Interview: Darwin Deez

darwonDarwin Deez are an American indie band who first came to attention in 2009 with their debut release ‘Constellations’ and their follow up single ‘Radar Detector’ in 2010.

Fronted by the eponymous Darwin Deez, with his trademark corkscrew curls and headband, they produce indie pop summery sounds and are well known for their kooky live shows and kookier singer.

With two albums under their belt, 2010s self titled ‘Darwin Deez‘ and 2013s ‘Songs for Imaginative People’ the band have been on hiatus and then recording their third album, ‘Double Down,‘ due to be released here on September 18th. The first single from the album is ‘Kill your attitude‘ and it was released in May this year as a taster to the album, and contrary to its Call of Duty style video it is singalong jangly indiepop at its best.

I was lucky enough to speak to the main man behind the band (and the hair) about the new album, influences and their upcoming show in Belfast’s Limelight 2 on October 15th 2015.

For any readers out there who haven’t heard Darwin Deez how would you describe your sound?

It’s indie pop rock, you dumb ignoramus. What are you living under a stone?Why don’t you get your head out of your ass for 5 seconds and go on Youtube.com? You might learn something! It’s indie rock, you f****** rapscallion. Sweet candy pop rocks. Are there any readers still out there?

 Ahem, yes. So you are releasing your third album ‘Double Down’ on September 18th and this is your first material in two years, how do you feel your music has changed and progressed in this time?

 I expanded on album 2, this one is a distillation of that expansion along the lines of my first record, stylistically. Hence the title. A redoubling of the initial thrust of my gestalt.You get my gist?

 Gist gotten indeed. On this record songs like ‘Melange Mining Co’ and ‘ Kill your attitude’ particularly the solo, have a more guitar led somewhat bluesy feel. Was this a conscious decision to showcase your guitar skills or have you been listening to anyone musically that has influenced you?

 Yes, Thin Lizzy, John Mayer, Guthrie Govan. It was more of a conscious decision to have fun and it was something that happened on the last record, if you were paying any attention at all. The licks on MMC and KYA are but smoldering embers of the hot fire licks I put down on the Imaginative tracks. Do you … do you know what I’m saying?

I hear ya. Where did you record this album and did you enjoy the process?

In my apartment in South Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY. Yes, the process is always enjoyable! I love it when I’m onto a good song. It’s the best feeling in the world. Hashtag blessed!

 ‘Double Down’ is very upbeat musically, but is it fair to say that a lot of the lyrics are about the aftermath of a relationship and moving on? How personal are your lyrics or is it more storytelling?

Yeah, that’s my steelo. It’s about 1 part reality and 4 parts Storytelling by Todd Solondz.

You are coming to Belfast next month to play a show in support of the new record. Are you looking forward to playing to a Belfast crowd again and have you any special memories from your previous time here?

Yes, very much so. Last time we played Belfast we met Rams’ Pocket Radio, all of whom were sweethearts, including Shauna Tohill, who is now our bassist. So that will be a hometown show for her of sorts. Shauna and I both free-styled off the dome on stage that night, it was wild. She is awesome. I like Irish people a lot.

 Finally, what can the Belfast gig goers expect from Darwin Deez’s show in the Limelight?

 Dancing, prancing and a rollicking good time. Emphasis on the rollicking and the time. Time dilation. Time will dilate, ok? But not so much that you will notice though.

Darwin Deez are playing The Limelight 2 on 15th October Click here for ticket info.

Words by Sarah McCrossan