Dehd’s Jason Balla on Blue Skies: “This is our best one yet!” (10/22 at Brooklyn Bowl)

Unfortunately, Chicago trio Dehd’s show scheduled for this past Sunday at Union Transfer had to be cancelled with someone in the group’s touring party testing positive for COVID….  But,...

Unfortunately, Chicago trio Dehd’s show scheduled for this past Sunday at Union Transfer had to be cancelled with someone in the group’s touring party testing positive for COVID….  But, just today they announced more than a month of Fall dates, including an October 22nd stop at Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia.  This Friday, May 27th, sees the release of the band’s fourth full-length, Blue Skies, courtesy of Fat Possum, the follow-up to their 2020 breakout record, Flower of Devotion.  The album was recorded at the same studio, but their new label set them up with Grammy-winning mixing engineer, Craig Silvey (The Rolling Stones, The National, Arcade Fire), and mastering engineer, Heba Kadry (Slowdive, Bjork, Cate Le Bon).  Pick up a copy of the album, check out the music videos for three of the album’s singles, read my recent chat with Dehd’s Jason Balla, and get your tickets for their upcoming show at Brooklyn Bowl!

Izzy Cihak: First of all, since this is a Philadelphia-based publication, I have to ask if you have any thoughts on the city?  You’ve played here a handful of times.  I’ve seen you at both Boot & Saddle (R.I.P.) and Johnny Brenda’s.

Jason Balla: I love Philly!  So many sweet people live there, and I think there is a sort of sisterhood that exists between Philly and Chicago.  We speak the same language.

Izzy: Your new album, Blue Skies, drops at the end of the month.  How do you feel like it compares to previous releases?  I heard that you took a lot more time with this one than previous LPs.

Jason: This is our best one yet!  Each record is a little time capsule of where we’re at in our lives and as musicians and I think on both of those sides of the coin we’re doing really good!  We pushed ourselves a lot more to expand our definition of what a Dehd song sounds like.  There’s new instruments, textures, and voices that we spent time exploring and making our own.

Izzy: The album is your first on Fat Possum Records, which is one of my favorite labels.  How has it been working with them and being a part of that family?

Jason: We love the Possums.  They’ve been really encouraging and have really trusted us to do what we do and make the record we wanted.

Izzy: You recently released some really cool music videos for “Stars” and “Bad Love.”  What is it that inspires the visuals of Dehd, or is it different with every video?

Jason: Emily is our music video person for sure.  She’s always coming up with weird concepts and visuals that can get used for videos.  Sometimes the videos are also born out of making up a story for our reoccurring music video star Alex Grelle to shine in.

Izzy: Considering that you’re currently on tour, what have you been listening to a lot of on the road recently, whether actually on the road or before or after your sets each night?

Jason: I’ve essentially just had Earl Sweatshirt on repeat.  Also, the home cooking podcast with Samin Nosrat.

Izzy: And do you have any touring traditions, whether favorite snacks or certain types of places you always make a point to stop?  Or, are you basically just consumed with getting from town to town to play each gig?

Jason: We are absolutely up to our ears in baguettes and cherry tomatoes!  Our front of house engineer has been teaching me about what’s good to eat at Taco Bell too, so I’ve had some spicy potato tacos recently.  Pretty damn good, to be honest.

Izzy: Finally, what are you most excited about in the second half of 2022?  I know you have a handful of dates overseas, including some festivals.

Jason: I think the most exciting thing is just getting this record out there on May 27th!  Can’t believe it’s already so close.

*Get your tickets here.

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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.