Without a doubt, Deafheaven released last summer one of the best record of 2018. “Ordinay Corrupt Human Love” is the fourth album from the californian’s band and it is also the most positive. RockUrLife had the chance to have a chat with Dan Tracy who plays drums for Deafheaven, right before their last show in Paris.
Hi! Welcome back in Paris, it has been a while, no?
Dan Tracy (drums): Hi! Yes, it has been three or four years I think. We were really looking for coming back here, it is our favourite place in Europe.
Really? Or you saying that in every city?
Dan: (laughs) No for real! I really love this city, it’s beautiful, I love the artistic vibe in here. Everyone seems like they are in it together. The community is very apparent, the people are very friendly. Today we just had the time to walk down the street to the Pere Lachaise, which is one of our favourite spot. We were really happy to find out that the venue was very close from it. We just walked over, smoked a joint and watch graves .(laughs) We are trying to come here every time we come.
It feels like you new record “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” is way more related to your city, San Francisco, than the others.
Dan: Oh yeah definitely. All the packaging, the photos and style are took by Sean Stout. They’re all from downtown San Francisco. It’s about a way of life we are surrounded by all the time.
How much do you think this city had an influence into your music?
Dan: We all spent all of our twenties in San Francisco. After, some members kind of moved out, mainly in L.A. But our formative years as musicians, as people were in San Francisco. We had so much fun, so much parties, you meet new people all the time, you’re going out to the bars and shows. And you live the city life finally. It has a huge influence on us, for sure. We’ve always been drown in the metropolitan area, big places where you can find very cool stuffs. On stage, we have a screen that shows videos of us walking around in San Francisco, all made by Sean Stout who filmed us every day on studio or on tour, just to document our career and we are using those videos to show the city on stage.
Many of your shows are sold out, even here in Paris. How do you feel about playing sold out shows across you country?
Dan: This night in Paris is really the one we were looking for for this tour. Just being in Paris makes us incredibly happy. And to play a sold out show is just the best thing to make an amazing gig.
Hearing you talk about Paris, it feels like you have a special link with the city.
Dan: Yeah, I think it starts with the fact that we are close friends with a band called Alcest. The guys live here. I’ve been told that San Francisco is like the most European city in the US. I think it adds the fact that we love Paris as well. Maybe we feel similar vibes, where people congregate to see great art, have fun and be happy.
Your band is kind in the middle of many things. How do you manage the fact that many people are very critic about your band?
Dan: Most of the time we don’t give a shit. I mean, we learned to not pay attention to this. If we did, we’d waste our time. We don’t wanna have this kind of influence in the band. We don’t want to influence our songwriting because this guy said this shit. We’re just a band. We get in a room together and we write music. What happens happens. It’s very organic.
We know that some of you in the band didn’t lived very well the critics about “New Bermuda“. But when we are listening to “OCHL”, it’s like you have free yourselves about the songwriting. So in a way, do you think those critics helped you?
Dan: There’s some big differences between “New Bermuda” and the last one. Mainly through the recording process which were more relax for the last record. We had a deadline for “New Bermuda”, we were partying a lot more back then too. (laughs) So yeah, many differences. But I think the last one is the best vision of our art. We took our time to made it as original and interesting for us as we could. And I think it’s a success.
Is your way of writing songs changed through the years?
Dan: Not really. It’s a really collaborative thing. Kerry or Shiv bring a riff to the table. I come up with some rhythm beyond that, our bassist Chris will come up with really cool bass lines. It’s very organic. It usually happens in the practice space. And we just piece it together from there.
What was your idea behind this new record?
Dan: I don’t think there was a main idea behind this record. But, the thing was a bit more positivity, some brightness through the music. Shot some lights on this dark world right now. (laughs)
How did you manage to play agressive music with a positive feeling?
Dan: For example, in my drumming style I used to play very hard, no matter what I was doing. George’s vocals was, and are still, very characteristic. So the vibe came firstly with the guitar and the bass. It came with those beautiful chords, textures and things like that. And we adapt our way to play our instruments to this basis.
Was it a common will to evolve through more positivity?
Dan: Kerry came one day and sat behind a piano and played to us the first song of the new record, “You Without End”. Everybody in the room was blown away by how beautiful this song was.
You guys had the chance to tour with legends of metal music. What was your best memory from those experiences?
Dan: We did a short tour like 4 shows with Slipknot. It was pretty amazing to be with those guys in arenas, biggest venues that we ever played in. It was a highlight for us. It was so impressive to play in front of so many people. I mean, we often play in festivals in front of a huge crowd but this tour was a step ahead. We played in basketball arenas.
Weren’t you scared to play for Slipknot’s fans? They’re known to be a bit demanding for opening bands.
Dan: It’s a risk that you run every time you are on a tour with a bigger band than yours. There’s always a risk that people won’t get your music or your show.
It feels like people are more open minded about music and bands.
Dan: It’s 2018, you don’t have to subscribe to a band or a genre to pretend to be cool.
Thanks a lot Dan. Before you leave, as our media is called “RockUrLife”, what rocks your life?
Dan: Being on tour. This whole year was about touring, playing shows, being on the road, meeting new people in awesome cities like Paris. Yeah, that’s rocks my life! I love discovering new cities while being on the road. I never went to Europe before I joined the band so it’s so cool.