credit: Debrah McNary
Nothing is a random act. Things come and go in a seemingly unpredictable order, but truth be told, it’s all meant to be.
Take Deep State, toiling under the low lights of Athens, making some of the best, pure-bent, rock joy heard in a generation in their crook neck portion of the east coast. Power, volume, transition, and then suddenly, they’re here: one of your new favorite bands, wearing out the motor on your turntable.
Deep State formed in Athens, Georgia not so long ago. Friends from bands, college, restaurant jobs — is there any other way this is done? Ryan was getting a master’s degree in guitar performance. Taylor wanted to form an aggressive/cathartic/punk band that was undeniably catchy. Melodies were floating around constantly in Taylor’s head until the noise became too much. He asked his friends for a hand fleshing out his ideas, and lo and behold, everything meshed in a beautiful way. The songs finished themselves. As the band tells it, Ryan, Michael, and Christian are the pros, and the most amateur musician in the band fronts it. A memorable, moment-producing formula.
Athens, Georgia. Just saying those words references several chapters in the music history annals, and many of those tales rattle around in the brain of Deep State. Influences stacked like pennies on the dash of the tour van: Albert Camus, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Bent Outta Shape, Pride & Prejudice, dogs, cats, Silver Jews, NFL Football, State Champion, Devo, Harold Pinter, thousands and thousands of things, Blinky Palermo, myths. So much to answer for.
Seated front to back on any given day, and given to bouts of lively conversation (trust us): Taylor Chmura (guitar, vocals), Christian Deroeck (bass), Michael Gonzalez (drums) and Ryan Gray Moore (guitar). Ideas abound, the list grows. And the best part? They’re just getting started.
When searching for metaphors, forgo the thesaurus, and try these on for size: driving guitars, drums and bass, all competing for attention, while a singer describes affecting life events, whether it’s drunks in a bar or losing yourself in a guilty pleasure record.
Deep State knows there’s a vapor trail of goodness that’s been spread across the planet, so there’s the challenge. Follow it. Do it. The band plans to burn the wheels off the van with the release of “Thought Garden” due out April 14, 2017.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.