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Interview with Depswa

Depswa answers provided by, guitarist and backing vocalist, Dan Noonan.

How does it feel to finally be touring with major label support?
It is amazing! We are having a blast. We love meeting new people and reaching out to new fans who have never heard of us before. It is also great to see the rest of the country and visit new places. We are definitely grateful to have a label backing us so that we have the opportunity to do this. There’s no way we’d be able to do it on our own.

Is it everything you thought it would be?
We never thought that it would be as fatiguing as it is, and everyone gets sick from time to time because we’re cramped in the van. It seems the germs just make their way to each of us eventually! But, on the other side of the coin, the shows are awesome, and we are really finding that the crowds are really supportive. We get up on stage every night and try to put on the best show possible and have fun doing it.

Is there anything you would change or plan to change about the way things are going right now?
We are really anxious for the single to hit the radio and for the album to come out. I think once that happens, we’ll definitely see a change in the people at our shows. Right now, we’re lucky to meet a handful of people at each show who have heard of us. I also think we are all looking forward to getting a bus. Right now, we are saving money by using a van and trailer, which is cool, but driving really takes a lot out of us and it’s hard to sleep sitting up!

What are some of the things you absolutely had to bring along with you?
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Warm clothes, Tons of pairs of socks and underwear, Vitamins, CDs, the Gambling table (Blackjack, Roulette, Poker & Craps), Laptops, Video Cameras, Digital Cameras, Cell Phones, Cologne and Deodorant…lots of it! Oh and a sense of humor! That’s mandatory!

What are the things you’ve discovered that you miss the most when you’re away?
Our friends and loved ones, pets, the So. Cal weather, and our beds.

What have been the highlights of this tour, so far?
This is our second OFFICIAL tour…we did a tour with Mudvayne and Taproot (prior to Taproot joining the tour, it was Mudvayne and 40 Below Summer for several dates) at the end of 2002. That tour had several memorable moments.
But as far as this tour, I’d say the highlights have to be Chattanooga, TN it was so packed that it took like 30 minutes to get through the crowd to go to the restroom! Pittsburgh was also an amazing show. The crowd really threw down for us from the get-go.

What songs do you think the crowds are responding to the most?
We really get good response to the heavier songs like Charades and Not Responsible, but a lot of people have told us that Voyeur and Needles really move them. We’d like to think each of the songs in our set has something unique and they all get different responses depending on the mood of the crowd.

Which places are the most frequent food stops on the tour?
Usually, any place with a 99 cents menu…because we’re usually broke! Otherwise, we’re partial to the Waffle House and Arby’s (Market fresh Sandwiches rock!)

Have you been writing while you’re out on the road at all?
Yea, we’re writing all the time. We all brought our Acoustic Guitars and we have a recording system on our laptops. We usually try to capture ideas when we come up with them. But as far as writing complete songs, we don’t have a ton of time to do that, but we try.

If you could have anything delivered to you right now, anything at all, what would it be?
Sunny and warm weather! Oh, and a bottle of NyQuil!

What is the first thing you do when you get off the stage after a show?
We usually just head to the dressing room to cool down for a few minutes and crack a beer or two. Then, we try to head out into the crowd and meet as many people as possible. We realize that if it wasn’t for the fans, we wouldn’t even have the chance to play music for a living and we always try to let them know how much we appreciate them being there. Plus, it is always cool to meet new friends.

What city has the best venue to play in so far?
I think we’d all have to agree that the Norva in Norfolk, VA is probably our favorite. They always have the best catering. Backstage, there’s a free pool table, free video games (Double Dragon & Donkey Kong Jr.), and a Foosball Table. Then to top it all off, the headliner’s dressing room has 4 showers, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, and a basketball court! It’s definitely one of a kind and the people there are great.

What has the headcount for the largest crowd been and where was it?
I think the most we’ve played in front of was like 10,000 or so. It was at an Ozzfest off-date with Rob Zombie, Down, Adema, Switched, and Ill Nino in St. Helens, Oregon. The place had a capacity of 15,000, and when we went on at least 2/3 or more of the crowd was there. It was definitely a sight to see!

Are you feeling pressured because of your label deal or is it something that feels natural?
Well, there is always a little added pressure when outside parties have invested in your success. We always are aware that without the label, we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in, so we try our best to be the best we can be so they will continue to support us. We thrive under pressure and push ourselves to take our music to the next level. As for performing, it is definitely starting to feel natural. The more shows we play, the tighter we get, and it has become almost second nature.

Have you developed any pre-show rituals that you find yourself doing on a regular basis to prepare you?
We usually kind of isolate ourselves backstage for at least 20 minutes before we go on. Then we all stretch. Sometimes we play the acoustics and warm up our vocals, but that is only if the dressing room is a decent size and we can fit the guitars. Other than that, we try to pump ourselves up and build up our adrenaline as much as possible so we can have some energy up there.

What are some of the things that you’re discovering about yourselves now that you’ve been traveling together for a while?
I definitely think we have learned that we are all friends as well as a team, and we rely on each other in different ways on a daily basis. We have all realized that everyone that makes up this band is an integral part and we respect eachother’s contributions immensely. Not that we didn’t feel like that before, but being on the road really augments our respect and love for each other. After-all, we spend 24/7 with eachother, so without the close ties we’ve developed, I don’t think it would be possible to make it work.

How are things going while you’re playing live? Any major disasters or embarrassments at all?
We’re definitely feeling pretty comfortable up there now. It’s amazing what touring can do for a band’s live show. As far as embarrassing moments, I think all of us have come off stage at one time or another to realize that our zippers were down. That’s always funny.

What have you been doing during your downtime?
Catching up on sleep as much as we can and writing music. Also, because we are driving ourselves in a van and trailer, we spend a lot of our off-time traveling.

What does success mean to you?
I think we all agree that success is being able to play music for a living and being able to make a long-term career out of it. We all would be content if we could just make enough money to pay our bills and continue to play music for the next 20 years or so. We definitely don’t judge success on how much money someone earns, but by the quality of the life they lead and the happiness that entails.

How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard the band before?
That’s a tough one…I hate trying to describe our music. I would definitely say it’s emotionally driven, progressive, rock that can be ultra heavy at some times and ultra melodious (is that a word?) and serene at others. If I had to compare us to other bands, I’d say we’re like a crossbreed of the Deftones and Radiohead or something like that.

What are some of the best ways to battle stage fright?
Imagine the crowd naked…just kidding. I think it’s just repetition and knowing that you are gonna do your best that helps the most. Also, I personally try not to worry about the crowd or what they think. I figure I’m going to play my ass off no matter what…If it’s not good enough for them…oh well! As long as I know I did my best that’s all that really matters to me.

When the tour is over and you finally get home, what is the first thing you plan to do?
Take a nice long nap!

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