We Dare You To Find a Band More Punk than Houston’s Days n Daze
Dayz n Daze is one-of-a-kind in a city known for inventing whole new styles of music.
Houston duo Jesse Sendejas (guitar) and Whitney Flynn (trumpet) have been touring steadily since 2008, but their approach to playing is akin to something closer to minstrels from the Robin Hood stories—picture The Clash if they had been dropped into King Arthur’s court and you get the basic idea.
“When we first started out we didn’t even book shows,” says Flynn. “We just knocked on doors and asked if we could play. If no one said yes then we’d just play on the sidewalk.”
At one time the band had the chance to open for punk legends Rancid. But the deal went sour, and they were told that the slot wasn’t open after they’d shown up at the venue. True to form they simply set up in the street where they quickly drew a crowd so large the bouncers came out to complain that more people were watching them than the headliners.
It’s odd but not unexpected that Days n Daze are both nationally known and at the same time deeply underground. Their sound fits into no specific category, combining the frantic energy of skate punk with big strumming guitars of an indie darling and just the barest touch of mariachi. There’s no place in America you’re going to drop into that is going to have a scene full of that.
However, Flynn and Sendejas maintain a network of other groups that are hard to define, and it’s these connections that have found them audiences in every state in the continental United States.
“The underground community that we’re a part of is so tight-knit and spread out we’re comfortable with them finding us places to play,” says Flynn. We’re doing this as a love of it not for the fame or money.”
House parties are some of the places that Days n Daze shine the brightest, not the least because there are fewer rules (complete nudity at their shows is a fairly common occurrence). Flynn’s mouth is literally surrounded by scar tissue from audiences in packed house parties bumping into her trumpet, almost breaking her teeth. Meanwhile, Sendejas has had his bare feet stepped on and broken so many times that he actually has two broken toes tattooed on them.
“We were in Montreal once,” says Sendejas. “There were hundreds of people, with some of them sitting in the rafters. Halfway through the first song someone shattered a bottle onstage. Pretty soon it was covered with our blood and broken glass.”
It sounds like a party but the band has a highly disciplined work ethic. They release a new full-length album every year, in addition to many, many split EPs they do with their growing posse of other musical friends. They’ll be playing all across America again in 2015, and are poised to hit Europe for the first time as well. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to export some punk back to the land of its birth and shown them how we’ve done them one better.
Photo: Alyssa Lion
Illustration: Mike School