Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Shawn Biggs, Illustration based on a photo taken by our buddy Misha Vladimirskiy
There have been movies made about the tendency for people to see the Golden Gate Bridge and convince themselves that it will be the structure from which they will end their lives. They dream about standing atop one of those fading, almost waxy apple red girders and looking around at a truly spectacular scene and then stepping over the edge, plummeting into the waters so violently that the impact destroys the body, thereby ending whatever suffering and depression that was living inside prior to the jump and while in the air, falling and falling to a mortal ending. It should not be encouraged. It is a tragic way to go and a traumatic way for family members and friends to hear about a demise, but it is sadly, kind of a beautiful little piece of drama. Deerhoof, natives of San Francisco and one of the Bay Area's most revered indie rock and roll bands, might think about those suicide cases wandering up onto that bridge and the four members might wonder what they could possibly be possessed with to pull such a thing off - to actually go through with the leap. The view would be enough for them to just stand there a moment longer, two moments longer and feel themselves draining of those gloomy thoughts, suddenly struck by the awesomeness of what's around, what they could be taking in instead of the bleakness. They'd step down from the ledge and whistle their ways back to the dirt on the one side, safe again and better off having gotten up there a little higher and gulped in some of that frisky, salted air. Deerhoof has made its name as being a band that will not follow any sorts of guidelines or strata. It will just latch onto and get as freaky with whatever tangents it wanders off to greet and because of this and the magically descriptive (could be read as magically arbitrary just as easily) vocal flings of lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki, the band gives a better alternative to getting onto that bridge and jumping off of it. Its music could accompany someone standing there and taking a leap of faith and stepping, first with one foot, and feeling as if there were ground beneath it. It's almost as if the wonderment of whatever pixies and childhood scrambles Deerhoof may be picking up on in their inspirations has yielded real faith that would help one walk out onto air, as if anything impossible were possible. You can just get out there, into the middle of such open skies, with real unfriendly bottoms, and not feel any of the pangs of despair or dread that should surely be triggered up so high without any ropes or parachutes. The ways in which Deerhoof do things so irregularly and with such abandon, without any self-consciousness or desire to be dressy with their ideas, but just to get them out in whatever form they'd like to be heard, are ambitious and circular. It's what makes them so notable and strange and it's what makes them so curious to so many - the band that they'll put on at a party to draw out the fakers and to start up a chattering conversation about what belongs and what mystifies. Maybe the answer to both of those suggestive thoughts is everything and because of that, we'll never understand the world of Deerhoof's many curiosities and it's fine if that's the way it is because we'll get to gladly keep on stepping off of bridges with the salty-winged bees and birds, and just lingering there like so many free-spirited question marks.
Deerhoof Official Site