By Michael Grondin
CALGARY — The always loud, always unique and always funny San Francisco-based experimental noise pop four-piece Deerhoof will be thrashing their way through Alberta once more.
Founded in 1994, Deerhoof are known for their surreal, stripped down performances and cheeky interplay with their audiences.
“All four of us have an obsession with Deerhoof. Fortunately, we’re all in the band so then it doesn’t seem crazy to have 3,000 Deerhoof albums in our basements. We’re able to be as productive as we are because it never feels like an obligation, a job or a chore,” says guitarist Ed Rodriguez.
Deerhoof released La Isla Bonita last November, their 12th full-length in their 20-year history. It’s yet another release that careens erratically between glitchy, weirdly muted riffing, surrealistic lyrics, bouncy J-Pop influences, stop and go dynamics and bizarre soundscapes.
“What inspires us changes with each year. There’s always been that ever-present gnawing desire to create and then share that with people. As time passes your vision widens and you get to know yourself and the world more. The best thing you can do for the planet is to do what you were put here to do, and for us that’s Deerhoof,” says Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says the members of Deerhoof draw from each other’s creativity, but they are happy if they can inspire it in others.
“We meet younger people all the time who see that we’re like them further down the road and we never gave up or were pulled into living a life someone told us we were supposed to live,” he says. “We just did our best to be ourselves. Seeing that we mean something to people pushes us even more.”
Each of their albums has a different approach to the sound and songwriting, pushing their experimental flare out into new corners of the universe with each step. Rodriguez says it’s a team effort.
“We all hear music very differently so we work together on any material until it reaches a point we all like. Then it’s a Deerhoof song and it’s usually something no single one of us could have written. Since we’re often coming from very different angles it can be a lot of work,” says Rodriguez. “Its like the story where four blind people touch different parts of an elephant and can’t agree on what it is because one is holding the tail, the other a tusk, one is touching the trunk and one is feeling a leg. Once we all talk and work together we finally figure out the obvious. It’s an elephant named Deerhoof.”
Deerhoof will be embarking on a big spring tour.
“Expect a guitar riff starting by itself then a few moments later a drum set comes crashing in and it’s super loud and wild and it’s accompanied by a ripping bass guitar and another loud driving guitar riff. Right about then you’ll be pretty excited and think you can’t get any more excited but somehow you do. You can feel that in everyone around you, too,” says Rodriguez, tongue planted in cheek.
“That song is called ‘Exit Only.’ I gave that one away. For what to expect on the other songs, you’ll have to come to the show. If you don’t come, you’ll never know what the whole show might do to you, and what kind of way is that to live?”
What does the future hold for Deerhoof?
“All that can be expected is that we’ll never stop, until we all drop or someone makes a Deerhoof app that makes us obsolete. Our hopes for the future are that no one ever makes a Deerhoof app,” concludes Rodriguez.
Deerhoof plays Winnipeg at Union Sound Hall on June 17th, Saskatoon at Amigos on June 18, Edmonton on June 19th at the Starlite Room and in Calgary on June 20th at Republik.AB, Alberta, Amigos, Deerhoof, Republik, Starlite Room, Union Hall