Deerhoof is a San Francisco quartet, which consists of Satomi Matsuzaki, John Dietrich, Ed Rodriguez and Greg Saunier. Active since the early 90s, so far they produced more than 10 LPs for such labels as Kill Rock Stars, Menlo Park and Dual Plover. Musically, the represent a mix of feedback, distortion and pop melodicism, which led many to classify them as noise-pop.
In the early 90s, Greg Saunier was a member of short-lived band called Nitro Pit. After the breakup of Nitro Pit, he formed Deerhoof with Rob Fisk (who was also a member of NP). After their 1995 performance at Yo Yo A Go Go Festival in Olympia, WA they were signed to Slim Moon’s label Kill Rock Stars.
7″ single “Return Of The Wood M’lady” (with artwork done by Fisk) became their debut record , but the band felt that the lack of singer was becoming an issue and so in 1996 they met Satomi Matsuzaki, a native of Tokyo, who, at that time, just moved to America in order to study film. Within one week after meeting her, the band went out on tour as a trio.
From that point on, the band began recording/touring constantly and maintained a prolific release schedule – “Dirt Pirate Creed”, “The Man, The King, The Girl”, “Holdypaws”, “Koalamagic”, “Halfbird”, “Reveille”, “Apple O’, “Milk Man”, “The Runners Four”, “Friend Opportunity” and their newest release called “Offend Maggie” all came out within a year from each other and were stylistically different, as well.
For 1998 “Holdypaws” the band added keyboardist Kelly Goode to a line-up, but she and Fisk quit by the time that the next album “Halfbird” was nearing completion (album eventually came out in 2001 and, once again, featured artwork by Fisk). By that time the band was also losing popularity and sales were relatively low.
A string of albums produced from 2003 to 2005 brought them back from obscurity – 2003 “Apple O’, 2004 “Milk Man” and 2005 “The Runners Four” all led to better airplay and addition recognition for the band. Theatrical version of “Milk Man” was performed in North Haven Community School in North Haven, Maine and was later released on DVD as “The Milk Man Ballet”.
Their latest work (as of 2008) is “Offend Maggie”, which came out on October 6th in UK (ATP Recordings) and on October 7th in US (Kill Rock Stars). Six songs from the album were performed during a concert in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, which was aired live. During that concert, the band performed “Fresh Born” song, which was given away to fans in the form of the sheet music, so that they could perform their own versions of it.
Chris Cohen (Curtains)
Greg Saunier (Nitro Pit, Curtains)