Duo get to the bare bones of making music

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Death Rays of Ardilla’s 
music videos are not for the faint-hearted.

Skulls, bones, brains, arms, legs and sliced human bodies flash in time to a chaotic time signature.

The duo’s frontman Thomas Tietzsch-Tyler says: “We just became obsessed with all this medical stuff and it’s free to use when you get it from certain sites. There are brain scans on there, which show the brain looking like a mushroom and even sliced bodies from donors who have volunteered to have their entire body cut in half.”

The videos are produced by Nick, the band’s drummer, budding animator and brother of Thomas.

And somehow, however macabre, these images fit the Death Rays track – Diamonds – that they illustrate in the video.

But in spite of these gloomy medical images, Tietzsch-Tyler, insists that Death 
Rays music isn’t necessarily dark.

“We don’t purposely make dark music, it’s not like black metal or anything like that. I suppose it’s the case that both of us are drawn to a sound that’s on the edge of being sinister. We straddle the edge of being sinister and making good tunes.”

Death Rays of Ardilla got together as a result of jamming. We started with three of us and it ended up as two.”

But that’s not limiting, according to Tietzsch-Tyler. “It’s actually liberating being in a duo. It means that I can rip out entire parts of the melody without having to change loads of other parts. Because there are only two of us we can make changes and still keep up with each other. We can take it wherever we want to take it.”

Thomas writes the lyrics, which tend to be a conduit for his own emotions.

“It’s a cathartic process. I try to write as much as possible but you have to work because you can’t just sit there and wait for it to happen.”

And now the duo are working particularly hard on pulling some material together.

“We are in the middle of writing an album,” he says.

But Death Rays of Ardilla aren’t just about live gigs and albums.

This summer the band will be performing a live soundtrack to accompany a 1960s Japanese horror film at the Beacons Festival.

“It’s brilliant, the film features really bright stage sets – the colours are amazing and we have to interpret that and create some music for it.

“ It’s a brilliant brief really. And the crowd are arty but also into the thrills that horror brings.”

But for now, Death Rays are busy rehearsing for Tramlines.

The band play at the Washington on July 24.