"We wanted to start a punk band," says Days N' Daze lead singer and guitarist Jesse Sendejas. "But amps and electric guitars are really expensive. We decided to make that kind of music as cheap as we could. A bucket and stick with a string and a washboard are a lot cheaper than a drum set and bass guitar."
The Houston band combines the aggressive elements of hard-core punk and thrash metal with the more melodic sounds of bluegrass, folk and pop music — called thrashgrass — on acoustic instruments.
Who: Days N' Daze
When: 5 p.m Sunday, July 20
Where: Club 66, 1951 Ashland St., Ashland
Days N' Daze came together in 2008 when Sendejas and Whitney Flynn (vocals, trumpet and ukulele) met at Texas State University.
"We were pretty bored and didn't really fit into the town," Flynn says. "So we decided to start making music."
The current lineup is rounded out by Geoff Bell on washtub bass and Matt Fries on washboard, both of whom joined in January 2013 (though Megan Melancon handles washboard duties on the road).
Days N' Daze will play at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at Club 66, 1951 Ashland St., Ashland. Also performing are Broken Bow from Fort Collins, Colo.; Vampirates from Reno, Nev.; and Blinded Society from Medford. The cover costs $5 for this all-ages show.
Although the band was founded on punk rock intentions, performing on acoustic instruments guided the music to its current incarnation.
"I don't think we could have helped it," Flynn says. "We didn't mean for our sound to go in a specific direction. It just evolved in that way."
Flynn and Sendejas act as the sole songwriters but say that Bell, Fries and Melancon contribute to the songs in more intangible ways.
"What they can do on their instruments gives us a lot more freedom in what we can write," Sendejas says.
"Their playing ability builds upon what we write," adds Flynn.
Days N' Daze released two LPs in 2013 — "The Oogle Deathmachine" in February and "Rogue Taxidermy" in August. This year, they have opted for a series of split EPs with other bands. The first, with Rail Yard Ghosts, was released in February while the second, with Broken Bow and Brando Chemtrails, was released in June. All of their releases are available at www.daysndaze.com with a "name your price" option.
"We believe that music is for friends, and we like playing with our friends," Flynn says of the band's decision to release split EP with other bands.
"There might be fans of Broken Bow or Rail Yard Ghosts that haven't heard of us and vice versa," Sendejas adds. "It really helps everyone further their music."
Days N' Daze have a few more split EPs in the works for this year, but nothing has been finalized yet.
"We have some bands that are interested," Flynn says. "We're just trying to weigh our options and figure out what's going to work and what isn't."
Flynn says that Days N' Daze strives to create a fun and friendly environment during its live shows.
"It's a super personal atmosphere," Sendejas elaborates. "It's less like a show and more like we're just hanging out with out friends and playing songs for them."