BTR Artist of the Week: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes are a four piece from Washington D.C.. The group is keeping it real with the fans by touring and making face-to face connections. Indeed they are  a pleasantry in the era of the Internet. The band is also working on what they do best, writing songs. Dan Scheuerman, the guitarist and lead vocalist from Deleted Scenes, took a minute out of his busy SXSW schedule to chat with BreakThru Radio via telephone about the latest happening with his band.

BTR: What’s going on at SXSW this year? Is this your first time?

Dan: Yeah, this is our first time. We didn’t get into the main festival so we just had to go behind the scenes and get any parties we could get on during the day. We are playing several day shows and they are unofficial and not high profile but we’re trying to get setup for next year.

BTR: Is SXSW worth it? Do you think you are getting a lot of exposure?

Dan: To be honest, we’re getting a lot of local (Austin) exposure. Not as much national attention. But there are a lot of people coming in off of the streets.

BTR: Give me a bit of background about Deleted Scenes. How did you first come together as a band?

Dan: We knew each other since high school. In high school we had a funk rock band that a few of us played in. We continued playing through college and we all ended up back in D.C. and started playing together again.

BTR: The band has some great gigs coming up including Black Cat in D.C. and Webster Hall here in New York. Plus, you will be touring with The Life and Times. What does this all feel like?

Dan: It’s going to be really great. We are really excited to go on tour with The Life and Times. We played with them in Baltimore and they invited us to go on tour with them. The Black Cat show is our first main stage headlining show. It’s kind of scary and kind of sweet. Things have definitely picked up locally. We are going to release a cassette single. The song will be dubbed over old cassette singles from artists like Gloria Estefan and Tag Team. We got 200 cassettes singles from Ebay and we’re having a cassette tape label from Omaha called I’m Drinking This, their taping over the singles for us. It should be fun, the packaging is amazing. We are not going to alter it at all, we are just going to sell it like that.

BTR: In the age of the mp3s, you are bringing back the cassettes.

Dan: MP3s are of ethereal and easily duplicable. It’s more of an object. Tapes are sort of like ‘deleted scenes’ so maybe there is some sort subliminal tie in there…

BTR: What’s going on in the D.C. music scene? What is it like?

Dan: A lot of the bands hang out together and they do D.I.Y. shows and they are all mutually supportive. I wouldn’t say there is a particular D.C. sound, it’s sort of all over the map.

BTR: How did you get the name Deleted Scenes?

Dan: It means a lot of things to us. The more meaningful one is the things that you leave out of the official account of your life, things you don’t want to tell people. Those are the most real things and those are the things we try to plumb for our songs. The other thing is that when we started out we didn’t really know what we were doing and Deleted Scenes is sort of an inside joke, meaning we were writing b-sides for other bands because we didn’t have to write our own songs.

BTR: How did Birdseed Shirt (the latest album) happen? How was it written and conceptualized? What led to the creation of the album?

Dan: It happened over about three years. It’s a very personal album. There are songs about things that are very autobiographical. There is a song about going home for Christmas when I was in college and being in a bad place and trying to sort of fake it when I saw my family. Writing the songs were a way of parsing these experiences. There are some really intense songs, the song “Mortal Sin” is a song about the end of the world. It always felt like America was headed for a serious disaster. I wrote that song because things seemed placid. There was a sense of over-consumption and dread. The song is about a CEO flying off on vacation as Manhattan submerges. I didn’t really know that the song would be prophetic, but it has. The mood in America is definitely a mortal sin vibe.

BTR: Tell us about your label, What Delicate Recordings

Dan: The guy who produced the album is sort of a mad genius. He put out a record in 2006, with his band (that only played 6 shows) The Rude Staircase. It’s totally Beetlejuice music, it’s psychedelically disturbing. We heard it and we contacted him on Myspace and he agreed to work with us. We gave him a very small amount of money because our budget was very small. He stuck with the project for a year spending every spare second obsessively recording and mixing the album. We spent all-nighters for a year working on the album. We finished it up and we thought about getting a label but he has his own label called What Delicate. They have only released  four albums, he is very picky, he considers himself more of a curator rather than a label guy.

BTR: Do you think the Internet has helped the band?

Dans: I wouldn’t  say it has helped us tremendously, there are a zillion bands on the internet. I think anything that we have gotten that has been positive has been from touring and from all of the relationships we made. We have gone on three month long national tours since 2007.

BTR: What are we going to see from Deleted Scenes in the future?

Dan: We would really like to tour a lot more. We want to take it on the road and make more connections.

BTR: We can’t wait to see more!!!

Listen to BreakThru Radio for music from Deleted Scenes and  be sure to catch them on tour!!

Mar 28 2009 at Black Cat (w/The Drones, Pretty & Nice!) – Washington, DC
Apr 4 2009 at Duke Coffeehouse – Durham, NC
Apr 17 2009 at Kung Fu Necktie (w/The Life and Times) – Philadelphia, PA
Apr 18 2009 at The Studio/Webster Hall (w/The Life and Times) – New York, NY
Apr 19 2009 at Great Scott (w/the Life and Times) – Boston, MA

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