Photo by Nick Karp

The Callous Daoboys Stand On the Brink of Destiny and Divinity

- By Ramon Gonzales

Atlanta's heavy music weirdoes refine their randomness to craft the most complete version of themselves thus far on their latest EP, 'God Smiles Upon The Callous Daoboys'.

Among the more notable releases of last year, The Callous Daoboys found themselves consistently in the conversation with their 2022 full length, Celebrity Therapist. 

Praised for it's innovative, imaginative approach and unbound delivery, the emerging Atlanta unit positioned themselves as one of heavy music's most promising prospects with the kind of album that was destined to be one of those "ahead of it's time" kind of records. 

And while the band continued to rack up the accolades, they continued to work at a relentless pace. Grinding it out on the road with a touring slate indicative of a band obsessed, The Callous Daoboys earned nightly converts that all found themselves fixed on the kind of infectious energy that comes requisite with the band's live set. 

As frenetic as the band resonates on record, with Celebrity Therapist offering testament to that - The Callous Daoboys live are purely electric. Their execution onstage is such that it makes you wonder how this much volatility could ever be confined to a studio environment long enough to make it to record.

And yet that is where The Callous Daoboys seem excel most. 

Garnering love for their unorthodox style and a kind of musical unpredictability that consistently made them the wild card on every bill, The Callous Daoboys have figured out how to better refine their brand. Spending the last year trekking in support of Celebrity Therapist, the band harnessed the wisdom of experience and implemented that into their chapter - one that saw them better distill their sound into finished product still brazenly unconventional, just now with better focus. 

Set to debut their new EP, God Smiles Upon The Callous Daoboys, the band has found a new level of confidence, thriving in their role as heavy music's nonconformists - such that even the Almighty himself would nod with approval. 

Daoboys guitarist Daniel Hodsdon spoke about the new music, the wisdom earned from miles on the road and how not fitting in has always been viewed as a chance to win over the skeptics. 

What were some of the lessons learned from Celebrity Therapist? The band did a heavy fit of touring on the record. How did that cycle impact you not only as songwriters but impact the cohesiveness of the band? 

Hodsdon - I think the biggest thing we learned from our touring in the past year and change was how to function as a unit. It’s as if everyone in the band flips a switch when it’s go-time. Whether that be loading in, setting the stage, soundcheck to the show and loading out, everyone is so incredibly on top of things on every level.

In terms of songwriters, this also helped bring forward everyone’s individual strengths as musicians and helped to garner a more tightly knit comradery in performing and writing together.

You’ve mentioned how GSUTCD seems to be the culmination of the last six years. What about this album is most indicative of the true potential of Callous Daoboys?

Hodsdon - I think GSUTCD shows off what each individual member of the band is capable of. We really lucked out with the slight member changeup last year and I think everyone that’s a part of it is irreplaceable in their own right. There’s something incredibly vicious about the precision this band is achieving in the studio and on stage every night and it’s only going to get better. It almost feels second nature to pull this kind of music off.

This EP still retains that sense of weirdness that has become a signature for the band, but it seems less spectacle - it’s weaponized weirdness. Was there a conscious effort to focus those big musical moments to maximize their impact?

Hodsdon - This EP really showcases that we’re not just a band that writes janky and “scronky” music for the sake of doing so. This showcases that our only influences aren’t just other metal acts. There’s a lot going on in our heads and a lot that influences the ways we approach our respective instruments, and GSUTCD brings that to the forefront with an enthusiasm and proficiency that I honestly think few can match.

The touring slate for you guys is all over the place. From Holy Fawn to Rolo Tomassi to now Protest the Hero. Do you still find yourself enjoying being the wild card on the bill? 

Hodsdon - My favorite thing about being the wild card on the bill is that we have something to offer for every different fan of musical genre. While on paper we don’t fit in, we always end up winning the crowd over because our performance is just plain fun. It’s the one thing that everyone commends us on when talking to us after a set, even if they didn’t like the music, they had a blast watching us perform and that ALWAYS wins them over.

There always seems to be a bit of tongue in cheek humor to your brand but this EP and the title, feels more like a mission statement. Is God, in fact, smiling when they hear these songs? 

Hodsdon - We coined the term “God Smiles Upon The Callous Daoboys” while on tour in 2022 when every time it would seem like the odds were stacked against us, we’d persevere and come out on top. If the big man upstairs isn’t smiling, he’s at the very least having a good laugh.


God Smiles Upon The Callous Daoboys arrives October 20th via MNRK Heavy / Modern Static.

Catch The Callous Daoboys live, supporting Protest the Hero along with Moon Tooth. A complete list of dates and cities can be found below.

Get tickets - HERE

13th October 2023 - Piere's Entertainment Center, Fort Wayne, IN
14th October 2023 - Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL
15th October 2023 - TURF Club, Minneapolis, MN
17th October 2023 - Park Theatre, Winnipeg, MB
19th October 2023 - Starlite, Edmonton, AB
20th October 2023 - Palace Theatre, Calgary, AB
22nd October 2023 - Rickshaw, Vancouver, BC
23rd October 2023 - El Corazon, Seattle, WA
25th October 2023 - Goldfield (Roseville), Sacramento, CA
26th October 2023 - 1720, Los Angeles, CA
27th October 20233 - Music Box, San Diego, CA
28th October 2023- Crescent, Phoenix, AZ
31st October 2023 - Bluebird, Denver, CO
2nd November 2023 - South Side Music Hall, Dallas, TX
3rd November 2023 - Come And Take It Live, Austin, TX
4th November 2023 - Paper Tiger, San Antonio, TX
5th November 2023 - Rise Rooftop, Houston, TX
7th November 2023 - The Abbey, Orlando, FL
8th November 2023 - The Orpheum, Tampa, FL 
9th November 2023 - Masquerade - Hell, Atlanta, GA
11th November 2023 - Ottobar, Baltimore, MD
12th November 2023 - Underground Arts, Philadelphia, PA 
14th November 2023 - Gramercy, New York, NY
15th November 2023 - Middle East Downstairs, Boston, MA
17th November 2023 - HISTORY, Toronto, ON
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