After an epidemic, Douglas could finally celebrate Mellie

About two hours after finishing their set in the Santa Ana Constellation Room in Santa Ana, California, on the eve of the 24th birthday of vocalist / guitarist Alex Stoitsiadis, four members of Douglas (and their trusted photographer / single crew member, Erica) are sitting around a corner booth in a corner booth. . Saturday night’s show where they exploded through their half-hour set of punk / emo / post-hardcore mix was not their first in the area, but it was the only one because they entered the radar of many people with their first full-length album, last year Clashes.

Michigan Quartet – Stoitsiadis, bassist / vocalist Chase McKinsky, guitarist Parker Grisham and drummer Jacob Hanlon – recorded Clashes At Stoitsiadis ’home in the summer of 2019, but they spent the rest of the year creating and perfecting the blends, there was an ongoing joke that the sun would explode before they finally revealed it. Finally, the 10-track album landed a solid release date with Triple Crown Records, March 13, 2020.

Since the initial reviews came in – including an 8.6 from Pitchfork that made sense of their alluring “best new music” (“it should have been 9,” McKinsky jokes while eating an onion ring) – it was clear that Clashes They were going to turn to the next level. Their previous EP pair, Douglas And Remember Alderaan?, Acquired a decent regional following, but Clashes Immediately their suddenness in the national and global scene. They booked for SXSW from the bowling alley and dive bar game and went on a major tour keeping an eye on the festival circuit.

And then everything stopped because of the COVID-19 epidemic.

“People online keep telling me, ‘Oh, this is great. You’re so popular. You’re great,’ and I’ve been sitting in my bedroom waiting to play my music in front of people for literally a year, so I didn’t think I was popular. Stotsyadis remembers putting both hands on his breakfast sandwich. “Nothing seemed to have happened. The Pitchfork review was a really good review, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do anything. Before the press or something like that – and before this album – We were able to play live in a house, so it was completely taken away from us, so we had both our legs out from underneath, so we couldn’t move at all. “

The show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes, but its inability to play and evict its cartwheels on stage. Clashes Everyone felt hollow for Stoitsiadis. Despite ending up on multiple “Best of 2020” lists (incl SpinOf), Clashes Still the main part of it is a live album, filled with a few moments that seem to have been made perfect for a young crowd to lose their shit. Without the ability to travel, Douglas explored what he could do to stay busy during the epidemic – and relevant – from the cover song to the limited merchandise from the Twitch Stream and everything in between.

“At first, it was‘ nothing until July ’, but we didn’t really expect how long it would last,” Stoitsiadis said, moving on to his tater tots. “We didn’t know it would be a whole month or three months or the next year. So we were trying to figure out what we were doing at the time to keep Steam rolling on this album – to keep people involved and interested? ”

“The answer was trade,” Hanlon laughs at the burrito bite of his breakfast.

“We were literally doing something else,” Stoitsiadis continued. “We shot a lot of music videos. We have made many products. We tried twitch streaming. We recorded covers or other songs with our friends in town. We were really trying to keep the interest.

So when the epidemic ban was lifted and Stoitsiadis and the boys could finally hit the road right in a free throw in support of the Nashville Emo Band and their labelmates (until the rest of the tour was canceled less than two weeks later due to this late night breakfast) free throw In a COVID-19 case in the camp) everyone jumped at the chance. Outside of their limited presence at events such as the Pitchfork Music Festival, this is the first time many people in the country have had the opportunity to hear Meli perform live – a moment many fans have been waiting for more than 18 months.

But while Douglas could technically have a featured support act on the tour, looking at the sold crowd you won’t know they weren’t headliners – at least for their only SoCal date on this run. The amount of crowd-surfing, stage-diving, moshing and screaming in their eight song sets is comparable to what Free Throw saw in less than an hour, and almost certainly more so than what happened to Tinash in the larger room next to the observatory. The door

“I was a little worried [about fans no longer caring about Melee], Because this is an album that is now one and a half years old, ”admits Stoitsiadis. “Will people still care about music? Would they still want to come to the show? So it’s really great to see these shows being sold and people coming out in large numbers. They’re still telling us all these great things like ‘Oh man, it got me through the epidemic’ and ‘I’ve been waiting a year and a half to see you.’ I feel so happy and legitimate that people are still interested and engaged. “

Of course, taking Douglas to the streets now that they’ve been able to sell venues across the country means some change at home. McKinsky quit his job with an underwriting mortgage, and he, Stoitsiadis, and Hanlon left the house they shared to take care of one of their non-Dougleg housemates. The combination of ClashesIts popularity and supportive parents (Grisham jokes that his dad is living anxiously through his travels after finishing his bacon cheeseburger, while other members gained that full support after graduating from college) means that everyone sitting in the round booth is fully focused on the band. Can get out of here

Considering what they were able to do with the day’s work and college schedule, a fully-committed Douglas could quickly put the whole rock scene on notice. Already more clever lyrics than most bands, their first album and melodies that would match the best of any post-hardcore band in the last 30 years, Douglas’ fan base has already expanded to multiple scenes and music generations. Hell, they even throw a bone at their fellow video game fans who may recognize it ClashesIts title comes from its best iteration More crushed crushed brother With references to other Nintendo Classics Star Fox And Pokemon – All without specifically singing about video games.

“I really like bands like Modest Mouse or Beer vs. Shark where it’s like a lyrical splatter paint poem,” Stoitsiadis said, wiping his hand from the last piece of his food at midnight, officially marking his birthday. “If you really dig into the lyrics, you can actually create your own story of what happened. Then if you go and talk to the person who made it, they have their own interpretation, but anyone else can interpret it the way they want.” The beauty is that it’s not ‘just like the story’ and I think I definitely tried to do it when writing the lyrics. I like that everyone can have their own story and be connected to it in their own way. “

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