Hey Desperate Electric! So excited to be chatting with you guys!
Hey! Thanks for having us!
How did you guys come up with the duo name “Desperate Electric”?
The name “Desperate Electric” is actually a fairly recent development for us. The band started two years ago under the name “DASH”. Back then, we were a four-piece rock band, and as we started touring more and more it got harder to keep people together. Last February was the first time we were down to the two of us. We had just finished a tour using our electronic drums for the first time and decided to record an EP with just Ben and I, named, you guessed it, ‘Desperate Electric’. It signified the beginning of this change that encompassed most of last year for us. Since then we’ve really grown as artists and in our vision of what we want our future to look like. A couple of months ago we were in Tucson on tour and it just kind of hit me that to really feel like who we were becoming as artists we needed to rename ourselves, and the only option was ever “Desperate Electric”.
Can you tell us a little something about each of you?
I (Kayti) joined my first band two and half years ago. It was never something I saw myself doing, or was ever interested in. My whole background is in classical music and that was my focus all through high school in college. Ben and I actually met in college choir. Ben has been in bands since he was ten. When we graduated I really didn’t do anything musically for about six months, for the first time in my life. I joined Ben’s band on a whim one night and totally fell in love with performing like that. It was so different than anything else I’d ever done.
I (Ben) have been musically obsessed my entire life. All the while through grade school and college, I felt like I was looking into other aspects of life, but I always knew I would find my way back to music. Though I had other interests and studied other topics, I could just not get enough musical time in my life. I’ve gone through so many different forms of making music, and I’m so happy to have landed where we’re at now. We have something that lets us both be as creative as we can, and we can rely on it. We’ve found a way to do it full time and pursue it with all of our capability, and I couldn’t ask for more!
What inspired you guys to pursue music?
There’s nothing quite like the energy that comes from a live concert where the artist and the audience truly connect. It shakes away everyone’s worries in that space and time. It’s one of the few times these days when people are fully engaged with an experience happening right before their eyes. The more we started to play live and connect with people, the more we wanted to never stop. Music has always had a profound effect on both of us, whether it simply betters our mood, turns up our Saturday night, or helps us relax on a Sunday afternoon. We’ve always wanted to provide that both for ourselves, and for as many other people as we can!
How would you describe your musical style as a duo?
You know, it’s really hard to pin that down. We have so many influences between the two of us, and all of our songs sound really different. The only common denominator is the two of us.
We like to write songs and then let the song dictate the genre that it wants to sound like. Growing up as music lovers, you get exposed to everything. Certain guitar riffs, or melodies, or lyrics sound certain ways to me, even before the whole song is written, so when we start writing we can kind of hear the direction it wants to take. We have songs that feel like straight pop, to R&B, to more prog-y rock, to pop-punkier feeling things. We just kind of write and let the song do what it wants.
What artists do you guys look up to right now?
Tons of artists! So many have had to fight tooth and nail for the recognition they have. We especially love artists that made their own way, and had to create a market for their music, because they were making something so new that the world didn’t even know they needed it!
With that, a few of our favorites right now are Lawrence, The Band CAMINO, Kevin Abstract/Brockhampton, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Mac Miller, Tyler, The Creator, and our amazing friends in the synth/punk/hiphop duo, Snailmate.
You just released your new single “For Me”! How excited were you guys to get this project out into the world?!?
We were so ready to release this song! We wrote this song last summer really quickly one afternoon and then just sat on it until we went into the studio in December. I had a really good feeling about it, and before we even recorded anything I knew it wanted it to come out pretty much ASAP. It feels really good to have it released!
Can you tell us what this song means to you?
Writing this song kind of ended a chapter of my life that needed to be closed for a long time. As an artist I always try to write from a really honest perspective. The songs’ lyrics are pretty angry sounding to me, but I don’t feel angry about it anymore and I think by the end of the song they almost sound relieved. I think when you’re young you have all these ideas about how your life is supposed to go. I’m a mega planner, so I had it totally mapped out, and when that started changing I had a really hard time with it. I never in a million years thought this was what my life would look like. Writing that song really helped me accept that this is what I’m doing now, and find my happiness with it.
What do you hope your supporters will think of the new song?
Well, I hope they like it? But is it really art if you’re creating it for other people? Anything you release you want people to like, and it may or may not resonate with them, but the best art is therapeutic for the artist. As much as we hope people like it, we don’t think it builds healthy expectations of ourselves and our music to be overly concerned with that. But if you do like it, we’ll give you an energized high-five (after all this social distancing stuff is over!).
Any fun moments while creating the song?
Totally! I got really sick in the studio when we were recording, so I had to wait until the last two days to do pretty much all my vocals for half the songs we recorded. We recorded this super late at night after 13 days in the studio, and everyone was going a little crazy. I was finishing the end harmonies, which are pretty high in my register, and made one of the worst sounds I’ve ever heard in my life, and we just played it on a loop for like five minutes. It is definitely not actually funny, but it sounded awful, which is hilarious to me.
Will there be a music video for your new single? If so can you spill any details about it?
We just released a lyric video for it a few weeks ago! It’s filled with dreamy landscapes around our home in Montana, and stellar lyrical animation from our video guy at Vivid Northwest. We won’t be doing a full music video for this one!
What other release plans do you have for 2020?
We have our next single coming out on the 27th of this month, which is super exciting! It’s a totally different vibe than “For Me”. We’ll also be releasing a few more singles and our full length album at some point this year, kind of tbd with the total shutdown of all music venues and life overall right now. However, within our quarantined state though, we’ll be spending tons of time in the studio with one of our favorite musicians/producers, HXRSE. We’ll likely see another EP or two, and some extra singles that come out of this time.
Why do you think social media is so important for artists today?
I feel like social media has been vital for artists for years now. It’s the main way our world communicates, and it provides artists a platform for artists to connect directly with fans all over the world. We’re able to brand and promote ourselves in a way that was not accessible to aspiring musicians in the past. I think it also lets our fans get to know us a little better, which is something we love!
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
I just hope they relate to what we’re doing, and know that we love playing shows for them! Whether they like our music, our hustle, or our style, it’s a treat to get to know who we’re resonating with at our shows, online or anywhere!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years in your career and personal life?
We want to be doing what we’re doing now, just more of it, more music, more touring, more albums, more collaborations, the whole shebang! I would like to have a mini dachshund, and when we’re not touring, live out in the mountains and sticks in Montana.
How has this whole music career experience been?
It’s been a trip to say the least! Lots of ups and downs, I’ve learned the trick is to figure out how to ride with them and stay positive, happy, and loving the art that you’re making. Being a labor of love, it’s no surprise that you can work and work and work and still not bring home a big paycheck. Though we’ve done more lucrative things in the past, it’s felt so liberating and fulfilling to take the pay cut, make numerous lifestyle changes, and become full time musicians.
Do you have any advice for aspiring music artists?
Just get out there and start pursuing the music career that you want! Don’t let perfectionism keep you in place. Look at every show, interview, podcast, recording, etc. as an opportunity to share your music and your art with people. Be genuine, but also know that nobody owes you anything. Work hard, stay positive, and you’ll connect with the people that you need to connect with. We all come up together, so don’t get too big for your britches!
Do you have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
THANK YOU for listening to our music and taking the time to get to know us. Without supporters, there’s no way we’d be able to make music full time. We are forever grateful to everyone who comes to our shows, buys our merch, listens to our music online, or supports us any way that they can. The fact that we are positively impacting people’s lives with our music is a dream come true for us.
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview 🙂