Rock n' Roll Crochet with Deap Vally

Blake Gillespie

Deap Vally

Last week we applauded Desert Daze for expanding the parameters of psychedelia with its 2014 linup. As we continue to study the lineup and interview the headlining acts, we can't help but notice the effort made to ensure it was not a boy's club in the desert. The roster spans generations of female-fronted bands like Blonde Redhead, The Raveonettes (previously interviewed), Gliss, Liphemra, LA Witch, and this week's feature, Deap Vally.

The LA blues rock two-piece of Deap Vally, consisting of guitarist Lindsay Troy and drummer Julie Edwards, has endured its share of lazy White Stripes and Black Keys comparisons, particularly after the release of their debut Sistrionix, but the Lars Stalfors-produced record is just the genesis for the band. As we learned from our interview, the Deap Vally girls are jamming, demoing, and recording their follow-up right now and the sessions have included time with Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs which can only bring good vibes to the next record.

Though Deap Vally are signed to a major label, the ladies check out as true punks. There's no industry manufacturing of image or sex sells foreplay. If you think Deap Vally is sexy, badass, and powerful, it's their own doing.

Your bio notes that Deap Vally came to be after you two met at a crocheting class. Deap Vally has worked with and toured with several incredible talents like Lars Stalfors, Muse, The Vaccines, Thurston Moore, and Dinosaur Jr. So, the big question is… have you taught any of these people how to crochet?

We always offer to teach, but there seem to be some gender barriers here we'd like to see broken down. Dudes in bands don't tend to want to learn, even though it's just about the best thing you can do while sitting in a car for seven hours.

Let's attempt to break down this barrier. What's a starter project that would be good for a dude in a van?

A mini-blanket to wrap your feet in.

I'm somewhat curious as to how you feel about things like album cover painting portraying you both as topless. Has there ever been a moment where suggestions from the music industry in regards to presenting your music have felt exploitative? If so, what happened and are there measures you take now to avoid or control such situations?

The cover of Sistrionix is actually a large scale painting, about 6 x 6 feet, which we asked our dear friend Matt Doust to paint. He died unexpectedly last year, but we are so happy to have his vision and his talent on the cover of our first record. He was an incredible artist and many of his pieces can be viewed online—though they are best experienced in person as they are so large-scale.

We have always controlled our image. We choose to be sexy, provocative, and powerful. No one asked us to do that. Although, one time a photographer did ask us to pose topless and we simply said no. Easy enough.

Do you plan to camp at Desert Daze? And if so, what's the one item you need for your stay in the desert?

A cuddle buddy.

Have you begun working on a follow-up to Sistrionix?

Yeah—we've started messing around with some ideas, some jamming, some recording. We've done some collaborating with Nick Zinner from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We're getting a feel for what the tone and the vision are going to be. We like to uncover songs through jamming.

What's been positive in jamming with Zinner?

Everything. He is a man of taste. And he laughs at our jokes.

Do you view Deap Vally as strictly a bluesy, hard rock bandplan to keep it in that channel? Or do you think Deap Vally is a band that could grow beyond that signature sound on the debut?

We could definitely grow beyond, absolutely. However, we believe in slow growth. And we can't abandon the rock n roll cause. It's kind of like, if we don't play it, who else will? There are so few people keeping rock alive at the moment. We're not gonna bail on it in order to appeal to a wider audience; we're going to teach wider audiences to enjoy a little dirty, raw, expressive, hard blues rock.

What about incorporating more Krautrock or styles like that of which you've had previous bands explore that genre?

Definitely more Krautrock. And more reggae. And more cowbell.

Tickets are still available for Desert Daze here.

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