Often times there are music sub-genres that go smoldering along the edge of the massive fire that is a music scene and although they can be seemingly innocuous, they also have the ability to make music blow-up in ways that we would never expect…The American Daisycutters would definitely be one of those bands rising from the embers to burn up the stage at DiPiazzas on March 13th. I am not just writing about The American Daisycutters because they are playing at DiPiazzas, I am doing this because they are a Long Beach band comprised of three of the most dedicated musicians I have ever met, who have a passion to just make music and enjoy every single rocking moment possible.
The American Daisycutters came to be through a series of jamming in 2005 when Maria Morris and Onan Davis just wanted to have fun. The desire to play was there, but there was no specific direction for anything more than improving their skills, while hanging out…and that is exactly how a band “accidentally” happens. The love of music, spending time with friends and pushing themselves to do something a little different is what propelled this band into its inception and is keeping them going today. Although there have been various iterations of the band over the years, Maria and Onan have always been a constant. With the changes over the years, Maria was proud to say that with Bil Lane’s presence “this was the first incarnation of the band and is now the most recent incarnation of the band.” and for Onan, “As far as how the band is now, these are the people I am the most comfortable playing with.”.
So, you may be wondering why I consider The American Daisycutters to be in a music sub-genre? Well, you have to listen to understand, but the fact they describe themselves as playing “hard-hitting and soulful instrumental space rock” should give you an idea that they aren’t your typical rock band. At one point Bil even used a Muhammad Ali reference to describe their music as “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee…we have parts that float around and then there are parts that come in and slam, which would be rock oriented…and then I do mention three piece instrumental.” Of course, Onan used that reference to make a joke of “floaty and stingy, then gets hit by a bus”. By the way, be careful what you say around Onan, it could likely get used in some comedy routine and I have a feeling that some of the one hour interview will get a lot of use.
Being a band without a singer can be difficult when it comes to performing, as there are many places that won’t even consider bands that are purely instrumental, but they are so much more than that because they will only perform their own original music and will not slide down the slippery slope of performing cover songs. I was talking to Onan and he relayed that they have tried to integrate having a vocalist in the band, but it just never really came together that way and would always come back to the heart of their music and, well, Maria brought down the hammer saying, “We don’t need singers anymore!”. And, I venture to guess that is one of the reasons why the band is sometimes referred to as being Maria’s band…she just takes the reigns. That is kind of HOT!!! In all seriousness, the absence of a singer doesn’t stop this trio from performing, as they play a great deal of shows throughout the year and are always invited back to play again and again and again.
Last year marked both the most fulfilling positive community experience and the most significant giving back experience with Ladyfest and a benefit show at Alvas, respectively. Maria shared that performing at Ladyfest was “a really great experience, we got to be a part of that movement for a little bit…it was a really big deal and it was our first LA show!” and “being able to be a part of that community was important to us”. Onan also relayed that “The Alvas performance was pretty much the most significant one we have done so far, in terms of raising funds to help someone that is dying from cancer…it was a thing developed through some Starbucks Baristas and managers and ended-up being a whole show of bands and dance numbers”. I had the pleasure of catching The American Daisycutters when they performed at Ladyfest in Los Angeles last November and, if you come to DiPiazzas, we (Maria and I) might share a rather amusing story about that Ladyfest night (that is so typical of the weird and fun encounters that music can bring in life) and I have since seen them perform at Harold’s Place in San Pedro, the Doll Hut in Anaheim and The Bull Bar in Long Beach…of course, I will also be catching them as they rock the stage at DiPiazzas.
When asked to share something they would like to say to Long Beach, the people and the music scene can be summed up as “We are all in this together!”. Indie bands need to be supporting each other, offering up joint bookings, going to see each others’ shows and share in the experience of the scene overall. That it is more than just music, it is about the scene, it is about the community and it is about keeping the arts going and always having the live music playing. I couldn’t agree more…pay it forward and give possibilities or opportunities to others that allow them to pursue and have a greater chance in succeeding in their dreams and desires in life.
The American Daisycutters is a prime example of a band that deserves to be seen and heard, never extinguished! Definitely, definitely, definitely…HEARD!!!
Bil has made a career out of being a staff recording engineer at Groove Masters in Santa Monica and began his path into performing because he loved Motley Crue.
Onan was taught how to play the piano by his musically trained and educated Mother, but he was not allowed to play guitar. So, at the age of 17 he had to hide a guitar at a friend’s place because his Dad told him he couldn’t bring it into the house, as it was frowned upon by the church but he would jam there on the weekends with his friends.
Now, Maria! Hmmmmmm…what to share? I just can’t think of anything…just kidding! Maria is actively involved in Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls OC, which is a non-profit that empowers girls and women through music creation and performance and on March 1st, Maria was named their first local woman who rocks for their month long featuring of local women that are a positive influence in music in the community.[adrotate banner=”4″]