Q&A with indie-pop artist Darwin Deez

Indie-pop artist Darwin Deez is coming to Dallas Dec. 2. The Renaissance man will be playing at Three Links in Deep Ellum. Coming off the success of his latest album, “Double Down,” Darwin Deez is working through a countrywide tour, and his show promises to be a great time.

The SMU Campus Weekly got the opportunity to sit down and ask Darwin Deez a few questions:

SMU CW: What inspired you to become a musician?

Darwin Deez: “I tried a reasonable course of action in my mid-twenties and it was like pulling teeth compared to the doors that started opening for me as soon as I got serious about music, which was simultaneous with my second return to college. This was a purposive return, with the idea being to attain a specific degree rather than just to fart around and get a B.A. However, that was way too hard and music was feeling amazing so I decided to make the leap.”

SMU CW: Where’s your favorite place to perform?

DD: “Big stages in small rooms. Germany [has] good crowds. San Francisco is usually great.”

SMU CW: What are some tips to aspiring artists?

DD: “Go to open mic night. I did it weekly—more than weekly—for over a year in NYC. I learned how to write lyrics from that. Before I was making music with distorted vocals and false lyrics—mumbly melodies that sounded like words but weren’t. People would ask me what the words were and there weren’t any words.”

SMU CW: What’s life been like since choosing to be a professional musician?

DD: “Great. Sketchy. I worry sometimes about my future. Not too keen about starting a family because of how unreliable the income seems. But I’m surviving comfortably for the moment without a day job which is a dream.”

SMU CW: When did you start playing?

DD: “I was 11 when I got a guitar, but I was tap dancing for 3 years before that, which is like being a foot drummer.”

SMU CW: What was the first song you learned?

DD: “Probably one of my dad’s songs. Can’t remember the title, but he showed it to me when he was teaching me my first chords.”

SMU CW: Who are some of your inspirations?

DD: “The Dismemberment Plan, Death Cab for Cutie, Wakey!Wakey!, Olga Bell.”

SMU CW: What are some of your best memories of the road?

DD: “Hook ups that became friends for life. A girl from Germany and one from Australia. I love to flirt and meet cool people.”

SMU CW: How do you balance music with other obligations in your life?

DD: “Not sure if I’m doing it right, but I am fiercely independent so I pretty much give music anything it wants from me. We missed Thanksgiving with our families this year. We were in the middle of our U.S. tour out in California at the time.”

SMU CW: Do you ever get nervous before a performance?

DD: “Not anymore. I’m not an anxiety person. More at risk for depression. I used to get hella nervous before my early open mic appearances. Going on stage alone is much harder than with friends.”

SMU CW: How did you end up with the name “Darwin Deez?”

DD: “My good friend Michelle Dorrance. Her friends in high school called her Mash Deez, the Deez for ‘D’ in Dorrance. Mash started calling me Darwin Deez, for the ‘D’ in Darwin. She made it up and I used it.”

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