the theatrical mastermind behind dearling physique
By Sound Check
September 15, 2010
I do not believe my daily activities and life goals vary greatly from that of other creative minds. However, the older I get the more inward I become. I’m fascinated by human behavior, and place in myself in situations (even unfavorable ones) in order to educate myself. I like to think that I can pass through life somewhat invisible, regardless of how loud I can be…and I can be very loud.
A lot has happened since the last time we caught up with you guys in Minneapolis during the Afro-punk 2009 national tour. I heard you guys have been in the studio. What have you been working on?
We have been hard at work on the follow up to last year’s Impressions of the Night EP! Each time I’ve set out to write music for a release, I’ve steadily progressed towards what I believe to have finally captured with the forthcoming full-length suite “Deadeye Dealer.” This suite narrates the retrospect of a woman recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. We have taken fragments of her memory and poured them into these songs. The result is kaleidoscope of music styling, sound and personality.
What exactly is a Dearling Physique, and where did that name come about?
A Dearling Physique is exactly what you perceive it to be, actually.
In April we released the Currency EP consisting of two new songs from “Deadeye Dealer,” with the addition of remixes contributed by Dada Trash Collage and Kordan. I’d like to consider those guys collaborators, because their remixes provided influence in some manner, helping me to realize the strengths of each song on “Deadeye Dealer” during the last few months of time spent in the studio. We record a lot of instruments ourselves, and I program these songs in a variety of places. Though, we captured a good portion of “Deadeye Dealer” in Minneapolis with the exquisite musician and producer Lance Conrad. He was our primary collaborator. Danny Taylor of the band ZAZA also contributed vocals to the album.
Domino, you recently had an international send off party, where did you go and what were you doing there?
Hah! That celebration was a bit premature. I had been set to perform at the I LOVE ELECTRO Festival in Hamburg, along with Mt. Sims who I greatly admire. However, due to a variety of unfortunate reasons, I had to back out of the performance. I greatly regret doing so, it would have certainly been a trip worth taking. We plan on traveling to Germany and neighboring countries in the summer of 2011.
It was an honor to perform at the URBALT Festival. Boston, the mastermind behind the community and festival, has had an eye on Dearling Physique nearly since its inception. So, the performance was literally years in the making. It was great being immersed in such a close-knit family of likeminded musicians, artists and fans.
How does Minneapolis and Harlem compare?
The only true comparison that can be made between Minneapolis and Harlem is that they are both cities inhabited by human beings. Each city is fulfilling in different ways, but seldom similar. Culturally speaking, Harlem is more less joined to the hip, if for anything due to the large amount of individuals confined to the area. This kind of thing is and always will be favorable in my opinion.
What should people expect with the new album? Tell us what was going on during the recording process.
The new suite will certainly challenge. It is generally difficult to draw any direct comparisons, and we have only recently been able to narrow down genres to form what we’d like to think this suite comes close to. Though its mostly irrelevant. The recording process was interesting, simply because most of these songs were conceived in the privacy of my home over the last three years. In recent years, Dearling Physique has expanded to a four piece band, and as a newly formed four-piece, these songs served as a template from which to elaborate on. Matt, Sean and Dave helped widen the sound in all the best ways.
One that evokes emotion and creates an experience.
Who are you listening to right now?
At this very second? I am listening to a playlist crafted around the musicians of Modeselktor. I’ve also been digging into new albums by Little Dragon, Röyksopp and discovering the genius of Nina Simone’s piano wizardry. I had no idea Nina played the piano.
So, were you ever in theater? Where did you guys get the idea for the masks and theatrics for your on stage performances?
Yes, my background is comprised of many years in theater and other performance art works. I love theatrics, and I do absolutley everything I can to create an experience with our live shows. Each song exists within a concept, and within that concept exist characters outside of ourselves. Or maybe just different versions of ourselves. Incorporating masks embodies the essence of the character(s) in which we play.
My stage persona is not wholly unlike myself. So, to answer this question would be to answer the question “what are people’s reactions to YOU.” Truthfully, I cannot say. Reactions to my performances are generally enthusiastic. I challenge those to set aside their preconceptions of what live music is or should be.
What’s your idea of perfection?
Self-awareness, curiosity and kindness.
What is a book that changed your life?
In recent years I’ve been reading mostly for educational purposes, or with the desire to acquire some new skill. Books that set a lot of my creative ideas in motion are works of fiction. Anything by Mark Z. Danielewski is an inspiration.
Favorite vacation spot?
I really have no thoughts on this.
Favorite place to shop?
Thrift stores…and Target!
Chewing with an open mouth.
Get The Latest
Signup for the AFROPUNK newsletter