Danava Interview

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Danava are four young lads from Portland, Oregon, who play heavy rock ‘n’ roll drawn from the likings of early Maiden, AC/DC,  Priest, UFO and Nazareth—all the sounds you want in one. Greg Meleney’s  melodic, haunting vocals will summon the demons in your head to claw their way out until you’re having the rock ‘n’ roll fits. Along with dual guitar lines up your ass and a dynamo rhythm section holding that shit down, Danava are the truth. I first saw them play at Andy Animal’s Meltasia Festival in Georgia. From the first riff, I knew these guys were about to show me and my mushroom-soaked brain a thing or two about how it’s done. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage with these guys several times and their performance never gets old. Cheers, boys! This is DANAVA! Interview by Hershguy | Photos by Jaffe

Danava is a fucking cool band name. You guys nailed it. One of my favorites. But what hell does it mean and where did it come from? Time to lay your cards on the table.
Ayyyyyyyy Fuggeddaboudit. That’s a Google question at this point, Hoishey, but I tell you: It was given to us by one of our founding members, Rosy Cross. It could simply mean Demon for the most part. From the ancient days of Hindu mythology. The full story on these fantastic creatures is a Google search for anyone who cares to explore further.

You guys played this year’s SOTY party alongside Josh Landau’s new band, Easy. I heard it was insane. How did it go? Do any of you guys even skate?
We did! Nice plug, stink bug. They weren’t sporting an easy name at that time but it was definitely a fine evening. I turned old that night and couldn’t have any Jameson due to a tooth goin’ hairy on me. None of us “skate” skate. I did for a time but quit in ’88 cause I wasn’t so good and when I busted my wrist, I was actually getting good at guitar and I had my epiphany. The others definitely can skate but I doubt there’s gonna be any awards given to ’em for it.

Someone told me that when Danava first formed, you guys practiced nonstop for a whole year before playing your first show. What was the deal? Were you nerds scared or something?
That’s not true. Not even close. When we played with you buttheads we hadn’t rehearsed for a month and just walked up and played that show. Bet you nerds didn’t do that none.


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You guys sure can tear down the house. I’ve seen it firsthand multiple times. Where is all this energy coming from? Are you sponsored by Red Bull? What’s the pre-show ritual?
No secrets! We just do it. Some people love to think Jesus has somethin’ to do with their special gifts but ours isn’t special. We just do it! But not like Nike. The pre-show rituals are classified. You don’t even need to ask that question, son!

Portland is a pretty funky town. Do you guys do yoga together as a band or alone?  Which one of you is the most addicted to kombucha? Is it Peter? I think it’s Peter.
No yoga, only Yogi Bear. Pete needs the booch to keep him goin’. Plain ‘n’ simple.

Our bands have both shared the road with Oakland’s own Lecherous Gaze many times over the years.  You guys even toured all of Europe together. Tell the readers what it’s like sharing a van with those dudes. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen Zarian pull out of his pocket? Do you like playing Guitar Hero?
No Guitar Hero. I’m old and play older games that don’t insult my intelligence. Now, the Gaze insults my intelligence quite a bit. And I love ’em for it. Riding with them is the best we can get. We’ve got tales of yore for sure. Z is just plain strange and beautiful and I guess the strangest thing you’d think of him pullin’ out of his pocket would be something as mundane as a coin. He should pull out prosthetic noses and fart powder exclusively, me thinks.

I know you are an avid horror movie buff. You can practically recite The Texas Chainsaw Massacre line for line. That’s pretty impressive. I like the gory stuff too. Why don’t you throw out some personal favorites for the kiddies to check out and tell us why you picked ’em.
Ha! You’re a clever lad usin’ the word gory for Chainsaw, hoss. Hmm—favorites? I’ll keep it short: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Visiting Hours, Dawn Of The Dead, Halloween, Maniac, Black Christmas, Don’t Look Now and The Brood immediately come to mind. Of course there’s thousands more but the above are very near and dear and I don’t consider The Wicker Man a horror film or it’d be right up there too.

A little bird told me that you and Dommi had a bell-bottom showdown at high noon. Who took the cake?
Not true. I own zero pairs of bell bottoms. A few boot cuts but I haven’t truly worn bell bottoms since the ’90s so Dommi wins the fictitious battle of yore.

Who are some bands out now that get you stoked to shred?
Well, immediately I will say Antichrist from Sweden. There’s something about the way those fellers do their thing. There are many more but since they just got their long-awaited new LP in the can, I’m gonna leave it at that. Except for Satan. They have new stuff too and it’s better than most if not all.

You just put out a heavy new 7” on Tee Pee records. What’s next for Danava? Acoustic covers album? Tea time with Morrissey? What’s going on?
Clever, clever on the Morrissey. No. Nope. No way. Never. We’re just taking time on trying to grab all the shit for our new album out of the airwaves. Time is necessary in today’s musical climate. Very saturated. We have a lot of stuff flying above us and in pieces on the ground. This one will be timed and delivered in the context of the current state of the world. I’m glad it hadn’t revealed itself to us earlier. Its great timing.

I know you got shout outs. Let’s hear ’em!
Hershguy! Olivia Jaffe! Russ Tippins! And anyone who knows us and spreads the fuckin’ word. It’s all we’ve got.


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