It’s been years since the beloved 'Sup graced us with a new issue (and apparently will indeed be some time before another official one). Until then we have this limited “special edition” mini-issue centered around the ‘Sup team’s music-festival-out-in-a-desert-oasis, DAY IN THE DESERT, gloriously designed by Richard Turley, “hand-spray-painted and individually poly-bagged”. Can’t say I know any of the bands, and barely much of the noise ‘n grace movement, but by the look of these pages, and the stories within, it appears to have been a spiritual enriching experience indeed.
'SUP hosted an intimate event earlier this year in Topanga with Daniel Bachman - A DAY IN TOPANGA
I’ve been to Miami, Florida a grand total of one time in my life, and it was exactly the way I imagined it to be: somewhere between a city-wide porno set and an adult-sized McDonald’s playpen. Techno blared from every hotel, car and restaurant I walked by, I drank one of those crazy fishbowl margaritas with two bottles of Corona sticking out of it, and every graphic T-shirt I spotted was more sexually explicit than the last. I loved every second of it.
Based on that experience, I would have never thought that Deaf Poets, one of the best garage rock bands to come out of anywhere in American in recent memory, would call Miami home. Perhaps this just shows my ignorance of the region, but it’s hard to not imagine them gestating in a sonic womb of down ‘n’ dirty, heavy-as-fuck guitar riffs with the candy-colored whirlwind of South Beach swirls around them.
I caught up with Sean Wouthers (guitar) and Nico Espinosa (drums) for a quickie interview after seeing them basically destroy NYC’s Cakeshop with a scalding live performance a few months ago.
When I think “Miami”, I think crazy electronic dance music and parties till dawn. What is it like being a garage band from Miami, and what is the rock scene like down there?
Nico: Miami has a few hidden gems of rock ‘n’ roll and the following is very consistent. You perform with the same bands and for the same people, so there’s a sense of community. You get close to your peers and fans, which is important. Competing with electronic music can be a blessing and a curse: the blessing being that there are groups of people that want to avoid that movement all together and just listen to rock ‘n’ roll. so we have that advantage. The curse is that most venues in Miami host parties that are very electronic-oriented. The number of venues suitable for an underground scene are definitely diminishing.
What are the perks of living in Miami?
Nico: Definitely the weather! No matter the season, it is hot all around. Perfect for bike riding and going to the beach.
One of the things that struck me when I first saw you guys play is how rip-roaringly loud your live presence is. Production-wise, how do you make a two-piece sound that intense?
Sean: I am a huge gear geek, as people call it. My obsession with my rig started at the age of 12, from purchasing my first typical Boss pedal to now personally modifying everything myself. I encourage everyone to experiment and explore the sonic possibilities available today. I love using vintage analog pedals and pulling the tone out of whatever guitar Im using. My tone is a combination of pedals I’ve acquired over the years to help create the full and low-end mix you hear live.
Nico: From my end, I try to tune my drums as low as possible and use big cymbals. I keep my drum parts as easy and full as possible.
How long have you been playing music together?
Sean: Nico and I started playing together during our freshmen year in high school. From there on we separated and experimented in different music projects till we reformed a group early of 2008. A year later we accidentally formed the Deaf Poets.
Who or what above all do you think inspires your music the most?
Sean: Our inspiration is a never-ending list of past and present experiences.
Deaf Poets play THE FLAT in Brooklyn on May 20.