By: Mary Welch
Last weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Shayley Bourget and Zack Baker of the band Dayshell. Dayshell is a band which I have had endless respect and support for since 2013, so it was an honor to hang with the guys before the show. This was my first time seeing the band play after all these years, and they surely did not let anybody down. Out of all the bands opening for Dayshell, for me personally, it was very clear that they were the ones to really capture the crowd’s attention. I cannot recommend their music enough, including Shayley’s previous work in Of Mice & Men, and I have nothing but nice things to say about them. Their self-titled debut and most current album, “Nexus,” will be linked below.
Can you give your name(s) and role(s) in the band?
Zack: I’m Zack and I play drums in the band
Shayley: And I am Shayley, I sing and play other instruments when I want.
Zack, how did you join Dayshell and what did you previously do?
Zack: I joined back in 2016, but I’ve been playing with them since late 2015. Shay scooped me up off of Twitter and YouTube and it worked out.
Shayley: And the rest is history
Since you were in La Crosse, Wisconsin yesterday, did you get to do anything fun or experience anything Wisconsin has to offer?
Zack: It was super low-key.
Shayley: It was low key because it was a small town, and it was cold as fuck so we just played and left. There’s not too much fun we can do on tour.
Zack: People were having snowball fights out there too because it started snowing during our set, so it was cool to come outside and just see like a winter wonderland going on.
If you were trapped on an island and could only have 3 things with you, what would you want to have?
Shayley: Is food and shit already included?
Mary: Yes, food is already included.
Shayley: The things for sure… A girl just in case I’ve got to populate. A guitar, for sure, and probably a device to record.
Zack: I was going to say recording equipment and a drum kit… A then chica would be nice… Third thing- I’m going to steal Shay’s answer and go ahead and say a girl.
How would you describe your music as it has evolved since your first album to your most current?
Shayley: I would describe it as more focused in a unit because the first album was more experimental into what the fuck Dayshell was going to even be. And coming from Of Mice & Men in the heavy world I really wanted to incorporate what I learned and what I pushed myself to write in that band with a more rocky djent. It’s kind of more all over the place on our first album just kind of showcasing what I can do versatility wise. But Nexus is more like a flowing album. There’s only very few songs that really separate from the entire flow, but I would just say it’s a lot more focused… And we’ve got a more kick-ass drummer that can handle the technicalities that I was writing so everything kind of just fell in place.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band, and how have you fought to overcome it?
Shayley: I think our biggest challenge as a band is happening right now…
Zack: Just being freezing cold in the middle of Barrington…
Shayley: That’s a given, but what’s happening internally with Dayshell and all the problems that we always continually have, and I think this year was like the ultimate hit with losing our bass player, which was also a good friend, and it sucked. Just where we’re at, we’re really trying to re-find ourselves and it’s scary. It’s a scary place but I think we’ll overcome it and if not, we’ll at least try to love the times that we did get to spend here doing this interview with you and such and such.
Zack: Hell yeah!
Favourite memory as a band?
Shayley: I don’t know my favourite memory as a band because he’s only been here for not even two years maybe.
Zack: It’s literally now just two years.
Shayley: With him in the band… It was on my birthday one year, I just remember that. I don’t know why, I was just having so much fun and we were out at Walmart. I think we were smoking weed, I wasn’t drinking that night thankfully, so I was sober as a ghost, but he was just making me crack the fuck up. This was when I first found his personality being goofy when he started to kind of open up because I believe that tour…
Zack: That was I the Mighty, that was the breakthrough one. That was the fun one, a really fun tour. My first tour with them, I was super, super quiet… Just to fill in. I didn’t want to upset anyone or be a goofball because I didn’t know what they were about either, so it wasn’t until Nexus where I started noticing what their sense of humor was and that’s when I started being myself. Then slowly, surely, here we are.
What can we expect from Dayshell in the future, and is there anything you can tell us about new music so far? I know you’ve been posting a lot of demos…
Shayley: I’m constantly writing and like I said there’s a lot that’s going on. This is one of the biggest things that we need to try to overcome so we don’t really know. All we do know is the guaranteed fact that we will continue to write badass music and whenever it does drop, it’s going to drop. No matter what, I’m not going to let Dayshell go without dropping a song even if I had to do it “accidentally leaked.” Like, I don’t give a fuck. I want the world to hear what I write and if I can’t make money doing that, I still at least want to express myself. Some people express themselves by fucking sticking carrots up their ass, I don’t do that. I express myself with my music and I want people to hear it and appreciate it and understand it.
Biggest musical and non-musical inspirations?
Shayley: I think my mom is a big inspiration for me in a lot of ways - Just how strong she is to be in so much pain she’s in everyday with her injury, and to still keep a smile on her face, and paint and be happy when she can barely walk. I’m like, “here I am bitching about my back and I can still walk, like it hurts really bad" but she’s definitely a good inspiration. Musically, the Deftones and Rush, stuff like that. And if there’s a celebrity that I looked up to probably The Rock because he’s just so successful and smart.
Zack: He’s a stud…
Shayley: And he’s handsome…
Zack: Musically, it’s definitely got to be my pops and Rush. My dad’s the one who really go me into drums because he’s a drummer. I grew up on Rush, I was a big Neil Peart / Mike Portnoy fan, Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater and played with Avenged Sevenfold. Non-musically, definitely my parents because they’re so kick-ass for sure. I love them.
What is your New Year’s resolution, since this is the New Year’s Resolution Tour?
Shayley: My new years resolution is to get healthy, continue to never drink again, to really figure out Dayshell… The problem that I’m having personally with myself is being content with wherever I’m at no matter what it is. A lot of people don’t get to do this, this is shitty right? It’s kind of shitty, we sleep in a van. But it’s really not that shitty if you think about it. I can be at home where everybody’s dreaming to do this. My new year’s resolution is to love the finer things in life, I guess. And be healthy, try to work out and stretch. I’m just so fucking lazy. That’s why our music video game is poop, that’s about it.
Zack: For me, it’s probably just to try and be like the best most hardworking person and drummer that I can be. I just want to be the best me that I can be, and be the best friend, be the best person, to be the best family member that I can be.