dep is the solo project of the Asheville, North Carolina-based, Danny Peck. Recently, I reviewed his latest 8 tracks album “We Are The Lights That Will Not Go Out“ which is an album that gives an emotive, atmospheric alternative rock/electronica style that delivers hope. Let’s find out more about Danny Peck!
Hey Danny! What’s up? Well, I noticed that you started back in the 90’s, tell us how did it begin?
Hey! Well my parents got my brother and me our first PC back in 1990, and it immediately clicked with me. I always grew up around my dad’s old computers, Commodore 64 and the like. I really enjoyed working with them, upgrading them, playing games on them and the like. I started messing around with tracker software shortly thereafter. I remember making little songs and putting them on local bulletin board systems back before the Internet. It’s kinda funny to think, in retrospect, I’ve been making music and putting it online all this time, but it’s an obsession that has never wavered.
I moved on to MIDI notation in Windows, and probably wrote around 300 random little songs that I compiled on to a website that I kept updating throughout high school and college.
Fast forward a couple decades and here we are, but fortunately there are platforms like Spotify that make it way easier to distribute music to a larger audience.
In your opinion; how ambient and electronica developed in the past 20 years?
I’ve always been drawn to how “without borders” electronica in particular is. I love the freedom to turn any sound in to some sort of music, and I think the barrier to entry for a lot of indie artists has gone down a lot over the past 20 years. So there’s just a huge variety of music out there, a lot of it just bubbling under the surface. There’s a scene of experimental underground ambient and electronic music that is alive and well, and budding with creativity, and I think that old cliche of electronic music being a repetitive, redundant, soul-less genre is starting to disappear. Music has the power to unlock some pretty intense emotion that you might have buried deep down in your psyche, and bring you back to the moment when life gets crazy. All different types of music do that for all different types of people, and I think electronic and ambient music just fit that need for a lot of people.
“I wanted to make something to give people hope.” This is how you described your new album. Could you tell me more about it?
I wanted to make an album without lyrics, so that anyone in the world could enjoy it equally. I wanted to build big, epic songs that could uplift peoples spirits. If you can make something that can change someone’s mood, that’s a huge accomplishment. I’ve had people write me to tell me that my music was the soundtrack to their day, or a road trip, and I think that’s just really cool. Music has the power to lift people up or bring people down, and I wanted to lift people up with this one.
Wouldn’t be a confusion for your audience to find two releases in the same year? “In Absolute Darkness We Brooded on the Origin and the Destiny of the Galaxies“ released in April, and “We Are The Lights That Will Not Go Out” released in July.
Absolutely. But I’ve had an influx of inspiration over the last 6 months, and I’ve been waking up super early every day to work on new music. I’ve gone through dry spells as someone who makes something, so when you hit the flow, you have to ride the wave and enjoy it. My hope is, someone will discover one, which will lead to listening to the other, and can enjoy them in different ways, because they’re both drastically different from one another. “In absolute darkness” is extremely subdued by comparison. I’d consider “In absolute darkness” to symbolize the night, where as “We are the lights” symbolizes the day, so in a way they’re something of a double-album, and you could easily listen to them back to back (I recommend this) 🙂
Well, some artists prefer to make a gap between the releases to focus more on album promotion and touring. Or you have other plans ahead?
I like to perform, but I don’t do it very often. My family and dogs keep me pretty rooted, so I usually just perform locally in Asheville, NC. I’m definitely open to performing more often, but I’d have to carve out a good chunk of time to travel, and that’s not where I’m at right now. I definitely prefer being in the studio and putting out music online. I think that makes live shows more meaningful for me.
Okay, what lyrical themes that you prefer the most in songwriting?
I listen to a lot of film scores, so my music definitely gravitates to more orchestral arrangements. I like the idea of bringing the styling of music from film composers to a more electronica or post-rock place.
Are you planning for festivals and tours soon?
I’m always down to join the bill on someone traveling through my hometown, but I don’t travel all that much, since I do have a day job and a family to take care of. Maybe one of these days I’ll do a proper US tour, but you have to sort-of press pause on reality to do that, and the pause button on my life’s remote isn’t very responsive 😀