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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Come see the band: Deerhoof motivated by Radiohead

    Deerhoof, an experimental rock back from California, may look normal in this photo, but they really arent. In addition to performing in orange bear suits in the past, they also claim to be influenced by Radiohead.
    Deerhoof, an experimental rock back from California, may look normal in this photo, but they really aren’t. In addition to performing in orange bear suits in the past, they also claim to be influenced by Radiohead.

    Deerhoof is a band without a hit song. The band members don’t display glamorous theatrics during their concerts. They don’t rely on Hollywood-style drama to keep the media interested. They do, however, have ideas.

    “”Our music comes to us in idea form (through) melodies, harmonies and rhythms,”” said Greg Saunier, drummer for Deerhoof. “”The best we can do is describe those ideas on a CD or live.””

    These ideas have taken shape on Deerhoof’s eight full-length albums in a variety of ways. Each album, however, does share distinct characteristics like noisy guitar passages, raucous drum patterns and the almost too-cute vocals of singer Satomi Matsuzaki.

    There’s really nothing quite like Matsuzaki’s soft voice repeating the word “”panda”” over and over on top of an off-kilter and thunderous rock framework as heard on Apple O’, the group’s 2003 album.

    Contrast this with the song “”Believe E.S.P.”” from the group’s new album, Friend Opportunity. Matsuzaki’s vocals this time flow nicely on top of an electronics-laced, jazz-inspired track.

    Each Deerhoof song draws upon a genre of its own. These are the kinds of musical ideas getting Deerhoof noticed. Last year, world-renowned band Radiohead invited Deerhoof to play during several of its U.S. tour dates.

    “”Everything we have done musically has been related to us being fans of Radiohead,”” Saunier said. “”(But) we don’t really imitate Radiohead.””

    Saunier explained Deerhoof uses music from bands like Radiohead as a test for its own material. After drawing inspiration from artists members enjoy, the band works to improve its own music. It’s music like Radiohead’s that Deerhoof sees as a dare to make the best music it can.

    “”Discovering that they had heard our response was a mind-blower,”” Saunier said. “”We really lucked out.””

    In addition to Radiohead, Deerhoof recently played with other artists they admire, like The Flaming Lips and The Fiery Furnaces.

    So what makes Deerhoof so special to deserve these opportunities? It might be because, oddly enough, Deerhoof isn’t the type of band to have fan-favorite songs.

    When asked if the band knew of any fan-favorite tracks, Saunier quickly replied, “”there aren’t any.””

    “”The reason is we’re not an overnight success, and we don’t have a hit song,”” Saunier explained.

    Saunier believes that instead of being loyal to a certain song or sound, Deerhoof fans are loyal to the band itself, no matter in which direction it turns.

    “”The audience doesn’t associate us with one sound,”” Saunier explained. “”It’s like the audience actually wants us to do different things.””

    One unique thing about Deerhoof’s live show is the simplicity of Saunier’s drum kit. With a bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat and little else, Saunier creates epic rhythms you would think could only come from an equally epic kit.

    One of Saunier’s inspirations is ?uestlove (aka Questlove), drummer for hip-hop band The Roots, who also is known for using a small kit.

    “”It forces me to be more creative when I’m playing,”” Saunier explained.

    See for yourself this weekend as Deerhoof brings its loud, fun and energetic show to the desert.

    Deerhoof plays Saturday night at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Macromantics and Experimental Dental School open the all-ages show. Admission is $12 at the doors, which open at 6:30 p.m.

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