by BrooklynVegan Mike
DOWNLOAD: Deep Sleepover - True Blue (MP3)
Sunset Rubdown are one of the best bands going (in my opinion), and while a lot of the pub goes to Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug (top right), the rest of the group has musical endeavors that are just as exciting and adventurous as the SR mothership. Those include Jordan Robson-Cramer (bottom left) who is behind XY Lover and Magic Weapon in addition to playing in Miracle Fortress, and our spotlight for this month: Michael Doersken (bottom right) and his musical project, Deep Sleepover.
As the name suggests, Deep Sleepover is a mellow affair. The music resides behind a soft pall of reverb, a mid-tempo, wistful contemplation never going above a whisper. The debut album Voyage To The Other World - A Tale Of A Liar is definitely a mood record. On songs like "Catapillakilla," and "Through and Through," the familiar guitar sound and styling that greets the listener at the beginning of Random Spirit Lover is reimagined, taken out of the sardonic and surreal world and placed in more gentle hands.
The album has been a real find for me in the last six months - lots of steady listening. I sat down with Michael to chat about the record, the genesis of the sound and future plans for the band.
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How long has Deep Sleepover been a project of yours ?
Michael Doerksen: I gave the music a name about a year ago. I've been writing music for awhile, now. I haven't had the opportunity to record anything. I had to give it a name and develop it slowly. So, about a year now.
It says on your myspace that you did all of the music, except for the saxophone part on "Downtown Clown."
Yeah. Actually, I'm rehearsing a lineup.
Has it been difficult trying to capture the sound of the record into a live setting?
Absolutely. That's totally what the problem is at the moment. There's not a lot of drums on the record. It was all written on acoustic guitar.
Are you completely wedded to the sound on the album, or are you open to see what can come of the collaboration?
I am totally interested to see what they can bring. Just giving the musicians to be there as opposed to just telling them what to do.
The name of the project and the sound of the music conjures imagery of journeying through a dream. Is there an idea to the music, a centralizing concept?
I don't think it's good enough to say I had some unifying concept. It's mostly a collection of songs. It's funny that you mention a journey, through a dream. There is the title of the record. There is that essence. But I think that metaphor also easily works for a record. I like the name "Deep Sleepover" because it sounded like an event. A title to a happening, you know?
Also, a kind of innocence, you know?
A naiveté that can be credited to my inexperience. It was basically teaching myself how to record. And I don't play piano, so there are some keyboard parts that is me struggling to come up with something, to come up with little interludes like "La La Love You" on Doolitle or "The Emperor of Wyoming" on a Neil Young record.
So, the album has been out since October?
Yeah. Released the same day as [Sunset Rubdown's] Random Spirit Lover. It was the first show and it was selling on the merch table.
So, how did the video for "Downtown Clown" come about?
It was made by Matt Moroz, but he never asked me if I wanted a video made. I was on tour with SR in October, and when I came home, I got an email from Matt, who was in Budapest at the time working in the film industry, saying that he had made a video because he really liked the song. He called it a 'fan video', but he's an old friend of mine from Victoria, so I didn't mind at all, plus I was really blown away by the video, so I gave it my blessing, so to speak.
It was really appropriate coming from him. When I wrote that song, I wondered who I was writing about, and the first person that came to mind was Matt. For some reason, I could see him singing this song, or liking it, or if I knew an example of a downtown clown, and I could name a few, Matt would be one. Moroz can be both completely hilarious and deadly serious at the same time, just like his art. For a while, and way before the record had come out, this downtown clown idea was an inside joke between us, and I think the video is an extension of that joke. And if you don't know who Desire Dubonet is, the stripper in the video, look her up. Her story is fascinating. On another note, thanks to Matt, the song 'Downtown Clown' is now on regular rotation at Desire Dubonet's strip club in Budapest, where the video was shot. He takes all the credit.
The album is available at the merch table and some mom and pop stores. Are there any plans for a wider release?
There are some loose plans, yes. I can say safely that something will come out, in a different format, with a color cover, and a different selection of songs. I got a bunch of new songs I'm sitting on. We'll see what happens.
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Deep Sleepover, the band, should begin playing shows once all of the Sunset Rubdown duties are fulfilled, including their upcoming spring jaunt where you'll hopefully be able to pick up the record. Also, a new song has been posted on their myspace for download.