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Early 2015. DEAFCULT release their self-titled first EP. Opens up with the obvious single “BEEMOMUG“. Perhaps the best opening statement of a band this decade. The sound, the structure, the propulsion… it’s like being sweetly slapped upside the head. At our studios, we got the early release, and DEAFCULT won a permanent place in rotation, and in our hearts. Anyone and everyone we shared with had the same immediate reaction: this is special.

Fast forward to June of 2017, and DEAFCULT have capitalized on their early promise. Even with lineup changes and schedule challenges, they completed their first long-player, Auras, for Hobbledehoy. They’ve toured Australia extensively with the support of national media outlets, and garnered much critical praise (including our own Top Five lists) only two months later. We sat down with Innez and Stevie, who were gracious enough to answer our far-reaching questions, and expertly deal with our awkward sense of humor. Press ‘play’ on the album and follow along, won’t you?


DKFM:
Four guitars. Surely makes for an immense, epic sound. Do you ever wake up and think, “What the hell have we gotten ourselves into?” Like the old joke says, “Rush did it with only three people…” And do you ever run into each other on stage? 

Stevie: I think the four guitars is essential to the way DEAFCULT sounds. There’s four, very simple, almost mundane fractions that equate to a more complex whole. It’s worth the tight squeeze to get that result. It’s a sound that I’ve never personally heard before and enjoy the otherworldly nature of it. 
Innez: Earlier this year when Sean left the band, and I thought ‘ok maybe we can just go back to having three guitarists’ but then when we tried it out it just sounded wrong, like that extra element was missing. I think if we were to all go in, plug in and play, the outcome would sound awful! With this in mind we spend a lot of time on the different melodies and sounds and experiment quite a lot to get it to sound like it does. But yes, there’s still a bit of a shuffle around at each different venue to make sure we’re not whacking each other in the head. (laughs)

DKFM: This band seemed to form from the ashes of other quality acts, both in genre and “genre-adjacent”. Some names may not be familiar to our readers / listeners, but Roku Music springs to the top of the list. Do you see DEAFCULT as a sort of “shoegaze supergroup”? 

Stevie: Not really, Innez and Kelly are the only people in the band that previously played in Shoegazer bands. To me it’s like my own personal supergroup as I asked the people that I most wanted to play music with to be in the band! I feel very fortunate every time we play that they all agreed cause it’s super inspiring playing with my favourite musicians in Brisbane. 
Innez: I only knew Matt and Stevie (and now Kelly) before the band started so wasn’t really sure what type of music we would be creating together. Initially I thought Stevie was just asking me to work on a recording of his, so when we had our first rehearsal it was like, oh this is a thing, we’re  a band! Haha. That being said, I think Stevie has a natural talent in writing beautiful shoegaze/dream pop songs with heavier elements and for some reason all the songwriters in the band add different qualities from the genre that work well together. So to wrap up, we are an unexpected supergroup. (laughs)

DKFM: The debut EP certainly caught OUR attention immediately. No surprise, really, as that’s sort of our job. But it didn’t take long for even the “local luminaries” like Triple J to climb fully on board. Are you at all surprised with the love you seem to have earned right out of the starting gate, coming from around the world? 

Stevie: Oh without a doubt. Initially it was just a recording project. We never even thought people would actually hear it! It became this other thing though. When we actually heard the first record it was a surprise. “Oh right! That’s what we are?!” It seemed too unusual not to explore what it was further. 
Innez: It’s been really surprising and exciting! Shoegaze fans are so passionate about the genre and the music being released. There are so many amazing bands in the scene; I kind of can’t believe the attention we’ve received so far. Thank you for all the love and support! 

DKFM: While others focus on guitars, pedals, reverb, building a textural foundation for musical exploration, you start your process on acoustic guitar, writing accessible “pop” songs, only adding layers later in the process. What are the advantages of this approach? I can only imagine sitting around on an Ovation acoustic, thinking, “This’ll be a stomping anthem!” 

Stevie: I think the roots of the band is still Pop music. You can stray away from that when you rely too heavily on effects. It’s nice to strip everything textural away and still have a good pop song there! Take away all the feedback and distortion from a Husker Du song and you have perfect pop songs, or add a layer of feedback and fuzz to a Ronettes song and you aren’t far away from the Mary Chain. 
Innez: I guess it just comes down to getting the foundations right for a band like DEAFCULT. There’s a fine line between good noise and bad noise you know?  At least for a band like us. We need that initial guitar rhythm to write the rest of the song around. Adding in a solid bass line and drums, then we can add the textural guitars, the cream on top. This just seems to work for us and if it ain’t broke, why fix it right?!?

DKFM: DEAFCULT is properly labeled as “noisy pop” or simply “noise pop”, yet many would lump you into both the shoegaze and dream pop categories.  Are you comfortable with those tags, with ANY tags, applied to your sound? 

Stevie: I don’t really think it’s that important how people categorise music. It’s easier for some people to put things into groups, which is fine! Other people just don’t worry about it. However you want to do it is cool I reckon. 
Innez: I think we’re pretty easy going when it comes to tags and being categorised. AURAS is a pretty varied record so could be labelled under a few different genres. Ultimately, if you like it and want to call it shoegaze, dream pop, whatever you like, go for it! 

DKFM: How long did Auras take to record and produce, and what was it like jumping from a well-regarded Bandcamp EP to a label-signed full album? 

Stevie: AURAS took a long time. We recorded it and then wanted to change it a year later. Hobbledehoy were very good about it, most labels would have freaked out at us. They waited a year for us to turn around and say we aren’t feeling this yet we are doing it again. The album’s complete, out now on Hobbledehoy, burning up the charts. 
Innez: Hobbledehoy are an incredible label with heaps of experience (and patience!) releasing records and working with bands so we’ve been really lucky to develop great friendships and working relationships through this release. I think we definitely did the right thing with re-recording the album, the songs are more realised with better performances, and everyone is happy with the outcome. We learnt a lot from the experience, so hopefully the next record won’t take quite so long. (laughs)

DKFM: Your headlining shows are booked (some already played) in Australia… any plans for an international tour, ala Flyying Colours? Probably made more difficult in your case, with six musicians… 

Stevie: We talk about it all the time. Sometimes it’s hard to see how we would translate overseas. It feels like we belong to Australia in some ways. We owe a lot to the people who come to shows here, the labels that have released our records and the community radio stations that have supported us since the day we started. But then we also owe a great deal to people like yourself who have helped push us further afield. It’s a beautiful network the alternative music world it’s nice to see that it’s still thriving on its own terms. 
Innez: We’d love to tour overseas! It is mostly the logistics and cost for a band of our size. But that being said we’ve had a lot of support from the US and Europe. It would be so awesome to make it over and meet the people supporting and emailing us! 

DKFM: Finally, do you have a “band philosophy”, something that unifies the band as a team, gets you through the good times and bad? 

Stevie: Communication is important. Telling each other how we feel. Bands are like family in some respects. We are there for each other during shitty times and we make each other laugh the rest of the time.
Innez: Yeah definitely communication, respect for each other and friendship keeps this band going. We’re all best mates at the end of the day!

Follow the Deafcult squad via their Bandcamp, label, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels, and we’ll keep spinning their tunes!

When you have at least three legitimate headliners to play out your weekend, which do you choose for a graphic? Well, there’s the huge compilation dedicated to the memory and musical love of scene stalwart Chris Tressler, bringing together bands from around the globe to celebrate the spirit of a genuine fan and supporter of the scene. For The Love of Chris Tressler brings together 51 unique artists, organized and orchestrated by Krissy VanderWoude and Jonathan Sellers, and serves as a testament to a life well loved. That would be headliner enough any other weekend. But… it’s also (finally) the release date of the genre-dominating DEAFCULT, an LP we’d looked forward to since the release of their first EP. It’s really no wonder everyone’s been buzzing about these Aussies since 2015. This album proves all the early adopters right. And yet… our third choice for headliners, Blankenberge (pictured above). Brilliant, bendy, icy, refreshing, this band from Saint Petersburg, Russia have been teasing us with crumbs of brilliance, finally reaching full flower on this, their first full album. One of their Bandcamp tags reads “dronegaze”, but don’t be fooled. There are songs here, and they are captivating. Great listening for any season. Three headliners, each with full albums.

But if we wanted to drill further down, it’d be easy to promo some additional gems: Tokyo’s Shrike. Two songs, pure gold, arrives as if from nowhere. Parábolas del Bosque. We catch up with these Mexican sadgazers, and immediately fall under their spell. New (or at least ‘refreshed’) music from The Bilinda Butchers, well worth your mindshare. Black Sea. The Starlight Run. Foxxxy Mulder. Jessica93. uvii (formerly Ultraviolet). Battery Point. Paper Daggers. Houseplants. Ancient Tapes. Marker. SO MUCH NEW MUSIC.

And that’s on top of last weekend’s new adds, including Keep, Major Leagues, Cruel Summer, Turnover, Cloakroom, Winter, Deep Blue, Vertebrae, Hush Pup, Processions, lousy hex, Rocketship, Lacing, Sobs, Swap Babies, The Telewire, and Leisure Walks.

New Tracks Weekend kicks off 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Remember, you can listen listen via the station page at DKFM,  on Shoutcast, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Plus we have our branded apps for Apple’s iOSAndroid and Blackberry: listeners can vote thumbs-up/thumbs-down on all the new tracks, helping us determine what graduates to permanent rotation. Your voice counts! Or load up the “Internet Radio” tab of your iTunes desktop client, and you’ll find DKFM Shoegaze Radio under ‘Alternative’. You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed, as we’re live-tweeting every track on our sub-Twitter DKFMTracks account. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed. Keep up with our new Facebook group for real-time discussions of what you’ve heard, and sound off!

And, as always, thanks for listening, and thank you for your support!

If you’ve spent the last six months sleeping under a rock, there’s a new album from Ride out today. In fact, their first new LP in 21 years. If you don’t think that’s a thing, you may be tuned into the wrong radio station, my friends. Much like when Slowdive released a new album this year, a number of other new releases got overlooked (well, everywhere but here). But, you know us. Our job is to keep you up on all of it. New music from Deafcult, Wozniak, Hatchie, Youth Pool, Rocketship, Pink Frost, Pale Spectres, FOAMMM, Chain of Flowers, Bleach Bath, A Shoreline Dream, The Black Watch, Snowball ii, The Raft, Drift, Radiation Flowers, Rocket Ship TV, Nevermind Me, Amber Arcades, Dead Vibrations, M!R!M, Lake Wash, Glass, Vinyl Williams, Seahorse, Alvvays, Herlights, Alarm Drum… everything that fits, and some wot don’t.

Not to neglect last weekend’s fresh additions, including the sparkly new album from Panda Riot, plus Bellavista, Tearjerker, Fawns of Love, Softer Still, Colour of Spring, Doorbells, Beachglass, Sonic Jesus, Secret Meadow, Palm Haze, Daoda, Giant Surprise. We’ll put it all through the compactor, see just how much we can fit in.

New Tracks Weekend kicks off 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Remember, you can listen listen via the station page at DKFM,  on Shoutcast, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Plus we have our branded apps for Apple’s iOSAndroid and Blackberry: listeners can vote thumbs-up/thumbs-down on all the new tracks, helping us determine what graduates to permanent rotation. Your voice counts! Or load up the “Internet Radio” tab of your iTunes desktop client, and you’ll find DKFM Shoegaze Radio under ‘Alternative’. You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed, as we’re live-tweeting every track on our sub-Twitter DKFMTracks account. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed. Keep up with our new Facebook group for real-time discussions of what you’ve heard, and sound off!

And, as always, thanks for listening, and thank you for your support!

New music in abundance, this weekend is well overbooked! The crowning achievement is the release of the new Tears Run Rings LP, In Surges, which has got us in studio all twitterpated. Their deft touch, their consistent tunefulness remind us why theirs is one of the preeminent voices in the genre, and their occasional absences are really a loss for all of us. We’re also deep the new album from Dead Horse One, a bit more psych-rock than our usual, but their production pedigree (John Loring, Fleeting Joys) demands attention, even if it ultimately delayed a new Fleeting Joys album by a year and a half. But who’s complaining? Oh, right, we are. We’ve got sparkly new sounds from Deafcult, still awaiting more from Australia’s champions. The new EP from Galants, compelling tracks from Japan’s Scale, new singles from The Cherry Wave, Heavy Heart, The Kathys, and Slowly. We’ve primed choice cuts from the new Wedding Present LP, released today on vinyl in the U.S., and some of their most riveting tracks in a decade. We’re trotting out Cosmic Child, Bruising, Tonemirror, Portal de la Muerte, and much more.

Not to neglect last weekend’s fresh haze, including Vestidos, Mosaicz, Versus People, Melt, Lazy Legs, Hideous Towns, Housing Crash, Bloodhounds On My Trail, Drab Majesty, The Churchill Garden, Last Leaf Down, Whimsical, Cuesta Loeb, and SMR’s Static Waves compilation. We’re well booked!

New Tracks Weekend kicks off 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Remember, you can listen listen via the station page at DKFM,  on Shoutcast, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Plus we have our branded apps for Apple’s iOSAndroid and Blackberry. Or load up the “Internet Radio” tab of your iTunes desktop client, and you’ll find DKFM Shoegaze Radio under ‘Alternative’. You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile, and live-tweeting every track on our sub-Twitter DKFMTracks account. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed. Keep up with our new Facebook group for real-time discussions of what you’ve heard, and sound off!

And, as always, thanks for listening, and thank you for your support!

We didn’t update your Gaze Guide last weekend, and for that we’re sorry. Plugged much new material in, but the only way you’d know is to listen. Rest assured, fellow travelers, we’ll post for this weekend and last, so you’ll know what your ears are hearing. We spun a world premiere from the new album by Aire Espacial, plus assaulted your senses with DEAFCULT. Add in Dissolve (not that one, a different one), everyone but me, Froth (new album is quite fuzzy), Swanhoppers, Vaadat Charigim, Waterfall, Stella Diana and more. This weekend, we add to the mix new sounds and recent classics from The Noise Tigers, Hawk, Downers, maantis, Broken Water, Turnover, starcleaner, purr, Shark Tape, wavetemple, dreamtiger and more.

8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Live365 listeners: it’s your votes that count! Your thumbs-up / thumbs down ratings determine what is kept in permanent rotation. Listen via the Live365 station page at DKFM, on iTunes Internet Radio under “Eclectic”, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Latin America relay: try Radio Terra. And still commercial-free everywhere! You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed.

And our next shows are up next weekend, as we support Young Lovers’ residency at Pehrspace in LA. An all-star cast of luminaries (and folks you hear on our air) includes Sheer, Ablebody, Soft Science, Deep Fields, Young Lovers (obviously!) and much more. Event links here and here. If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you out!

Shinyshiny