By Lori Smerilson Carson – In amongst the holiday festivities as we head toward the end of the year, comes a new artist with new music to bring in the New Year in on a happy, rockin’ note. Des Rocs EP This Is Our Life certainly will lift one’s spirits and provides time to relax and chill and become a totally embedded fan.
Catching up with this exceptionally creative musician just prior to his EP release, he revealed some details about his new music, a bit about himself and what fans can look forward to.
Ohio Music Experience: Tell me about the new EP This Is Our Life.
Des Rocs: It’s a five song EP that I kind of put together in the course of the whole epidemic.
Ohio Music Experience: What inspired it? Was there any particular theme?
Rocs: Yes. Thematically there’s a lot that runs through it. It really talks about inner struggles and overcoming the odds and I hope its message that, really acknowledge some of the hard times we’ve been going through individually and as a group, but at the end of the day, can inspire us and bring hope and optimism.
Ohio Music Experience: Oh, that’s a great message (dogs start barking).
Rocs: Just coming upon a lawn of dogs that are going crazy right now.
Ohio Music Experience: So, what are the five songs that are on This Is Our Life?
Rocs: The songs are “POS,” “This is Our Life,” “Nothing Personal,” “Pieces,” and “Suicide Romantics.” Only two of those five are out right now.
Ohio Music Experience: Those are “This is Our Life” and…
Rocs: “This is Our Life” and “Nothing Personal” are the ones that are out.
Ohio Music Experience: What inspired “This is Our Life?” Was it about personal struggles and stuff like that?
Rocs: Yeah “This is Our Life” is really like the flagship song of EP obviously, in many ways because it’s named that and it is really the embodiment of just this sort of group struggle that the worlds been going through. It was originally written sort of like a far smaller situation in what eventually ended up being contemplated, which was the whole world being shut down. So, it kind of took on a new meaning that evolved as I was sort of producing and finishing it.
Ohio Music Experience: Because of the pandemic?
Rocs: Yeah. Absolutely.
Ohio Music Experience: What is “POS” about?
Rocs: “POS” is a song called “Piece of Shit” and it addresses self-loathing and sort of struggling with one’s inner demons and fears, and then “This is Our Life” kind of builds upon that concept and extrapolates into like a much larger group of people. “Nothing Personal” is more just like a really fun break from a lot of the themes of the EP where it’s kind of a story that I like to tell. It’s sort of something I daydreamed up in my head and then it moves into “Pieces” which is a much more somber reflection of a lot of the themes, and then ending with “Suicide Romantics” which musically and thematically is a little bit of a turn, but kind of a sweet note that I wanted to end the EP on.
Ohio Music Experience: How did you come up with that?
Rocs: “Suicide Romantics” is sort of a continuation and finale to a lot of the themes in the EP in the sense that it like puts a period on the whole thing and just talks about the end of things. It’s like a final blow so to speak, and production wise and musically, it’s a bit of departure from things I’ve traditionally stuck with and sort of builds upon this whole universe that I’ve been creating.
Ohio Music Experience: Are there any videos with the new songs also?
Rocs: Yeah, there’s a music video to “This is Our Life” that we put out a couple of weeks ago and then there’s small visualizer pieces that will correspond with each new song.
Ohio Music Experience: Are you making the videos in New York where you are from?
Rocs: I’m from New York. I’m currently in Nashville working on the music and producing it. Actually, heading to Atlanta tomorrow to create a music video for one of the songs called “Pieces” on the EP.
Ohio Music Experience: So, you are just traveling more locally to do the videos?
Rocs: Yeah, I’m just sort of scooting around.
Ohio Music Experience: At this moment you are walking. You walk or bike 10 miles a day, correct? That’s impressive.
Rocs: I try to walk constantly and at the end of the day when I look at how many steps I got; I can definitely average that in the course of a week. Yeah, I am on foot right now, but definitely not a very walking friendly area of places outside New York. Often, I end up walking just along some highway somewhere. Not very pedestrian friendly place.
Ohio Music Experience: Does that help inspire your music? What would you say inspires your music?
Rocs: My music is really inspired by kind of like all things New York City. It’s inspired by my life stories and just sort of the struggles of growing up and wanting to pursue a dream so badly, but never being fully able to for so many different reasons. It’s about scraping by in New York and it’s about really just kind of like overcoming the odds and struggle and passion and emotion. I think a lot of these core principals define what I’m about as an artist.
Ohio Music Experience: What got you into music? You’re from Queens, originally right?
Rocs: I was born there. Raised in Rockville Centre Long Island. Then spent a lot of time living in Brooklyn. Now I live in Manhattan. Sorry, what was the original question?
Ohio Music Experience: What got you into music?
Rocs: I just always had like a draw to it from a very young age. There wasn’t really any one defining thing or episode in my life that pushed me towards music. I just kind of always remember like seeing the kids in orchestra as a little kid, and when I was in elementary school and I would see the middle school kids with violins, and cello’s and stuff. I was very intrigued just by the black plastic cases that they were carrying and I just always had like an infinity for it to be honest with you. I was writing music at a very early age too.
Ohio Music Experience: Your original influences were Elvis (Presley), Talking Heads, Queen.
Rocs: Yeah, to name a few I mean, I could list a thousand artists that all sort of come in and out of my mind at different times.
Ohio Music Experience: You also donate time to dog rescue?
Rocs: Yeah, I’m a huge dog person. I always grew up with rescue dogs in the house. I have spent a bunch of time throughout the years in New York volunteering with some rescue organizations on the weekends and doing stuff like that whenever I can. Yeah, I’m a huge dog guy.
Ohio Music Experience: That’s very cool. What exactly do you do? Work with the Humane Society?
Rocs: There’s one called Muddy Paws Rescue in New York City that a couple of years ago I was actually with. Just because of the practical realities of touring, I haven’t been able to do as much in person as I’d like to do these days, but yeah, there’s a lot of incredible organizations in the city.
Ohio Music Experience: Well we appreciate you doing that.
Rocs: Ahh, thanks.
Ohio Music Experience: You’re welcome. Please explain about the Filthy Animals Movement.
Rocs: Filthy Animals is a name adopted by people who I guess first, kind of dig what I do musically and second, really like belonging to a greater community of rock lovers and people who can kind of depend on each other for a whole bunch of things.
Ohio Music Experience: You also try to spend time on social media with your fans, correct?
Rocs: Yeah, I always carve out a good like couple hours every single day and just respond, every comment. Every DM on pretty much every platform, you know? As much as I can. I’ll always try and respond to people.
Ohio Music Experience: Do you think that’s helpful in expanding your fan base?
Rocs: I don’t know. It’s not so much in an effort to expand things as much as it is an effort to show my gratitude for their support and connect with people and learn about them.
Ohio Music Experience: Now there aren’t going to be any live shows for a while, but what can fans look forward to seeing when there are? Your shows are phenomenal. What can they look forward to next year?
Rocs: I would look forward to some really exciting live experiences that we’re in the initial phases of preparing now and also, I would look forward to the latter half of the year actually being able to tour again.
Ohio Music Experience: The recording that you’re doing now, is that for an expansion of the EP or a new album?
Rocs: Yeah, so this Friday is the EP, and then what I’m working on now will potentially be my debut album.
Ohio Music Experience: What would you recommend to a new artist?
Rocs: Well, if they’re asking for a recommendation because I don’t want to give unsolicited advice, I would say just be true to you and make art that you like and don’t compare yourself to others.
There is definitely no comparison to this amazing musician and his own unique rock EP This Is Our Life. Check it out and keep your eyes open for shows next year.