Deathray Harnesses Energy From Cake Split

After leaving Cake in late-1997, right after the band achieved platinum success with its "Fashion Nugget" LP, former guitarist Greg Brown and bassist Victor Damiani have returned with their new band, Deathray, which has just issued its self-titled debut via Capricorn Records.

Loaded with an undeniable New Wave flair and the same kind of hook-heavy riffs that filled such Brown-penned Cake songs as "The Distance," Deathray's debut record is as energetic as the band's sci-fi name suggests.

Though he's hesitant to go into specifics about his split from Cake, Brown, along with band frontman Dana Gumbiner, recently chatted with MTV News about how the closing of some old doors helped lead to Deathray's initial surge.

"As I was thinking about leaving Cake," Brown said, "I was working up my own material and sort of preparing myself to start another band, and I knew that Dana, the singer of Deathray, was available, and I knew him to be a really great songwriter in Sacramento, where we're from. And I wanted to work with him. That's how [it worked out]." [RealAudio]

"I had been in a local Sacramento band called Little Guilt Shrine for about five years," Gumbiner explained. "We had the opportunity to tour out with Cake right just before 'The Distance' blew up. That's how I met Victor and Greg, and we just kind of kept bumping into each other around the scene, and I was doing a solo thing right around the same time that Victor and Greg were talking about putting a new band together." [RealAudio]

After landing drummer James Neil and tapping producer Eric Valentine, Deathray spent much of 1998 and early 1999 recording the album, eventually adding multi-instrumentalist Max Hart to the band's lineup right after the LP's sessions were completed.

In the end, Brown admitted that the hardest part about starting a new group may have been deciding on a moniker, as the band went through several before settling on Deathray.

"We just went through a bunch of names," Brown said. "We were called The Plastic, we were called Misty. We had the usual schizophrenia that bands have in the first few months of forming, and just settled on Deathray because we like not only the sci-fi reference, of which we're all big fans, but we also like the menace of [the name]." [RealAudio]

Deathray is currently touting "My Lunatic Friends" as the initial single from its eponymous debut, and the track will be released to alternative radio later this month.