Darwin Deez im Interview – „I’m terrible with house plants.“
Am vergangenen Freitag erschien mit „Double Down“ das neue Album des Indie-Pop Gott Darwin Deez. Das Soundkartell hat ihm im Zuge seines Release einige ziemlich persönliche Fragen gestellt. Er hat sogar ein biblisches Gebot formuliert.
For me Darwin Deez, you are part of the First Commandment: I am the Lord God. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
Darwin Deez: “It should mean: Darwin Deez is the Lord of Indie-Pop. Thou shalt have no other Indie-Pop Gods before me.”
Since the first song I`ve heard from you, “Radar Detector” you have the same attitude and you have the same hairs like since 5-6 years ago. Is there anything that obviously changed since you start making music?
Darwin Deez: “Well, actually every cell in my body has regenerated since 2009, right? So I am completely new and yet…To really answer the question though, I feel older and wiser. But I think true wisdom is not something you acquire in 5 years, I believe it’s something you acquire through many lifetimes of experiences. Yeah, like reincarnation. I believe in that shit. But umm, I’m an uncle now?”
I’m very impressed of the diversity you have in your songs since your first release. I always think, “Ok, he is very genius. But on his new album “Double Down” he could not always raise his game.” But you did!
Darwin Deez: “Well, thank you for the kind words!”
In which way you are aware of the fact that your single “Kill Your Attitude” could be real hit out here?
Darwin Deez: “My awareness of a song is colored by the way in which it was born. Some songs are born more effortlessly than others, that is to say, with less intervention on my behalf during the birthing. These songs are less ‘written’ by me and more ‘received’ from whatever other intelligence be it the subconscious, be it the collective unconscious, be it god, I don’t know. So KYA was born rather easily in some ways and in other ways I struggled for a long time, which is never a good sign-struggle induces doubt-such as on the pre-chorus lyrics. In the end I am very happy with the song and I think it has a lot going for it, I give it a 4/5 personally.”
Is there one track on your new album which you are very proud of?
Darwin Deez: “Yes, I like The Other Side. I tried to write “bassline songs” this time out and this one feels like a success in that department more than any of the others that came out, and I like the chorus melody, as well as how it allows me to utilize my falsetto, which I like.”
In which way “Double Down” is your own little baby?
Darwin Deez: “In every way. I wrote it, I mixed it, I even mastered most of it. I don’t want to have human babies.”
How narrow is the burr between funny lyrics and not like to be treated as a joke like in “Last Cigarette”?
Darwin Deez: “I’m easily tempted to write with puns but I think it’s always better to write with imagery instead. Puns are generally no good in songwriting I think, though I have used them in my learning to write better songs. Because puns take away from the seriousness. But to write a song like Last Cigarette which is both about quitting smoking and about a looming breaking up and about self-indulgence is to invite the listener to take it on whichever level she wants. Literal and simple or deeper and metaphorical. A listener will have her own preference for what kind of lyrical message she is interested in hearing. By writing in this way, you don’t get in the way of her self-actualization as a man. Nor her connection with the lyrics.”
Imagine someone would love to make a shortfilm for you. He say: We want four milestones in your career.” Which four milestones would you choose right from the start of your first release?
Darwin Deez: “Hmm, well I have to go back before the start of the first release to my first open mic night at Sidewalk Cafe, that is #1 in my writing actually decent lyrics and sneaking into the world of playing live rock shows. Then #2 would be the first release on Lucky Number, the label that looks out for me. #3, I don’t know. I’m not good with milestones. Visiting Stonehenge? High times in the UK on tour. #4 buying the bigger tour van? I don’t know man. There were many special moments. Dog piling on our tour manager in a hotel in Copenhagen at 5 am for no reason, just before our early flight home.”
Is there something in your life which “grew with you” in all these years?
Darwin Deez: “Umm… my hard drive? I don’t know. Grew with me. I’m terrible with house plants. No plants here. No pets. I would say Greg, maybe. Greg has been playing with me the longest of anyone in the band, in every capacity-first drums, then bass (his main instrument), and now on lead guitar. Greg and his daughter Noelya have grown with me along this way.”
You say that the sound we can here on “Double Down” is really you. Could you please concrete this?
Darwin Deez: “There are a lot of bands who are happy to write songs in a way that satisfies listeners without carving out a new musical niche with respect to genres and trends in rock from the 50’s onwards. These are bands who are either doing deliberate pastiche of their favorite band from the 60’s or riding the latest wave of indie. These are bands who sound like each other. For me, there are some early songs of mine which sound like The Strokes-huge influence on me. But I wouldn’t say Darwin Deez sounds like The Strokes, although it may be similar in energy. I jam all of my Strokes love right in with my obsession with Quincy’s production on Thriller as well as my reverence for The Dismemberment Plan’s magical period. I just look at the artists that Pandora/Last.fm/etc algorithms group me with and I don’t think I really sound like any of them, although I see what the algorithm is driving at. I do a thing. You know what it is. I can’t really explain what it is. But you know it. I do it. And that’s how I do-do-doos it.”