Dave Depper Share His Thought On The Current State Of Portland Music Scene…And The South African Talent At The Garden State Festival.
Cape Town –
1.Welcome to S.A
Thank you, good to be here.
2.How’s the tour so far
It been wonderful, it’s over now. This is the last show. The shows have been great. Amazing site-seeing, great times with old and new friends. I love it.
3.How was Lush Festival in Free State?
It was awesome. I love playing outside, I’ve never been to that part of the world before, it super beautiful. It was really awesome, I played during sunset…ohm, it was great I loved it.
4.What do you think of the local talent, here in South Africa?
Super talented, I’ve been blown away today, who I’ve seen so far. I met a lot of great bands this week, we were staying in place called Peace of Eden together, kind of jamming. I wish I had more time to collaborate and play with people, I’m definitely going to build in time to do that next time I’m here.
5.Describe to us your creative process of making a new record, especially The Ram Project?
It was kind like an odd personal challenge that I wanted to undertake. I just got in a little recording equipment, I had some time off the road, I’ve been on tour a lot. I wanted to see if I can record a whole record (album) by myself. And ideally I would’ve done my own but I didn’t have any songs written…so it was like, I’m going to figure out how to make a record, how going to figure out how to play all the instruments and how to play by just doing it, so I did it.
Never expected it to come out but a few labels were interested and it came out. So that what happened.
6.You from Portland, Oregon. Which is a mecca for Indie Music. Why do you think artist choose to stay there?
Yes…well, it changing now a lot but I think at least (pondering, almost reminiscing) …two decades, one decade ago it was very cheap to live there and a lot of artist came there because you can kind of work part-time and focus on making music the rest of the time. Like any artistic city that goes that way. But Portland was kind the right combination of location, price being near California maybe has something with being near Seattle. It just a creating community were people are not afraid of being themselves.
Like a lot of the U.S. (United State of America) right now, housing prices are going up and artist are forced out and it really sad, so I feel like it status of being the mecca of indie music, is, maybe in jeopardy or it need to be updated. But it a great place to live and I love being in and there are amazing bands there (Portland) and I hope it continue to support the art.
7.Who have you collaborated with?
I mean I guess Death Cab for Cuties is probably the biggest project I’ve been involve with and I’m a full time member now. So I guess, either than them I’ve played with the guy called Ray LaMontagne for about a year, I don’t know if his popular here but his popular in the U.S.A great guy, great music. Yeah those are the two ones that you’ll had heard of I guess.
8.What your top five albums of all time?
My top five albums! Ow man… (he laughs and take a sip of red wine) I’ll take a sip of this. I should have this written down ready to go. (He thinks for a moment) I can tell you my number one favorite album of all time. It “What Going’n On” by Marvin Gay. (he continues anyways) Maybe ”Scary Monsters” by David Bowie, ”Rubber Soul” by the Beatles…man that tough, I’ll have to really sit down and come up with the last two.
9.Tell us about the process of making “Emotional Freedom Technique”?
Well it meant that it took a really long time to do, like you just said, I didn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of. In that situation it very hard to know if something is good or something is bad. It can be annoying being in the band, how people can be like ‘its no good’. But it solves problems quickly or if you unsure if something is working. It took a very long time, I recorded a lot of songs that didn’t make it on the record (album) I just wasn’t sure what was working what wasn’t working.
Entire songs would get recorded, re-recorded I will buy a new synthesizer and replace all the synthesizer sounds with new synthesizer. But ultimately it was a very personal record and I’m glad I did it by myself for that reason ‘because I feel like it one-hundred percent expression of myself and my emotional freedom I guess. It was a very hard album lyrically, to put myself out there like that. I kind of never expected, in some ways anyone to hear it, so I was surprise that it came out.
10.Will you consider doing another cover album or you are done with that?
You know, I already did another one. But I did it like six years ago after I did the Ram record, and it a cover of a record by a guy called Ted Lucas. Who was a guy from Detroit in the 70’s, I kind of cheated because it only a six song album, he only made six songs in his whole life time. It’s crazy, and they are the most beautiful perfect songs.
He was a (you know how Motown had crew of session musicians, like the Wrecking Crew? He asks me) he was in that group, but his job (he wasn’t the bass player, the drummer) his job was to play like the psychedelic instruments, like sitars and tumblers and stuff. So his on those late 60’s psychedelic instruments. And in the mid-70’s he made one solo record (album), it had six songs in one side and the other side was just weird instrumental guitar jam. But the six songs are the most perfect six songs ever.
So I decided to challenge myself to see if I could record all of those in one seating, so I did it all like 24 hours. But I didn’t put it out yet, because I didn’t want to be the guy who does covers one after another. So it siting there, kind of waiting to be released.