Their debut release “Redux” could already gain some attention by the Synthpop fanatics world-wide. So the US-based act Dekoy has recently released its second CD “Haunted” and can be more than ever before count on a strong reputation and fan base. Somehow their constant good work sets the work of a label in question, because with only a very few exceptions, everything is the result of the hard work of the both individuals behind Dekoy, BaZa and d_b. We’ve asked them some questions to get some more insight into this project…
Chain D.L.K.: Greetings, first some words to you. Could you please fill in any biographically details of your music project Dekoy? Why do you both prefer to stay in secrecy by using pseudonyms? Why no real clear band photo?
Dekoy: (BaZa) The idea is really for us to focus on the music. So much of the music scene is image. We both felt to some degree we wanted to bring across the image of the band in other ways. We thought that we could accomplish this by using alternative methods that embellish what’s going on in the music. I feel in doing this, it brings a greater focus to the music and allows the listener to make the experience more personal. Our intention is to share ideas with people and, hopefully, give them something to relate to. Each album allows us to grow and give people more and more insight into who we really are. Life is not defined with any one album or time period. Each album is a representation of where you are at that given point in time. We hope that our listeners will take the time to stop and look deeper at the whole picture. There’s a lot to see, if your looking at the right angle. 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: With “Haunted” you’ve recently released your second official CD after the debut “Redux” and you seem to feel very comfortable to release your stuff under your own label moniker Cemetery 47. Is there no interest from other labels to sign you? Where do you see the pro’s and con’s of being responsible for all relevant terms of production?
Dekoy: (BaZa) I wouldn’t say we have no interest. Up until now, we have not actively been “label hunting”. We keep all of our options open, but we haven’t really pushed the issue yet. We have spent a lot of time and energy into learning how this industry works. Doing things yourself really gives you a broad picture of what’s required to be a part of this music scene. If at some point we decide to work with a label, we both feel very strongly that the experience we both have will put us in a position tosucceed. Many bands are so eager to jump right onto the first label they get an offer from with no game plan. We spent a lot of time very early on discussing how we wanted to do things and what goals we wanted to accomplish. With open minds and no expectations, we set out on a path that was comfortable for both of us to grow, both individually, and as a band. This set a more comfortable pace early on for us both. If the opportunity was right and we both feel that it would benefit both parties, then we would be willing to do so. But we have to be very careful about making smart decisionsthat put us on the right path at the right pace.As far as pro’s and con’s?The pro’s would definitely include the insight we able to get from doing it ourselves. Nothing is more important to success that knowledge. The con’s I guess would be the amount of time we have to put into this to make it successful. It keeps you very busy. A lot of it is fun, but there are definitely timeswhere the benefit of a label is evident. The exposure you get from a good label is hard to get being independent. You don’t have the advertising budget that a label might have. You don’t have all the industry ties a label has spent years developing. You don’t have the workforce they have. Every detail has to be done by two people. You rely a lot on the support of your fans as far as promotion goes.
Chain D.L.K.: Some words to your “strategy”, which is readable on your website. Almost all terms of production are the result of your hard work, one of the very few exceptions is the end mastering. Why do you prefer to let this final polishing work done by a third-party?
Dekoy: (d_b) It’s just the way I’ve learned how to do it. I’m self-taught and read a lot of magazine tutorials – a lot of these tutorials suggest an unbiased ear for mastering purposes, but also, as I understand it, there’s a need for familiarity with the genre, so that’s why we use Steve Laskarides (The Azoic/Access Zero/The Strand). He’s an extremely talented engineer and musician, plus he’s a great guy – really friendly.
Chain D.L.K.: Your stuff is also available through iTunes. A lot of people arguing against these downloading portals as they may kill the physical product, the CD, and that they deliver bad quality mp3 files in low bit rates. Tell us a bit about your experiences and your point of view on thisendless debate…
Dekoy: (BaZa) I think it’s pointless to fight the whole mp3 thing. It’s here and it’s not going away anytime soon. We try to offer as many ways as possible for people to sample our music before they buy it. We have sites all over the internet offering full streams of many of our songs, and even a stream of the full CD on our Myspace page. In this day and time, if you aren’t willing to do that, many people won’t even give you the time of day. We can only hope that people appreciate the availability of the music and choose to compensate us for doing so. We’ve been fortunate enough to get enoughsupport from our fan base to continue making music, and that’s all we really ever wanted. We don’t have the time or energy to be internet police and have no interest in that anyhow. All we want to do is make music, share it with as many people that want to, and make enough money to continue making more.
Chain D.L.K.: Some instrumental interludes can be heard on “Haunted” with both intro and outro pieces, as well as the track “Phone Call”. Tell us a bit about the meaning of those interludes, how to your opinion do they support the float of the album?
Dekoy: (d_b) “Phone Call” is an extended introduction to the next track “Clairaudient” – we did this for both practical (club play) and aesthetic reasons. A lot of times, a confrontation is perceived as something dreadful because of the factor of the unknown (hence the bleak, dreadful tone of “Phone Call” and the emotionally ambiguous dial-tone melody that leads into Clairaudient – suddenly, then, the melody has a meaning attached to it), so the idea was to make the confrontation rewarding – a positive, sort of uplifting experience – worth the effort. We did this to thematically tie in with ouralbum concept. the intro “Onset” is an introduction to the album, something to help establish the mood of the material that follows, maybe even to suggest close scrutiny of our intended themes and message because there’s a very real one to be had. the outro, “Outset” is a sort of new beginning, as in new ideas to pursue and paths to follow – a brave new beginning. As a guideline, just listen to the eponymous track, “haunted” to get a full sense of where we’re going with this release. Sometimes hope is a double-edged sword, it’s only worthwhile when coupled with self-actualization, otherwiseit’s just a quiet killer.
Chain D.L.K.: I’ve found a short and hidden 13th track on “Haunted”. Tell us a bit about the featured cat there…
Dekoy: (d_b) The track is named “Pete” after one of my cats. He was a stray that I picked up and has brought me so much entertainment and joy that I thought it appropriate to write a track for him : ) shhh, don’t tell Jasper or Spooky – they’ll get jealous and sad ; )
Chain D.L.K.: Lets talk on the technical side of producing music generally. Which kind of synthesizer do you prefer, hardware or software-based? Where do you see the pro’s and con’s on both kinds?
Dekoy: (d_b) I see no difference between the two. I use both without bias. the only con of a software-based synth is meeting the necessary PC system requirements, but this isn’t really a problem nowadays.
Chain D.L.K.: How is it with live gigs? The new tracks should work well to animate the masses, so what do you expect? Any touring plans you can already confirm?
Dekoy: (BaZa) This is one of our most asked questions. Up until now, we have not done anythinglive. We have tried to put all of our time and energy into getting this project off the ground. Doing live shows requires a lot of time and planning, something that we have both found in short supply. We have no intention of adding our name to a list of bands that do lame shows and waste people’s time. We both made the promise to ourselves that if and when we do live shows, it would be something we both would be proud to do. We are both pretty diversified individuals and hectic schedules withpersonal obligations really make it difficult to properly plan a live show. We are just waiting for the right opportunity. It has to make sense for both of us, personally, and professionally. Right now is just not that time.
Chain D.L.K.: Your daily life besides being a musician. Please fill in details, relations, hobbies, and further interests.
Dekoy: (BaZa) Besides doing music, I am pretty involved in the audio/video field as a technician. I build control systems and theater systems for large homes. It’s fascinating work and I love doing it. Technology is evolving so fast that it really becomes challenging to keep up. Besides that, I spend a lot of my free time with my family. I have a wonderful wife and son that support me in every way. I really couldn’t ask for more than that.(d_b) I’m a graphic designer. I regularly appreciate art and creativity in the broadest sense.
Chain D.L.K.: Please let us know about your upcoming plans, some new releases you like to confirm here?
Dekoy: (BaZa) Right now we are in the beginning stages of writing new music. We are both putting some ideas on the table but are keeping an open mind. Life is always full of surprises. Some good, others not so good. Writing music gives us a venue to express that. We try not to set too many restrictions on ideas and just let things happen as they may. They tend to fall in place naturally. It really puts a lot of honesty and emotion into what we do. We create music as a form of self expression. Sharing it with the world is just a bonus. It’s nice to see how people relate to your personalsituations.
Chain D.L.K.: Some final words to our readers to conclude this interview…?
Dekoy: (BaZa) First of all, thank you to Marc and Chain D.L.K for your time. We both appreciate it. And thank you to all of the fans for your gracious support. It really does mean so much that you take the time to be a part of our lives. We have had so much positive feedback from the beginning and it makes this all so much easier. We also want to thank those of you that have helped by playing Dekoy in your club or on your radio station, or just took the time to pass a link on to a friend. We are both very excited about the success we have been offered and hope that people continue to grow with us and be a part of what’s to come.
(d_b) ditto. Thanks go to Marc and Chain D.L.K. for affording us this opportunity.
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]