They Stay Dead proves that punk music is very much alive in Oklahoma.
They Stay Dead members, from left, John Hernandez, Danny Black, Dave Klein and Matt Owsley.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Aggressive. In-your-face. Fast-paced and intimidating. There’s something thrilling and a little bit scary about the pulse-quickening sensation that comes with punk music.
Whether you’re a teenage or adult fan of this fierce genre, the appealing essence of youth in rebellion has no limits.
“At our live shows, I’ve seen our music turn good girls bad, force even the hippest of ‘sters’ to reject their indie gods and pull tears of joy from the souls of grown men,” says punk band They Stay Dead bassist Dave Klein.
Well said, sir.
Comprised of Klein, Matt Owsley, John Hernandez and Danny Black, the Edmond band has been playing the Oklahoma music circuit for the past 15 years – on and off, together and apart- in different bands – but have found an ideal musical synergy with this line-up, sharing a love of zombies, skateboarding and punk music.
The guys have all hit their 30s, and guitarist Owsley says that it’s a new world for them playing at that age versus being 16, explaining that there’s a maturity level that they can bring to it now that helps them out.
“The punk scene is very do-it-yourself. You have to have a good work ethic to get anything done – and that’s something that comes with age and experience. We all learned the work ethic when we were younger and growing up, so I think that helps us to be able to excel at it more now,” says Owsley.
Over the summer, TSD played the Death To False Hope fest, an all-punk music festival in Durham, N.C., and made stops in Tennessee, Illinois, Georgia, Missouri and Tulsa on the way home.
After a much-anticipated West Coast tour this fall, the guys plan to follow up their two EPs with their first full-length album.
Amid a punk scene that is far scarcer than in other parts of the country, TSD puts in the time and does the footwork to best promote themselves, which is a driving factor in their growing popularity.
“We still pass out fliers and talk to people in person, instead of just relying on the internet and Facebook to promote ourselves. You have to set up shows and find other bands’ shows because there aren’t a lot of promoters and other people involved, but it’s fun to be proactive when you get the time,” Owsley says.