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The self-produced artist makes his way to DC yet again, today @ Black Cat, for promotion of his self-titled debut album (which has been making us decidedly happy since February 22nd). BYT caught up with the poodle lock sporting, happy-go-lucky, Baba Lover to discuss who exactly is Darwin Deez? (p.s. this interview is a rerun from February this year-ed)

BYT: Darwin Deez—please explain for me where the name ‘Deez’ originated; it would seem like all of your bandmates have since adopted the pseudonym.
Darwin Deez: My best friend and bandmate Michelle Dorrance came up with the name—it’s a nickname that just sort of stuck.

BYT: You attended Wesleyan University—what did you study while there, or was music always a passion for you?
DD: I don’t know, I hated college—I took one music class, but I didn’t get much out of it.

BYT: I understand your parents bought you your first guitar at the age of 11, and drums at 16—have they always pushed you towards music?
DD: Yah, well they wanted me to stay in school—they weren’t too happy about that part, but overall they’ve been supportive.

BYT: For young up-and-coming artists/bands, what is your take on waiting post university vs following your dreams? I just think of acts like Chester French and John Mayer—they represent both ends of the argument.
DD: I can’t really give one answer to that, as it’s different for everyone—all I can really say is follow your heart.

BYT: The Creaky Boards—for those unfamiliar, they had a bit of a legal snafu with Coldplay over a plagiarism accusation—how do you think your experience with them has shaped your sound?
DD: No, but it did give me a lot of experience in terms of booking, getting out there, self-promotion, etc—but not in terms of creative stuff.

BYT: Do you ever miss working with them?
DD: I have Andrew Hoepfner playing bass in my current band, after having playing bass for him—so I don’t miss it, because I have him with me.

BYT: According to your bio, Darwin Deez took about two and a half years to produce, and all on your own merits. Tell me about it.
DD: It was really fulfilling, exhausting, but fulfilling. I’m not really sure what to do on the next one; this one was such a time intensive, and labor intensive process–I like to be in control of everything, so I really do prefer that. I’ll probably do as much of it myself as I can on the next album. It was really meditative, really cool; I got to really focus in on the ideas I was excited about, and that’s really what fueled it. I wouldn’t do it a different way, I’d do it again for sure.

BYT: Reaching #3 on the UK Indie Charts is quite a feat, not to mention being named one of NME magazine’s top 10 coolest bands—were you expecting such success when you decided to cross the pond?
DD: No, it was a big surprise! I was expecting it to happen at some point, maybe in another four or five years, but not that early.

BYT: I’m sure the success the album received in the UK had to be extremely validating—what emotions do you have taking the leap into the US markets?
DD: I guess it makes me anxious a little bit—like if there aren’t people at the shows, it makes me feel like it’s not going to happen. We’ve had it happen a few times on the tour, but a lot of them have been surprisingly good, so it’s going well.

BYT: You’re playing your hometown of Chapel Hill, NC in a couple days—how’s it feel to get a chance to go back home?
DD: Well, we get a day off after the Chapel Hill gig, and then about a month of downtime in April after the tour; I’ll be spending much of that at home.

BYT: It’s been two years of touring, plus the two and a half years of producing the album—where in all this did you find the time to produce a mix-tape, Wonky Beats?
DD: There’s a lot of downtime in the car when we tour—I started it over the summer when we were on tour in Germany, Australia, and Japan. I found it to be really easy to write flipped fun lyrics in those environments.

BYT: It was such a refreshing, cool idea to sample Willy Wonka sound bites—was that your idea?
DD: I thought it was a genius idea, then someone reminded me that Lil Wayne had done that one song (“A Milli”)—we nod to it on the mix-tape (“I Don’t Like The Look” – remix)

BYT: Who’s currently stuck on repeat on your ipod—because I couldn’t let this end without getting into your music library.
DD: Yah, I’m interested in the Trent Reznor soundtrack for “The Social Network”—I didn’t see the movie, but the soundtrack sounded good. I like the new Nine Inch Nails stuff, and this new track from Discovery—I like Ke$ha. I’m getting down into the Outkast stuff, I finally have more of an appreciation for Andre 3000’s old Outkast raps. They’re a bit too rapid fire for me now, but now that I’ve developed more of a taste for that scene, I’m really big into them.

Before our conversation got cut short—lame Google Voice—Darwin filled me in on a passion of his… Baba Loving.
DD: It’s kind of a rare scene for the guys in the band to experience—usually Meher Baba which is something that people are curious about that are in my life. People don’t really ever get a chance to understand or experience it, and I think the only way is through Baba Loving, and meeting the other people. But the people are all spread out across the country and around the world…

Catch DARWIN live tonight @ BLACK CAT

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