DOAKS is an American punk rock band based in Reminderville, OH, a suburb of Cleveland. Formed in 2018 by guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Van Dress and his now fiancee Chelsea Amata (vocals), the band also features Brandan Richter (bass guitar), Stephen Sherman (guitar) and Derek Warfle (drums).
Formation and Scaredy Ghost (2018)
Jeremy Van Dress met Chelsea Amata on the popular dating app, Tinder, in May of 2017. Then on New Years Day 2018, they decided to start a band (initially called The Sweetly Savage) after writing a joke song called “Because I Said So” during a night of drinking. “We wanted to write a song with essentially two chords as a way to make fun of the simplicity of a lot of indie rock,” says Van Dress. That song ended up getting significant airplay on local college radio which got them discovered by Alternative Press freelance writer, Annie Zaleski. She added DOAKS to her “12 Artists You Need to Know” article in the July 2018 issue, praising the duo for their “candy coated rave-ups” and their ability to blend indie and punk with a dual male & female vocal attack. The band changed their name to avoid any potential future legal issues with the Irish heavy metal band, Sweet Savage. The origin of the name DOAKS is unknown with the rumor being that it is an acronym for “Doing Our Absolute Knockout Set.”
The duo released their self-produced full length, Scaredy Ghost, which was recorded in the basement of their Kent, OH home “amidst cans of black paint and cats.” The band’s debut album led to five singles on college radio. The two began auditioning musicians in order to begin performing live, adding former Trendy members Jay Baskette on drums and Scott Richmond on bass. They then added friend Brandon Kovatch on guitar. They began performing around Cleveland. The year concluded with Dying Scene rating Scaredy Ghost 4.5 stars out of 5, likening the group to a “punk rock B-52’s.”
Could You Be More Pacific and Hiatus (2019)
Upon going to a punk rock music festival, Van Dress feverishly wrote the sophomore album, "Could You Be More Pacific?” This album was far more punk rock in sound and displayed flourishes of reggae, surf and ska. It was recorded by the band in their now Reminderville home. DOAKS then went on hiatus so that Jeremy and Chelsea could get pregnant through IVF. Only three shows were played in 2019 and no songs were sent to radio, “we didn’t promote Pacific, you either knew us or didn’t. Not to say we’re not proud of the album!" Still, the song “Girl Gone Wild” was featured on a few national skate punk and pop punk Spotify playlists. During the pregnancy, the band recorded the majority of what would end up being their third album, Level Up. They continued to practice, now with Stephen Sherman on guitar and Derek Warfle as their primary drummer.
Level Up and future (2020)
With the birth of their daughter, Giavanna, DOAKS is about to release "Level Up" which is a compilation of the best songs from the first two albums (which are no longer available) plus an additional 6 new songs to make it their first true full length album. Now with Brandan Richter on bass, the band is poised to play shows again and host house shows at their home venue/studio, Max Kitty.
MUSICAL STYLE AND INFLUENCES
Since the band’s inception, DOAKS’ style has primarily been described as indie punk and pop punk. The band has also been known to dabble in grunge, ska, reggae & skate punk.
DOAKS is vastly influenced by artists from the 80's & 90's and has cited bands such as Bad Religion, Veruca Salt, The Offspring, L7, Agent Orange, Green Day, Nirvana & No Doubt as being influential to their sound. From pentatonic riffs, Egyptian style leads & solos, palm mutes, pick slides, vocal harmonies, clockwork drumming, no-nonsense songwriting and a frenetic pace, the band embraces these roots. “Back in ‘94, I used to go to school dances and request a bunch of Green Day and Offspring songs, then “Come Out and Play” would come on and me and my friends would jump around air guitaring like idiots for three minutes. Then Boys II Men would be playing the rest of the night and I’d stand by the wall like the loser that I am.”
Level Up (2020)
"Girl Gone Wild"
"I Gotta Go"
"Waiting All My Lifetime"
"Because I Said So"