Since 2016, Dear Deer has released 3 albums (Oh my… 2016; Chew Chew, 2018 and Collect and Reject, 2022), and has already built a solid identity. Meeting with the group around their music, their collaboration, their influences… A ping-pong interview, just like their way of working.
Benzine: A new album coming out after two very difficult years. How did you live these 2 years?
Dear Deer: It was long, but we can’t say we were bored. We had to create, otherwise it was the end of everything. The concerts at home and broadcast online were a way of unrolling cables, plugging and unplugging instruments… In short, having a semblance of normal life on tour… The daily life of confinement, narrowed and without horizon, fortunately seems to be dissipating little by little. little.
Benzine: Is releasing a new album difficult? Easy ? A necessity ?
Dear Deer: A job develops. There is a need to work on new things to bring old things to life. It’s easy to start working on a new album, hard to finish it! The main thing is to change, to change, not to repeat yourself while remaining honest.
Benzine: Over the past three albums, your music has evolved, of course, less industrial, rounder, more danceable. It’s a movement already started on the previous album. You said it was conscious and voluntary. Why ?
Dear Deer: Because we were called to this roundness. We wanted to dig into this discoid part that is dear to us, to see how far it could take us.
Benzine: I read that your songs tell stories… What are your sources of inspiration? Social developments? What are you reading? What you hear ?
Dear Deer: These are books of theory, myths or rather mythical figures. Sometimes the words are built together, like bricks. And sometimes it’s a mixture of all of that. But our songs never talk about feelings.
Benzine: For this album, we have the impression that you also wanted to denounce society, consumerism, capitalism? Is it important for you, as artists, to have this political approach?
Dear Deer: To denounce it, this consumerism would have to be hidden… On the other hand, we do think that everything is political. Especially the music. It’s impossible to detach her from that.
Benzine: You sing in French, for the first time if I’m not mistaken. It was deliberate. Will this repeat itself?
Dear Deer: Yes, we will continue, this experience is new and offers new musical openings. The musicality of the French language takes us into territories that we might not have explored by singing in English. It was a bit the same approach when we sang in Polish.
Benzine: How do you write? In collaboration ? Do you write together?
Dear Deer: We work in ping-pong, we send each other leads, the other responds, and it’s together, in front of the screen, that we manage to finalize the composition.
Benzine: How would you describe your music?
Dear Deer: Condensed, stocky, electronic, electric, reverent, dancing.
Benzine: Would that apply to all your albums?
Dear Deer: Not exactly! The first is a hedgehog, the second an electro-discoid hybrid and the third a little Berliner soaked in French toast.
Benzine: Is there a real pleasure in writing together? Compromises are easy (or not)?
Dear Deer: At first it’s nice, then the noose gets tighter. Composing is always exciting… it’s when mixing that things go wrong! Haha! The most complicated thing is to leave room for everyone, to listen and to question yourself…
Benzine: What makes you complementary (both in terms of tastes and skills)? What is the greatest quality that you appreciate in the other (and their greatest flaw)?
Claudine: Fred is efficient in his way of mixing and arranging. Its default is the volume of the guitar :=)
Fred: Claudine undeniably knows how to sing, and her singing becomes an instrument in its own right in certain compositions. It can change the face of a piece. His default is the volume of his bass: D
Benzine: I read somewhere that you liked to play on stage. What does it bring? Could you talk about what happens on stage?
Dear Deer: On stage, nothing else matters, it’s like meditation. Hic and Nunc. Perfect.
Benzine: Do you think your songs get better when you play them on stage?
Dear Deer: If they improve, it would be during residencies when we can benefit from an outside eye… We are now trying to work on specific versions for the stage, with different structures or sounds. Live, the songs take on another color. This is also where we see if we managed to take the audience or not. The immediate reaction of the public is one of the elements that makes the concerts so exciting.
Benzine: You met while you were playing in other bands, some of which are arrested. Do you still have projects with other bands? Solo projects? Is it important (or incompatible) to play in several bands at the same time?
Dear Deer: Claudine plays in Cold War. The problem facing us is above all time, the lack of time. There are the plastic practices of each, and also the food work, which, we are lucky, is consistent with our practices as plastic surgeons. It is extremely complicated to manage everything at the same time.
Benzine: What are the upcoming projects?
Dear Deer: Touring and doing music residencies, opening ourselves up and getting out of our comfort zones. Reaching other, broader audiences… Meeting people, seeing friends again… The desire to compose again!
Benzine: What do you do outside of music?
Dear Deer: Fred is a photographer for performing arts and culture and Claudine works in an art school.
Interview by Alain Marciano
Dear Deer – Collect and Reject: discoid post-punk, electro new wave