It used to be that a genre-bending act was described as a little bit country, a little bit rock’n’roll. These days, it’s more like a little bit pop, a little bit punk’n’roll, just like the music coming from Day 2 Deja Vu
The band is a trio out of darkest suburbia or Newmarket, which epitomises the state of rock’n’roll, a struggle for street cred and commercial success.
It makes historical sense they be coming out of the ‘burbs, traditionally the spawning ground for rock music. From the Stones through The Ramones to Kurt Cobain they all cooked their shit in the burbs before bringing it downtown.
And how much more classic rock’n’roll can you get than a band formed by two dudes working in a music store.
Sean MacLean is the bassist and deep-voiced singer with the band and on this particular day, its mouthpiece. The point’s worth making as D2DV is a democratic institution, being that all three members write the songs, there are two lead singers and all three harmonize.
“This is not the first band I’ve been in but it’s one that lasted long enough for me to believe it could go places. We’ve been together around five years, going through the mechanics of a young band, learning each others’ dynamics and going through all the necessary stylistic changes before arriving at the sound we now have”
This was a couple of years ago, when they quit noodling around and decided to give the band thing the full-court press.
Day 2 Déjà Vu is Jeff Fulford (gtrs, vcls), Sean MacLean (bs, vcls) and Justin Fulford (drms, percs, vcls) all in their mid-twenties and they know their Foo Fighters from their Honeymoon Suites, when to mix ‘em up and when to keep it clean. With three writers, they shouldn’t have to worry about a lack of fresh material.
“Generally, we write separately and then bring it to the band. Because the two lead vocals are so different, Jeff and I tend to write tunes in our vocal ranges, Sometimes though, we’ll come up with one and realize that it suits the other singer better, and that’s who gets to sing it”.
The dual vocalists not only widen the range of songwriting possibilities but are one of the factors setting them apart. Another is the way they come at the source material. It’s in the band name, which references the minutiae of the day-to-day grind, the underlying existential angst of suburban life, a theme most recently explored by Arcade Fire on their latest album The Suburbs.
Whereas that album plays as a nostalgic elegy to the suburban life from a band that’s left it far behind, Lady Liberty, D2DV’s debut disc, is the explosive sound of a young band simultaneously looking to bust out of the ‘burbs while still celebrating the good things about it.
Consequently, tales of young lust are splattered all over the album like gore in a Wes Craven flick. But these be no nookie-fixated bimbos; the title track, ‘Lady Liberty’ is as caustic and affecting an indictment of an America gone sadly off the rails as we’ve heard this year.
“Musically, we’re somewhere in the pocket; we offer more than four-chord rock but we don’t get so technical that the emotion of the song suffers. Overall, it’s a blend of the old and the new.
“I think we have more to offer than the usual rock band, in the vocals, in the song writing. With three writers, there's good variety in how we look at things.
“We thought a lot about the image at one point; we’re still playing with it but we won’t be appearing in matching purple hoodies or anything over the top anytime soon. I think we have a distinctive look, much thanks to Jeff, who stands a towering 6’4”
It seems there’s this niche between Honeymoon Suite, The Police and Radiohead and Day 2 Deja Vu are looking to slide into it. They’ve got the power, the tunes and the onstage swagger to get there. It’s just a matter of time.
This time, Day 2 Déjà Vu bring it live to Cherry Cola’s Rock’n’Rolla’s Cabaret and Lounge (200 Bathurst at Queen) in Toronto. Wed. Nov. 17. The band will play Lady Liberty in its entirety but those in attendance should stick around, as rumours abound of a ‘special’ late set studded with surprises.
This is a free show so you can't lose.