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Our Interview with Deru: Peanut Butter & Patience

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By: Joel Frieders
deru, say goodbye to useless, peanut butter & patience, mush records, instrument

Beats are what toss the ol' ensalada.
Beats are what trim the ol' mansnake.
Beats are what take a regular ol' couch and turn into a microfiber couch.

Beats are why I stalked Deru outside of his home for three days in early February. Not only was his trash interesting (I mean who throws away a Fredrick's of Hollywood catalog?), but the smells coming from his kitchen were of the utmost deliciousness.

Deru's album Say Goodbye To Useless is one of the albums that I grabbed on a whim, and it has spent the better part of 3 months resting right here over my gonads. It's flawlessly cinematic and moody, introspective and cohesive, other big word and other even bigger word.

Why I like Deru is the same reason I love me some good sushi: It feels good going in, and after only a few short moments away from it, I'm ready for a fucking burrito.

I give you... Deru, my best friend on the internet ever in the month of March 2011.

Deru, if you're reading this, I'm still wearing what you gave me. *bites lip*

SYFFAL: Deru the Damaja, I've intentionally avoided enjoying your album with my ear holes because I mistakenly felt that somehow it contained some sort of Evangelical Christian rigmarole that would somehow creep through my ear holes and plant the seeds of salvation within my brain holes. Now that you are aware of just how fucking holy I am, albeit in a completely different understanding of the word, are you timid going forward with this interview? Are these pants too tight? Why are you making that face?

DERU: Um. Why did you think it was religious?
Maybe because the beginning song is from a nun? In which case, nice observation. Otherwise, yes, I’m weirded out.

(I can offer salvation however.)

SYFFAL: I'm a hugger. If we were doing this interview in person, I'm sure a few embraces would be shared. I've actually worked into my personal repertoire the "5 seconds too long" man hug. The majority of my friends are okay with this because they know I'm trying to make other people uncomfortable, but this past weekend I encountered a man hugger that did a quick slap on my back and tried to break it off, to which I countered with the "oh c'mere big guy, don't run away just yet" and I noticed that over the rest of the evening he was giving me this leery eye. It isn't like I have any issues with my sexuality or have a need to make people uncomfortable in a creepy way, but I was brought up around a lot of Latinos and I'm actually ONLY hugging, whereas those fucking freaks KISS EVERYONE! How are you with human interaction? Are you okay with hugs? Am I making you uncomfortable talking this close to your face? Do you hate pants?

DERU: Great questions. I like both hugs and pants.

SYFFAL: Say Goodbye to Useless is fucking creepy. I was showing my friend Roy how creepy it was on Friday night after he had about 11 or 12 Colt45 tallboys. I don't know if it was the creepy voiced dude singing the creepy languaged creepy song or whether it was the creepy atmospheric creepy that you casted around it with your creepy wand, but he was nauseous. When you wield this wand, where do you wield it other than on your creepy songs that need creepy wand wielding? If you use the term "creepy wand wield" I want to be given credit, but not using my real name, use my moniker I've made up for this very purpose: Carmine DeCadillacEscalada. Deal?

DERU: Deal.

BTW, the “creepy voiced dude singing the creepy languaged creepy song” is a woman, pitched down, singing French. It does kinda sound like a dude now though. I’ll give you that. I don’t think my music is depressing, but to each his own.

SYFFAL: I see that this album came out on Mush. What the Fuck is it about Mush that they can release so much good shit with their exclusive fraternity of awesome fucking artisty artists, yet still give off a sense of absolute calm? Does this have anything to do with the smell coming from their website? *It smells like college*

DERU: They’re all dwarves.

SYFFAL: If you believe the rumor I just made up, you come from a family of dwarves but are of regular height for an 11 year old human male from Honduras. To whom do you owe your multi-cultural genes if they do not come from within your immediate family? Have you gambled with the science of life? Are you in fact Dr. Moreau? If so, have you made any renovations to your lovely island of insanity since we last heard from you in 1996? Isn't Val Kilmer the bee’s knees?

DERU: What’s Val done lately? Though I guess he gets a life-pass for “Real Genius”.

Not sure who I owe for my creativity really. It’s just what interested me growing up. I liked things with subjective answers.

SYFFAL: I was describing your music to my friend Roy as he started to pass out in my car on Saturday morning around 3:00am and as his eyelids fluttered and his jaw clenched, I deduced that he was either pinching a potentially escapee deuce, or he was so moved by your ambient textures and envelopingly sensual, baroque influenced, piece-meal creepy, midnight in a perfect world on Tatooine, that he was dreaming awake, albeit intoxicated from all of the malt liquor. How do you respond to the claim I just made that your hypnotic blend of sass, rambunctiousness, and downtrodden erotica will get you into trouble one of these days?

DERU: Did you make that claim previously?

Once on a flyer the promoter of the party labeled my music as “Intelligent music to f*ck to”. I’ll take that. Thank you.

SYFFAL: Are you a Mormon?

DERU: I’m about as un-Mormon as you can get. The fact that it works is fascinating to me though. Religion seems like brain-washing, in various degrees.

SYFFAL: My friend Steve is a Mormon. He converted after seeing an episode of Hoarders last fall. Dude is on some other shit, and by other shit, I mean penis.

DERU: Good story.

SYFFAL: Do you do most of your production in your head first or do you tend to start Fucksins arounds and sees what happenses?
If it is the former, that's a form of assburgers.
If it is the latter, you are indeed human, and we are probably related spiritually, although the music that I would make would occasionally include a calliope. Me is big fan of circus creepy. In fact, circus creepy was my nickname in college.

DERU: I generally start with something and mess with it (therefore we must be related spiritually). Though more and more I’m planning it out before hand. Getting lost can be fun but having a map of where you’re going is handy. Especially if you know where you’re trying to go.

SYFFAL: After stalking you on the internet for a few minutes, I see that you are semi-successful in the music game and have some tracks that are currently being used in television commercials. Let's be hardcore underground for a second.
If you had to have your music on the commercial of one product, what would that product be?
If your music was chosen for a feminine hygiene product, would you use a moniker for your moniker or would you ride that shit like the red tide, being all like "Yo homaaaaaaay, check out the new Gash Plug commercial on TBS son! THEY PLAYIN MY SOOOONG!"??
If you got the chance to star in one of these commercials as the husband shopping for said hygiene products, what would you be wearing?

DERU: #chekcoutmynewdouchecommercial

Nuf said?

SYFFAL: I love discovering new music, and I especially love finding music that fits with what I would love to listen to as I died. If you were going to die on Thursday, and you knew generally around what time you was gonna dies, what would you bump on the manpod?

DERU: First thought: If I’m dying on Thursday why am I wasting my time with this? Second thought: Death is highly abstract until it’s not. Then it’s very real. I’ve been thinking about death more than usual lately. Not in a morbid way, but in a way that everyone is going to have to think about it at some point in their lives. Conclusion: it’s depressing. Third thought: Gorecki’s Symphony No.3.

SYFFAL QUICKFIRE: (This is where you don't think, you just answer the fucking words as if they were questions as quickly as fucking possible. Points will be deducted for correct spelling and lack of sass.)

DERU: Moon-walk

SYFFAL: The state of Arizona
DERU: Confused

SYFFAL: They don't sell Cotton Candy at fucking Bulls games dude
DERU: If you say so.

SYFFAL: Rain Man DVD packaged in a box of toothpicks (my idea)
DERU: Too easy to count one DVD.

SYFFAL: Los Angeles: Box of shit or shit full of boxes
DERU: Boxes?

SYFFAL: Jack Johnson Comfortably relaxing or the same song 45 times with different names, but all containing tar balls
DERU: Tar-balls (your words).

SYFFAL: The country of Angola
DERU: The country of Angola.

SYFFAL: The Golden Girls theme song
DERU: Love.

SYFFAL: White stain on your friend's shirt, you assume it's toothpaste, but it's really
DERU: Mayo

SYFFAL: Whoopi Goldberg in Jumpin Jack Flash
DERU: Whoopi Goldberg in everything.

SYFFAL: Terrence Trent D'Arby's first apostrophe
DERU: classy


SYFFAL: What's next for Deru, besides the rape shower you are bound to take after this exchange is over? (Please promote your shit here)

DERU: EP with Gift of Gab and Casual. Out on Mush in a few months. Holler.

SYFFAL: Lately I've been reading a lot of espionage fiction. There's something about killing with extreme efficiency that gets my blood pumping. If you were a spy or undercover agent in a foreign country, would you still act as a musician/producer or would you make a living doing something a little less high profile? And by high profile I mean financially insecure. And by making a living I mean acting like a fucking responsible adult you fucking tween.

How often do you dream about financial stability? Are you home schooled? When did you lose your British accent? What's it like being Creole?

DERU: Dreaming about money is boring. Thinking about it might be even worse, but I do that from time to time. Being broke sucks (so I try not to be).

SYFFAL: How badfuckingass is our website On a scale of 1 - 10, with 1 being the first time you ever saw the Fonz smack the jukebox and your man parts tingled, and 10 being Vanessa Williams shaving topless inside your Hyundai while humming the Little Mermaid's Under the Sea and dropping the occasional beatbox?

DERU: Cause I’m a kiss-ass let’s go with 10. All the way.

But on that note how badass is MY website: ?

SYFFAL: Tell the nice people what besties we are now Deru? Do you want to get matching tattoos, key chains, friendship bracelets or t-shirts first? I was thinking I could cook your breffast next time I fall asleep next to you watching old Three's Company reruns - that Larry Dallas, what a cutie.

DERU: You’re creepy.



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