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A Dirty Dozen with DENM – April 2021

| 20 April 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Rising singer, songwriter, and producer DENM has released his new single “Califas” with Jared Watson of Dirty Heads and officially revealed the details for his debut studio album, Slum Beach Denny, out May 14th via Ineffable Records. Paying homage to those who have also grown up around Southern California, the smooth, reggae/rock hybrid track highlights DENM and Watson’s slick vocals and eclectic styles, transporting the listener into the passenger seat of a convertible, driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and tapping along to every beat. With the upcoming release of Slum Beach Denny, it’s time to add DENM to the storied list of Southern California’s musical ambassadors. Like his most recent predecessors Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, and Sublime, the twenty-something multi-talent drops plenty of hazy daze optimism into his melting pot of youth culture and life experience, emerging with a 21st century soundtrack from SoCal’s sun-kissed sand, surf, and streets.” We get DEMN to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release, “Fallin.” What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

I don’t know haha It’s pretty straight forward in my mind, but I know the context. I was moving to Hawaii and telling the girl I was crushing on that I was fallin’ in love with her. Sitting in her 94 Jeep at LAX (haha) then bye off to da 808, but we ended up fallin’ for each other, so it worked out!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I grew up at a young age around art and music. Feelin alone, growing up a lot I found peace in music. I feel like I was raised by music sometimes for real, but I had skating and surfing and just found my own way and here I am doing music, having fun, just out here living.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I was lucky enough to grow up around a ton of types of music being from San Diego in the 90’s so I feel like I’m fortunate enough to have gone up in a whole melting pot of cultures. I was obsessed with the late 60’s and early 70’s culture – the music, the drugs, and the surfing – and all that just in the era of the young rockstars – and then slightly amming being hometown heroes to a little kid. Then I moved to Santa Barbara at 14 and that’s when I picked up my first guitar and just started jamming. But man, I was a kid growin’ up in San Diego and Santa Barbara influenced by rock n roll, hip hop, reggae, soul, folk, white trash, roots, learning to go nuts on guitar and pour my heart out.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Bradley Nowell / Sublime, Eagles, Marley family, Mac Miller, and Otis Redding.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I don’t even know haha There are so many dope people. At this point I think me and Travis Barker could probably make something pretty dangerous sounding haha.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

It’s like a blend west coast stuff. Some reggae, hip hop, rock n roll, and some soul, all in a blender. Some would say similar to Sublime but that’s tight cuz they’re legends forever, so who cares haha I’m just gonna be me.

7. You’ll be releasing your debut album, Slum Beach Denny, in the coming months. What does this album mean to you and what do you hope fans take away from it upon listening?

It’s just a biographical piece of a kid growin’ up around SoCal. Kinda havin’ it a little rough and bouncing around here and there. I was just trying to figure it out find love find happiness and this is all the sounds that came from my heart and from my life and journey and yeah. It’s just album 1. It’s my foot in the door to be like, yo, it me. Lots of love, life, and music to be made from here.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I met Hillary Duff aka Lizzie McGuire at a party in the hills one time after a show in Hollywood. It was at this big-time industry persons birthday party at Harry Styles house. I met Harry, he’s cool – all good, what’s crackin, I don’t really care – but my childhood crush walks through that door a grown woman. I was like oh my gawd… ITS LIZZIE. So, I tried to snap a pic to send to my girl, FLASH GOES OFF her friends swarm me take my phone delete the picture and say WHAT THE F*CK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING. They gave my phone back and I just stood in the kitchen of this bougie house in shock haha. Anyways, I forgot it wasn’t cool to just snap pics of celebrities cause I was just plain ol’ star struck. Shout out to Lizzie’s gang who handled my paparazzi ass haha.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Being able to create something out of nothing, based on whatever emotion or feeling or truth or literally whatever you want. So, I love music cuz I can do that as often as I like. Sit and let melodies flow up and put stories to them. It’s beautiful. But I’m just a creative through and through so I guess just another medium of art probably. Either painting, film directing, photography, or maybe even acting. Who knows, maybe I’ll do all of it eventually, but right now I just love making music and making people wanna groove with me. Let’s dance and feel good, I’m over all the b.s., lets party!

10. Your music videos for “Fallin,” “Blow It Up,” and “My Wave” find you riding your bike outdoors, hanging out with friends, or just playing music. How do these videos represent and showcase who DENM is?

My homie left that bike at my house when he moved, so I just started riding it everywhere and I go on rides with it with my kids and kick it with the homies, we just vibin’. It’s all family and art and the sounds from our lives and surroundings just trying to have fun and shine. Showcase the culture the aesthetic of where we’re from and just see where we go from here – cowabunga!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

No, I’d say I was exactly where I was supposed to be the whole time. Slowly developing. I guess I’d say I wish I would’ve been more patient with myself, learned to love myself earlier on. I was so hard on myself the whole time and hated myself for not being more successful all that’s b.s., I just wasn’t ready and that’s okay. I was in the tension of growing and becoming great at what I do. I don’t know if I’m even close yet, but I’m not where I was so that’s tight. Moving forward and growing. Cheers to further progress and continued evolution!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would love to have seen John Bonham tracking drums on “When The Levee Breaks.” Just the most iconic, massive drums you’ve ever heard and it’s all real reverb from the house, are you kidding me? This ain’t no Ableton b.s., this was just rawww. Or some of the Frank Sinatra sessions with him singing with a full orchestra was probably a spectacle to watch. Just like, EVERYTHING had to be PERFECT. So many players and just one iconic voice, just confidence and greatness and showmanship put on display. Entertainment baby. Fuckin beautiful!

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

I just wanna play shows and go to shows. live music when it’s really good really inspires me. So, I’m lookin’ forward to bouncin’ around and getting wild with my fellow peers.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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