When I first started digging up facts about Darwin Deez I was impressed by his honesty and humility. He talked about his limited sex partners, his wiry hair, and dirty mustache, always laughing away any embarrassment or self-doubt. I guess he must have tossed it all out the window the day he went against his parent’s wishes, dropping out of college to pursue his dream as professional musician. Now considered one of the coolest kids in the biz thanks to NME, his self-titled debut (released April 2010) buzzing after the success of his singles “Bad Day” and “Radar Detector,” he might be able to put behind any self-doubt for good. But wait–his career is still at the beginning, so when SFCritic caught up with Darwin Deez we thought we’d talk about his work before he became a pop musician, back when he was serving food and not hot tracks. This interview is part one of a two part series.
SFCritic (SFC): Are you still waiting tables? What was the worst restaurant you ever worked in? What song best describes your experience at said restaurant?
Darwin Deez (DD): I only ever worked in one restaurant, Angelica Kitchen. I effectively quit waiting tables in march 2010. Something from Air’s album 10,000 Hz describes my experience there. The manager would always put it on when I was working, and the music is somewhat entertaining.
SFC: What is a story of a ridiculous customer you once served? What song best describes their personality?
Darwin Deez (DD): One time a woman was very irate with me on the phone about something related to her order. I think she might have arrived at home to find something missing from her take out bag. I think “Sabotage,” by the Beasties describes her because of the way Mike D’s voice sounds–loud and annoying and harsh and confrontational. Incidentally, Ad Rock used to come in to eat at the restaurant all the time. He probably still does.
SFC: What’s your favorite dish to eat? What song reminds you of how you feel when you eat said dish?
Darwin Deez (DD): I used to work at a movie theater with a soft spoken but intense red-haired guy with round glasses who turned me on to catfish sandwiches back in the day. His young wife reminded me of Amy from Evanescence. He also had peculiar musical tastes. I can’t quite remember them though. It was like Talking Heads and stuff. I guess I just feel happy and satisfied when I eat catfish, so that would mean The Weepies song “I’ve Gotta Have You.” Totally unrelated and non-weird like my friend.
“I think “Sabotage,” by the Beasties describes her because of the way Mike D’s voice sounds–loud and annoying and harsh and confrontational. Incidentally, Ad Rock used to come in to eat at the restaurant all the time. He probably still does.”
SFC: What’s the worst meal you’ve ever eaten? What song is comparable to said meal?
Darwin Deez (DD): Hard to recall. I try to forget the unpleasant parts of life when possible. Maybe that Korn single from the early 2000’s would be good for this question.
SFC: Describe the “perfect” date and meal that would be accompanied by a song you’ve made (please reference said song).
Darwin Deez (DD): You go over to a girl’s house and she makes you dinner. Afterwards you hold hands on her couch. She puts Otis Redding on. Later you write “Bad Day” at her house. It’s all part of the same date, ok?
1. Darwin Deez “The City”
2. Air “The Vagabond”
3. Beastie Boys “Sabotage”
4. The Weepies “Gotta Have You”
5. Korn “Falling Away From Me”
6. Darwin Deez “Bad Day”
1/31 – San Diego, CA @ The Loft (UCSD) (w/ Friends)
2/1 – Tucson, AZ @ Solar Culture (w/ Friends)
2/3 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Alternative Lounge (w/ Friends)
2/4 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s Downstairs (w/ Friends)
2/5 – Denton, TX @ Hailey (w/ Friends)
2/7 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone Cafe (w/ Friends)
2/8 – Nashville, TN – Venue TBA
2/9 – Birmingham, AL – Venue TBA
2/10 – Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder (w/ Friends)
2/11 – Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn (w/ Friends)
2/12 – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor (w/ Friends)
2/14 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 (w/ Friends)
2/15 – Charlottesville, VA – Venue TBA
2/17 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat Backstage (w/ Friends)
2/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie (w/ Friends)
2/19 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom (w/ Friends)