Local band DaisyChain stopped by the newsroom in December to give the inaugural performance in The Spectrum’s brand new concert series. The three-piece rock group, fronted by UB electrical engineering senior Joseph Gogan, played a raucous set that featured both original songs and a host of classic covers.
The band is accustomed to playing at conventional local spots like Stamps and Mohawk Place, so the scaled-down, cozy atmosphere of The Spectrum’s office wasn’t exactly a typical venue for the group to perform in — but that didn’t stop DaisyChain from delivering a high-energy performance.
Drummer and vocalist Gogan traded in his usual drum set for a cajon, backed by guitarists Katie Missert and Matthew Riley.
The band’s name alludes to their style of performing — the band flows from one song to the next seamlessly, forming a musical “daisy chain.”
The trio paid homage to some of their influences with covers of songs like Pink Floyd’s “Money,” but they were quick to showcase their own originals too.
“Jeg Elsker Deg,” a love song that takes its name from a Norwegian phrase, was a highlight of the band’s set. Gogan penned the lyrics after a case of songwriting fatigue.
“I got really tired of rhyming with ‘you…’ So I’m like, OK, let me think of something else,” Gogan said. “I had a significant other in my life… that knew a bit of Norwegian, and one of the phrases [they used] was jeg elsker deg, which means “I love you.” So I took that and wrote the whole song around that phrase.”
Then there’s “In Your Eyes” (no, it’s not a Peter Gabriel cover), another original song that initially stemmed from a “goof” between Riley and Gogan.
“There was literally something in his eye,” Gogan said, as he and Riley laughed. “So I went, ‘Oh, there’s something in your eyes…’ The rest of the songwriting process went from there.”
DaisyChain has undergone a series of lineup changes in its few years of life, but at the band’s core is Riley and Gogan’s creative partnership. The longtime friends, who attended Canisius High School together, have a certain camaraderie that’s quite apparent both on and off stage that fuels their shared songwriting process.
“I write a riff in my bedroom, not to a metronome. Then I show it to Joe and because I didn’t write it to a metronome, it’s not in four-four,” Riley said.
“And so I have to write a stupid drum riff to match to it,” Gogan said. “Somehow something will happen and I come up with some lyrics and I merge the two to create the song.”
The members of the band bring some vastly different musical influences and tastes to the table, but that’s something they embrace.
“He listens to the Beatles, I listen to Metallica, Katie listens to John Mayer,” Riley explained.
It’s this type of variation that makes DaisyChain so fun to watch.
“If it rocks, we’ll bop. That’s the tagline,” Gogan said.
The full concert can be viewed here.
Follow DaisyChain on Instagram @daisychainbuffalo.
Meret Kelsey is the senior arts editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Meret Kelsey is an assistant arts editor at The Spectrum.