Featured Artist: Daybreaker sets out to speak truth to power

Brandon Paykamian • Aug 12, 2019 at 9:39 AM

Much like the punk rock bands of the ’80s under President Ronald Reagan, Daybreaker is a local band with a defiant political message in the age of President Donald Trump. 

The band, which has parted with one founding member, began playing shows two years ago, and they’re about to release a new EP focusing on today’s political climate. 

“We rounded out our full lineup in early 2017 and began playing shows that following summer for a little over a year before our founding guitarist Joe Armstrong left for the Navy shortly after the recording of five songs,” guitarist Daniel Rutherford said. 

Rutherford and vocalist Brien Worsham recently spoke with the Press to tell us more about their album and the band, which includes Joey Metcalf on drums, Josh Chassner on guitar and John McMeen on bass. 

Tell us about your new EP

“Our EP “NEGATIVE SNAKES IN POWER” will be out Sept. 13 and will feature two re-recorded songs from our demo and three new ones we were playing live before the break. Four out of five songs tend to get a bit political on this one, and that will become very apparent for the listener pretty fast if they have never heard our music. I am personally really excited to release these songs to the public and hopefully spark a reaction,” Rutherford said. 

“I wanted to focus some of my anger with the current administration – and all of them for that matter – into music. Daybreaker has given me a place to do just that. In a society where the norm is to be complacent and to go along with whatever those in power say and force upon us, I wanted to be a beacon for those who resist,” Worsham said. 

Who are your influences? 

“Our influences are pretty far and wide, especially on a personal level, but I think for this particular project, we tend to lean into ideals as much as sound for inspiration. Certain songs on this album invoke feelings for me that call out inspiration musically from bands like These Arms Are Snakes, Engine Down and Sparta, but I think on an ideological level, we connect with bands like Fugazi, Rage Against the Machine and Public Enemy. We focus on trying to make the music intense and loud so people feel something behind the message we send. I hope that eventually, we can form inspiration within others in our community,” Rutherford said. 

What’s the recording process like? 

“Our recording process was pretty last minute before Joe got shipped off for basic training. We were set to record live, but time restraints and schedules left us tracking individually. We recorded with Travis Kammeyer, who currently plays in Haal, and he also mixed and mastered the album. It can be a pretty boring process when you track individually because most of the time, you’re just watching and listening until it's your turn.

“When I say boring, I mean the best kind of boring. I think we spent about four evenings tracking instruments, and then Brien would come over when he could and work on vocals. The drawings we used for the art was done by Micah Ulrich, and I put the layout together myself. The front image was from a series he did for astrological signs, and when I saw it with the scales, I thought it fit really well. I sent a screenshot to the band and they dug it, so we started working around that idea and pulled a few more images from him to scatter throughout,” Rutherford said. 

What’s next for the band? 

“I can’t speak on future plans at this time, as we are not the type of band that plans. But our next show is at Capone's on Sept. 14 with Haal and Astrea Corp,” Rutherford said. 

Where can we find your music?

“NEGATIVE SNAKES IN POWER” will be available on all streaming platforms, as well as on CD, starting Sept. 13,” Rutherford said.