Music Interview

Deep Red

by Jett Black

Deep Red's nucleus surrounds Dely Castro, emitting electronic euphoria channeled through Sarah, the Siren, and given purpose through compelling drum beats set forth by Mario Soto. Thus the sultry goth-tronic power of Deep Red entices, enchants and envelopes completely every wayward music enthusiast fortunate enough to find themselves in Darkwaters, Deep Red's latest CD recording. Dely, Mario, and Sarah open their doors and invite us in for conversation about Deep Red...

How long has Deep Red been performing in Florida?

Dely: Deep Red began in early 1996, but it was more of a studio project. The band did not perform live until 1997, just prior to our European tour with Project Pitchfork.

Tell us a little about the venues available to Deep Red in that region of the U.S.

Mario: There are very few venues for Deep Red to perform in this region, with the exception of a couple of places where we have already performed.

Southern Florida must boast of an evolving Sarah Appreciation Society. Is this true? :)

Sarah: South Florida can't boast about much when it comes to our style of music. If anything, we should use SOS to signify that Florida needs a lot of help in this area.

In the mix of Deep Red developments, what sort of musical collaborations might be evolving between Deep Red members and other musicians?

Mario: Dely just completed 3 remixes for ambient artists "Open Canvas" which will be released later on this year on Waveform Records. He has also co-produced the debut EP by "Divine Love Mission," a Ft. Lauderdale Goth/ Electro-band.

Dely: Mario has been working with other musicians in developing their careers in the music industry.

Deep Red has a lot of gear. (http://www.deepred.com/equipment.html) Which pieces of gear tickle your fancy the most?

Dely: We've developed a weakness for European Synths, buying stuff like the Nord Lead from Sweden and our latest purchase, a Waldorf Microwave XT.

In 1997, Deep Red toured Germany, Paris, London and other parts of Europe with Project Pitchfork. Please share a few experiences that come to mind when reflecting upon the tour.

Dely/Mario: Overall the tour was a great success, and PP's members were excellent travelling companions. One memory that stands out was a show we played in Dresden, former East Germany. The place had to be converted into a concert hall at the last moment due to excess ticket sales. There was no heating, electrical power had to be provided by portable generators and no place to hang out pre- or post-show. The entire experience had a post-apocalyptic feel to it.

What's wrapped up in Deep Red's musical influences? Where is it coming from?

Dely: A lot of musical influences come from "Old School" electronic music such as Tangerine Dream, Ultravox and also newer stuff like Covenant and Juno Reactor. The visual arts also play a big role in shaping our sound.

"Silly Thing," appears on A TRIBUTE TO SIOUXSIE AND THE BANCHEES (CLP9806-2). Does it appear anywhere else? If no, then are there any plans to work with this track again?

Dely: "Silly Thing" was a track specially recorded for Cleopatra's Siouxsie and the Banshees tribute album. It does not appear anywhere else and we have no future plans for this particular track.

Describe a few ways in which performing in Europe differs from performing in the U.S. for Deep Red.

Dely: We believe that concert goers in Europe are more inclined to be informed about bands and their music. For one thing, they are at the concert venues very early and eager to see even the opening band perform. They are more open to new musical ideas and styles.

What changes in the music industry have caught your attention most during the '90s?

Mario: We believe that the music industry is becoming more of a business and less when it comes to true artistic value. Although most labels are out to make money (and there's nothing wrong with that), they should be more open to new acts in order to promote new sounds and ideas. Instead, you find record labels fighting to sign copy cat bands. Many bands could easily imitate what sells, but luckily we still have a few faithful ones.

How many tracks can we expect to find on the full-length version of Darkwaters? And when can we expect the full version to be available?

Sarah: Darkwaters will include 11 tracks, plus a few remixed tracks we're working on as we speak.

Time is ticking away. What will Deep Red seek to accomplish before the sands of the 20th century run out completely?

Mario: Deep Red seeks to continue creating, producing and recording music that will relate to those special individuals that enjoy music that is not "mainstream." Our purpose is and will always be to reach as many people as we can with our style of music.

What thoughts might you present concerning dark electronic music scenes locally and in North America in general?

Dely: The Darkwave/Electro scene in Florida is in a sorry state. We have collaborated with a couple of artists that show potential, but the rest of the local acts in this genre are simply awful.

Deep Red appears to be an excellent career move for each member concerned. What ingredients will continue to invigorate Deep Red membership?

Mario: The ingredients are simple; we collaborate, everyone respects each other and all members have a responsibility to each other and the band. As long as everyone knows what their role is, and are willing to perform in that capacity, the band and its members will be successful.

What forms and themes in literature might you appreciate most?

Dely: As far as fiction literature some favorites are: Arthur Machen, H.P.Lovecraft and Clive Barker. When it comes to graphic arts, Nick Bantock's work is incredible and the "Druuna" graphic novels by Paolo Serpieri are wild. As far as non-fiction, speculative history works like"Holy Blood, Holy Grail" by Henry Lincoln and "The Tomb of God" by Richard Andrews.

Looking back to the '80s, what reflections are borne into Deep Red's current recordings?

Dely/Mario: We have included a re-make of "Vienna" by Ultravox on our upcoming album. They happen to be one of our favorite 80's bands, along with Alphaville, Japan and Visage.

What challenges does Deep Red currently confront?

Mario: Our biggest challenge is our geographical location. In order for our music to be marketed we have to always deal with individuals from outside our area, making us wish we had stock in UPS and AT&T!!

Describe Deep Red as though it were imagery personified.

Mario: Imagine an ocean in total darkness with no end in sight, although when you look deep inside yourself thoughts tell you that the rest is up to your imagination.

On that note, will Deep Red be found on film/video soon?

Dely: For now we'd rather concentrate in our music, even though every once in a while people comment on the fact that some of our work has sort of a visual or soundtrack feel to it.

What other markets besides the U.S. currently receive Deep Red?

Dely/Mario: Our material is actually available in most parts of the civilized world, amazingly enough, even in Florida! All the Cleopatra compilations that we're on, like The Goth Box and Dead Can Dance and Siouxie and the Banshees tributes, are widely available. Our other releases, like The Awakening and the I Live CD single are available as imports from places like Isolation Tank, Middle Pillar and Digital Underground.

Any suggestions to the Gothic community concerning pro-active movements that might shed any media stigma inappropriately applied from recent tragic events?

Mario: It's horseshit or bullshit, whichever your favorite shit of the month is. The media tends to blow up tragedies, such as the Columbine killings, and then try to find every angle to exploit it from. If it means relating it to music or video games, they will do so. In our opinion, the faster they leave it alone the sooner the victims and their families will be able to get on with their lives. Relating these tragedies to the Gothic Community is absurd. Just because some assholes wore trench coats to school and listened to KMFDM does not make them part of the Gothic lifestyle. People making these things up need to get a Deep Red CD and enjoy!!

In what ways can music enthusiasts contact Deep Red for more information?

Sarah: Music enthusiasts can find and be informed on everything that’s going on with Deep Red through our web site at: http://www.deepred.com Our site is constantly being updated with news about the band and its members.

A full length version of Darkwaters will be widely available soon enough. Visit http://www.deepred.com for all the latest information. All releases available from Isolation Tank –http://www.isotank.com/.