Dekoy
Sounding a lot like VNV Nation & Covenant is no bad thing, especially when the quality of your work is good.
Keith Elcombe catches up with the band which Hard Wired feels are destined to be HUGE!
(October 2003)

So who are you and where are you from? (Who is Dekoy?)
d_b: David Barnes. I currently live in Newport, Kentucky.
BaZa: My name is BaZa and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am originally from St. Louis, MO.

How long has Dekoy been in existence?
d_b: We were introduced to one another late August/early September of last year. We started working together shortly thereafter. Approximately one month later, "Your heart" was created as our first effort. For personal reasons, we took a break during late november through early january. Before and after that, we created the rest of the material on "Heartwerk" at 605PARK, my upstairs studio space.
BaZa: We have been around for about a year now.

Why and how did Dekoy come together?
d_b: That would be Jessica, a good friend to both of us. At one point, I let her listen to some of my techno work as db2. She liked it and knew I was looking for a vocalist. BaZa's name came up - I credit her with having the insight to know we would work out, as she was excited at the prospects from the get-go. I met him that following weekend at a local nightclub and we made arrangements from there.
BaZa: We were introduced by a mutual friend, Jessica. At the time, I had been doing synthpop by myself. I was looking to branch out and go to the next level with music. I knew to do that, I had to find the right person. Things worked out really good with us as we compliment each others abilities.

Describe the Dekoy sound - in your own words.
d_b: Good question. We rely exclusively on electronic tones & percussion. Our sound is clean and tight with lots of energy (BPMs typically b/t 125 & 140). We try very hard not to bore the listener and take great care to mix it up and inject as much feeling as possible into our work. As a rule of thumb, if we don't feel it, we don't use it. We also take great pride in our level of craft - we absolutely refuse to release a commercial product unless it's up to speed.
BaZa: That's pretty hard. So many people have tried to put us in a class and I haven't been able to pinpoint where we fall. WE just do what we love. You hear elements of Futurepop, EBM, Goth, Techno, Synthpop, and powernoise all mixed in. We decided we would just do what we love and try to create a sound that defines Dekoy without having to work within the boundaries of a class.

Who would you cite as your primary musical influences?
d_b: I cite Thorsten Fenslau as a major influence. Unfortunately, he died in a car crash years ago and I never had the opportunity to meet him. Beyond that, I've always been fanatical over techno and industrial sounds - the type of which Bigod20 excelled at - one of my favorite bands of all time. Also, the Facer EP from XMTP made a huge impression on me. Older influences include the Italian band Goblin & 70s/80s soundtracks scored by the likes of Keith Emerson, Giorgio Moroder & Claudio Simonetti. I also like Yuzo Koshiro, music programmer for the SEGA MegaDrive games Bare Knuckles 1 & 2. Though, all of this is secondary to my personal sense of aesthetics and what I'm feeling at the time.
BaZa: Believe it or not, my background is in Rock and Roll. During the late 80's and early 90's, I was listening to metal/rock music. During the mid-nineties, that music seemed to go away and I was turned on to the goth scene. VNV Nation was the group that really got me into this music. After hearing them, I bought my first synth and started recording. I had my first song done and recorded within 1 month. I love listening to anything that brings emotion and mixes it with good sounds and strong beats.

I was astounded by the sheer quality of your ‘Heartwerk’ CD - to what do you accredit the professional sheen to this album?
d_b: Thank you. Hard work and a genuine love for music. I take a tremendous amount of pride in my work and very much enjoy the process of writing music - I think I'd go crazy w/o it. Everyday I hone my craft, making additional progress. I'm always trying to learn new methods and techniques to apply. I have no traditional music background - completely self-taught. I can trace my initial musical experiences back to a 486 PC and an FM modulation soundcard, so I'm absolutely smitten with a lot of the new product that's been released over the years since - things just keep getting better ;)
BaZa: d_b gets most of the credit for that. We both have a dedication to making this work. In order to do that, we knew that we had to make the highest quality Cd that we could possibly do. Everything from the songwriting, to lyrics, vocals, production, packaging and overall presence had to be better than what was out there. Otherwise, you give the audience no reason to listen to you over the next band.

Where do you see yourselves fitting in the Alternative scene today?
d_b: The underground.
BaZa: I see us doing very well in the underground scene. This is the best place to be. You have more control over what you do here. The way you present yourself really goes far. It allows you to do things that you may not be able to do within the mainstream.

What are your ambitions for the immediate future?
d_b: I'm finishing up the final mixes for our first full-length and have lined up an incredible Sound Engineer to master our product - Steve Laskarides of The Azoic. He's a great guy and extremely talented - I trust that when we deliver the final mix, it will be in good hands. I'm also working on the Dekoy website, which will be a combination of html w/flash navigation. The final design will be MUCH more comprehensive than our current, temporary one. After that, we're going to start work on our liveshow imagery - the first song we plan on visualizing is (working title) "I Will Remember" - a 70bpm track.
BaZa: Right now we are concentrating on finishing the Full CD entitled "Redux: Heartwerk V2". After the Cd is finished, we will be working out details to play live. We have a ton of good ideas for the next few years actually. We plan on staying very busy.

Have you been approached by/have you approached any record labels yet?
d_b: We've had offers, but going independent should afford us the most profit to use as seed money for much needed equipment. We have established ties with a few, key labels - Nilaihah being our favorite.
BaZa: We have spoken to some labels. At this point, it makes sense for us to release this on our own label. We have all the materials and know-how to do this. This will give us total creative control and allow us to control cost at the same time. It just made sense to us.

How important do you find the Internet when it comes to getting the word out about your music?
d_b: We'd be nothing without the internet - totally indispensable.
BaZa: It's huge! I can't imagine ever being able to do what we have without it. Our music has spread to countries including Japan, Germany, Canada, Russia, Israel, all over the U.S.....the list goes on and on.

That said, are there any plans to add more to the Dekoy website?
d_b: There will be a new website up by the end of 2003 - the website will reflect our REDUX packaging and will be sharp.
BaZa: Yes. d_b is doing that himself. I will let him explain what is going on with that.

What drives you to produce the music you do?
d_b: I consider it therapy and a means of sorting out my feelings. Sometimes, I feel like I don't have a choice. It's a real compulsion. A true love.
BaZa: Pure love. It's what we want to do. I have been doing music as long as I can remember in some form. It's what I wanted to do all my life. Now I am living my dream.

Do you feel that it would be easier for you to break the European markets than it would the US market?
d_b: Absolutely. I think our style of music is more openly embraced in the European markets. At the same time, I think everybody likes a good song no matter what - we try our best to deliver on that - quality songs regardless of genre, market, etc.
BaZa: Not sure yet. I think the music we do has a larger appeal there, yet the American scene has been growing at a nice pace.

How do you feel about cover versions of popular tracks? Is it just laziness on the part of the band covering the track, or could it be seen as a bit of harmless fun?
d_b: I'm sort of nonchalant. I enjoy creating original material. Sometimes it just seems like an excuse for not having solid, original material.
BaZa: We considered doing a cover song for our CD. We changed our mind as we want the Cd to stand on it's own. We want people to judge us for what we do and nothing else. I won't rule out us doing something later on, for fun, but don't expect any anytime soon. As long as you don't use it to be know as the band that covered "insert any famous song here". If you do it, have fun with it and make it your own.

Where do you stand on using sample in your music? Can they be seen as an extension to the music, or just a way to fill space and time without much effort?
d_b: As far as I'm concerned, sampling is intrinsic. Unfortunately, the law doesn't always cooperate, so our sampling efforts have been cut to a minimum. It takes an incredible amount of time to find the right people to clear samples and it isn't cheap. Fortunately, some of the independent studios are willing to strike up usage deals. This is what happened with Starway Int'l concerning the sampled dialogue from Don Coscarelli's "Phantasm". Something else came out of that exchange that I can't really discuss at the moment. Suffice it to say we're really excited over the possibilities that our newfound relationship w/Starway could afford.
BaZa: As long as they work within the boundaries of the song. There is something that a good placed sample can add to a song that your spoken voice can't. It's the tone and mood/context from which it was taken. Samples should be there to enhance the song, not carry it.

When can we expect to see a full album from you guys?
d_b: Early 2004 - as in January. Mastering takes place late November with duplication to follow immediately thereafter. From there it's just a matter of purchasing REDUX from our site or from a list of distributors TBA. Thank you very much for the interview. Take care.
BaZa: Late December/ early January. There are 13 tracks on it including some guest vocals from Kristy Venrick of "The Azoic" on the song "Salvation". Plan on hearing 100% quality tracks with no fillers. This CD is going to be every bit of our best effort. I can't imagine that either of us have ever worked so hard to make something so strong in our lives. This CD is a fair representation of who we are. Expect nothing less.