra-curricular organization called “Jam Club” offered at the school Chris and Aaron attended. The “meetings” were hosted at Aaron’s house. Coming from a family of musicians where he actually played drums in his dad’s band, The Blue Howlers, at only nine years old, Aaron was naturally drawn to be a major part of this experience. Each Sunday, the jam club met in his basement to release their inner jam. Evan, whom Aaron had coincidentally jammed with weeks earlier to the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” was invited by Chris one day because they needed an “adequate” guitarist. He began attending each week as well. Slowly, the group dwindled down, and when they became the reining participants, finding themselves undeniably connected in music, the trio was ultimately cemented and became The Daze.
As self-professed descendants of Led Zeppelin, members of The Daze readily pull from an extensive range of musical influences from The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, Dr. Dog, The Strokes, and Of Montreal all the way across the spectrum to Dr. Dre and The Carter Family. The minimalistic rock of The White Stripes and The Black Keys especially played a major role in shaping their craft. Lyrically, Evan has relied largely on his multi-faceted appreciation of Bob Dylan. When it comes to lyrics, he believes “Dylan is obviously the biggest.” His intrinsic ability to write lyrics that “stand up to so much scrutiny and to so many listens” has provided a foundation for Evan’s own lyric writing. He strives to write songs which yield multiple meanings