It’s never dull hearing about a band’s genesis — those early chapters which always seem to be filled with so many trials and tribulations. That’s certainly the case with Demi the Daredevil, at least.
Jovan Ortiz, Marc Martel, and Jeff Azar were the original bandmates that formed Demi the DareDevil, an art-rock, drama-club infused punk band based out of El Paso, Texas.
Like a lot of other great rock groups, the trio met and formed the band as high school friends back in 2006; unfortunately however, their story takes a giant twist from there. Ortiz, the lead singer at the time, passed away. His death and Marc’s sub-sequential departure to Alien Ant Farm left Jeff Azar to complete Ortiz’s vocals solo for their self-titled album.
Their story continues.
After multiple psychiatric hospitalizations from 2009-2011, Jeff contacted his brother Thomas Azar who was studying piano performance in Manhattan. Together, the two worked on Schizoid in a Moratorium EP which came out in 2013. It didn’t take long for Gold Producer John McCracken to pick them up.
McCracken states, “Demi is the first band I’ve heard in a long time that brings something totally fresh to the music world. There are elements of 60’s and 70’s bands such as Queen, Gentle Giant and The Beatles along with echoes of Broadway’s new trend towards Theater Rock. It’s a very striking combination of dense sophisticated lyrics with contrapuntal melodic and harmonic structures not normally heard in current contemporary music these days. What sets them apart is not only their music writing skills spearheaded by keyboardist Thomas Azar but also vocalist Jeff Azar’s dark and contemplative words that harken back to poets such as Edgar Allan Poe and the early beat poets…”
The following year the guys started recording The Secret Schizoid EP, which was inspired by Jeff’s psychiatric hospitalizations. The final EP is being released via The Orchard this upcoming October.
Their dark cabernet aesthetic, infused with Jeff’s deeply poetic lyricism is really what sets them apart from other groups in their genre.
Like the lyrics from their recent single, “Can I Change Me”:
“It’s so much easier to fantasize/
than realize what it takes/
who and where i want to be are nowhere/
close to me/
I’m too weak to work enough to deserve/
all that i expect/
can i change me”
After the passing of Ortiz, Azar was able to take on the role of song writer. After earning a Philosophy degree at the University of Texas at Austin, he began writing poetry which no doubt contributes to his deeply profound, sometimes twisted, lyricism.
Thomas, Jeff’s brother, earned his diploma from the Manhattan School of Music and continues to be inspired by composers like Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin as well Chris Martin and Imogen Heap. Chris Paulos, who plays bass for the band and is also currently an MC for his solo project Who Mi?. Lastly, Jake Rabinis the drummer, making the art-rock group complete.