The Dear & Departed

author PP date 18/08/07

The Dear & Departed is a newcomer in the melancholic stadium rock genre that AFI fronts these days, and with a little bit extra research you'll soon find that the AFI guys absolutely love what The Dear & Departed are doing on their debut album "Something Quite Peculiar". Connections like that surely haven't hindered the band in their quick rise into stardom in the states, while in the UK they have been touring in support of bands like Avenged Sevenfold, slowly but surely building their fanbase on this side of the pond as well. When the opportunity of an emailer with the band arose, Rockfreaks.net of course took a hold of the band to ask them some questions. After all, great bands like these need as much coverage as possible to encourage more people to check them out! Darren, their guitarist, took the responsibility of representing the band in our questionnare.

RF.net: Hi and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Could you please introduce yourself to the readers, and what you do in the band?
I’m Darren, I play guitar.

RF.net: First off, how are things in The Dear & Departed?
We’re fabulous thanks. We’re getting ready to go back on the road in September with a band called Within Temptation, be on the look out for the tour dates!

RF.net: It's been a few months now since the release of your debut album "Something Quite Peculiar" - has the response fulfilled your expectations, and how do you feel about the album yourself?
The response so far has been great, we’re just happy to finally be playing the songs for kids. We feel we’ve made a very honest album…we had a lot of fun writing and recording it. It was great to be able to just sit down and write and do what we felt was right. We didn’t really have any worries about it when we were making it, nor do we now.

RF.net: What are some of the themes you explored on the album?
I’m not sure about specific “themes” really. I think we definitely tap into multiple types of music with different songs. Whether it’s a faster upbeat song or a slower mellowed out song, there’s definitely something for everyone. There’s all different types of aspects on the record.

RF.net: On the artwork of your album, you have a man with a marveling expression. What is he looking at?
Space.

RF.net: Many of your songs have a distinct 80s pop vibe to them. Was this an intentional choice because you just like that particular era a lot or did it just come naturally? Did you explore some other styles and sounds as well?
We just did what we felt comfortable with. There’s definitely songs with those vibes on the record, because we listen to music from that time, anything from The Cure to Depeche Mode and David Bowie, so some of the songs came naturally from having influences like those bands. We didn’t make a conscious effort to try and write in different styles, we just wrote a bunch of songs that we felt were great, despite the style of music they were.

RF.net: Your vocalist Dan Under sung on AFI's "Decemberunderground", and I can hear a lot of AFI undertones in your debut album. Have the newer AFI records influenced you a lot?
AFI is a great band that we’re lucky to be friends with and lucky to have shared the road with. I personally love everything they do, as do the other guys. They’re definitely one of the few bands around nowadays that’s still doing what they want to do, are writing great records by doing that, and still have an amazing fan base. We draw influences from all over the place, but having a band around like that nowadays is still awesome and definitely can influence you.

RF.net: The core of your band moved to USA from Australia and New Zealand. I've been on the lookout for the story without much success, so lets hear it directly from you guys. Did you move just to get a record deal in the US or how did it come about?
Well, to cut a long story short, Dan and Simon lived in New Zealand, moved to Australia for a bit, met Joel, and then they moved over here. I was born in England, but I’ve lived in CA for a long while now, and that’s how I met them. David moved over from Wales, and that’s how he came into the picture.

RF.net: If we move back in history a bit, some of you guys used to be in the band called Day Of Contempt before, which was quite a bit heavier music. What made you choose the new sound over the old?
DOC is a skeleton. This is a new band, completely separate from them, just with some of the same members. Like I said before, we’re just writing music that we love. We didn’t choose to not write heavy music, we wrote what we wanted to. We’re not continuing something from the past and changing music styles, we’re something new and doing what we want to do.

RF.net: Over here in Europe only the few people who follow the scene know you. Are there any plans to tour across Europe anytime soon?
We would all love too. Going to the UK was so much fun when we went with A7X, I’d love to get over to more countries in Europe and tour, that’d be brilliant. Hopefully sometime next year we can get over there (don’t hold me to that though).

RF.net: How is The Dear & Departed's future shaping up?
No one can tell the future, but so far so good I’d say…we’ve had the chance to tour with some amazing bands and our record has only been out for a few months, so hopefully we’re just gonna keep touring and hope that everyone comes out and hangs out with us! Onwards and upwards…

RF.net: Thanks for the interview. We hope to see you in Denmark sometime soon! Any last words for the dears and the fans?
Thanks for everything so far! Thanks for coming to shows and being a part of this with us. Keep checking our Myspace page and our website for upcoming tour dates and come out and say hello!

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