Better days

Days No Different

Days No Different is, from left, Dan Johnson, John Gray and Brian Walden.

Days No Different is, from left, Dan Johnson, John Gray and Brian Walden.

Photo By David Robert

Days No Different performs June 29 at 9 p.m. at The Loose Moose, 3611 Kings Row. $5.

The band also plays July 6 at 10 p.m. at Rubicon Bistro, Tahoe Village, Northstar. $5.

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I found Days No Different the same way many of its fans have—surfing the music section of MySpace, checking out Reno bands. Their page is near the top of the list with over 43,000 plays.

“We’ve been able to build up a pretty good following pretty quickly,” says John Gray, 24, the band’s lead singer/guitarist. Last summer, Gray was writing and performing songs solo. He was a regular at Walden’s open mic night, where he noticed 21-year-old Dan Johnson.

“He had this random, abstract way of playing guitar,” says Gray.

The two started jamming together and “it just felt good.” Brian Walden agreed to play drums for them until they could find a permanent replacement, but the creative chemistry has been so good that he’s decided to stick around.

All three members bring distinctive influences and styles to a truly collaborative songwriting atmosphere. Gray started playing in cover bands at age 16 and is well-versed in classic rock. As he’s made a transition into writing his own music, the old-school rock sound bleeds through. Days No Different is Johnson’s first band.

“My musical experience has pretty much been confined to my room,” he says.

Johnson has a guitar-geek approach, favoring complex structure and citing The Mars Volta as his biggest influence. Walden, 27, has played in numerous area bands, and his experience and influences are more of the metal persuasion.

They talk about “chemistry” a lot, and they’re excited that they are able to inspire each other to crank out new ideas and build on old ones.

Johnson describes the sound as an “Incubus/Nickelback mixture.” Bands like Matchbox 20 and The Goo Goo Dolls also come to mind. It’s a pop-rock sound, heavy on the standard folk chords and sentimental lyrics but punctuated by Johnson’s “abstract” finger picking. They’re seeking a bass player and experimenting with a louder electric sound, but acoustic rock has been their bread and butter.

“The acoustic shows have done a lot for us, and we’re not putting it to bed,” says Walden. “But we are working on developing the electric sound.”

One acoustic show in particular has done a lot for Days No Different. On June 13, they played 104.5’s Backyard Bash #4 at Club Underground. Their music was aired on the station, and the phone lines lit up.

“We got tons of good feedback,” says Gray. “It was kind of crazy.”

There is talk of more airtime for the band in the future, and in the meantime, people are flocking to its MySpace page. Having been together less than a year, the members look at the band as a work in progress. But the early momentum is encouraging.

“We get people coming up to us all the time and telling us they’re into our music, and it means something to them,” says Gray. “It’s happened too many times to not be something.”

The group has a rich selection of songs in its repertoire. Four have been recorded for a self-titled EP that you can get at their gigs. Like most bands, the Days No Different is thinking of recording a full-length.

“Hopefully we can get a record done within a year or so,” says Walden.