Psych Fest Interview W/ DEAP VALLY

By: Lee Ackerley 

So where are you guys originally from?

Lindsey: We got together in L.A. Our first show was in Silver Lake and our second show was in Hollywood, and then we played all around there.

Is there a music scene in L.A. that you specifically come from? Do you have any contemporaries?

Lindsey: We definitely have contemporaries but don’t feel like there is a female empowerment scene, but there are some amazing women.  My brother is in a band called Autolux and his drummer is named Carla Azar, and she is one of the sickest drummers ever, and she’s been a huge inspiration. Then we have a friend named Rachel Finn, and she started a band called Only You, that is all women, such a good band. Aja Volkman from Nico Vega has been a huge inspiration. Karen O….. and Warpaint, who are from L.A.

Cool, so you just toured with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, so how was working with Karen O? Is she an idol of yours?

Lindsey: Yeah

Julie: Yeah

Lindsey: She is a total artist

Julie: She is so inspiring

Lindsey: Just a really nice awesome person.

So you’ve also been on tour with Muse and Mumford and Sons, how do you feel about opening for these big bands?

Julie: It’s a great opportunity to get in front of a lot of people, all those shows were just multiple thousands of people, at least ten thousand people.  It’s just an incredible opportunity to pick up some new fans, and show someone something that they weren’t particularly expecting to see, especially on the Mumford dates. We’ve definitely converted some people to Rock & Roll who didn’t know they liked it yet.

How did you guys fall into touring with Mumford?

Julie: Ben Lovitz made it specifically happen.  They’ve been following our band for some time now.

Lindsey: They have a label called Communion that we are on in the UK.

Julie: Wow look at this guy.

Random Psych Fest Head: Anybody need mushrooms?

Lindsey: No not right now, Thanks.

Random Psych Fest Head: I was just asking….

Sooo you have a new record, Sistrionics, coming out in June, where is the new record coming from?

Lindsey: I think its more reiterations of the same theme, we want to stay true to the soul of classic heavy rock with just drums and bass.

Julie: That was really important for us on this album, to keep it minimalistic. It is very much what defines us as a band.  I mean later on we might get crazier with production or something.

Your vocals have been compared to Robert Plant’s vocals.  Is that something you strive for?

Lindsey: Its just how I sing, I don’t think I try to sound like him but I love him as a singer.  I think he has a purer voice than me. I think he can hit all those high notes, maybe one day I can hit all those high notes.

How did Lars Stalphors , who produced the Mars Volta, influence your new album?

Julie: He was there to make us feel comfortable enough to capture the performance of the songs.  The songs we have on there we had been gigging for a year with a couple of new ones thrown in.

Lindsey: Because of working with Mars Volta and having experience with psych rock, I think that was really cool for us, because there was certain vintage equipment that only he knows about, we were able to utilize that stuff with him.

Julie: He’s just got it.  He has also worked with Matt and Kim and understands what to do with sound, as far as a two-piece.

I actually saw Matt & Kim at SXSW and they blew it out of the water, but you guys cancelled to go on tour with Mumford instead?

Julie: We ended up with Mumford.  We were with Mumford and Sons being indoctrinated into a cult of family, friendship, and love.

Lindsey: They have the biggest hearts, they are very down to earth people, they just love music, and there is four of them in the band so they are all totally individuals and come from completely different musical backgrounds.

Julie: They are also true international folk heroes. That’s what we learned while touring so many countries with them, no matter what language was spoken, everyone knew every single lyric and were singing along, just thousands of people with their arms raised, and that is truly the definition of a folk hero.

Lindsey: One night in Lisbon, Portugal all these fans were gathered outside of the stairwell, and the boys went into the stairwell and sang them an acapella four-part Roots song, it was incredible, and then the Portuguese people sang a traditional fado back to them.  So it was this cultural exchange happening, and if there was ever any question in my mind about what they are doing and what they’re tapped into it, it was answered then, it was real, you know.

Julie: They also don’t have big egos, they just love making good music and they work so hard. They have the same amount of dedication to their music as we do, you know the same earnestness.

As much as I’d love to make this all about Mumford, we’ll get back to you guys. Is this your first time in Austin?

Julie: Yeah

Lindsey: Yeah

Wow well welcome.  Have you been checking out the festival?

Julie: Yeah I’ve checked out a lot.  I’ve been camping!

Have you checked out any bands so far?

Julie:  Tjutjuna yesterday, they played this stage at 1:30 and they had a psychedelic kazoo solo, which was awesome.

Lindsey: I saw TRMC’ which was really cool.  I was really impressed by the drummer. She’s wicked.

Julie: Tinariwen, who are from Mali, are so rad.  We just had a really special treat.  My husband, who is in Tjutjuna, just played a festival in Southern California. Tinariwen came and played and it was a really small festival, so it was a really intimate number of people watching Tinariwen in the middle of the desert, with palm trees and the sunset, it was so cool.

So what do you like about Psych Fest?

Lindsey: Everything! This festival is so important to so many music heads all over the world.  To be able to play it is such an honor. It’s really a ‘real’ test.  We’ve played a lot of mainstream festivals, pop-oriented festivals, where you know. This is where people who live and die by their music come to check out bands. So its kind of like, trial by fire.  It’s such a cool festival, we want to do more like this.

What is your ideal venue?

Julie: Pompeii

Lindsey:  An underwater aquarium in the ocean.

Where do you guys see Deap Vally going in the next year?

Julie: We’re basically going to be on a van, bus, or plane for the next year, so its time to tour.  Our record is coming out in September.  It used to be June but it got bumped back.

Do you guys write while on tour?

Lindsey: It will be amazing if we’re given time off to write our next record. But we might go into a rehearsal space for a few days and work on ideas but I wouldn’t be surprised if we aren’t given a lot of time to work on it. These days everyone wants everything really fast and it keeps us working really hard.  So I guess we should beef up the little writing we do on the road.

Have you guys explored Austin?

Julie: I’ve gone into town.  I’ve had BBQ twice

Lindsey: We did an in-store show at End of an Ear today and that had a super cool vibe.  We also went to that vegan restaurant that is trendy, Bouldin Creek Café, and we might go to the springs tomorrow.

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