Death of Paris, led by the charismatic and sultry voice of Jayna Doyle, is an Electro-Pop/Rock band from Columbia, SC influenced by modern and 90s pop, heavy synths and tight, dance-friendly rhythms. Their music is propulsive and elastic, with bubbly pop melodies, lush electronic beds of sound and intelligent, intimate lyrics, creating an instantly memorable sound that calls to mind Gwen Stefani or Paramore’s Hayley Williams fronting a band like The Killers or Muse. We asked Death of Paris’s lead singer, Jayna Doyle a few of questions about their history as a band, their latest release and what exactly inspires them to create and perform.
Entertwine: Who makes up Death of Paris (members), and how long have you all been a band?
Death of Paris: Death of Paris is Jayna Doyle (vocals), Blake Arambula (synths, guitar), Bryan Lee Bass (drums), and Patrick Beardsley (guitar). Blake and I (Jayna) formed Death of Paris in 2009, recorded our first album, then brought in Patrick for an acoustic tour and after several lineup changes we found Bryan and the four of us have been together since the end of 2010.
ET: What is the story behind the name Death of Paris?
DOP: We think of Paris as the city of love, romance, honesty – more of a state of mind, really. Now, imagine Paris in ruins – the death of an idea. We think people these days are too caught up in cheap thrills and superficial relationships, we write songs that explore that.
ET: You recently released an EP entitled, “Gossip,” which was produced, recorded and mixed by Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount. What was the process of making “Gossip?”
DOP: It was an amazing experience. We’d been steadily writing new music over the past year and testing new songs out on the road. When we reached out to ZK, it was a complete leap of faith because they don’t usually work with unsigned bands. And when we heard the news that they were actually interested in working with us, we knew it was the perfect pairing so we spent the next 9 months preparing – continuing to write close to 30 song ideas so that we could choose the best 5 for the EP, which ultimately ended up as a 6 song EP. Once we got to the studio we had instant chemistry with Zack and Kenneth and immediately began preproduction. It was an intense process overall, and we really spent the time needed to focus our sound and make an EP we had dreamed of making since the start. “GOSSIP” is a culmination of a year spent hearing other people try to tell us who we are, that we can’t succeed as a pop band in the South, rumors, local drama, and seeing so much weigh on hearsay instead of people having the courage to trust themselves, even if that means standing apart.
ET: What would you say is your favorite song off of the EP, and why?
DOP: I have so much love for each of these songs individually. Amongst the band, I think “Crushed” is probably the favorite – it’s one of our most fun songs to play live and the crowd gets really into it. My favorite song, though, is hands down “72.” I can’t exactly pinpoint it but that song felt like a breakthrough for me as an artist. I tend to be a fairly private person and I find myself not nearly giving in to myself as much as I should as a singer/writer – but when I wrote that song and especially when I tracked the vocals on it, I felt like I had tapped into something I’ve been yearning for for a while. That song means a lot to me.
ET: There are a great amount of pop/rock bands with female singers, how do you feel that you guys stick out beyond the rest to get your music across to your audience?
I think we keep it a little more real. I’ve seen so many bands with female singers and as much as we preach to one another on “be yourself” – I feel like a lot of these ladies are really holding back onstage, trying to fill a role and look pretty instead of just giving in and letting go and rocking out. And I don’t mean that in a negative way, because when I see a band with a girl in it I get really excited, and I’m really rooting for them, so it sucks to see them uncomfortable. I dunno, I don’t write out speeches or choreograph anything I’m going to say onstage, I just try to keep it real with our fans – so they’ll see the good and bad. If I fuck up, I’m not above acknowledging it. It’ll be a long time before we transcend gender stereotypes in rock music – but I just try to be a good front person (regardless of gender) that stands up for themselves and their ideas, to be an inspiration for our male and female fans alike. \
ET: If you could describe your music in three words, what would they be?
DOP: Fearless. Edgy. Resilient.
ET: Who would you say are your main influences when it comes to writing?
DOP: We’re heavily influenced by Metric, The Wombats, Sleigh Bells, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, We Are Scientists, Blink182, MSTRKRFT, Fall Out Boy.
ET: For your music video, “Shut Up & Kiss Me,” what was the main idea for the video, and what was this experience like?
DOP: We’d never done a lyric video before and we decided we wanted to put one out before our CD Release Party so fans could learn the lyrics and (hopefully) sing along with us at the show. We were lucky enough to have a local news station soundstage all to ourselves one afternoon thanks to an awesome friend. We set up to shoot a promo trailer for the show and I decided oh, what the hell, let’s just shoot some live footage of us playing “Shut Up & Kiss Me” and I’ll edit it into a lyric video later. I had no idea how it would turn out – we took turns filming each other with my camera and ended up with some cool shots. People were so eager to hear new music, and they hadn’t seen us play in a while either – so this was a good mix and I’m happy with how it turned out and the fact that we did it all ourselves.
(Death of Paris – “Shut Up & Kiss Me)
ET: Besides the local shows listed on your site, do you plan on joining any tours in the future to expand your fan base?
DOP: We are van shopping right now! We are also planning a national tour for 2014 broken down into several 2-3 week mini tours and are currently booking March and routing around SXSW dates that we already have in place. We are very excited to get GOSSIP on the road and into new cities we’ve never played before!
ET: On that topic, if you could tour alongside three other artists, who would they be?
DOP: We’d love to tour with any of the bands off the Bright Antenna label that we’ve recently had the pleasure of sharing the stage with: Beware of Darkness or Flagship. If we could only pick 3, our dream tourmates would be The Wombats, We Are the In Crowd, and Metric.