INTERVIEW: catch up with des rocs, the new-age prince of all things dirty rock and roll
Des Rocs is an alternative-rock musician from Brooklyn, NY. He released his first EP, Let The Vultures In, in November 2018 and has since released Martyr Parade in November 2019. He’s done some pretty cool things since that first release: he’s opened for The Rolling Stones, and he’s toured with MUSE in Europe. His music is infectious, full of energy, has that real, right-in-your-face rock n roll sound.
My favorite track of his is “Dead Ringer” and — like all his songs — every time you hear it, it’s like the very first time. His music fills you with passion, with energy, makes you feel powerful, makes you feel like you can take on the entire world. He can make a room of 10 people feel like 10 thousand. His on-stage energy is something special and you should experience it for yourself someday, it's a must.
I’m just a fan, but, here’s a little bit of what I love about him, besides his music: firstly, he’s very kind! He takes time out of his day to reply to almost everyone online, and he tries to talk to everyone who wants to meet him at shows. He genuinely cares and appreciates everyone who listens to his music. His aesthetic will also catch your eye: he dresses like he's straight out of the 1950s, like he's an extra from the film Grease. He loves Jack Kerouac, coffee, pizza, and New York — the state I call home, the city I adore. There's so much you could say about New York City that you could equally say about Des Rocs; he's very much the city he loves so much, you can see it in him, you can hear and feel it in his music.
Des Rocs inspires me, he makes me feel like I can do anything and I should do everything I want to do in life. He’s very passionate about what he does, and I admire that greatly. He plays guitar and sings with a voice that you'll swoon at and makes you feel like what I’d imagine all those girls back in the 60's and 70's felt about The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
He’s just Des Rocs. He’s a man who happens to be a musician that I admire very much. Him and his music has made me very happy, it’s changed my life. Because of his music I’ve met some of my best, closest friends who love his music as well. His fanbase is lovingly called Filthy Animals, and you’ll be able to quickly find one to befriend online or at shows. Contrary to the name, we’re a friendly bunch.
I always mention Des Rocs to everyone who enters my life because I love him, I love his music so intensely, and I want everyone else to as well. Give him a listen, go to a show of his, maybe you’ll find that you like him as much as I do, maybe you’ll love him like I do.
Photo by Haley Killam.
What do you get your inspiration from, sonically and lyrically?
I'm inspired by everyone and everything. specifically new york city, elvis, queen, roy orbison, the talking heads, the N train, rats, glory, and pizza.
What are your top four comfort albums (albums you put on repeat during hard times)?
Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning. Muse - Absolution. Elvis - Prince From Another Planet. The Strokes - Room on Fire.
Choose one place to perform: dive bar or rooftop?
Where did your love of music come from?
I was born with it. I remember begging my mom to let me play an instrument. She got me a violin and I played the shit out of it for years. I was never good at playing other people's pieces, I always wanted to make them my own or change them, song writing naturally grew outta that.
Fans have lovingly referred to you as a "vampire" on social media sites. How did that start, how do you feel about it? – and, if it is true, are you a vampire?
I didn't start that u started it. I just fuckin love collars and the darkness and blood.
What do you want people to take away from your music the most?
that i will die for it. that it is the inner most workings of my soul.
You mentioned once on Twitter that a Des Rocs show in the future would be completely different than what it is now. Do you plan to paint your face like KISS, bite heads off of bats like Ozzy Osborne, anything wild like that?
Ohh not really stunts, it's more just the set up of the band, what kinds of musicians are on stage, the arrangements, the visuals. so so so much to dig into for another time.
You're currently on tour with The Glorious Sons, and next up you're touring with The HU, and then in May, you're playing Shaky Knees festival in Atlanta. What else do you have planned for this year? More touring, any singles, maybe even an LP?
SO so so much new music to come...and a whole lot more tour dates on the way. I'm bursting wanting to tell u everything...
Do you have any pre show rituals?
Nah i usually just jump and dance and get weird. i don't like having rituals because if u don't get to do it for whatever reason, u walk on stage thinking "holy shit we didn't do the ritual, now what?"
Top three things you love most about tour? Top three things you dislike most about tour?
like: trying different foods all over the world. playing shoes every night. meeting & creating filthy animals. dislike: being exhausted all the time. not having a good grasp on where i am in a given day. driving (if we're in a van).
Already, in just a little over a year, you've made quite a name for yourself: releasing hit after hit (your track “Let Me Live/Let Me Die” has over 31 million streams on Spotify); doing tour after tour, opening for and touring with legendary acts such as The Rolling Stones and MUSE; your music being used on television show soundtracks such as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and CW's Legacies; and having what seems to be a pretty devoted fan base online - how do you feel about it all? Has it changed you, and did you ever expect this level of response to your music, not only in America, but worldwide?
nothing has changed me. i feel like i haven't even started yet and the road is entirely ahead of me. i'm frustrated by what i can accomplish in a single day. i hate that there's only 1 of me. i have so many things i want to create and do and every second they're not being made or getting done it's killing me. everything is killing me.
We, for one, can hardly wait to hear more from Des Rocs and are so beyond grateful for the opportunity to chat with him. You can keep up with Des Rocs on Twitter and Instagram, and catch him out on tour right now with The Glorious Sons and in May with The Hu on select dates of The Gereg Tour.