Since forming in 2008, DZ Deathrays—originally known as “Denzel” and, later, “DZ”—have accomplished quite a lot. The Brisbane-based band has climbed the charts in their native Australia with each new release in their extensive and impressive catalog. In the process, they’ve won a mess of awards, cemented their status as one of their country’s premier rock outfits, toured avidly, and won fans all around the world. It’s safe to say DZ Deathrays singer and guitarist Shane Parsons has come a long way since he was a 13-year-old trying to learn Nirvana songs on an acoustic guitar.

Last month, while touring Canada with their Australian counterparts in Hockey Dad, Parsons and his fellow Deathrays crossed the border into the States while en route to eastern Ontario for a show at The Back Room @ Colectivo in Milwaukee. In the minutes leading up to the show’s start, Parsons met My First Band host Tyler Maas in the venue’s green room for a conversation about everything his band has done, what they have coming up this year, and where his continent-crossing musical journey started. Over the course of a 30-minute discussion, Parsons talked about growing up in the Queensland town of Bundaberg, winding up in a group called Modern Liars when he moved to Brisbane for college (or “University,” for our Australian listeners out there), and the circumstances that brought his current band into existence.

Along the way, he also told Maas about the difficulties and limitations of touring in Australia, the counties where Deathrays get the best reception from crowds, and the appreciation he has for being able to perform all over the globe. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and DZ Deathrays (“Still No Change”).

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