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Wet and Wild Rock Songwriter and Drummer Deano Speaks

Wet and Wild Rock Songwriter and Drummer Deano Speaks

A Rhode Island transplant who arrived in Austin, Texas with a degree in Music Education and a rock band in tow, drummer and songwriter Deano has since expanded his repertoire tremendously, thanks to the help of a gaggle of musician friends (local and far out) and his own chutzpah.

His first album Instant Lovers comes out on February 27th, featuring many guest musicians, and he's hosting something of a coming-out-party for the album at Victory Grill on March 10th. But before all that, Deano spoke to us at local eatery Cherrywood Coffeehouse about making the album, playing in a pool, and commanding a band from the drum throne.

Before you were in a rock band, you were studying classical music in school, is that correct?

In school I was playing more classical and jazz, but I did the natural progression for a jazz drummer to go to rock and roll. My dad was a child of the seventies, so I also grew up with that music.

And later you met Ricc Sheridan from Earl Greyhound, right? What did you learn from him?

He showed me a lot about how to use my ear and how to make a good record. When I was out here playing in this country band – and that's a really good gig in Texas, playing in a country band – when the time came to produce my own record with my own songs, I knew he was the guy for it. He came out for a month and talked about the record every day and every night. We were in that zone.

How did your experience playing around Austin differ from what you had known previously?

I come from Rhode Island, where you're lucky to get a quarter of your friends to come out. So when I came here, I knew this was a place where I could work. There was a club scene, and I began taking every gig I could get. And this record is all people I've worked with – I taught the drummer from the Wheeler Brothers, Sorne I met through Rick, and Drew Smith was someone that I've often done shows with.

Your video “Instant Lovers” has an Austin feel to it, speaking of. Was that shot in someone's backyard here?

Yeah. Christian Remde [director] is a friend of a friend who wanted to make the video. He said, “I'm thinking it'd be by the pool,” and I was like, “Really? That's so nineties!” And he said “Exactly. I want to do like you're in the pool and you're such rock stars and it's a joke.” So I said, “This sounds great.” I think we probably did that song like 200 songs at triple the speed, since it had been shot in slow mo.

Were you able to salvage all the instruments?

No. They were all craigslist instruments.

Let's talk about the title “Instant Lovers.” What does the title mean to you?

It started for me as one thing when I met someone, and the day I met them I wrote the song. It was a girl, the chemistry was there – I just love that feeling when you meet someone, and maybe the longevity isn't there but there's that spark. I try to embody that feeling when I travel, when you meet someone and you don't know them but a day, but you're just instant lovers. You go away, and you're just engulfed in this friendship and this feeling. The whole record to me is about love. As cliché as it is, it's still a topic I want to sing about and write about. There's still so much hate out there that I want to focus on love.

If someone asked you what the record sounded like, how would you describe it?

I just like a lot of different kinds of music, so when I went to make Instant Lovers I just made a record that sounded like what I wanted to hear. It also became diverse because we had a lot of different people on it. It was very natural.

How would the record fit into the Austin scene as a whole?

Well, Deano is not a band right now – it's more a project...I don't like the word “project,” but eventually it may become a band. Right now, I want to be throwing stuff out, and not be locked down to one thing. I like to explore change and to evolve. I could have made a record that was one sound, but I wanted to start off this way.

How much of that do you think has to do with being the band leader and a drummer?

Meaning...

Meaning it might be easier to have guests if you're busy drumming and not singing?

Well that's a big thing, too...it's hard being the drummer in a band and having the band do your songs. It's a cliché, but it's a fact. And all my songs are in my head and in my voice, and so when I wanted to make a record, I didn't just want to do it myself. I know my strengths and my weaknesses, so I decided to bring in all of these people to help me.

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