Q&A: The Depth and the Whisper

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On Sunday night, Kansas City’s The Depth and The Whisper will hit the stage at the Gas Lamp with local act Tony Bohnenkamp and Erik Voeks. Before you head out to the show (because as The Depth bassist/guitarist/vocalist Dave Tanner says–and he’s right–“What else is there to do in Des Moines on a Sunday night?”), get to know the musicians behind the music. Show starts at 8pm, 21+. There aren’t any ticket prices posted anywhere, so have a few dollars in your pocket, just in case.

Q: Where did you guys meet?
Albert Bickley: We met around the Kansas City music scene. Never really hung out, but we crossed paths from time to time. Then we started playing in the same Beatles cover band.
Dave Tanner: We initially met in the early 2000s, and had a great deal of respect for one another around the scene. By the mid-2000s, we were playing gigs, starting with Beatles songs.

Q: Tell me about your “Aha! We should start a band” moment.
Albert: I had written some songs that I wanted to demo. Since we had played together in the cover band, I knew how good Dave was so, I asked him to play on them for fun. After listening to what he played on the songs, realizing that he played the perfect parts for the songs,  I called him up and asked if he wanted to try to do something more with them.
Dave: Those early demo sessions just fit, and felt right. The next “Aha!” moment hit us when our musical friends who played on our first studio EP asked us, “When are the gigs?”

Q: If you could choose any band (dead or alive) to tour with, who would it be and why?
Albert: Tough question. The obvious choices would be the Beatles or the Foo Fighters. But, I would say KISS from the 70’s. The masters of the stage show. Either that or Steel Dragon so I could ask Mark Wahlberg why he made “The Happening”.
Dave: I would tour with The Clash or The Dead Milkmen so I could see them play every night.

Q: Describe your sound in three words that begin with a D.
Albert: Daring. Delectable. Deadly.
Dave: Distinct, Drifting. Deft.

Q: Have any on-the-road tips for fellow musicians?
Albert:
1. When you are in New York, don’t stay up all night in an Irish pub when you have to play a show the next night. Sounds fun, sure, but you pay for it. Now, if you have a day off….
2. Be open to listening to and accepting other styles of music and people that you meet along the way. You never know when those people will move you and then become allies.
3. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun.
4. Play every show, no matter how tired you are, with as much passion as the last. Lay it all out on the stage, and people will respect it and respond.
Dave: All that Albert said, plus, value each and every moment, connection and fan you have. Take no interaction for granted. People want you to do well, and to play well, and to be entertained, so invest time and effort into making that happen.

Q: Your release says that you do what you do based on your personalities–what are your personalities and how do they reflect in the music your create?
Albert: I am pretty laid back or reserved and introspective. I have a good sense of humor, but I am not a clown. But, I am straightforward as well. I think if you listen to the songs, you can hear all of those things. There are some tongue in cheek moments, but also moments when everything is laid bare and isn’t covered in over poetic language so you can tell exactly what I am trying to say. The music itself is diverse, but also connected… which I think sort of describes my personality in some ways…
Dave: I can be a cut-up, and I’m an enabler. I embrace others and their ideas, I entertain those around me, and I cherish the moments, whether serious or completely off-the-wall. I have been known to cut a rug, randomly, or sing a song I have no business singing. I like randomness and absurdity, but also anything that is heart-felt, honest and true.

Q: What’s your biggest accomplishment as a band to date (in your opinion)?
Albert: For me it would be playing New York City for the first time, and then being asked back to play two more times.
Dave: Yes, returning to important places and seeing familiar faces ranks very high for me as well. And having a song we recorded chosen to be in a short film by friends of friends. Every little bit helps, as we say.

Q: Tell the readers something about The Depth that they won’t find on the Internet.
Albert: Isn’t everything on the internet? I don’t listen to a ton of music. My love for music is making it and performing it. I do have artists that I love, and I open to new stuff. But, if it doesn’t move me, I won’t bother with it. I appreciate everyone, whether I like the music or not, that has the guts to get up and share their souls on stage. Now, it’s on the internet.
Dave: If I tell you, then it will be on the Internet. We took no photos and made no posts from a certain horrible hotel we stayed at on the road last time out. Location will remain undisclosed, and we will not post any details. But it was horrible.
Q: You’ve got one sentence to convince readers to head out to your show (not that they won’t already). Go!
Albert: If you want fun, to be moved and to smile, then be where we are.
Dave: What else are you gonna do in Des Moines on a Sunday evening? Since that was a question, my sentence will be, “We need you in our lives, and you need us in your lives.”

Q: What are you looking forward to most on this tour?
Albert: Meeting and connecting with new people. Nothing better.
Dave: Yes, and the moments that we will create, and others will create while we are there.

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