DeeCracks are a melodic punk rock band hailing from Austria, based in Vienna. Blink and you may have missed their 2021 catchy as all hell album “Serious Issues” (which I incidentally sold out of prior to this interview, so feel free to order it from me!). Kicking off 2022 with Matt and Mike is pretty damn cool.
Straight off the bat, if you had to introduce extraterrestrials to music using 5 albums, what do you choose?
MATT: Depends if the alien was supposed to erase us all or came in peace. Either way,I guess you can't go wrong with these:
The Kinks -EP Collection Vol 1
Beach Boys - Today
Phil Spector - Phil Spector's Greatest Hits (1977)
The Stooges - Raw Power
Ramones - S/T
Covid put paid to pretty much everything music industry related in 2020/21, yet you managed to crank out a fantastic Ramones-y -pop punk gem of an album. Was it mostly written before the pandemic and how hard was it to get together to record?
MATT: The record was mostly written before the first lockdown in spring 2020. We decided late 2019 to put a new album together, booked the studio for May 2020 and fortunately everything worked out despite all restrictions and stuff. Actually a week or so before we went in(to the studio) the lockdown ended and we could do everything as planned. We usually don't really practice anyways.
Everybody always learns the songs by himself. So not being able getting together wasn't a big deal.
MIKE: Matt records demos at home and sends them to us and we figure our parts out at home also. We only got together on two weekends before for practices to sharpen the songs up before hitting the studio. We’re also very happy about how the album came out, glad you like it too.
Did you find it hard to stay musically motivated during Covid?
MATT: Actually it was/is the complete opposite for me. I listen to a lot of music at home and as Mike said I record demos at home as well. So I kinda enjoyed it somehow. It's much nicer choosing to stay home recording instead of beeing forced to though.
MIKE: Haha, yeah, I agree. It was kinda fun for a while and I enjoyed life slowing down for once and having more time on my hands to focus on the new songs for example. But I started missing my friends and touring and travelling soon enough. I comforted myself with the fact that it’s the same for everyone and not just for our band.
You've been doing music for a while, and in 2007 you had to change your name from The Cretins to DeeCracks. How'd you come up with the name?
MIKE: Well, we got threatened with a lawsuit for our previous name The Cretins by a German band called The Creetins, so we ended up changing it. The original name was kinda lame anyways, so in the end we gotta thank them, haha. We wanted to keep the logo, so we were looking for a name like The Cr… something. Matt suggested the Cracks first, but we thought this just smelled like another lawsuit haha. So we were thinking of taking the German word for „the“ which is „die“, but since most of our fans don’t speak German they would say it wrong, so we settled at „Dee“. Fascinating story right? Haha.
Assuming the world gets back to (relatively) normal, have you got any tour plans in 2022?
MIKE: Of course we do. We already had to cancel a run through Germany and Czech Republic in January. We got some shows planned in Germany again in March, let’s see. There is a lot of shows and tours we still have to reschedule from 2020 and 2021. We plan to finally do a longer tour through Switzerland, France and Spain in June and we are gonna be on some festivals in summer, like Rebellion Fest in Blackpool, UK which we are very much looking forward to playing. We wanted to return to Japan in fall also, but it’s all still a bit tough to plan.
I hear elements of bands like The Ramones, Screeching Weasel, Motorhead and The Dictators when i listen to you guys, but you don't SOUND like any of them. What are your main influences?
MATT: It always depends on the mood. I like stuff that sounds original. That could be 60s beat, surf, vocal, soul, pop or garage rock,70s punk, 80s hardcore punk, power pop or whatever. I like all those bands you mentioned there as well but the goal can't be to sound like them. They didn't want to sound like somebody else either.
If there was one song you didn't write, but wish you did, which song would it be?
MATT: If I would have written any of the songs I love from other artists they probably would have sounded totally different and I wouldn't love them so much anymore, haha. But probably 'Happy Birthday' ....that should pay the bills I guess.
Anything else you'd like to add?
MIKE: Just a quick THANK YOU to you for the interview and everyone reading this for being interested in our band. I hope we get to see us all at some show soon and enjoy a few beers together.