It’s been some year for Deap Vally. Breaking out out of the LA rock scene is hard enough, but doing it as effortlessly as they have, takes something a little bit special. Formed in 2011 after meeting at a needlework class, Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards soon began making music together and have barely looked back since releasing their debut single back in the Summer of 2012.
Debut appearances in the UK and Japan, and shows with heavyweights such as the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Muse has cemented their reputation as a brilliant and brazen live act. With that in place, it’s now time for the album. Sistrionix will be released on June 24th via Island/ Communion Records and Lindsey took some time out to tell us a bit about it, and what the whirlwind past twelve months have really been like…
Hi Lindsey, how is the day treating you?
It’s great. We just played our first D.C. show at the Rock’n’roll hotel. It used to be a funeral home and then got converted into a music venue.
Have you learned anything new so far today?
I learned what Julie’s husband’s face looks like because he just shaved off his beard.
How is LA these days?
LA is great. The weather is fabulous which tends to keep everyone in a good mood. There are great hiking trails, there’s great mexican food, and some really amazing and creative people.
2013 has been a great for you already. What has been the Deap Valley highlight?
Honestly, every show we play is a highlight. Every tour is a highlight. The last year has been the year of dreams coming true. We met Jimmy Page, Axl Rose was in the front row at our show the other night. We’ve played with one of favorite bands, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We’ve traveled the world and gotten to play for wild and amazing crowds. Getting onstage and melting faces is the ultimate for us. So that, and the amazing people we’ve met along the way and the adventures we’ve had, these are the highlights.
Sistrionix, then. What can we expect from it?
Sistrionix is Deap Vally Chapter 1. It’s bold and heavy. It’s daring and fun. There’s no wasted space or filler. It’s potent from beginning to end. It’s got sass and it’s got soul. It deserves to be listened to loudly. Turn that shit up to 11!
Have you got a personal favourite track on there?
Ugh…it’s so hard to pick a favorite song. That changes from day to day. Today I’ll say Six Feet Under. It’s the last song on the record. It’s also probably the greatest departure from how people perceive us, but at the same time thoroughly Deap Vally. It’s a slow, swampy, aching tune that makes me weak in the knees.
How was the whole recording process? What did Lars bring to the project?
Lars is the best. Being in the studio with him is so much fun. He’s so mellow; he’s the ultimate good-viber. It’s was always just the three of us in the studio. Lars has a really great understanding of vintage gear and sonic techniques to really bring the most out of a two-piece in the recording process. We didn’t overly complicate the recording process. Our ethos as a band has always been to have fun making music, not labor over it for hours. If something feels inspired, we use it, if not, we move on. Lars just really gets what Deap Vally is. He’s part of the Deap Vally family.
What are your musical backgrounds? Did you grow up on rock and roll?
Julie grew up doing musical theater. She taught herself to play drums 8 years ago and started an experimental rock band called Pity Party with her childhood friend, Marc. I grew up in a family band, if you will. My sister and I were a folk duo as kids, and sometimes my dad or older brother would be thrown into the equation. My dad is a real product of the 60’s and 70’s. He played a lot of Grateful Dead and mellow stuff in the house when we were kids. But the records that really changed my life were ones I unearthed from his C.D. collection–The Doors, Hole, The Beatles, Nirvana–these records cut to my core. I remember being a kid and dreaming of being a rockstar, of embodying the swagger and rawness and unapologetic attitude of the bands listed above.
Who were your childhood heroes?
I’m the baby of my family, the youngest of all my cousins and siblings, so I really looked up to my siblings and some of my cousins when I was young. And my mother. She’s a bad ass.
Coachella, then. As amazingly fun as it appeared?
Coachella was awesome. I breathed in a lot of dirt. I think my lungs are still recovering. We had so much fun playing. It’s a couple hours from LA, so our friends and family were there, which made it really special. I had some really “my life is crazy” moments there. I was standing side stage watching Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Flea from the Chili Peppers was in front of me and Rick Rubin was behind me. I was looking out at what was probably 50,000 or 100,00 people and remembering the years I experienced the festival as an attendee, and then now getting to experience it from the other side. I went to Coachella for the first time 9 years ago and I was so inspired by the rock’n’roll icons I watched perform. I promised myself that I would do that one day. So the whole experience of Coachella this year was a very clear indication that all my years of hard work are paying off. It felt really fucking good.
You’re playing a bunch of UK festivals over the Summer. What do you get out of playing live?
Playing live is the ultimate. We’re junkies for it. The danger and the rush and the euphoria of playing live is what we get out of it.
Do you enjoy life on the road?
Hell yeah. Performing is so incredibly gratifying. It’s the climax of every evening and I always feel amazing afterward. Tour is a constant adventure–we’re very fortunate to have this job. There are loads of stresses involved, no doubt, and it’s very hard work, but it’s the best work ever.
Finally, we’re looking for a new mantra. Any suggestions?
Live your legend.
Deap Vally UK dates;
May 16 – Brighton (UK), The Great Escape Festival (The Warren)
May 17 – Brighton (UK), The Great Escape Festival (Komedia)
May 18 – Brighton (UK), The Great Escape Festival (The Hub)
May 22 – London (UK), The Scala
May 24 – Manchester (UK), Dot to Dot Festival
May 25 – Bristol (UK), Dot to Dot Festival
May 26 – Nottingham (UK), Dot to Dot Festival
June 29 – Cornwall (UK), Eden Projects
June 30 – Glastonbury (UK), Glastonbury Festival (John Peel Stage)
Aug 23 – Reading (UK), Reading Festival
Aug 24 – Leeds (UK), Leeds Festival