When two women meet in a crochet class and end up forming a heavy music act, that’s a story in itself. But when you listen to the passionate, raw sound that Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards (aka Deap Vally) make when they get together, that’s a whole other story. Their unique blend of garage rock, classic rock and metal sounds a bit like Black Sabbath and The White Stripes formed a love nest and gave birth to twin sisters, and the bigness of the sound belies the fact that there are only two of them.
Since forming in 2011 in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California (hence the name), this girl-rock duo have generated a lot of worldwide interest with singles like “Gonna Make My Own Money” and “Bad For My Body.” They’ve already drawn a huge following in Europe, opening for the likes of Muse and The Vaccines and playing the festival circuit over the summer. Their debut album Sistrionix (on the Island Records label) is already making waves overseas, and is slated for release in North America next month.
Drummer Julie Edwards was good enough to talk for a few minutes with Music Is My Oxygen about the start of Deap Vally, life on the road, and where the band is headed.
MIMO: Tell us a little bit about how Deap Vally got started.
Julie: Well, I had a knitting shop in Los Angeles, and Lindsey had decided that she wanted to learn how to crochet. She came into my shop and that’s when we met. She came into my shop to learn how to crochet, and then I taught her a two-hour crochet lesson, and we just really bonded and we had a lot in common in terms of our frustrations with where we were at with our music projects that we’d been doing. So after that night, she was coming in a bit, and so we just would see each other at the shop and then finally, we decided to just jam, very casually. The rest is history.
MIMO: Under “Influences,” on your Facebook page, you cited “Thelma and Louise” as influences. Would you like to elaborate on that?
Julie: It just seemed like an easy short cut to understanding how we see ourselves, but rather than in a criminal way, in a musical way. Paving our own road, and it’s just us two gals doing it.
MIMO: Can you describe your song-writing process a bit? Is there one or the other that’s kind of the main lyricist, or does one bring songs to the other?
Julie: It’s totally collaborative, totally 50-50. We write all kinds of different ways. We’ve done it where I’ll come in with the beat and Lindsey will come in with the riff, or we’ll just come in there with nothing and just jam something out and then record it. We’ll each individually kind of listen to it and think up lyrics and melodies. Yes, it’s very collaborative.
MIMO: You got to play Glastonbury this summer. What was that experience like?
Julie: It’s a huge festival. There are 250,000 people at the festival, so it’s very overwhelming and it’s a lot of fun. It was the first time Lindsey ever crowd surfed, and we had our friends the Giddi Mamas, singing backup vocals for that show, for this special one-time thing. But for me, the festival itself is a little chaotic. We’ve been so fortunate. We’ve played every great festival all over the world all summer. We had a lot of fun at Reading. Reading was the real highlight of our summer.
MIMO: It seems like you are maybe a little bit more well-known overseas than you are here. Is that a fair assessment?
Julie: Yeah, totally. We’ve done more touring overseas than we have in the States.
MIMO: I noticed that the album [Sistrionix] is already out overseas. Has the record been well-received?
Julie: Yeah, it’s going great. The reason we tour over there so much is because there’s demand, so it just ends up happening…It’s really fun touring Europe, because within two hours, you’re in a completely different culture, completely different language, completely different cuisine. It’s very stimulating and very fun and also, of course, Europe is such a beautiful place.
MIMO: Do you have any interesting stories about being on the road?
Julie: We were playing a festival in Dublin, and I happened to be in the catering tent at the same time as Robert Plant, and I asked him and his friends to sit with me and they did, so I ended up having dinner with Robert Plant. An out-of-body, incredible experience.
MIMO: Your album is being released in the U.S. on October 8th. What are your plans for the fall?
Julie: We’re going to be touring with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and with Arctic Monkeys, which is so exciting, both of those are so exciting, for different reasons. We get to go on tour with the great rock bands. They’re few and far between, and to be able to go out and tour with them is such a privilege, and we’re so grateful and we’re so excited to do that. And then we’re going on a four-day cruise of the Florida Keys with Lynyrd Skynrd. That’s going to be amazing.
MIMO: It really comes across in your music that you two really love what you’re doing. I wonder if there’s anything else you want to share about the bond that you and Lindsey have in the music.
Julie: I think the main interest that we share is that we both wanted to play heavy music. We wanted to play heavy, impactful, confrontational music, and we wanted to do it well. And we want to use that kind of music to feel empowered.