“I don’t do practice exercises as I find it boring and music has to be always exciting.......”
The band’s highly skilled guitarist Iago’s approach alternates between the gleefully sloppy strokes known to any fan of the blues and the more polished, expansive craftsmanship of rock guitar’s most disciplined stylists. Full of surprises but always predictably explosive, Iago is the guitar player the blues needs now. A breath of fresh air who combines the best of the genre’s past with an eye toward the future.
He describes the band as “musicians who love what they do. Music brought us together and we became more like a musical family. We are friends who love writing and playing music.”
The rejection of a conventional approach to music extends to the whole band. Iago claims to have never heard ‘no’ to any musical idea, no matter how weird or what style.” Their embrace of spontaneity and open-mindedness is apparent in every note of Deep Blue Sea’s music.
As the band’s sole American, lead vocalist Dregas brings a unique set of influences and experiences to Deep Blue Sea. Beginning her classical piano training at the age of four, Dregas lists influences as far ranging as Ludvig Van Beethoven, Aretha and Bad Religion. An accomplished musician and composer, her vocal skills and stage presence complete the picture of a consummate artist. "The exuberant presence of Dregas lights up the room". Pete Feenstra, 3rd Boom Boom R&B Festival
As with any solid bass player, the contribution of Graeme to Deep Blue Sea’s sonic attack is both understated and vital. His steady bass figures serve as the glue to a band of wildly disparate elements. His lyrics - at once contemporary yet reminiscent of Dylan, Cohen et al from the 60s heyday blues-rock add to the bands' ability to communicate on many levels.
Graeme isn’t shy when expressing the band’s ambitions. He lists ‘touring bigger and better venues’ as a goal for Deep Blue Sea and adds “We believe we have something worth saying — musically and lyrically, things that can connect and engage with people — have fun with them and give something.’
It is something of a cliche to refer to a strong drummer as the band’s anchor. But in Amanda’s case, ‘anchor’ is too stationary, too sedentary a metaphor to describe the role she plays in Deep Blue Sea’s sound.
A better metaphor for Amanda’s approach on her instrument is as Deep Blue Sea’s engine. She propels the band forward, sometimes with reliably steady thumps and other times with choppy, dance-inspiring stabs.
What's in a name?
When the band first started - we didn't have a name. I guess before anything starts, it doesn't have a name. There was a floating pool of musicians playing, writing and recording some songs. We had one thing in common, we all lived in Telegraph Hill, South East London. We were asked to play at a charity gig in the area and needed a name. In the mad rush to sort things out, we chose The Fools - for reasons we thought were obvious to anyone who lived on a hill. That done, everyone said we had to form a band, play the songs we'd written and get out to the waiting world. But forget that stupid name.
Back at the dawn of time, my Gran used to call me her little devil. Saying things like "I can see you, little devil, I know what you're up to", and I'd written a fun song which our first vocalist, Kelvin Van Beeny, had a lot of fun with singing - called Little Devil. In the mad rush to sort things out, we decided to call ourselves Little Devils.
For the first 30 seconds or so, I liked the name. For the next 3 years or so, I hated it. So, lessons learnt anyway. Then, when the vocalist and guitarist left the band, it seemed an ideal time to re-brand - without that stupid name. I wanted to somehow keep a link tho. I thought of the phrase "when you're stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. I remembered the Rattigan play of the same name - a favourite of mine. I was also aware of crappy film of the same name but thought it would not be a significant thing - and indeed - if anything - would help people remember the name. So, we went for Deep Blue Sea.
My then manager, Louise Davies, wasn't 100% happy - she remembered the crappy film too, but she went along with me - for once in her life! And so, in the mad rush to sort things out, Deep Blue Sea was born out of Little Devils.
Where are we now? Everyone tells us we have to change that stupid name. If you search for Deep Blue Sea you get the crappy film, you get whale noises, you even get the brilliant Rattigan play - everything but the band. So, in the mad rush to sort things out........can we take stock?
This Is How It Starts - the name of the first album. And the first line of the song "Hang My Head" - which is on the third album, About Time.
Diamonds and Poison - the name of the second album and a line from the song Soho By Night - which is on the sixth album, Live It Up.
About Time - the name of the third album and a line from the song Present Tense - which is on the fourth album, The Storm Inside.
The Storm Inside - the name of the fourth album and a line from the song All Our Yesterdays - which is on the sixth and seventh albums.
Hell Must Be Empty - the name of the compilation album. A quote from Shakespeare "hell must be empty, all the devils are here" - a reference to the stupid names.
Live It Up - the name of Deep Blue Sea's first album - no tricksy word games - oh except for Live is pronounced live, not live, geddit?
So, why'd you want change the band name again?
"A good few years back, I was working my way through South America - backpacking. I got a job as a handyman in a brothel in Sucre, Bolivia.
I ran errands for the Madam for whom I got board and lodge. One day, we got raided, most likely because she wasn't paying into the protection racket operated by the chief of police, despite him being a major patron of the place. I didn't have any permit papers to work, nothing, so I jumped out of a first-floor window into an alleyway and cracked my leg badly. I managed to crawl away and for about six days I hid in a barn in a farmyard where a farmer's daughter brought me soup and bread til my leg got better.
It was only after being there for those days that I realised two things, one, the farmer's daughter had taken more than a shine to me and maybe I'd taken advantage of her kindness a little more than could be considered friendly. And two, that the farmer's crop was poppies and his farm workers seemed to need an incredible amount of protection just to be working on a farm.... these two facts put together could be considered a bit of a death sentence.
In the still of the night, I stole a horse and bareback, rode for three days and nights until, in the early morning dawn of the fourth day, I came to Salar de Uyuni and looked down on the mirror of the sky and saw in those deep blue waters everything crystal clear in that instant.”
So, that's why you're thinking of changing the band name?
“No, the band name is the band name, there was no mad rush to sort it out - that's why I walk with a slight limp"