Just when you thought Detroit couldn’t offer anything more than Eminem and a shitload of automobiles along comes Deastro. This bike riding, fume inhaling, musical gem chatted to Music Feeds about his city, his music and his special powers.
Music Feeds: Can you give me a plotted history of Daestro?
Deastro: Yeah I started Deastro when I was seventeen and I had my first release here, I did like a 300 copy, but before that there was a nine song EP I was making copies of. Then I did a double disc release with a side project I had. Then it kind of got around to eMusic eventually, and they made a compilation of my basement demos and CD-R’s and that became Keepers which came out last year and it sold really well for them. Then we signed to Ghostly and made Moondagger last September and recorded it in like three days. Been a whirlwind since then.
M: Sounds like you’re a workaholic, do you have a home studio to play around in?
D: Yeah we have like a practice space really close to my parent’s house, in this factory, I’m always there. Actually I puked last week cause there is like fumes in it and I had been there for like 13 hours so I’d been there way too long, and I just felt sick.
M: That sounds about as fun as a sledgehammer to the head. What do you do for holidays when you’re not high on second hand fumes?
D: I’m a really big movies dude, like I rode my bike to the theatre to see Harry Potter last night. And I wanna see the new Francis Ford Coppola film, I like to see new movies and see if they’re good. But whenever I need a break I ride bikes, just push around.
M: But you’re from Detroit, motor city, seems odd you’re riding a bike.
D: Yeah it’s weird a lot of people get pissed at you if you’re riding a bike on the road.
M: Yeah I’m currently riding my dads old bike, it’s a fuckin deathtrap, I’m not even sure it has brakes.
D: Yeah dude that’s like me, I was riding around on this old Fuji and I got hit by a car last summer, and I got up, I’d flown into this median strip, but the guy just bailed, and I had to ride the bike home all goofy.
M: No injuries from the accident?
D: No I don’t think so, I might have something I don’t know about, like a tumor.
M: Maybe it’s like that Travolta movie where the tumor gives him special powers. If I had special powers it would have to be the ability to manipulate people’s perception of reality. That or some wolverine claws. What would you choose?
D: That’s fucking mad. I’d have the ability to see other people’s powers so I could just take them. That always trumps in the ‘what special powers would you have’ game.
M: I wanted to ask you how do you perform live, do you go solo or hit up some musicians?
D: Originally it was me solo, I would just bring my laptop and go hard. Now I’ve added these three guys who grew up on the same street as me, they actually had a hand in writing Moondagger. Now we’re working on two EP’s.
M: Tell me about the Detroit scene as a musician, aside from rap battles involving Mekhi Piper and Eminem, what else is going on?
D: Yeah there is a great scene over here, everyone knows each other. Going to a show feels kind of like going to a family gathering. And the music coming out is amazing. I went to this house show the other night, really great psychedelic, ambient noise bands, there were five of them and I liked them all.
D: The thing about Detroit is that it is still underground and there is so much space and because it is so cheap the space is available. I think Detroit will eventually catch on and be the next hipster place, there are so many people doing great art, and people are receptive. No one has money here so we just make music.
M: That would make for a great tattoo. I think you’re onto something there, as long as you feel fulfilled in what you’re doing, nothing else matters?
D: Yeah man, a lot of people are like, ‘how do you feel of the advent of digital music?’ and I’m like ‘its great there are so many more people who are getting to do this. Getting to be a part of this, and its expanding regions, reaching people who normally wouldn’t be exposed.’
M: Yeah I agree, the internet has worked some wonders. Any bands you can give me a heads up on, I’ll spread the word?
D: There is this band I really like called Gardens, low-fi, garage rock stuff, the way they perform is just sick. The singer, Jeffrey, kind of reminds me of the guy from Dirty Projectors, you feel like he is going to fall apart, he plays so hard. And also there is a new label, EXBX, from Detroit, that puts out really good stuff. There is another group called Prussia, like a low-fi version of the Walkmen, but way more intense. Imagine David Bowie as a teenager. .
M: It’s all good, thinking about heading our way?
D: Maybe, heading down there possibly in Spring for a week.
M: Sweet as we’ll see you then, in the mean time enjoy Detroit.
For more info visit www.deastro.net