Deep Cuts. Photo: Jay Tovar
In Houston, there are more than enough bands that grind hard enough to take their music to greater heights and larger audiences. There are many models that acts seem to follow, but for the longest time, it’s felt like there were some that really were in it for the long haul. Houston’s Deep Cuts has been grinding hard since their inception, while growing as artists and performers in front of everyone’s eyes. While their original sound was closer to that of bands like Vampire Weekend and The Strokes, it didn’t take long for the band to steer far away from that sound into a more focused direction. Showcasing their growth with the Love Grows EP, their more recent offerings, including singles “While The House Fills Up,” and “Take Me Back,” really take listeners on a new musical journey while the band’s sound continues to mature. Now, with a new album on the horizon, the band plans to unveil their new musical direction to those in attendance at FPSF. Free Press Houston was more than happy to bend the band’s ears on what they have in store for Houston when they return to the festival’s stages, as well as to highlight their latest video for the track “Take Me Back,” shot live in studio.
Free Press Houston: For those who don’t know much about the band, you’ve been together for how long now? How did Deep Cuts become a band?
Deep Cuts: Chase and I started Deep Cuts several years ago, though in 2016 we went through something of a metamorphosis, sound-wise, into what we’d consider the current “Deep Cuts” unit. Chase and I are lifelong friends, started playing music together as teens, and Deep Cuts began as our first serious avenue for songwriting together.
FPH: You guys started out with a more indie rock meets samba kind of sound, and now you’ve moved more into a smooth chillwave meets indie rock sound. What made you change direction?
Deep Cuts: I think our sound has grown with our listening tastes and also just our personalities as we’ve gotten older and — arguably — wiser. We still use some Latin music idioms, especially in our percussion, but we’ve made a conscious effort to move away from being a rock band.
FPH: Now that you guys are set to release new music with this revamped sound, and you’ve added new elements including a saxophone, does it feel like a new band?
Deep Cuts: Definitely. Horns, electronic percussion, and a much heavier implementation of keys are all hallmarks of the new — and, for us at least, much improved — Deep Cuts sound. I think this shines through in the songwriting, too, not just our sonic palette.
FPH: There was a time there when it seemed like Deep Cuts was performing every weekend, which isn’t the case nowadays. At the time I thought it wasn’t the best thing I’d ever seen a band do, but it seemed to really cement you guys as one of the more dominant bands in Houston. Did playing so much ever cause problems or did it actually help you out?
Deep Cuts: As of late we’ve scaled back on playing live to focus on writing and recording new music. I think the glut of shows in our past really sharpened our chops, taught us about what does and doesn’t work live, but it also consumed big slices of the band’s energy and time. At a certain point we decided we had to finish a record before getting back into the old constancy of shows.
FPH: I know you’ve been working on a new album, do you have an album title and a release date set for it yet?
Deep Cuts: A few musings for title so far but nothing certain, and no firm release date either. Hopefully sooner than later. The album’s first single “Take Me Back” dropped late last year, and follow-up single “Friends” debuts soon.
FPH: You’ve become known for hilarious videos, fun and inventive live shows, and guys who at least, appear to be having fun. Is there ever a time where being in the band feels like work?
Deep Cuts: Keeping the band moving forward requires work and sacrifice, but never feels like drudgery. I think all of us would rather be pursuing this than succumbing to office gigs. To quote Tom Sizemore’s character from the 1995 masterpiece “Heat”: Well, ya know, for us the action is the juice.
FPH: You guys have played FPSF before, correct? With the new lineup and the new songs, do you have anything crazy planned for your set at the festival this year?
Deep Cuts: Hmmm, perhaps just some nice summer outfits. I hear rompers for men are back in.
While the band shops for sweet Summertime duds, you can get down to the groove heavy video for “Take Me Back” above. Deep Cuts will be appearing at this year’s FPSF on the Neptune stage at 11:30 am on Saturday June 3. The two day festival will make its return to Eleanor Tinsley Park on June 3 and 4, and will feature performances from Hurray For The Riff Raff, Solange, Lorde, and many more. Tickets for the all ages festival range between $148 and $999, and are available here.