DIS­AP­PEAR­ING ACT

De­sa­pare­ci­dos gui­tarist Den­ver Dal­ley talks BLUNT through all things or­ganic that cul­mi­nated in the band’s first al­bum in 13 years.

Blunt - - Upfront - Words by Dave Dray­ton. PAY­OLA IS OUT JUNE 23 THROUGH EPI­TAPH/WARNER.

Af­ter an eight-year ab­sence that fol­lowed the re­lease of their de­but al­bum, Read Mu­sic/Speak Span­ish, De­sa­pare­ci­dos – the band oth­er­wise known as ‘Conor Oberst’s punk band’ – re­united in 2010 to play the Con­cert For Equal­ity. A few more fes­ti­vals fol­lowed, and with more shows came new mu­sic – “Mar­iKKKopa”, “Back­sell”, “Anony­mous”, “The Left Is Right”, “Te Amo Camila Vallejo”, and “The Un­der­ground Man” all drip-fed as self-re­leased dou­ble A-sides by the band over a pe­riod of time stretch­ing as far back as 2012. “In 2004 we had four or five songs writ­ten and we were in the midst of writ­ing more and then it just all got to be too much, es­pe­cially with Conor’s tour­ing sched­ule, and I had started Statis­tics around then. Of those tracks one or two made it to this al­bum. “We started play­ing again back in 2010 and were writ­ing in chunks as our sched­ules would al­low, and we would record them as we went, which is why we ended up putting out those EPs, and as it kept pro­gress­ing we were like, ‘We ac­tu­ally have enough for an al­bum here…’” The band, “al­most as a joke in pass­ing”, told their manager that it’d be great if he could take the al­bum to some­one like Epi­taph, not think­ing it a real op­tion, but he took it as real and took it to the la­bel. “The next tour we were on they had just signed Joyce Manor, so we were back­stage on the couches hang­ing out with the Joyce Manor guys and Brett [Gure­witz] came in and we were all just talk­ing and nerding out about comics and gui­tars and fi­nally he said, ‘Well I should prob­a­bly go find th­ese De­sa­pare­ci­dos guys’ and we were like, ‘That’s us!’ He said, ‘I thought you were just Joyce Manor’s bud­dies or some­thing’ and we’re like, ‘We are!’ So we had an im­me­di­ate, awe­some rap­port with him, and great chem­istry. It was a re­ally or­ganic meet­ing.” Im­pressed by the first six songs Epi­taph signed the band to re­lease the al­bum, and they set about record­ing the rest. Pay­ola was con­structed in a more col­lab­o­ra­tive man­ner than its pre­de­ces­sor, and Dal­ley ac­knowl­edges and apol­o­gises for the overuse of the ad­jec­tive or­ganic while ex­plain­ing: “Be­fore, I’d come in with all the parts and we’d as­sem­ble it to­gether, this al­bum was more like I’d come in with a riff, or just an intro or a verse, and we’d fill it all out to­gether; it was more of an or­ganic, col­lab­o­ra­tive process – lyri­cally, too. It felt like more of a team ef­fort. “A lot of times it just starts with some weird sound I’ll make on a gui­tar, and then we’ve got the first part and Conor’s vo­cal melody will dic­tate where it goes from there.” Most re­cent sin­gle “City On The Hill” be­gins as such – an ag­gres­sive ro­botic trill sand­wiched be­tween chunky, foot-stomp­ing chords. The men­tion of the song brings the gui­tar nerd in Dal­ley, the one hang­ing out with Joyce Manor and Brett incog­nito, out in full flight. “For me ‘City On The Hill’ was the most ex­cit­ing be­cause I was able to do this lit­tle de­lay trick that I’d ac­tu­ally done on the first al­bum but it wasn’t very prom­i­nent, so I was very stoked on that,” he beams. “And I get to tap at the end, which was my other goal; I’ve al­ways wanted to have a tap­ping, quote unquote ‘shred­ding gui­tar solo’.” There’s no quote unquote about it – that lead fuck­ing shreds.

“WE WERE ALL JUST TALK­ING AND NERDING OUT ABOUT COMICS AND GUI­TARS.” DEN­VER DAL­LEY

DE­SA­PARE­CI­DOS

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