Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Feb 23rd 2010 8:19AM by Travis Marmon
Formed in 2005, indie pop group the Depreciation Guild bring a unique instrument to the table -- a modified Nintendo Entertainment System (or Famicom). Their 2006 EP, 'Nautilus,' and their self-released full-length debut, 'In Her Gentle Jaws,' have both received critical acclaim. Spinner caught frontman Kurt Feldman during a rare free moment on their tour of Japan in advance of the group's SXSW 2010 appearance.
Describe your sound.
Pretty synth pop with loud, distorted guitars.
How did your band form?
It started in 2005 with just me writing songs in my bedroom, and later evolved into an actual band after I had written a handful of songs. The band started as a two-piece with a friend of mine from high school and myself both on guitar, with original Famicom programming backing us. When the original second guitarist quit, the band later evolved to a three-piece, and featured my college friends, [brothers] Christoph and [Ed. note: former Spinner intern!] Anton [Hochheim] playing guitar and drums, respectively.
What are your musical influences?
Lots of '80s synth pop and new wave. Gangway, Scritti Politti, Bill Nelson, Kissing the Pink, XTC, Cocteau Twins, Sophie and Peter Johnston, Yukihiro Takahashi, Aztec Camera, etc.
How did you come up with your band name?
It's just a made-up name that sounded cool and loosely reflected the fact that we use archaic, vintage computers to make our music, which, to most, are useless and obsolete.
You are touring Japan with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. But Kurt, you are also a member of the Pains. How is that working?
Great! It just means playing two shows a night, which is twice as fun. Christoph also plays two shows a night with the Pains, because he is also a touring guitarist for that band.
How did the idea of using a modified NES as an instrument come about?
It's not really a modified Famicom, but rather a modified cartridge to play our songs from. It's a commercial product that used to be available through a website in Japan, so I can't really be credited for the idea either. I really liked the sound of it and I thought it was a worthwhile experiment to see if it worked alongside guitars and vocals. It's a struggle at times, but it has also been a learning experience, since I had no prior electronic music credentials up until the Depreciation Guild.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
What's the craziest thing you've experienced on tour?
Japan has been pretty crazy so far. We've been treated with a level of dignity and respect that we've never experienced before, and we have definitely signed more things and taken more pictures with people than on any other past tours. We're also in Japan and we have visited some incredible Buddhist shrines, eaten incredible food, and experienced culture unlike any place else.
What's in your festival survival kit?
We're not big partiers, so probably a laptop, a book or an iPod.
Travis Marmon is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.