Dead Leaf Echo on that Time They Almost Got Killed by a Hoe

Dead Leaf Echo on that Time They Almost Got Killed by a Hoe

Brooklyn band Dead Leaf Echo describes their sound as “nouveau wave”: a mix of shoegaze and hazy, layered guitar pop that’s both dark and shimmering.

Following their Strawberry Skin EP, the band just announced their new studio album, Beyond.Desire. Out October 13 on PaperCup Music, the full-length was recorded with legendary My Bloody Valentine engineer Guy Fixsen and Jorge Elbreht (Ariel Pink, No Joy).

Earlier this summer, we caught up with Dead Leaf Echo following a tour through Europe.

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On playing in the U.S. versus Europe… This being our second time back, I think what was cool for me was, [even though] the audiences are different, the culture is different and all of that, in a weird way it’s not that different from when we go to the Midwest or the West Coast. Music is universal. So many times after we’d play, there’d be a DJ spinning records and it’d be exactly what we would have played ourselves. So there’s that consistency and that connection, which is kind of amazing. It ties you together. – Ana

On favorite concerts… It was with my parents … I was on my dad’s shoulders. The band was Three Dog Night, pretty famous for their classic hit, “Joy to the World.” It was an outdoor festival. I definitely remember the smell of marijuana in the air. I didn’t know what that was. – LG

Whoa, whoa. The best show… that’s so hard to answer. I love seeing A Place to Bury Strangers – they’re always, like, the best show. But I will say that I did go to Coachella in 2004. Flaming Lips played. I think at this point it’s well-known that Wayne Coyne walks in a plastic bubble across the crowd, and there’s furries dancing on stage and it’s a whole spectacle. But this was when he was first doing it. Seeing that performance was so much fun. It blew my mind. – Ana

On favorite venues… The Empty Bottle in Chicago. It’s a high stage, we have friends there, always seems to be a good, fun time. I mean, we played Bowery Ballroom, that was the first taste of the good life, where they treat you like you’re an artist who’s going to be put on stage for a reason that they are there to facilitate. They totally take care of you, like, they loaded our gear. Dude, that’s a dream come true when the venue does that. – Kevin

On favorite gear… For me, it’s all about the chorus pedal. I’ve got to have a chorus pedal on my bass. That’s all it is. Give me anything else. Give me the shittiest amp, I don’t care. – Steve

My favorite piece of gear is Steve. – Kevin

Me too. – Ana

That makes three of us. – LG

On favorite encores… We do a cover of the ’80s/’90s band, the Mighty Lemon Drops’ song ‘Inside Out.’ We take it to another level in a way – it’s really dynamic. It was kind of a hit song, and we just loved it, and it’s easy to play – and we’ve kind of turned it into our own. But what’s super great is that we’ve become friends with one of the guys in the Mighty Lemon Drops, Dave Newton. He actually came on stage with us, when we played the Desert Stars Festival two years ago, and played it with us. – Ana

On the craziest road story… One time we were driving in Texas, between Dallas and Austin, and, literally, an axe came swirling at us, as if someone had thrown it. It had fallen off the back of a truck. – Ana

Shovel. It was a shovel. – Kevin

It was a hoe actually! – LG

We all saw it coming. - Steve

Everybody was in the moment. It hit the grill, and thank God it went under [the car]. If it had gone over, it could’ve penetrated the glass and killed somebody. – LG

It came handle up. If the hoe were up, we might’ve been hoe’d down. – Kevin

It got stuck in the undercarriage. I pulled the car over and got underneath and ripped it out. Then we took it to the venue and threw it on stage, ceremonially, just to have it there. – LG

And there were lots of hoe jokes after that. - Ana

On surviving tour… I think that’s one of the key things that makes the band work, because I feel like traveling is something that can make or break bands. There can be one bad seed or one bad mood that can ruin a situation. And we’ve been on tour a lot, and for some reason it just works – even when there’s stressful moments, which, you know, happen. – Ana

On performing idols… Right now, I’m really into New Order. I love New Order because they have a nice sense between punk and electronic, and I love the way they blend it. I’ve been watching a lot of their early-’80s concerts on YouTube. They’re all very average musicians, like no one is very technical, but they’re all very unique, and I feel it’s the same thing with this band. Everyone’s kind of doing their own thing, and it works. – LG

Blonde Redhead is just my from-heaven band. They actually practice at the same studio that I have. I’ve literally sat there copping a feel on beats from their records, when they could’ve been standing outside waiting for the bathroom, listening to me poorly imitate them, which is a weird confession. I hope they never hear this. Or I hope they do. Maybe they can give me lessons. – Kevin

Well, for me, I go back to A Place to Bury Strangers. I can’t see them too much and I always feel super inspired. One of the things I love is how they use lights. And they have dual stages. They’ll do their main stage show, and then they cut through the crowd [and play from] some rig set up somewhere on the floor that no-one expects. It’s almost like a surprise second show. – Ana

On road highs and lows… In Europe, specifically, I don’t think we mentioned that the hospitality there is far superior to America. A lot of times you’re talking to people over email for six months to a year at a time, and you meet them in-person and they’re just as nice as they were over email, and they have a cool drink for you or, you know, a homemade meal, or a place to stay.

And then, as far as the worst goes… The worst part of it really is that you don’t have enough time to do everything. Like, there’s so much that you want to do and see; we’re just on a schedule. That’s what the tour manager is there for – to whip you into shape, like, ‘We gotta go, gotta go!’ – LG

On why we should see them play… You should come check us out because we put on a great show. It’s just a really basic, stupid answer but, I think we deliver. – LG

We try to have fun, and we want it to be a good show, and we like playing our songs, and I think that comes across. And I think the audience responds to that. We also always do lights, custom visuals and projections for our shows. So it’s like you’re watching us but there’s always some really rad visuals. I think it’s a bit of an experience. – Ana

I give good drum-face too. At least that’s what I’ve been told. – Kevin

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