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A Dirty Dozen with DES ROCS – March 2024

| 31 March 2024 | Reply

Photo credit Javi Perez

According to a recent press release: “NYC rocker, Des Rocs has announced his 2024 spring headline tour, kicking off April 13 in Jacksonville, Florida. With new single, “I Am the Lightning” climbing the charts at Active Rock radio, Des Rocs will hit road with his fiery 3-piece band for a 15-date North American tour with special guests, Jigsaw Youth. Des Rocs recently wrapped his first European headline tour, where he blew the roof off venues across the continent with his electrifying performances, making new fans at every show. Dream Machine, his second full-length album and first for legendary rock indie Sumerian Records, is Des Rocs’ vehicle to take us along to that place… where life is heightened, and rock ‘n’ roll once more rules the zeitgeist. With over 300 million global streams he’s not going to be a best-kept secret for long. His brand of self-titled “bedroom arena-rock” – which captures a blend of DIY intimacy and large-scale vision – is ready to infect the masses.” We get Des to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  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 spend much time burying easter eggs. I’m always focused on the sum of the parts. If you queued up individual stems, you’d find a whole lotta unintentional nuggets – delivery guys walking in on vocal takes, guitars wildly out of tune. There’s some magic is when it all just works and the listener never knew it existed in the first place.

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

My earliest memories were watching kids walking to elementary school holding little instrument cases. They’d pop open these two metal latches and lift some soft velvet cloth to reveal a sacred secret weapon. Something the other kids didn’t have. A secret weapon dedicated to self-expression and art. I was hooked early. Towards the end of middle school I was wading around my attic and discovered my mother’s old classical guitar from her brief stint as a hippie. It had been been sitting up there for decades waiting for me like some artifact from Raiders of the Lost Ark. I spent the summer with chapped & bruised fingers. Songs started to flow soon after.

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

Around the same time I saw Queen at Wembley on T.V.  I was mystified by the awesome power of unification music could will into existence with a single chord. It was such an enchanting power. I also passed many hours listening to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC tapes in my dad’s car. There must’ve been 3-4 tapes tops in there. For years I listened to the same ones over & over.

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

Prince (RIP). The focus would only be on the art itself. There would be no other consideration in the room.  Or maybe Barbara Streisand.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I spend a tremendous amount of time on foot walking around my hometown of NYC. This is when I’m at equilibrium. I’m also obsessed with Italian food, impossibly old clothing & every dog I’ve ever met.

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?

Pure energy. I’ve disagreed with a lot of the real blues-based comparisons. I view the blues and all subcultures of rock as colors on a palette we get to play with. I rarely stick to one. The artists I worship did the same. I care little for artists who travel in one dimension and don’t like to be compared to them. That said, everyone perceives everything differently. That’s the beauty of it all.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Tully cooks. Doc gets the drinks and is without a doubt the first to crack out the guitar.

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

A golden retriever i saw up on 67th street.

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?

Getting to tap into a well that would otherwise remain hidden your whole life. The greatest artists of all time are likely forever unknown. They had to surrender to some life circumstance that didn’t allow them the opportunity to embrace the ideas buried in their wells. I’d probably be a garbage man if I could not make music.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I love any question that is thoughtful or genuine. Any question the interviewer truly wants to ask while they have me. I’m sick of any circumstance where someone reads me something from my Wikipedia and then says “…tell me about that.” I’m sick of anything lazy.

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?

Of course. But each decision is like a song – they’re all part of a greater story of one’s life. I believe that dreams are not destinations, they’re journeys. Regrets are essential pit stops on that journey. Learning from them provides growth. In a way, each misstep can be just as valuable as the right one.

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 recently heard Bon Jovi say that when he was a kid working at a studio in Manhattan he saw Freddy & Bowie recording “Under Pressure.” I’d take that one… It’s a master class in songwriting and emotion and energy and hookiness and intensity and EVERYTHING. When was the last time two men in their 40’s duetted a world changing anthem? shit like that just doesn’t happen today…






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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