Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interview: Dead Professional

A few months ago I celebrated Virginia-based Dead Professional's utter pop coolness. Now, a few words from the man himself, as well as his latest song "Downtown at Sundown."

Who are your biggest influences?

 I like a lot of vintage pop and early rock and roll but also a lot of modern electronic pop as well. But I guess my biggest inspirations are great modern singer-songwriters like Nick Lowe, John Prine, Randy Newman, Jarvis Cocker. They're all real singer-songwriters' singer-songwriters.

Could you tell us more about your previous work? Is Dead Professional a big shift for you? 

Before this, I’d been writing and singing in a duo for a few years. On stage, this project is very different without the live drums and that band’s unique chemistry. But I think my new songs and recordings are a very natural continuation. And it's still my voice and guitar. So, it’s a shift of gears but I’m driving on the same road.

When confronted with a drum machine, I think most people these days would make dance pop. What inspired you to use new technology to make old timey tunes?

Well, people like JJ Cale have done this before and there’s a world of other variations nowadays. Like Sleigh Bells, the Kills etc. I like electronic beats for practical and aesthetic reasons. To me it’s all about simplicity and emotional impact, whether a song comes from tin pan alley or some Swedish guy’s laptop. These days we can pick and choose from the whole history of music to try to come up with fresh combinations of sounds. But for me the ultimate goal is great songwriting, which I think is a bit more timeless.

Do you see Dead Professional as a project you'll devote all of your time to, or will it continue to be a side project for now? 

 Dead Professional is very much my priority. I’d like to have a live band for Dead Professional tours sometimes and I’m always up for being a sideman to other people, singing harmony and playing guitar solos. But this solo thing is definitely my main thing.

Dead Professional -- Official, Soundcloud

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