By all accounts, Daniel Davies should be dead, or at the very least, still homeless. Addicted to crack and alcohol and barely existing in Hollywood, this son of Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, and nephew of Ray, was close to giving his father and uncle new meaning to "celluloid heroes."
"I was just kind of involved in [drugs] from an early age," Davies says.
While his career goal may have been pursuing music, drugs were his major during what should have been his college years. It was around the same time that Davies met former Karma to Burn and Speedealer bassist/songwriter Rich Mullins, who was band-less due to a spiraling drug dependency.
The two were crashing at friends' houses and doing drugs when the unlikeliest of events took place. The new best friends tackled their demons at the same time, under the guise of saving their music, by going into rehab. Only ego-driven rock 'n roll musicians could rationalize such a clichd reason for cleaning their bodies and minds of pollutants.
"We were the first people to ever do that at the rehab, two friends go in together," Davies says. "We just kind of felt like we couldn't do it alone. We were, like, passing out at practice, passing out three to four times a day. It was really bad, and we weren't thinking about our lives or anything. 'But for the benefit of our band, we should probably try to pull it together.'
"Plus, we didn't have anywhere to live, so it was kind of like a place to live."
Just before entering rehab, the two joined forces with ex-Third Eye Blind drummer Brad Hargreaves under the name Year Long Disaster. Two years later, the group is moving forward, having just completed its first EP. A full-length is due out in 2006.
The trio already is garnering attention with tracks "The Mad Shrew" and "Victory at Sea," positioning the band as Soundgarden-sounding, with a distinct stoner-rock aesthetic.
"There was a time back when I was using drugs that I really liked being in that category, because people tend to bring you free drugs," Mullins says, laughing. "I don't mind it at all because I appreciate a lot of those bands. I think that guitar sound is just basically reminiscent of the '70s, which is almost all my favorite bands: Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, all of that stuff."
When it came time to form Year Long Disaster, Mullins decided small steps were best, including touring smaller clubs as headliners.
But on tour, temptations often are too tasty to overcome. So are Davies and Mullins having a hard time staying sober?
"No, actually, I'm just having so much fun," Davies says. "When you're on drugs, and you're seriously addicted to alcohol and drugs, you really don't have that much fun.
"Drugs are like a full-time job. So, now we have all of that energy to put into something positive: the music. We don't want [drugs] to get in the way of having a good rock 'n roll band."
-- John Benson
Year Long Disaster
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 10 p.m.
15th Street Tavern, 623 15th St., Denver
Tickets: call 303/572-0822.