Those Damn Eyes are an Austin Texas based rock and roll outfit. When multi-instrumentalist Daniel Corder heard singer Alyssa Ehrhard singing at a local party he knew that she would be a great person to collaborate with. Since that meeting they have written some fine music and perform all over the Texas regional area. Those Damn Eyes have just released a single/video titled "Mysterious Mixture" and are soon to release a full album. I recently corresponded with the talented musical tandem.
R.V.B. - Congratulations on your new video release "Mysterious Mixture". The song is well written and the video is interesting and well produced. What is behind the concept of the song and how did you come up with the title?
D.C. - "The concept behind 'Mysterious Mixture' explores the sentiment of a past relationship. I wanted to express the frustration, confusion, agony, and ecstasy in a beautiful way. Lyrically, I talk about this kind of emotional struggle. The video is an expression of acceptance and healing, showing that despite everything we still have the ability to smile and dance spontaneously. We still have the ability to be happy, no matter what might come our way. It's about my own journey of struggle and healing. Daniel is the 'good man' that found me as a diamond in the rough. I want to send a message to people who can relate to such struggle and healing; I want each of them to understand they're not alone." - Alyssa Ehrhard
"The title 'Mysterious Mixture' came to mind after I wrote the music…I felt particularly moved by the idea that these were jazz chords being played in a heavy-rock fashion..and made for a mysterious mixture of musical dynamic." - Daniel Corder
D.C. - "Alyssa and I met at an apartment full of mutual musician-friends. I'll never forget…I sat right next to her as she began playing her ukulele and singing a Lana Del Ray's 'Off To The Races'. Her voice struck me immediately…even with the murmur of the party going on around us, I was awestruck by the elegance of her voice." - Daniel
R.V.B. - Who were some of the people who helped out with this production?
D.C. - "Our producer is a guy named Matt Noveskey. We began these sessions in the summer of 2013 at TestTubeAudio, a home studio owned and operated by an incredible engineer named Kevin Butler. Noveskey and former Blue October bandmate CB Hudson opened Orb Studios in January 2014, where we finished 'Mysterious Mixture'; in addition to twelve other songs. Robert Sewell is another engineer that played an important role in the production of these tracks." - Daniel
R.V.B. - Where did the name of the band "Those Damn Eyes" come from?
D.C. - "We threw around band names for two months..all the good ones were already taken, and the ridiculous ones were just too ridiculous. Someone came across a Bukowski poem in which the phrase 'those damn eyes' was used…and there it was." - Daniel
D.C. - "My affair with music began at age 8 where I took classical piano lessons for 8 years. Piano was a great foundation that's allowed me to dig deeply into other instruments. I play piano, guitar, bass, and drums. I earned a degree from Texas Tech University, and it wasn't until after graduation that I decided to do music full-time. Nothing has ever struck me the way music does." - Daniel
R.V.B. - Who your early influences?
D.C. - "The three figures that made me want to play guitar were Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was really into grunge, Zeppelin, and classic rock. Alyssa's vocal influence would include Gwen Stefani, Marina and the Diamonds, Melanie Martinez, and Brandon Flowers."
R.V.B. - How does the rich musical environment of Austin influence the band?
D.C. - "The lineup of the band has been a revolving door of bassists, drummers and guitarists. Being in a place like Austin gives you the freedom of finding super-talented players. The sound of Those Damn was born both in Houston and Austin."
R.V.B. - Questions for Alyssa - Were there any events that made you want to sing? Were you trained or is this natural ability - or both?
A.E. - "I sang as a youngster and was in choir in high school, it was a mix of natural ability and formal training. When I met Daniel and heard the instrumentals, I realized my vision for my lyrical content pretty quickly." - Alyssa
R.V.B. - You have a very beautiful creative talents in the arts. Your visual arts are as talented as your singing. Do you divide your creative time equally?
A.E. - "Since I started singing and writing for the band, I haven't been putting in nearly as much time with painting." - Alyssa
R.V.B. - What's the story behind the album cover?
A.E. - "The album cover is my interpretation of the snake-woman, Medusa; from mythology we know when you gaze into her eyes, you turn to stone…it's a fun allusion to our band name."
D.C. - "We have an album's worth of material that is complete, and will be releasing our next single in early June."
R.V.B. - Where have you guys performed live?
D.C. - "We've performed mostly in the Austin-area, once in Dallas (, and once in Houston. In Austin we've played Stubb's, The Belmont, The Rattle Inn, The Scoot Inn, Vulcan Gas Compnay, The Gypsy Lounge, Beerland, and The Dirty Dog Bar.
Interview conducted by Robert von Bernewitz
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For more information on Those Damn Eyes visit their website. www.thosedamneyes.com
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