Daphne Loves Derby

Daphne Loves Derby

You have read enough bios of up-and-coming rock groups to know that nothing is new anymore. A standard story goes something like this - unknown band createsfollowing in hip city / college town / jam band circuit / Warped Tour. Said band then hones craftin parents' basement / Brooklyn art studio / desolate apartment in bad part of town. Getsdiscovered by Fred Durst / the Strokes / A&R exec who was there for the headliner but just, youknow, got totally blown away by this unknown group. Afterwards, the band signs a deal withmajor label conglomerate but insists they're not changing at all / taking the next musical step /working with dream producer who will bring out next masterpiece. And so on.Daphne Loves Derby doesn't have that story.Sure, the three-year old band hones its meticulous, gorgeous indie-rock in a garage. Yeah, they dohave a local following in their hometown of Kent, Washington (it's near Seattle). Yeah, they didget discovered via a demo. So far, pretty cut and dry.Daphne Loves Derby is part of something different. Essentially, they are one of the first bandsthat can proudly say they owe the lion's share of their success to the Internet."We talk to a lot of other bands and they say the Internet means nothing," says DLD bassist /vocalist Jason Call, who at 18 has already graduated high school and college. "For us, that'scompletely untrue. I love the Internet. Without it, we probably wouldn't be here. Our band evenmet through the Internet - I instant messaged [vocalist/guitarist] Kenny after seeing his band,and we decided to jam. That's how we formed."The story gets wilder. Kenny was still only in high school at the time, while Jason and drummerStu Clay were in junior high. No matter, the newly formed trio (which changed its name toDaphne Loves Derby after discovering another group shared its original moniker) started playingaround the local area and getting some nice response. Things rapidly changed when the band putits polished home demos on a few web sites, including purevolume.com and myspace.com."It just took off," says Call. "Suddenly, we're up to a million downloads, we're beating out ourfavorite bands on polls. Everything really caught on."The group was able to utilize its new-found success online to leave the Seattle area and tourselect cities across the country. For those people who shrug off download numbers, realize this -a band with no record label and no radio hit was consistently selling out 300-500 capacity venuesaround the country, simply based off of a few great songs on the Web. Oh, and they had to do allof their tours on weekends, fitting everything around school schedules."We had a lot of label interest based on our Purevolume site, so we were able to pick and choosewhat we wanted. It was a really interesting experience for someone our age, and we learned a lotabout the music business really quickly. We basically ended up going with a label that we thoughtwas right for the band." That label was burgeoning Denver, Colorado-based indie, OutlookMusic.So the story's great. How about the album? If you're a fan of Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab forCutie, the Get Up Kids or more underground indie bands such as Gatsby's American Dream andCopeland, you're in for a treat. The group's first full-length, On the Strength of All Convinced,runs the gamut from gorgeous piano ballads ("Sundays") to Casio-inspired pop ("Hammers andHearts") to complex, melodic hard rock with symphonic overtones ("What We Have BeenWaiting For"). Holding the album together are the harmonies between Call and Choi, as well asthe conflicted, but genuinely upbeat mood of the lyrics - an uncommon note of positivity in agenre that often rewards sullenness."Too many bands focus on extremes, either being happy or especially being depressed," saysCall. "We wanted our fans to hear everything. Life's a roller coaster, and we think people candeal with it better if they know they're going to experience both sides. And we can tell it'sworking - we get a lot of e-mails from people, telling us our music really helped them. Nothing isgreater for me than that."Daphne Love Derby will be spending the summer spreading good vibes on a headlining tour,which is sure to sell out as quickly as their previous one. A video for "Hammers and Hearts",should be all over the Internet by the time you read this. You should check it out - it was shot atCall's house, which, again, is not an everyday kind of experience for a rock band. Then again,nothing has been business-as-usual for DLD. Which only makes them try harder."We've been told we were too young or that we'd never be discovered," says Call. "But wealways believed it would happen. That's what our album, and especially our album title, is allabout. Anything that you do, you have to believe in it. We've gotten so far by people helping usand believing in us. And all of our songs are inspired by that kind of conviction."