WENATCHEE — Local band Datura plays a concert at Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort, Saturday, in the Hampton Lodge. The post-punk, goth rock band released an album with 11 songs in 2022.
During the Covid shutdown, when their show calendar got knocked out, the band focused on the writing process.
Jake St. John, bass guitarist, said: “We focused on writing and rehearsal and getting things polished up, and then got in the studio to record” with Chad Yenney, “a local recording guy who works with North 40, ran Collapse Gallery — he’s a man of many talents.”
A label through Sell the Heart Records helped finish the “Arcano Chemical” album. “Progress is not linear, we work in circles,” said St. John.
The band collaborates in the songwriting process. David Betancourt is guitarist and vocalist, as well as a lyricist. St. John said, “He’s very story-oriented, kind of character-driven in the way he approaches song lyrical content.” When St. John writes lyrics, he said they are more existential, like poetry.
“We do ghost themes and like a lot of songs about individuals experiencing alienation, loneliness or death,” said St. John. The band might be placed in a sub-genre of post-punk rock called “death rock.”
St. John said, “We have singles like ‘Everything Turns Black’ is a goth-y dancehall dirge, then we have upbeat songs like ‘Fantasma,’ then more punk rock-oriented stuff like ‘Cut Me Down.’” Datura’s new music is “kind of dance-y. We are trying to expand, not stick,” he said.
For Datura, “Wally’s House of Booze is our home base. It’s where our friends hang out … it’s our comfort show,” said St. John. For tours, he said, “Seattle is kind of breaking open for us. We are pretty comfortable in Portland. We played California for a few days last summer.”
The band likes playing all-ages shows, such as at Wenatchee Pride Fest, he said, “which was sick, one of the cooler things we’ve done locally.”
“You’ll find that the goth and post-punk scene is open to lots of different walks of life, so the LGBTQ community has a safe place to hang,” said St. John, “And we see lots and lots of women in the bands, which is so cool and it’s very empowering.”
Tiffany Shafer is the band’s drummer and has allowed the band to jam together more to develop a song into a full arrangement without depending on the computer program Garage Band to compose music, said St. John.
The band records songs during practice and shares files to listen to, then comes back together once a week to evolve the music.
“The future is going to be cool, man, we are psyched,” said St. John.
The all-ages show is on Saturday at Hampton Lodge, 7500 Mission Ridge Road, Wenatchee, from 7-9 p.m. for free.
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