quarta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2012

Oceanside with Deardarkhead - An Interview

Simplesmente um dos prediletos da casa, banda queridíssima desde os meados dos 90´s, o Deardarkhead é daquelas preciosidades que ficaram escondidas no limbo do submundo do shoegazer, e esquecida de forma absurda, porque seu mix de shoegazer clássico (Ride, Pale Saints) com o pos punk de bandas como os Chameleons, Bunnymen entre outros deveria ter tido um tratamento e merecido destaque, mas injustamente o mundo musical é cruel e nefasto, e seus primeros trabalhos como os Eps Ultraviolet e Melt Away Too Soon, são simplesmente perolas que graças a espertissima Captured Tracks foram resgatados atraves da coletanea Oceanside e ainda tem no catalogo duas fitas cassestes (sim pasmen!!) as primeiras gravações do Deardarkhead, sem contar no seu unico album Unlock The Valves of Feeling.

O TBTCI simplesmente enaltece e engradece a obra do Deardarkhead como forma de justiça a tamanha inspiração que é esta banda magistral que para a sorte de todos, esta na ativa novamente, tocando pelos Estados Unidos, e porque não alguém possa quem sabe um dia traze-los para este pais, quem quiser, faça abaixo assinados e provem ao TBTCI que isto pode ser viavel, afinal o TBTCI pode realizar sonhos, ou não?! Obvio que sim.....

Srs, e Sras, Deardarkhead e a história do shoegazer passada a limpo.

***** Interview with Deardarkhead *****

Q. When did deardarkhead start, tell us about the history?
Rob Weiss: I started the band in 1988. The first lineup was with Kurt Douglass (guitar), Blakely Parent (guitar & vocals), Josh Minor (bass) and myself (drums). We recorded a 7 song demo tape called Greetings From The Infernal Village, which we did by ourselves on a 4 track cassette recorder. Soon after that around 1990, Josh left and Michael Amper joined the band as our vocalist, he also played keyboard and guitar. Blakely moved over to bass at that point and we released a 4 song tape Spiral Down and Vibrate in 1991 and then a 4 song cd Melt Away Too Soon in 1992. Kurt left after that in 1992 with Kevin Harrington replacing him as the guitarist. We then released the Ultraviolet cd in 1993 and Blakely left in 1994. After that we became a three piece with Mike on vocals & bass, Kevin on guitar and myself on drums. We next released Unlock the Valves of Feeling in 1998. Mike then left the group at the end of 2009 leaving the future of DDH uncertain. Luckily Kevin McCauley came on board as our bassist during the fall of 2010 and we have been playing as an instrumental three piece ever since. We're still hopeful we will find a good vocalist, but we're not letting that stop us from going forward.

Q: Who are your influences?
Rob Weiss: I could go on and on about all the bands I love, so I'll just name a few that initially influenced me to start DDH: The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, U2, Joy Division, The Police, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Dif Juz, The Cocteau Twins, The Beatles, The Church, The Chameleons, and 4AD/Creation/Factory Records in general.

Kevin Harrington: I've been playing guitar with DDH for twenty years now, within that time there have been many bands from different types of music that have influenced me along the way. These are some of the bands that had the most impact on my sound and style of playing back in the early years: The Church, The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Jane's Addiction, Curve, Kitchens of Distinction, Lush, Ride, Slowdive, Catherine Wheel, Verve, The Chameleons, and Adorable. As I've gotten older my influences have continued to evolve and change. I could be here all night trying to list all the bands that I could say have affected me over the years, but I don't want to bore you. Let's face it, there is a lot of great music out there, you just have to take the time to hear it.

Kevin McCauley: Oasis, Radiohead, The Verve, The Cure, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Lush.

Q. Make a list of your 5 albums of all time.
Rob Weiss: Just five? I think I need a top 100! That's a tough question and on any given day I'd probably give you a slightly different list...so in no particular order: My Bloody Valentine Loveless, Echo & The Bunnymen Heaven Up Here, The Cure Disintegration, Miles Davis Kind of Blue, and The Beatles Revolver.

Kevin Harrington: This was tough to narrow down, but here they are (in no particular order): Script of the Bridge by the Chameleons, Priest = Aura by The Church,Gentlemen by the Afghan Whigs, A Storm In Heaven by Verve, Blue Bell Knoll by the Cocteau Twins.

Kevin McCauley: Oasis What's the Story Morning Glory, The Cure Head On The Door, Jesus & Mary Chain Psychocandy, The Beatles Abbey Road, and Oasis Definitely Maybe.


Q. How do you feel playing live?
Rob Weiss: As a drummer, I'm far too busy concentrating on keeping time to really enjoy the moment. Drumming is also very physically demanding. For me it's about playing well and reproducing the songs the way we want people to hear them. After a show we tend to dwell on the mistakes we made rather then how well we played. That said, when we play well, I do feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Overall playing is fun but it takes a lot of work and effort. I like the creative process more than performing, but it's always great when you get positive feedback from an audience.

Kevin Harrington: I love it and sometimes hate it at the same time. Although I'm still using lots of effects, I'm not playing big washes of sound where mistakes can be less noticeable. The guitar parts have needed to become more articulated and defined like a guitar/vocal part since we lost our singer. So if I mess up, I feel it's really obvious! Being a part of an instrumental three piece, it's hard to hide your mistakes. We all have to be spot on and it can be nerve racking. So, it all depends on how things are going, how I'm playing that night. However, we always end up having a great time

Kevin McCauley: I would much rather play live than say rehearse or record, as you really get the true dynamic of the band collectively. When we are tight and in-sync, there is nothing quite like it.

Q. How do you describe deardarkhead's sound?
Rob Weiss: Shoegazer, dreampop, neo-psychedelic, post-punk, indie rock. These are all easy labels that help people understand what we sound like. We definitely have a British influence, but I'd like to think we have our own unique sound. Basically we like dreamy, melodic, head music that's both spacey and noisy.

Kevin Harrington: Our "sound" has always been a tough one to describe for me. We've done songs that are driving and fast, others that are slow and spacey. I think each song "sounds" different because it's a different song. We've had a few lineup changes throughout the band's existence. In my opinion, DDH has had great writers and players that have all contributed in the songwriting. When we write a song the process is pretty much the same but there isn't one primary songwriter. Sometimes it's a group effort, sometimes one of us has 90% of it done. But we always finish it together. We've been smart enough to respect and trust each others ideas in our writing process. Therefore depending on if it's a spontaneous band idea or an individual start, we all put our ideas in. I've been using a Digitech 2101 through a stereo power amp for years now. The Digitech preamp allows me to make major sound changes in an instant. Depending on the vibe of the song, I can use all kinds of digital effects and tube clean/distortion tones. Being the only guitar player I need to fill up a lot of space, so I use lots of different chorus effects, delays, arpeggiators, panning, reverbs, etc. Using a stereo rig in a live setting allows for a huge wall of guitar sound that's atmospheric and engulfing.

Kevin McCauley: I would say very melodic with a sound that can range from bright and happy to dark and melancholy.

Q: Tell us about the feeling to come back and play again?
Rob Weiss: Although we've had some lineup changes and less active periods, we've been consistently playing since 1988 in some incarnation. When Mike Amper left the band at the end of 2009, Kevin Harrington and I really didn't want to end things. It's been difficult, as Amper had been with DDH since 1990 and he was our vocalist as well as the bassist. Since Kevin McCauley joined we've been playing out instrumentally since 2011 on a regular basis and that's been challenging in its own way. It's pushed us in new directions and think we are growing. We still have a lot of material we'd like to record.

Kevin Harrington: Well we never went away. We've just kept a slow steady pace so that we'll be around for another twenty years. Just imagine the questions we'll get then!

Q. What represents the classic shoegazer era to the band?
Rob Weiss: The late 80's into the early 90's was the defining era for shoegazer music. It was a great time for music in general, and it seemed like there were new British bands to discover everyday. We immediately identified with My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, Ride, Moose, Lush and Pale Saints, as we were influenced by a lot of the same bands they liked. During that time there were a lot of great American bands working in the shoegazer genre that never got the attention they deserved. Shoegazer bands in the USA just didn't get the kind of coverage that our British counterparts received. Thankfully Captured Tracks has been reissuing a lot of these lesser known American bands via their Shoegaze Archives project.

Kevin Harrington: For me it was the early 90's with bands like MBV, Ride, Lush, Kitchens of Distinction.


Q. Which new bands do you recommended?
Rob Weiss: Ringo Deathstarr, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Melody's Echo Chamber, Washed Out, Sulk, Nothing, Oeil, Wild Nothing, Blouse, Exit Calm, The Dum Dum Girls, DIIV, Tycho, Tame Impala.

Kevin Harrington: Passion Pit, Destroyer, Wild Nothing, Pinkshinyultrablast, The Mary Onettes, The Bravery, Echo Lake, DIIV, Sway, The Mercury Program, Silversun Pickups, Teen Daze, Tycho, Washed Out, Raised By Swans, Exit Calm, Blonde Redhead to name a few.

Kevin McCauley: I think I have said previously that while I have my standby bands that I listen to, I have a tendency to listen to something new that I have found, over and over. That said, right now I have been spending a lot of time listening to the Lightfoils

Q: Which bands would you love to do a cover version of?
Rob Weiss: We rarely do covers, as we'd rather take time to write a new DDH song. There are a ton of songs/bands I'd like to cover. Lately I've been wanting to cover Ivy "Ocean City Girl" and maybe a Rolling Stones tune like "2000 Light Years from Home."

Kevin Harrington: I never really think about it. I like everything the way it already is.

Kevin McCauley: That can change in a heartbeat really; but so far, the Cure, particularly "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea," "Cut," "A Strange Day," or "Faith". Yep I would enjoy that.

Q: What are the plans for the future?
Rob Weiss: Our main goals are to find a new lead singer, release more recordings and keep playing as long as we are enjoying it! One of my biggest frustrations is that we haven't recorded more. We have plenty of material, we just need money to get it out there.

Kevin Harrington: To keep playing and having fun with it and to see shoegaze, dreampop and all that stuff take over mainstream music.

Kevin McCauley: Continue playing shows and hopefully get in the studio.

Q: Any parting words?
Rob Weiss: I'd just like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years. Thank you Renato!

Kevin Harrington: Thanks for having us. Goodnight and goodbye for now.
Thanks DDH!!!