DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Deep.Sleep | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists we have right here in the north east. This time, Dan Frend of Deep.Sleep tells us about his band and their amazing future plans.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

I’m Daniel Frend, I’m the frontman of Deep.Sleep. But the term frontman is weird isn’t it? Like I’ve always liked the idea that the rest of the band are just as important! Like The Beatles, I like that how they were all recognised as “front” men rather than it being a project behind a person. We’re all from around Newcastle though, to answer your actual question!

What inspired you to first start making music?

I remember as a kid I was always obsessed with the idea of a soundtrack to everybody’s lives. Too many cheesy films I think, but I always found it weird when I was doing the egg and spoon race on Sports Day at school and the theme from Rocky wasn’t playing, or when I had my first kiss on the school field The Cure weren’t inside my head playing Friday I’m In Love. So I’ve had this idea for a while now that maybe I can soundtrack someone else’s life, if you know what I mean? Like maybe be the sound to their first kiss or to a school dance like they put on at the end of an 80s film like Sixteen Candles y’know?

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

I think that’s a tough one considering how diverse all our music tastes actually are. I mean, I like loads, like I grew up dancing to Michael Jackson and singing my heart out to Oasis and the Backstreet Boys. I’d say right now though, when it comes to actually writing music I’m massively influenced by people like Mike Skinner from The Streets. I’ve always loved writing so lyrics sort of just come to me. I think the way he writes is incredible though, like just how honest he is about everything. I still think to this day A Grand Don’t Come For Free is one of the best albums ever written – just through the way he tells one story throughout it and it takes you on a massive journey. I think the next EP focuses a lot on storytelling and does an alright job of it. It’s weird, I think us Geordies are some of the best storytellers in the world, like, I’m always picking up little one-liners from nights out and that and writing it down on the notes bit on my phone so I can write something on the way home. I love it.

How would you describe your sound?

I think I’d personally class us as quite indie-pop. Not to like say that we’re dead individual and everything is totally unique because I read somewhere that nobody is ever entirely unique and “individual.” But I think we’re different from a lot of bands out there at the minute. Like I say, I want to be that band that all the kids fall in love to at the end of the school dance or listen to on a field drinking cider like I did growing up. We’re quite alternative but I think we’re all quite proud of that and really want to deliver a unique 80s pop sound that at the same time really hits your heart.

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?

We’d love it if something like Evolution Festival came back and gave us the chance to play that stage. But in terms of fitting in I think that’s what we’re trying not to do! I think we really want to stand out and take Newcastle’s local music scene and make it massive. I love how proud bands like Little Comets and Lisbon are to be from around here and we’re equally as proud. We just want to give the people of the North East something back after being brought up by such a diverse and exciting music scene. I honestly think we have one of the best local scenes in the world.

“I want to be that band that all the kids fall in love to at the end of the school dance or listen to on a field drinking cider like I did growing up”

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by Deep.Sleep?

All I’m saying is you can expect every performance to top the last! I think as a band, we’re always looking to go bigger and better and really give everybody who’s investing in our band the best experience they can get. I think the main thing really is though, like I say with the lyrics, you’re gonna be able to relate to a lot of them. I mean, I’m just some nineteen year old writing all about girls and what it’s like to be from around the North East and the people I’ve met (mainly girls though…) I feel like there’s a lot of easily relatable material in our music though, especially through lyrics like “we were always looking for a way to get out/but you became more occupied by sleeping about”. I think lyrics like that really have the opportunity for people to really relate to us because everybody wants to get out of their own little cellophane-house.

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

We’re just starting to get booked up now! So as it stands in the actual North East we have: The Globe on Thursday 14th May, then I’m playing a little acoustic show at BonBar on Sunday 14th May as well. Then I’m back with Deep.Sleep for what’s shaping up to be a massive headline show at Surf Café on Thursday 2nd July. We’ve got a lot planned for this one but I don’t think I’m allowed to say much yet!

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?

I dunno actually! I think everything is an achievement when it comes to doing music because there’s a real sense of achievement that comes naturally when people enjoy something that you enjoy doing yourself (if that makes sense?) But I think a massive one for me is being played on the BBC, like seriously, massive shout out to BBC Introducing for sorting me out there because there’s no feeling like sitting round your best mate’s kitchen table and hearing yourself on actual national radio for the first time!

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

Am I allowed to talk about my proper part time job on here? Seriously though, I think it’s balancing it and trying to get as much out of it without treading on the toes of non-music management. Like, it’s so frustrating being late for a gig or a rehearsal because you’re not allowed to swap shifts but I suppose that’s the way life goes because money issues alone are enough to stress a band out when they first start. I remember when I first started as a solo project and I had barely enough money to afford transport to and from the gigs never mind enough for actual decent equipment. I think maintaining a really good audience is tough as well though, because you’ve always got to be one step ahead when it comes to providing for people who really enjoy your music, you always have to have something ready to put out next so you’re ready when the time comes to give people something new to listen to. It’s well worth it though.

What else have you got planned for the future?

We’re actually in the last few days of finishing up the next record! I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say this yet but I think we’re gonna call it Orange and it’s gonna be another EP centred around the title-track. I don’t want to give too much away right now but expect big summer tunes and something to dance to. At the minute, it sounds a bit like the record you’d buy an aux cable for so you could drive to it. At least I would!

Deep.Sleep play at The Globe, Newcastle on Thursday 14th May.

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