Knitting and crocheting isn’t likely the image that comes to mind when imaging what rock musicians do to pass the time while cooped up in a tour van, but it was actually a shared interest in the hobby that brought Deap Vally together.
Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards had been playing music around Los Angeles for some time—Troy as a solo artist and Edwards as a member of the Pity Party—but the pair bonded over a needlework class in 2011, where Edwards taught Troy the craft.
“I was trying to quit smoking, so that’s part of the reason that I started,” Troy says, recalling her first successful project was an alpaca scarf—the duo now makes beanies as part of their band merch and has done fan crochet sessions in the past. “It was really good for me to have my hands busy and focus my energy onto something.”
There won’t be any crochet sessions on this tour, where Deap Vally will be opening for Marilyn Manson, but there will be some new tunes to be heard. Deap Vally’s debut album, Sistrionix, was released in 2013 and packed a solid punch of gritty, blues-rock filled with Troy’s crunchy, scuzzy guitar riffs complemented by Edwards’ pounding, frenetic drum beats. The ladies share vocal duties, and the result wouldn’t sound out of place alongside to Blondie or Heart. But Troy says the new tunes are less rooted in one genre and are an exploration of influences.
“Overall it’s a darker album … people who have heard it say it’s a little bit heavier, but I feel like the last album’s heavy too,” she says, noting the new album will be released sometime in the fall, but the title is a surprise. “It’s darker, maybe more dynamic and it’s also more exploratory. We’re less concerned with saying within the blues-rock genre. We still definitely want to stay true to what makes us Deap Vally … but we’re just like, OK, this song sounds more psychedelic or this sounds kind of funk or this sounds kind of whatever and we’re like, who cares? That’s awesome.”
Deap Vally teamed up with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to produce the album, and he encouraged the duo to jam and write on the spot to see what happened—something Troy says was “kind of terrifying,” especially with one of her favourite musicians in the room watching the process.
“When you’re jamming a lot of the time it just sounds awful. You know, you’re kind of just fucking around, like you’re just trying to get into the groove and find something good, so there’s a lot of shit, just like a lot of awful stuff and then you’ll finally settle into something good,” she explains. “We all come up with bad ideas; it’s not embarrassing, that’s just part of the process. But there’s really no such thing as bad ideas; it’s a stepping stone to the good idea.”
Thu, Apr 2 (6 pm)
With Marilyn Manson, Die Mannequin
Shaw Conference Centre, $66