From inception to Coachella in three years is an impressive feat no matter how you look at it, but listening to the Dead Ships' brand of guitar rock, it’s not hard to figure out why. Both DoLa and Grimy Goods named them among the best live acts in Los Angeles, and strong reviews have followed wherever they’ve gone. Moving from a two-piece outfit, guitar and drums, to adding a bass, only increased the band’s dynamic performance.
Since then, the Dead Ships have hustled to log hours playing in local clubs and regional tours, tightening their sound and ultimately getting noticed by Coachella bookers, landing the final slot on the bill. All this on top of self-releasing a six-song LP in 2015, produced by Brendan Canning.
“My only regret is that we didn’t start this journey sooner.”
With the press and exposure created just by appearing on the Coachella poster, the band suddenly garnered a lot of industry attention. Canning’s Canadian connections led to a meeting with Toronto-based Nevado Music. After sending the LP, along with additional tracks they wanted to include on a full-length album, things moved rather quickly. “The label said they were really into it and they liked the sound, so they came to one of our rehearsals shortly after,” band founder Devlin McCluskey explains. “Within a couple of weeks of meeting us, they wanted to move forward.”
The deal includes the release of the initial full-length album, which was released in June, and an option for a second. McCluskey continues, “Our main goal with finding a label was to get this album released––the way we wanted it. Nevado was totally on board with that, which is part of what sold us on the deal.”
Ultimately, the story of the Dead Ships’ signing is par for the course for the Los Angeles via Chicago garage rock band. McCluskey’s advice? “Just get started. My only regret is that we didn’t start this journey sooner.”
Nevado Music is a record label and management company with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles and Hamburg, Germany. Their extensive roster includes the bands Deap Vally, Gringo Star and Yukon Gold, among others.
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