Deap Vally: “A lot of hair flying, a lot of sparkles”

Without a doubt, my favorite release of 2013 is Deap Vally’s debut EP, Get Deap! (Recently-profiled Blood Red Shoes may agree, whose Steven Ansell name-dropped the band as being...

Without a doubt, my favorite release of 2013 is Deap Vally’s debut EP, Get Deap! (Recently-profiled Blood Red Shoes may agree, whose Steven Ansell name-dropped the band as being one of his favorites of recent years.)  And unless Iggy and the Stooges’ new album proves to be their best since Raw Power, I’m guessing Get Deap! will stay on the top of 2013’s list.  I recently had a chance to chat with Julie Edwards, one-half of the SoCal retro-rocking duo.  Edwards tells me, “Our genre is blues punk, like blues music with a punk attitude.”  She goes on to proclaim, “You know what blues punk is? It’s Rock N’ Roll!”  I tell her that I’d been describing their sound as, “post Riot Grrrl garage metal,” and she tells me that she thinks garage metal implies something heavier than Deap Vally, and adds, “I think there’s obviously a Riot Grrrl element, just because we’re both women, but I don’t think that sonically it’s in-line with that stuff.”  Edwards tells me that the band’s biggest influences are bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and the first two Hole albums… along with cheeseburgers.

Deap Vally photo 1

Well, apparently Deap Vally are well on their way to the sort of fandom Led Zeppelin’s famous for.  Marilyn Manson has crowned Edwards with the moniker “Dawn Bonham.”  Apparently Mr. Manson, or Brian Warner — who worked with a friend of Troy’s — was at the band’s second show ever, at Los Angeles’ Hotel Café, a bastion of NPR singer/songwriterdom and not exactly Deap Vally’s target demographic.  Manson found himself in the front row, heckling the girls (much to their amusement).  Afterwards he asked if he could have the privilege of being their groupie.  And Manson’s designation of Julie Edwards as “Dawn Bonham” has apparently given her something to strive for.  “That’s a goal,” she tells me.

Like most prolifically significant bands, Deap Vally’s Julie and Lindsey came together in a crochet class…  Okay, so it is a bit of a quirky story…  Julie was the teacher and Lindsey was a prodigal student.  The two were already LA musicians, Julie as one-half of Pity Party and Lindsey a solo artist, but their present projects weren’t proving to satisfy their appetites.  The two made for a musical match made in… well, whatever is the crossroad of the Delta and C.B.G.B.s.

Much of the early attention paid to Deap Vally was related to their scantily-claddedness, but this isn’t something that necessarily bothered them.  “When a lot of people see us they assume we’re skanks.  And yeah, we have our butts hang out and we’re not at all fitness or diet people, but we’re not skanks.  I mean, this is what sexual women look like,” says Edwards.  She goes on to describe the duo’s style by saying, “A lot of it is our desire to let it all hang out and not be afraid of ourselves in any way.”  In fact, much of their drive seems to be inspired by confronting what is means to be a woman in modern America, but in a more practical (and less academic) manner of simply refusing to yearn for only the things females are told are within their reach.  But they are certainly not a traditional third-wave feminist punk band…  They are also happy to write chaotic songs about smittenness…  In fact, Troy once said, “What we represent, I feel is like post-post-post feminism.”

Deap Vally are going to be in the 215 this Saturday, May 4th, when they double-headline a show with local heroes Free Energy at the North Star Bar.  The live experience would seem to be a YouTube thing of legends.  Of what we can expect, Edwards tells me, “Sweat, maybe blood, maybe spit.  It’s our ultimate desire to just connect to the material and lose ourselves…  A lot of hair flying, a lot of sparkles.”  And upon being asked what the band hopes for in 2013, she responds much like a line from a song from the best years of G’N’R: “Get up on time, make it to soundcheck, and play our asses off.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.