Death Valley High Plans A Doomsday Party!


Doom pop punks Death Valley High have been around since 2005 through the course of their musical career they have written and recorded countless works releasing numerous albums from their debut release to the follow-up "Doom, In Full Bloom" to later following that up with "Positive Euth". They fuse the distorted guitar riffs with that doom pop over dance punk beats that will make this mix tape the perfect Death Valley High doomsday dance party! Frontman vocalist, guitarist, and synth addict Reyka Osburn took some time to discuss the band's latest work and upcoming plans from here on out!


1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Death Valley High, and how long the band has been together.

Reyka: I'm Reyka. I sing and play guitar and synth. DVH has been around since 2005. The current lineup has been around for 5 years.

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Reyka: We're based out of San Francisco, CA. The scene is very scattered. There are lots of great bands here but the "scene" is made up more of the city's "scenesters". One of my favorites in the city is a band called Kowloon Walled City. Other great bands are AUGURS, King Loses Crown, NslashA, name, and Vela Eyes.

3. You define your genre of choice was "Doom Pop" define this for us and what does it mean to you and why?

Reyka: We adopted the name after explaining our sound to Julie Christmas. She came up with it. We combine doom and metal with dance and pop. We relate closest to Dance Punk… But more VICIOUS. Dance Punk with lots of TEETH.  

4. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Reyka: We feel that positivity comes from singing about darker imagery. We frequently use horror and horror-lore to convey cautious thinking.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Reyka: Bands from all ends of the spectrum. The Faint, Head Wound City, Blood Brothers, GODFLESH, Siouxsie and the Banshees; just to name a few.

6. So your down to album number three, how does this make you feel? Did you ever think that you guys would have gotten to this point in your musical careers?

Reyka: Yeah, I do think we *knew* we'd be proud parents of number 3. It feels really good to have our 3rd be our best and most cohesive. It'll feel awesome when we have 6 or 7 more.

7. Who produced Positive Euth and what was it like working with them?

Reyka: I produced the record with Jesse Nichols (The Stooges, Ty Segall). Jesse used to be in the band and we've always had a blast working together. The album was also mixed by DVH alumni, Eric Stenman. Rounding out the audio terrorism was Brian Gardner. Without everyone in place, this album wouldn't be what it is.

8. Is there any story or concept behind the Positive Euth title?

Reyka: The title of the record is a play on "positive youth"… a lyric from straight-edge band Youth of Today. But we're using the spelling from the medical term "euthanasia". The concept is about killing your demons and fears to achieve a harmony and strength.

9. Select two songs from Positive Euth and what inspired the lyrics.

Reyka: OK, I'll tell the tale of the first two. "Bath Salt Party" is about flesh and blood, sex and death. We are all just flesh and blood, and we love sex. But we all just die and return to salt in the earth.  The phrase "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift" is what formed "The Present'. Utilizing both forms of "present", the song is about seizing our gift, right now. Reform and/or Revolutions don't happen anytime but today.

10. Who did the cover art for Positive Euth and how much input did you have on it?

Reyka: Mike Wohlberg of The Fat Kid Illustrations. He took our concept and album title and came up with three designs. We liked all of them so much, we used them all for the cover and inserts.

11. What's your take on Positive Euth as a whole?

Reyka: PØSITIVE EUTH is a testimony. It's a "backs against the wall", stand up for what we believe in.

12. What's your favorite song on the album right now?

Reyka: My favorite song on the record is possibly "A Little Light Conversation". The progression of movements and lyrics make it quite a different song to the rest of the record. There is no "chorus" but it manages to leave the listener with a body of a "song".

13. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

Reyka: Yes, I do. Music takes on more meaning when it can transport you to other places, whether aurally or imaginatively.

14. What would be the cinematic equivalent of Positive Euth?

Reyka: There's a fan-made adaptation of Wormwood Gentleman Corpse that I think fits the bill.

15. Why did you go the concept album route on this album?

Reyka: We went for this concept in the aftermath of the 2012 End of the World and the restart of the new Mayan Calendar. PØSITIVE EUTH meant the passage of one life into the next.

16. How did you challenge yourself sound wise to fit this concept?

Reyka: We challenged our thinking of "verse/chorus/verse/chorus"… We wanted to step outside of that format.

17. Did you get the album you wanted? Is everything on there or were there some things that were just impossible to pull off?

Reyka: Yes we achieved what we set out to do. We managed to find everything on the palette wheel and fit it in.

18. Is the concept of the album going to develop into any other mediums like film or graphic novels?

Reyka: We do have a set of videos we want to make. Graphic novels aren't that far-fetched.

19. Why did you want to take the word "Earth" and turn it upside down spelling it as "Eurth" does your way still refer to the original wording?

Reyka: It's actually a take on "YOUTH" and cutting off "EUTHANASIA" to take both words to a whole new level.

20. Where is the new material headed?

Reyka: Our new material will focus even further on our post-punk/post-hardcore leanings, all the while, keeping our energy up.

21. You guys just shot a video for a song off the album, which song is this and can you bear the details of the video's concept and it's release?

Reyka: We shot a video for "HOW2KILL" and it was released just a few weeks ago. The concept is quite literal… The idea of the song is killing your inner demons and fears. We all have them and we all struggle to contain them.

22. What is your opinion on sites posting your guys material and other bands material?

Reyka: We like them if they are informed and eclectic. Even if they are narrow minded, you can get a sense of where they are pigeonholed and take them for what they are worth.

23. How do you guys feel about the classifications in music? Like all the various subgenres and how some get a negative rep.

Reyka: It's always going to happen. We strive to make our own sub-genre, because even with the classifications, we are striving to make real music within a "certain" genre.

24. What is your opinion on the current state of music?

Reyka: Music is really great right now, but really over saturated. It's like DJ culture… You can spit and hit a DJ; the reverse of that is, you can spit and hit someone in a band. It's kind of depressing but the dedicated will always rise above and make a great body of work.

25. What made you guys decide to form a band?

Reyka: There is really nothing else we want to do more.


26. Any big plans for Death Valley High throughout 2013?

Reyka: Non-stop touring, creating, and developing new ways to deliver our music and art.

27. What is it you'd like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Reyka: We'd really like them to throw their fists in the air. We'd like them to feel like they are comfortable expressing their discontent and that that is healthy.

28. Have you heard Death Valley High?

Reyka: Yes. In my dreams and when I wake.

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