Deptford Goth // March 2013

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Photo by Sonny Malhotra

 

“There’s an anonymity to existing here,” Peckham resident Daniel Woolhouse explains as Lauren Down talks to him about living in London, the emergence of Deptford Goth and the irresistible, soulful, R&B infused electronics contained within his new album, ‘Life After Defo’.

 

How long have you been making music as Deptford Goth?

I’ve been making music as Deptford Goth since the end of 2010. Before that I’d been recording things but never really finished anything. I had a four-track, a guitar and like a little Casio keyboard when I was younger so I’d always been playing around with basic things like tape but then I started using a computer, seeing how I could bring those two elements, the real and the synthetic, together.

How did your moniker emerge?

It wasn’t really a conscious decision as such, it just kind of happened. I remember I had thought of the name Deptford Goth at one point, I don’t know where it came from but it stuck with me. There was something quite amusing about it and it didn’t really make any sense, which I liked. I’d written a song called ‘Real Love Fantasy’ which I put on MySpace so I just used that name. A couple of people then got in touch, and I was told I should do some more, so those songs then became the EP.

How do you feel your sound has progressed?

I think I’ve become a bit more selective about what sound I want to make. The songs on the EP were recorded before the possibility of an EP occurred, so I wasn’t making them with the idea of them being anything really. Working on the album meant I could take a bit longer to live with the songs and let them evolve alongside one another, hopefully they have a bit of coherence as a result.Your lyrics seem to reflect a lot of emotional conflict.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

They’re written from introspection but the themes are universal. The songs are about human emotions, so my own viewpoint on experiences is where I’ve drawn inspiration from, without being overly specific. The songs are there for the listener to interpret with their own ears, to attach their own experiences to.

How did the album come together?

I just started writing things in my flat and gradually some songs clung together and a sense of the album emerged. I wanted to make something that wasn’t just a collection of disparate songs, I wanted it to make sense sequentially but there’s no narrative as such even though the songs are all written from the same place. I made a lot of changes to most of the tracks over that period of time, as I repeatedly added parts and stripped them back, to try and work out what needed to be there. When it was finished I took it into the studio with Rodaidh McDonald (XL Recordings producer and engineer).

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Did you experience anything akin to artists being unable to just leave a painting alone?

Absolutely, I find it really difficult to say something is finished. I always want to go back. I’ll hear things months later and think maybe I should have done things differently, but it’s a reflection of me then, which gives things some chronology, I suppose. You do have to step away from things at some point and move on but if you’ve been spending a lot of time with something it becomes quite abstract so it’s harder to make decisions about it because you’re not sure whether it’s good anymore. Or whether you even like it!

How much did you take into account the live element whilst recording?

That is one thing that interests me about performing live; you can reinterpret things entirely. I think it’s more interesting if they don’t sound exactly like the recorded version anyway. Working with different musicians keeps things interesting too. Up until this point it’s just been me live but I’ve got a friend who plays the cello and I’m really excited to see what we can come up with in terms of re-arranging things. I’m quite into the idea of working with other people, exploring and opening the sound up a little bit.

What is next for you and Deptford Goth?
I’ll be doing some shows throughout the year I think. I’ll probably start putting together another record too.

‘Life After Defo’ comes out on 18th March on Merok Records.