Dead Larry returns to roots for show
Published on December 31st, 2013 | by Joe Lawler
The funk rock band Dead Larry got its start playing basement shows in Iowa City while the band was still in high school. These days Dead Larry calls Minneapolis home, but the band still makes regular return visits to its home state, like this Friday when it plays Wooly’s.
Singer/guitarist Mark McGuiness said the band loves Iowa, but Minneapolis helped expand opportunities for Dead Larry.
“We’ve been playing a lot of festivals up here in Minnesota and wanted to go to a bigger city,” McGuiness said during a phone interview. “We thought it was the logical next step, rather than running off to New York or Los Angeles. This way we could still be touring down to Iowa and the rest of the Midwest, but with a larger base of operations.”
The members of Dead Larry spend a lot of time together. The four-piece band lives in the same house and plays around four shows a week. They all work full-time jobs, then head out to play Thursday through Sunday.
Dead Larry released the EP “Never Made It To Space” in April. It was the band’s first recording since leaving Iowa. McGuiness said he thinks the full length follow-up to the EP will continue its themes.
“For the next full length, the idea is that we do make it to space,” McGuiness said of the continuing storyline. “I’ve been writing all these piano parts focusing around a science fiction space epic. Some of the songs are done, but for some of them we have to get together and work out the ideas. But I would like to make all these songs work into a story.”
McGuiness said the inspiration comes from when he first took piano lessons at age 8. Some of the first songs he learned were from the “Star Wars” soundtrack. As a result, when writing he likes to utilize cinematic chords.
While the songs are sci fi, the recording may be a little more low tech. McGuiness said the band is talking about getting together and working through the songs in a cabin with no running water this winter and recording them there.
He said he likes the idea of doing “guerrilla recording,” then having the finished album professionally mixed and mastered.
2014 marks 10 years since Dead Larry was formed. McGuiness recently made a discovery that he thinks could make a fun way to mark the occasion for fans and the band itself.
“I haven’t talked about it with the rest of the guys yet, but I recently found a DVD of videos at my mom’s house of our first year of performances,” McGuiness said. “There were a lot of songs that we never play anymore and never recorded. I’d like to go back and revisit and maybe record some of those old songs and release them with videos for fans. We all looked like babies.”
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Wooly’s, 504 E. Locust St.
Cost: $8 in advance, $10 at the door.