10:20 Thursday 11 April 2013

The weird and wonderful Darwin Deez returns


ONE of Indie music’s most colourful and unique talents has returned with a terrific second album of typically surprising tunes. The Mail spoke with the irrepressible Darwin Deez about the inspirations for his new record and his upcoming UK tour dates.

NEW Yorker Darwin Deez emerged on the music scene in 2010 with his self-titled debut LP full of offbeat and weirdly wonderful tunes, including Constellations and Radar Detector.

He has not been in hiding since then but did make a major choice personally and creatively as he decamped from his long-term New York home to write and record album number two in a much different location.

He chose the small town of Asheville, North Carolina and the album he has emerged with has been described as ‘the most fascinating and thrilling record this year’.

Songs For Imaginative People has also been heralded as a more personal record.

Deez told the Mail what he has been up to since finishing the touring run for his debut album and played down talk of the new record being particularly personal.

He said: “I left New York City and went to a new town, rented a house for a year, did the new record and recorded it there as well.

“Right in the middle of the process I started to get into the swing of it but it was kind of a rush at the beginning.

“It is different to what I’ve done before. I wouldn’t say it’s more personal – it’s as personal as the last one.

“However, I don’t think I’ve ever got as personal as the last two songs on this record.”

I spoke to Deez while he was on the road in the US but he is soon to return to these shores for a short run of shows, including a stop off in Nottingham.

He is renowned for exciting, yet quirky live performances where he often breaks out into spontaneous, synchronised dances on stage.

I asked him if he was looking forward to bringing his shows back to the UK later this month.

He said: “Well it is probably about the 10th time I’ve toured in the UK. It is all part of the magic and I’m kind of glad to have this job and to be touring.

“I try not to look forward too much and just make sure I enjoy the moment. If you build up your excitement you are often disappointed.

“The fans are really excited about shows over there so that is good. I enjoy being able to interact casually with fans at shows and that is more possible in the UK than in America.”

Songs For Imaginative People was released in the UK earlier this year so Deez’s growing fanbase have had a chance to savour its many joys.

Deez said the reaction at shows so far on the other side of the Atlantic has been very encouraging.

He said: “I’ve been playing the new stuff live since November and the songs have been going down better and better as people get to know them and get to know the lyrics.

“It takes a while to learn the lyrics but once they have it adds to the shows a lot I think.”

Although Deez comes across as having quite an outgoing and offbeat persona, he admitted that his heart really lies in writing and recording, rather than performing in front of an audience.

He said: “I much prefer the writing and recording side of the business but I like being around my band.

“I like that I’m not isolated when I’m touring as I tend to isolate myself and it’s not the most fun. I enjoy the company when I have it.”

For many artists the lifestyle of touring is the highlight of the job – waking up in a new city every morning and often a different country.

However, Deez said those perks of the job are over-exaggerated and his chances to explore further than the hotel room and tour bus are limited.

“You would be surprised,” he said. “As many times I have been to Germany on European tours we always find ourselves on the same streets, eating at the same restaurants and doing the same lap of specific places.

“I think Berlin is a really nice place but I’ve only been to one small part of it. Five separate times.

“You don’t get to see much of these places, unless you budget time to see more things.”

Looking ahead, even if Deez prefers not to, Deez said New York is calling – even if he it doesn’t appeal to him like it used to.

He said: “I think we will be doing more tours until about November time and then I don’t know. I hope to move back to New York City.

“I can’t say I care about New York anymore I just don’t know where else to go. I just don’t think I want to be in Asheville.

“I spent seven years in the same apartment in New York before this recent period but I got bored and left.

“I guess I just needed a change.”

So with all these changes and different inspirations has it helped fire the creativity for Deez?

“I think that in the pop music world you just write about love and relationships so it does not have much to do with places,” he said.

“I think you can probably write just as much if you had just a bunch of relationships on a farm.”

Darwin Deez performs at Nottingham Rock City on April 27. See the venue for ticket details.

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