After an exciting European tour, the four piece garage rock band DeepSeaGreen from London are ready to throw themselves into recording a new LP this summer.
Their previous records DeepSeaGreen and Valsorda provide the listener with a great mixture of passionate guitar-noisy rock, blues and psyche topping it all with a vocal that’s very rock-natural. This band was clearly meant to be and bring back some classic rock’n’roll noise with their own stamp on it.
Trent (vocals, guitar), Marco (bass), Jon (guitar) and Dan (drums) talk about the tour, music industry, influences and their upcoming album.
You only just got back from your European tour. It must have been very exciting and a great experience for you. Can you tell us about it?
Trent: Overall it was an amazing experience. We played 11 gigs in 7 countries, travelled 1000s of km, met some wonderful people, heard some great bands and saw some incredible sights. To be honest, I feel like I’m still taking it all in, so much seemed to happen in such a short space of time that it’s a struggle to process it all. But it was great to share our music with other people in other places and to find them so welcoming, positive and appreciative of what we do.
Jon: The tour was a real experience for us all. There were a lot of unexpected incidents over the course of the tour to deal with as well. The most common being our van breaking down. Hopefully though we made a few new fans along the road as well as getting to experience playing in all those different countries.
How different was the audience in all those countries compare to the UK one?
Trent : That’s a tricky question to answer but my general impression is that audiences in Europe are less judgmental in some way; perhaps less bound by their image of themselves as it relates to their musical taste and just excited to have a great night. In most places they seemed happy to dance and move and express themselves. The vast majority of our performances in the UK have been in London, where there is such a vast number of bands and venues that audiences can sometimes feel a little indifferent to everything, hostile even, by comparison. Having said that, we’ve played to some cracking London audiences over the past year.
Jon: The audience’s differ a lot from country to country. For example in Austria we found them to be quite reserved and polite, clapping only when they were certain each song had finished. Whereas Germany and France were more interactive with cheers and heckles, much like you would find in the UK.
You play a classic garage rock we don’t get to hear much of these days anymore. How has it been for you over the years to get this particular sound out there with everything in the music industry being so mainstream?
Marco: If the industry wasn’t mainstream, it wouldn’t be called the industry. What the industry delivers to the mass audiences is just the very tip of the iceberg of the music scene. I think that most music genres, including ours, have been around more or less consistently ever since they were invented in the 60s… Unfortunately most bands never made it out of the underground scene, but now, with the internet revolution all these obscure bands are accessible to everyone, everywhere at any time. So, to answer your question: I doubt that any DSG material has successfully reached the industry’s ears at the moment, nevertheless we have a pretty solid underground fan base all around the world, that’s been built on nothing but honest passion for music.
How did you come up with the band’s title? Any special meaning behind it?
Trent: What can I say? We needed a band name and we searched high and low for one and eventually found ourselves inexplicably looking at colour names. We came across DeepSeaGreen and took to it. I’m not sure why except that it had something about it, it seemed evocative and imagist. So no, it doesn’t have a special meaning just an indistinct sense of meaning.
Who writes all the music and lyrics and what or who influences you while creating?
Trent: I wrote a lot of the music initially, but now we have a mixture of methods. Sometimes one of us will come up with a whole idea for a song or just bring bits and pieces to rehearsals, which we develop together. As the singer, it seems natural that I write most of the lyrics and of course have ultimate reign over the vocal line. In the end everyone has creative input into the music, one way or another, and that’s vital for the band, for every band really. I don’t see how a band could work at it’s best without that.
In terms of influence, I personally try not to be directly affected by other music when writing. I want the music to come from us as a band, not just be an imitation of something we like or think others will like. Of course you can’t help familiar sounds creeping in and colouring what you do, but we all have a such a broad and individual range of listening habits that indirect influence could come from literally anywhere.
So far, you have released a debut album in 2010, an EP last year and you’re recording a new LP this summer. How will it differ from your previous work and what can we expect?
Trent: I think you can probably expect a record that is roughly comparable to our EP Valsorda. We had a lot a of good material which didn’t make it onto that recording just because we had a limited budget, that will be on the next one, and we’ve since written a lot more along similar lines with maybe a few unusual and hopefully surprising songs here and there. But it’s hard to say for certain just because we have a lot of music with a variety of musical emphasis from which we take a selection. So I suppose that could go either way to making the album lighter or heavier, more grungy or bluesy, or whatever really.
Marco: The first album was recorded just a few weeks after we became a band. I think it sounds a bit mono-dimensional compared to our later material. At the time we just wanted to get some recording done as quickly as possible in order to be able to start getting gigs etc, so we booked 2 days at a local studio, live recorded and mixed 10 songs and that was it. Today i see it as a good starting point but nothing more than that… We don’t really play those songs in our gigs anymore.
The new record will arrive sometime in the fall. We have a lot of good material lined up for it. We have some videos on YouTube of rehearsal studio performances of a few of the new songs and people seem to really like them.
Jon: We haven’t actually finalised where or who we will be doing our new record with so it’s a little hard to say exactly how it will differ in production. Though we have to keep moving forward and I think you can see the improvements between the first and second record, so we have to keep pushing ourselves and make sure that this one will be the best yet. Also the new songs are sounding great, maybe a touch heavier and fuzzier than the last EP.
Who does all your amazing artwork for album covers and t-shirts?
Jon: We generally come up with a rough idea of what we want for our artwork and then go to someone we think could bring life to those ideas. Stacie Willoughby did our last T-shirt; she is an amazing artist from the USA. She has done artwork for a lot of great bands including Radio Moscow and The Black Keys if I’m not mistaken. The Valsorda EP was designed by Elizabeth Tetlow who is an up and coming UK based artist.
For people who haven’t seen you play live, how would you describe your usual set?
Marco: Because of the nature of our music style, I think the live environment is the best way to experience it. Our records don’t rely on a lot of studio magic, so what you hear on those, is pretty much what you get at a concert. On top of that we try to put as much energy as we can in our live performances: that seems to be the best way to engage the audience, make them loose their inhibition and really participate in the performance… Once that cosmic vibration exchange mechanism is triggered, the show immediately escalates to a different level.
Will there be any more UK shows in the coming months or are you going to dedicate yourself to recording?
Trent: We haven’t booked any gigs in the UK for the coming months, just so we can focus on preparing new material for recording, not to mention post tour recovery. But I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that we’ll put on a few last minute shows here and there in London, and we do have a few coming up in Italy and France over the summer. I’m looking forward to getting back into rehearsals and then back out performing.
Marco: We’ll be playing in Italy on July 14th and we’re booking dates for a mini-tour in late August around the Celebration Days Festival in Lille on the 17th.