The Daydream District Q&A
North Carolina husband and wife team Jeni and Scott Ivey have built The Daydream District up from a home produced project up into a full band with record label backing, whilst releasing excellent records of 90s influenced alt-rock, pop and Americana. With two more fine singles released so far this year, 'Hello Sunshine' and 'A Made For TV Movie', to add to the two albums so far recorded, and a third album being planned, things are looking good for The Daydream District and Scott from the band answered a few questions for BBMATB on the band, songwriting, their new label and the North Carolina music scene.
The Daydream District are Jeni Ivey (Vocals), Scott Ivey (Guitar / Vocals), Jacks Reese (Guitar), Lou Tufillaro IV (Bass) and Danny Sullivan (Drums)
Albums 'Love and Politics, Blips And Irrelevance' (2019) and 'God Damned The Scatterbrain' (2021) and singles 'Smoke And Mirrors', 'The Sundays We Were Born', 'Static On The TV', 'Down At The Bottom', 'Novocaine For The Soul', 'Hail Mary Martyrs' (all 2021), 'Hello Sunshine' and 'A Made For TV Movie' (both 2022) are available on all the major digital sites or check out the band's Bandcamp page - www.thedaydreamdistrict.bandcamp.com.
Hello Jeni, Scott, thank you for taking some time to answer a few questions. First off, for those readers who might not be familiar with The Daydream District, could you give a short history of the band?
The band started initially as just a “bedroom studio” project. I (Scott) have been playing and writing music since I was 10 years old. I wrote what would be our first proper album “God Damned the Scatterbrain” and tracked all the instruments at the start of the pandemic. Jeni and I completed the vocals in January 2021, and the album was released in April 2021. The Daydream District didn’t become a full band until after signing with Golden Robot Records. We now have Danny Sullivan on drums, Lou Tufillaro IV on bass, and Jacks Reese on guitar.
And who would you say were the main influences on The Daydream District?
Our main influences would be bands that have a good pop sensibility with some grime and grit, à la The Beatles, Nirvana, Radiohead, etc.
You've recently released a new single 'A Made For TV Movie'; do you have a sense of how the single is doing out there in the big wide world?
We’ve gotten some very positive feedback on our new single, “A Made for TV Movie”. Recently it was added to Apple Music’s editorial playlist, “New in Rock”.
Where did you record 'A Made For TV Movie'; somewhere you have recorded before? And was it self-produced or do you have somebody helping you putting the records together?
We produced the song ourselves, and worked in our home studio. Danny and Lou tracked their parts in their home studios.
It's also just over a year since your second album 'God Damned The Scatterbrain' came out; do you have a favourite track(s) from the album and if so why? And are there plans for a third full length album any time soon?
I think Jeni and I gravitate toward “Pink Fossils”. I feel like that song perfectly sums up what we were going for on that record. That and “Whippoorwill”. We’re currently writing the 3rd album and will hopefully track early next spring. I think we’ll be working with a producer on this next one.
How do you think the band has evolved since your debut album 'Love And Politics, Blips and Irrelevance'?
I think I’ve personally grown a lot as a songwriter, especially lyrically. “Love and Politics” was a lot of fun to make, and Jeni and I learned how to work together while making it. I do think “God Damned the Scatterbrain” is the better record though. More refined and cohesive. Better lyrics, haha.
How are the songs put together - does one of you have an almost finished tune when you come to record or are the songs 'built up' from a germ of an idea in the studio? Lyrically, are there any favourite themes you like to explore in the words to the songs?
The songs usually start with me and an acoustic guitar. I feel like a good song should be able to stand alone with just a guitar and voice. Lyrically, I just let it stream out. Usually I’m more particular about the sound of words rather than their actual meaning. I try to avoid cliches but other than that I just let it flow out. Sort of like abstract painting. I usually find the meaning months later looking back. I’ll see that the song perfectly articulated a specific time in my life.
What have been the highlights for you since starting The Daydream District a few years back?
The biggest highlight for me is getting an actual band together to play these songs. For Jeni and I, building a relationship with our bandmates has been a dream. Also, getting to work with the great team of people at Golden Robot Records and the ability to share our music with the world is a dream come true.
You're now signed to Golden Robot Records - how did you come to be involved with them?
After the record was finished I reached out to Mark Alexander-Erber with Golden Robot Records. This was during the height of the pandemic so we chatted via Zoom. He talked to me about the culture he’s building with his label and wanted to know what our plans were for the future. Mark has a love for music that’s only matched by his business savvy. I wanted to work with him and his label within just a few minutes of talking.
Do you feel there is a good rock and indie scene in North Carolina at present? Any bands from the area you'd recommend to readers?
The rock/indie scene in NC is and has been amazing for years. The world famous indie label, Merge Records, is located in the triangle where we’re based. Amazing artists like Sylvan Esso, Angel Olsen and Flock of Dimes are based here as well. Great lesser known artists that you should check out are Dante High and Arson Daily.
And finally, what plans for The Daydream District for the rest of 2022 and going forward into 2023?
Our plans are to write and record a new record and play as often as possible. Hopefully we’ll do some touring in the near future too.