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said, “If you read a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, you have to use your imagination… Te story is only as rich as your interpretation.” With a second, less immediate follow up to his 2010 eponymous debut, entitled ‘Songs for Imaginative People’, I asked Darwin if that’s what he expected from us this time around, that similar to Grimm, there’s some work to do on our part? He told us this, amongst a longer chat, before he set off for his UK Tour that sees him take in Norwich this month…


“Yeah, exactly, you nailed it. I feel like my lyrics do circumscribe a certain limit to what you can imagine with them, but I think specificity is good – the more you specific you are, the more it stimulates the imaginative urge in the listener. If you get down to the nitty gritty detail, in a way, it paints the whole picture. In a way that’s a lot better than if you try to describe the whole broad background. It’s an interesting thing to focus in on the dewdrop of the rose petal, and then suddenly you see the whole spring day, you know.

Your diction is clear and the stories kind of drag you in. Is this something you always consciously wanted to do? It’s something I always consciously wanted to hear. Growing up, the first rock records I ever listened to were just, like, impenetrable, the lyrics were so weird… Te Breeders – I had no idea what the songs were about and I thought that maybe if I was older, I’d know if they were doing the subtle drug or sexual references, but you know I felt alienated by that kind of writing. So I always wanted to hear that; I wanted to know what people were singing about because I liked those artists and I wanted to connect with those artists, but I couldn’t

16 /January 2013/ April 2013/

connect to their lyrics and I found it really frustrating.

Now we’ve got a second album to make a comparison, we’re able to see that the tracks on your first album were all short, they were concise, under four minutes. Was that purposeful at the time, and did you burn the blueprint on album two? Yeah, exactly; I gave myself a chance to break free whilst still remaining in the same ballpark. You know, I had to do it; I had to break out and try some different song structures and it was fun. Next time I’ll try something else. I think it’s wrong if anyone interprets these two records as aesthetically different though.

I was leafing through your album artwork earlier and saw a picture of you cuffed to guitar, then there’s

plectrums framed as crime evidence, more guitar… you seem to have had a strong relationship with your guitar on this album. Absolutely; I took myself away to write the album, and just to practice playing guitar. Tere was anguish in the beginning where I couldn’t some of the stuff that I really wanted to do with the guitar at the beginning, so I just holed myself away; it was kind of like I was in guitar prison in North Carolina, for a while. I now don’t have that problem anymore; I’ve sort of plateaued at a certain level of playing, which is OK. It’s enough to entertain myself and to entertain people. If I were to do it for another summer, it would be another huge chunk of homework, so I don’t know… I’m not gonna do that!

Emma Garwood


Darwin Deez comes to Te Waterfront on April 29th.

For the full transcript of this interview, go to For tickets, go to

Reading an interview with Darwin Deez’s frontman - the man Darwin himself - recently, I read a quote where he

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