Suffocate the Day
By time the guy with his underwear around his knees ran across the parking lot, I was ready to go home. It was still early, about 11 p.m. or so, but it had already been a strange—fun, but strange—couple of hours.
Knuckleheads, 405 Vine St., is a pretty cool venue for rock bands. Nice staff. Great sound equipment. Good drink specials. I was there to see Suffocate the Day, which was playing a party for the Reno Roller Girls—a group of super tough roller derby chicks. Being at a bar full of girls that could kick my ass was just a bonus.
I showed up wearing American Eagle khakis, a blue dress shirt and my glasses. Holding my little reporter’s notebook, I felt a little out of place. It would have been worse if I was alone, but I brought along my friend Luke. Once we got some beers, we went over and met the band.
Suffocate the Day is a group of guys who like to rock out. They all grew up together in Gardnerville. Bassist Uriel Mitchell and guitarist and lead vocalist Uriah Mitchell, both 30, are mirror twins (like identical twins, but one of them is left-handed). Drummer Asa Dakin, 29, and guitarist Dan Harmon, 33 (though he tried to tell me he was 29), complete the four-man band, which has been together for two-and-a-half years.
“We’ve all known each other since we were 5,” says Uriah, presumably ironically.
I had never listened to Suffocate the Day’s music before, and I was expecting something really hardcore. What I got was something hardcore yet danceable. Halfway into their set, there were a few groups of women doing the shuffle.
If you can get the women dancing and still please the hardcore fans, then you have my attention. At one point during the set, a woman grabs Luke (a good-looking but very shy guy) and drags him to the dance floor.
Suffocate the Day has a solid grasp of melody. Uriah has a soft voice when he’s singing and a voice that resembles the little possessed girl from The Exorcist when he’s screaming, even though he doesn’t overdo the screaming part. All the while he and Harmon keep in perfect harmony with their guitars, Uriah keeps busy on the bass, and Dakin … Dakin rocks harder than any of them.
After the set, a woman Luke just met drags him off and makes out with him, a rare phenomenon in Luke’s life. It must have had something to do with the music.
Meanwhile, the band and I step outside for a quick interview. Dakin describes their sound as: “dirty pop with a hint of metal.”
“Metal envy,” Harmon snickers. “We wanted it to be like Iron Maiden. It just didn’t turn out like that,” he jokes.
“It’s just a rock band, or whatever,” Dakin adds.
Then, just as the band is telling me that they’ve self-recorded one demo already and plan to have a new EP out by January, some drunk guy interrupts the interview. He wants to give me a quote.
Well … I might quote a guy who ran around the parking lot with his pants down, I tell him.
“They killed it!” drunk fan Mike Oxbig said of the band’s performance.