How Was 2022 For Canadian Outlaw Rockers DEAD LEVEE? Read On And Find Out…

14 December 2022

DEAD LEVEE is a classic outlaw rock band from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada..
A mean Canadian rock machine. Imagine The Black Crows and Guns ‘n Roses have
a rough rollicking riff fight, while screaming their heads off. No breakes, no brakes,
no mistakes. Holy smoke, indeed!

They released a couple of smashing singles and an EP in the past 12 months and are working now on their sophomore longplayer. If you’re a muscular rawk ‘n’ roll fan-atic,
I’m sure you want to know more about these red-hot sizzling firestarters. Read on as
Turn Up The Volume had a chat with Dead Levee.

Hello Buck, Izzy and Preston.
Let’s talk...

How/when did DEAD LEVEE start their musical journey

Buck: “Dead Levee was born in the studio, early December 2017. All due to a previous project known as ‘The Outskirts’ falling apart right before we had our first ever studio time booked with local Regina legend, Chris Dimas. The lineup then was Ray, Preston, Parker, who was later replaced with the infamous Izzy Lyxx, and myself. We then recruited our
old singer (I choose to leave nameless).

Basically ‘Train Song’ was a song The Outskirts had been doing for some time, and we more or less substituted singers and chose a new name. Thus beginning the saga of Dead Levee.”

What’s the story behind the band’s name?

Ray: “The band was ready to release our first single and in need of a name. We couldn’t agree on anything so I decided to flip through albums looking at song names and albums for inspiration. When I came to When The Levee Breaks on Zeppelin IV, I realized that Levee was the coolest looking word on the sleeve.

So I thought about what a broken Levee is and decided it was dead. It had been killed
by something. So the image of a dead levee stuck in my head in a cool dark way.

I brought the name to the arguing band and it was all over.
From then on, we’ve been Dead Levee.”

Which song would you pick to introduce DEAD LEVEE
to people who never heard of you?

Izzy: “I would definitely introduce ‘Shout’. As It encompasses the real raw, high-energy, hard rock that Dead Levee so desperately needed to open and share with the world. It was the first song that we wrote after the old lead singer left us high and dry, so the song has a lot of pent up aggression and a kind of ‘p*ss off mate’ feel.”

Who/what led to your blistering rock sound?

Ray: “I have always been into bands with 3 standout points. A tight grooving rhythm section, guitars bouncing back and forth off each other sharing lead and rhythm rolls creating a controlled chaos of sorts. And a powerful lead vocal coming right up the
middle to tell a story or tear your head off.

Whichever the song calls for. So it’s definitely a child of everything from blues based
rock bands, punk bands, and even early metal bands. The common thread is definitely
the attitude of the late 60’s early 70’s when music was in a very raw place.”

Classic outlaw rock is around for ages. Imperishable. Why do you think
the genre still appeals to so many people, young and old, around the globe?”

Preston “Miami”: “I think it’s just a timeless genre of music that has changed slightly
over the years, while still keeping the same raw attitude and feel it had in the 60’s.
There’s a classic song or a band out there for anyone.”

Your self-named debut album was released 4 years ago.
No plans yet for a follow-up?

Buck: We have big plans to FINALLY follow up on our self-titled first album. This summer we tracked 4 new songs with the amazing Producer, Ben Erikson, here in Regina. We’ve never been happier with the music we’ve been writing.

We initially cultivated a good relationship with Ben when working on the Rise Up EP with the legendary producer Garth Richardson at The Farm Studios on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Ben was the chief engineer of that project and we really found a creative spark with him in particular.

At the time we weren’t able to pursue that spark because 1. Our old singer kept us musically in a box that would only meet his musical demands and 2. We were under management and that had also castrated us creatively. I personally feel the Rise Up EP has lots of great qualities but is ultimately over-produced. I find my guitar parts – that I didn’t have a lot of say in – feel very robotic and forced.


Photo Credit: Nicole Malcolm

After exiting our professional relationship with Bandwagon and getting rid of our old singer. All we wanted to do was to chase that great spark that we have with Ben. So in July 2022, we shipped him out to Regina for 10 days and we crushed four new songs with Izzy Lyxx manning the helm of lead vocals and bass. With a new and electrifying feel, sound, and attitude as well as a fresh new drive, these four new songs carved out the future of Dead Levee.

Ben really knew how to extract all of our individual strengths as musicians and gave
us the freedom to forge a sound that for the first time feels like the music I always
wanted to make. Heavier, grittier, less produced and no co-writing (makes everyone
write the same three boring songs).

So we have 4 songs done, including our latest single “Shout”. If you’re familiar with that song, compared to our older stuff, it’s very obvious how much more monstrous this new record will be. It’s going to be called “Big in Japan” and we’ll be tracking the last 4-6 songs
to complete our sophomore LP in 2023.”

One of this year’s singles NOTHING GOOD COMES EASY blew my head off.
Tell me more about the making of/recording of this belter?

Izzy: “Nothing Good Comes Easy was one of those songs that seemed to just take forever
to write and release. It started when we built a relationship with a lead singer and guitarist from a popular band from Australia, and started writing with them. We went out to Toronto for a week and picked apart a bunch of songs we had, unreleased and released.

This led to a lot of back and forth for 2 years before we actually brought it into the studio and when we did, we realized it wasn’t completely finished yet, something was missing. So we went for a drive alongside the ocean, trying to find a hook that captured the essence of the song, ‘Nothing Good Comes Easy’ came to my mind and everyone was in full agreement with the song title and hook. “

The newest piece SHOUT was inspired by a tough, yet funny story. What happened?

Buck: “Mid-June 2022, we had a private event booked near Estevan Sk. Our old singer
was AWOL in Alberta. We double-checked two days prior to the gig that he would make it back in time. He confirmed. The day of the gig we were two hours from unloading the truck and we got word that “the universe intuitively told him to cancel”. The four of us being right p*ssed off and said “screw it”, So we decided to tackle the gig with Izzy taking lead vocals and bass.

During that show, we were short on material so we were jamming a lot of improv music
off the top of our heads. That’s when Ray started doing the flagship riff of “Shout” and we wrote that song right then and there on stage, off the cuff. We ironed it out a bit later before heading to the studio but it changed very little. We then never played a gig with the old singer ever again because we found our sound is better without him and we discovered that being in a traveling Rock n Roll outfit, we don’t need a toxic abusive ego maniac frontman.”

Suppose you could soundtrack a movie with your music, which one would it be?

Preston “Miami”: “I’d like to soundtrack the next Frozen movie or Saw film”

Which artist(s)/band(s) would you love to tour with and why?

Izzy: “I would say a younger, legendary band like ‘The Black Crowes’. They have a similar sound and attitude, so I think that a tour with them would be like controlled chaos. On stage? Pure Armageddon. Off stage? A pint in one hand, a left-handed cigarette in the other.”

The best track and album you heard this year?

Ray: “Papa Was a Rolling Stone (note TUTV: original by The Temptations) by The Black Crowes. The cover they did on the album ‘1972’ shows how good of a band they are. They release a cover album but make it distinctly The Black Crowes.”

If DEAD LEVEE would cover a Xmas song, which one would it be?

Izzy: ‘Jack Frost’ starring Michael Keaton, has got to be one of the best Christmas movies to date. They do an incredible rock rendition of ‘Frosty The Snowman’ with harmonicas and the whole bit. So I’d love to do something similar to that.”

Which song (s) will you play at New Year’s Eve and why?

Preston “Miami”: “I’ll be in Mexico so mariachi music all night long”

Name three things you really want to happen in 2023 for the band?

Izzy: “In 2023, I would love to see Dead Levee join a solid tour as a supporting act for a successful rock band. I would also love to see Dead Levee in the music charts and
I think if we could find the right manager for us, we would be in a perfect spot for 2024.”

Thank you Buck, Izzy, Preston Miami and Ray
fir taking time for this interview.
May the road rise with Dead Levee in 2023.

DEAD LEVEE: Facebook – Instagram

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