Wednesday 8 March 2023

An Interview With DEER LORD

Psychedelic Fuzz/Doom/Stoner Rockers DEER LORD have recently released their debut album Dark Matter Pt. 1 and it's a whirlwind of heavy different styles of the WEEDIAN Underground Scene. 

The band have made a mighty impression with both fans and critics of the Stoner Rock Underground with their recent success on the Doom Charts Monthly Charts as a true indicator to go by.

I caught up with the guys recently to discuss their formation, their sound and their plans for the future and this is what went down.....

Hi guys. Thanks for doing the interview. How are things with you today?

Doing good man, just been very busy with getting this new album into as many ears as possible.

For folks not in the know, can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.

So we’re Deer Lord from Sonoma County, CA; and we’ve been jamming heavy psychedelic rock n roll style riffs since 2019. Our first EP came out shortly before COVID-19 hit, which caused a lot of mayhem in everyone’s life; as well as in the music world obviously. 

We’ve had a few lineup changes but we’re a 3 piece, with Sheafer McOmber on guitar and vocals, Ryan Alderman on drums, and our friend who recently joined on bass; Jared Marill. We’ve played a lot in the Bay Area and are looking forward to playing further soon. 

Most recently, we have a new album out that’s part 1 of a 2 part album series; and we’re honoured to say “Dark Matter Pt. 1” took #10 in the Doom Charts February of this year! So things are in a great place right now for our tribe!

Can you advise if you’ve played or currently playing in other bands so folks can check out your other musical projects?.

Yeah, so Sheafer has 2 solo projects; “Bloodshot Buffalo” and “REDWOOD”; both in the same genre type as Deer Lord. Ryan has more of rock n roll/punk rock background, and played in “Over the Falls” as well as sitting in for other punk rock style projects over the years. And Jared has played in numerous metal bands, including “Bog Oak” and “Water Into Blood”.

How would you describe your own sound. As you guys feature a stunning array of different heavy sounds?

As it sounds cliche; and we don’t mean for it to, but, it’s kinda hard to define our sound in one genre, honestly. The first EP was a steady flow of Kyuss inspired desert rock mixed with rolling rhythms of Motörhead attitude riffs. This new album “Dark Matter Pt. 1” is packed with stoner doom, psychedelic groove rock, punk rock, desert rock, and whatever else you’d like to throw in there. 

It seems a bit futile to pigeon hole yourself as a band these days; because you’ll seem to only appeal to an elitist crowd of fans. But if you try to tastefully cover all the bases or genres you hold near and dear to your heart; you’ll have a much more genuine and enjoyable outcome. But that just seems like the smartest and funnest approach to today's music climate.

Congrats on your debut album. Loved it from the very first listen. What can people expect to hear from this album?

Thank you! This new Dark Matter album series was really fun to create. It’s been years in the making; which I think reflects in the songs we chose to release. We’d suggest putting this album on for a drive in the mountains, desert, or speeding freeway drives. 

The vibes we tried to give off were, like we said before; a wide variety of genres encompassing psychedelic doom rock n roll, and everything in between.

Was your debut album a hard experience to write and record for?

Absolutely not, Ryan and Sheafer wrote these songs together a few years back, based on riffs Sheafer had conjured up, and it’s been a great experience from start to now. Also proud to say it’s all been self made from the ground up; written, rehearsed, and recorded all DIY from our own home studio setup.

What bands and artists influenced you when recording this album?

it’s a no brainer that Kyuss and Motörhead were heavy hitters in inspiration for this album, but other bands like Fu Manchu, Lowrider, Truckfighters, Asteroid, Dopethrone, and Kadavar had a lot to do with our inspiration as well.

The artwork is freaking awesome. Who designed the artwork and how much input did you have into the overall design of this?

The man, the myth, the legend @mirkowgastow from Germany did our circle design, logo, and CD layout; and, like all of his work; did a killer job encompassing that worn, old school retro aesthetic we all appreciate so much in this scene. He had the preliminary design up for grabs on his page, and we thought it looked perfect to build off of; so that’s exactly what we did! We suggest any band to work with him.

What is the creative process or setup within the band? Do you all write the music together or do certain people within the band do that?

It’s a group effort in bringing everything together, but Sheafer writes everything in the early stages, and as a band, we are all free to improv or change anything we see fit in any of the songs. Nothing has to be concrete and nothing is right or wrong. We all trust each other as musicians, and we all know that the guy next to us knows what’s best for each song and riff. So it’s a fun, reliable, enjoyable team effort.

How did you get involved with music? Was it a particular album, group or artist that made you want to write and play your own music?

I think we’ve all been playing in bands for so long it might be a bit hard to pin point what got the ball rolling for each of us, but we’ve always been in love with the roots of rock n roll, metal, and punk. Just playing in local bands growing up, and having a supportive scene to build and grow with, always made it worth making our own music.

What is the current state of the Santa Rosa, California Rock/Metal scene? Do you perform gigs on a regular basis and do you have a local scene that you're actively involved with?

The Sonoma County scene has always been an up and down, as a lot of local scenes are. But we’re in a pretty exciting place right now with a local booking group called “Bitter End Booking” who’s gaining momentum with bigger bands and tours each month. 

We have a few great venues they book at, as well as a local dive bar we all love called “The Dirty” which is where we shot our “Psychedelic Roadkill” music video; and we played with Twin Wizard there a few weeks back. But all in all, the local scene is on a good uprise; which is all thanks to local bookers and bars that have been doing a great job creating engaging lineups and tours through our local venues. We’d love to have any bands come through the Northern California area with us!

Will you be performing any gigs to promote this album locally or further afield!

We don’t have tour plans as of now, but we’re playing San Francisco on 3/15 at The Knockout, as well as a show at Raindog Records in Petaluma on 4/14. Should both be fun loud times!

So when is Dark Matter Pt 2 being released upon the world. I had to ask. As I want to hear the next exciting chapter with your fantastic music?

We have a few things to release between part 1 and 2, actually! But those things are still in the works. And as for part 2, we don’t have a release date yet! But we have some exciting long term plans in the works for the Dark Matter album series that we’re hoping to bring to fruition in the coming months.

Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom for your new and potential fans out there?

No words of wisdom, but just words of an appreciation. We really do, from the bottom of our hearts appreciate your support and enjoyment. Seeing all of you at shows, online, engaging with our music, with us, with our content; it all means the world to us and we just hope to provide an awesome sound that resonates with lovers of psychedelic sounds, supercharged heavy grooves, and rolling doom beats. 

Thank you all for your time, we all hope to see you or reach you in the cosmic void very soon.

Words by Steve Howe and DEER LORD