Getting To Know The FPSF Locals: Deep Cuts
Photo: Brandon Mahler
Houston has always been known for a lush and diverse music scene, where we host all sorts of musical styles. Hip hop, country, rock, electronica, and Latin flavors all make up the music that we all enjoy and love. Every so often, you hear something that mixes some of these up and we usually call it something like Gulf Coast sound, because it reflects the emotions and the flavor of our diverse city. Though you can add the words Gulf Coast to any genre, no one represents the indie side of things quite like Houston’s Deep Cuts. The five piece, and sometimes more than that on stage, really adds their own flavor to their music in a new and interesting way. Their latest release, last year’s EP “Love Grows” was one of my favorites from of 2014, and in six songs they could make anyone a fan. Now, they’re set to perform at this year’s Free Press Summer Fest, and to bring their version of Gulf Coast to the masses.
FPH: To me, Deep Cuts is defined by a very Gulf Coast kind of sound where Latin rhythms mix with an almost seaside guitar and rock based themes; which feels like the landscape of Houston. For people who don’t know your music, how would you describe it?
DEEP CUTS: I think that’s a great description. Deep Cuts draws a lot of influence from Latin music, which comes through in our songs’ rhythms, harmonies and melodies. I’d describe a lot of our guitar parts as sounding like “surf guitar” with tinges of dark, washed-over drone in the effects we use. But underneath the instrumentation we still have a big focus on lyrics and songwriting, so I think there is a “pop music” element to the words and vocal melodies in our songs.
FPH: Several of you in more than one band, Zach being in two other bands and Chase DeMaster being in four others. In fact this seems rather common in music today, do you feel like that’s an indicator of creative people or is that more of how the music industry seems to be nowadays?
DEEP CUTS: Chase Harris is in Deep Cuts, Buoyant Spirit, Amar a Muerte, and BE Godfrey’s band; Chase DeMaster is in Deep Cuts, Children of Pop, Kult Disney, Get a Life, BE Godfrey’s band and probably four other bands; Zach is in Deep Cuts, Buoyant Spirit, plays with Mikey & The Drags, Raceway and The Clean Teens and BE Godfrey; Austin is in Deep Cuts, TWNAB/TWNBE and Skatality; Gabe Lopez plays in Deep Cuts, Children of Pop, Get a Life, Standalone Mercury and Skatality; Jordan plays in Deep Cuts, DPAT, Marry Me, Lisa’s Sons; Wes plays in Deep Cuts and The Caldwell. Being involved in more than one band is an intrinsic part of the Houston music scene experience.
FPH: You guys just added a sixth member to the band, and occasionally a seventh with Jordan Brady from Dpat. Has it always been a revolving door or are these moves being made to create a more full sound on stage?
DEEP CUTS: The lineup since we played FPSF in 2013 has consistently been Chase, Zach, Austin, Gabe and Chase. Wes (from The Caldwell) and Jordan have been added recently because they are excellent musicians and do help us achieve a broader sound on stage. Our percussionist, Gabe, told us that he “wasn’t passionate about congas” so we brought in Jordan Brady as a dedicated full-time conga player. This way Gabe can focus on his art, timbales, and we can have dueling percussion solos during our set. This works out best for everyone.
FPH: The new EP, “Love Grows” was a nice departure from the debut album, but it was originally intended to be a full length. Will we get to hear the rest of those songs on a future release?
DEEP CUTS: Early on we sporadically put some singles on bandcamp, but we consider “Love Grows” to be our first and only release. When we put Love Grows out, we closed the chapter on that batch of songs. We just finished recording a single for a split 7” with Houston’s Young Girls, and now we’re moving forward and writing songs for the next record.
FPH: You guys seem to evolve more with every show, and since the EP was released, it feels like you’ve taken on an even newer sound. Does it feel that way to you guys and do you see the band always evolving in such a way?
DEEP CUTS: Definitely. The live show obviously has changed, and I think we’ve gotten tighter as a band and better at what we’re doing individually. With our new music we’re focusing more on the “song” (lyrics/ vocals/ song structure) and polishing the rock music elements from Love Grows. Lately we’ve expanded the Deep Cuts sound beyond just drums bass and guitar with an increasing use of keys, electronics and whatever else fits the tune.
FPH: Your sound is one that seems to really make people want to get down and dance, what do you have planned for the bigger crowd at FPSF this year and what will you do to get the whole crowd moving their feet?
DEEP CUTS: Most of our songs boast a strong emphasis on heavily syncopated rhythms, as found in various sub genres of dance music. Our tempos range up to 250 beats per minute (as found in “Alchemist”), a speed at which one can’t help but move dat ass. We’ll rehearse hard, debut some new music and throw in a couple covers.
As you can see, the members of Deep Cuts represent Houston hard, or at least by being involved in many musical projects; they cover it well. Possibly one of Houston’s most entertaining bands, they really bring energy, fun, and a whole new experience to anyone who sees them. While they prepare new songs and covers for their set, make sure that you catch them this year at the festival. Because at the pace they’re at, they should be larger than the Houston city limits sooner than later. You can grab your tickets here before they’re all gone.