Band: The DooZees
Members: Steve Davis, guitar and vocals; Jerry Duncan, bass and vocals; Andrey Lubimstev, piano and vocals; Matt Wood, drums and vocals
Who we talked to: Duncan
How did you guys meet/how long have you been performing together? The band had actually existed with various players coming and going over the years as a group called The Cruisers. They had been playing in the Central Pennsylvania area for at least 15 years. I had worked with Amanda Perko for about eight years as a guitar player. We had been on the road and opened up for a lot of national country artists. I play with (The Cruisers) guitar player . . . in another music project. He had asked me last year (if I) could fill in for them because their bass player had quit. After I had played with them (for) a couple weeks filling in, they asked me if I'd be interested in joining the band, so I did. We started talking about what else we could do . . . and what other levels of performance . . . we might be able to get involved in like fairs and festivals.
Describe your sound/style. Basically, they're a retro rock band. They play covers songs from the '50s to the '80s. (It's) very danceable. The keyboard player (Andrey) . . . is a classically trained pianist from Russia. His ability was just far beyond anything that I've seen anyone do around here. He's certainly a recording artist level-type performer. The guitar player Steve Davis is also exceptionally talented. We have quite a bit of original material, which is sort of a cross between ("That Thing You Do") and The Beatles. Lyrically, it's very '60s, but . . . there's a little more going on musically than just a simple three- or four-chord song.
Where did the name come from? We play Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, New York and New Jersey. In that area, there (are) at least . . . five or six groups called The Cruisers in one form or another, so it got very confusing. That's when we started searching for a name. Anybody who's ever been in a band can tell you that it's just agony trying to come up with a name that everyone agrees on. Ironically enough, it didn't take very long and we came up with The DooZees. We all wear matching suits of various colors. It's sort of that whole early '60s thing when rock 'n' roll was still sort of clean-cut.
Has that music style always been an influence for you? I clearly remember watching The Beatles . . . and I wanted to do that. I think there (are) an awful lot of guys my age who could trace their interest in music directly back to The Beatles. I like any song-writing style that is melodic and has catchy lyrics and great choruses. There were a lot of great American groups that followed that suit also. We play everything from Elvis Presley to Pink Floyd and Tom Petty, so even though we are a retro sounding band, we still cover a lot of music from the '70s and the '80s.
Where do you play? We played the Hollywood Casino in November, and they were exceptionally pleased with us. Now, we'll be back there on Jan. 16. We also are playing at the Mount Airy Casino (Resort) in the Poconos. We'll be in Delaware . . . Durham, N.C., Portsmouth, Va., Rochester, N.Y. That band really has had a lot of opportunities open up for us because . . . we're sort of reminiscent of what people remember. Our demographics are probably 30 to 70. We were asked to play the opening ceremonies for the Pennsylvania Fair Convention, which is held in Hershey. That will be on Jan. 21. Usually, that slot is always reserved for either a national act or a very, very well-known regional act. We took it as a very high compliment.
Like any other current groups? There are some groups recently, some young guys actually, (who) have done that ('60s sound) very well. I really like (The Tamboureens') original stuff. I book the bands for The Action Church, so I see a lot of guys coming through there. Even though some of them do sort of Christian-influenced music, it still sounds very commercial. We've had a few groups come through that just really impressed me. We just had one a few weeks ago called Calling Out Closer . . . from around Reading. Then, we had a group come in from out of the area called Photoside Café. They were just absolutely, over-the-top phenomenal.
Where do you want to take this project? A couple of us are in our 50s. The other two guys are in their 40s. So, we're sort of getting to our last hurrah here. Right now, we're traveling five and six hours to go to a show. It's rough enough when you're in your 20s let alone in your 50s. We are going to put out a record of the original material, but we don't need a record label to do that. That's one nice thing about the music . . . industry itself - it's so easy now to promote your own music and get it to an audience. (Lately, we've been) really polishing our act both visually and musically. We're going to try to do it full time next year, which I haven't tried to do since I was 30. This will be a very interesting experiment to see . . . if you can teach old dogs new tricks.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF
If you go
The DooZees play at 9 p.m. Jan. 16 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, 777 Hollywood Blvd. in Grantville. For details, visit ww.hcpn.com.
On the Web
For details about The DooZees, visit www.doozees.com.
To listen to an interview, visit www.flipsidepa.com.
To read more meet-the-artist interviews, visit www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.