Deep State Talks Music & YouTube Rabbit Holes

Deep State keeps getting tagged in right-wing conspiracies on social media. They could have trolled. Instead, the four-piece indie punk band made a new album.

“[The band name] went from being this thing that we thought was interesting and cool to just be a weird catchphrase/catch-all for right-wing conspiracies,” guitarist and vocalist Christian DeRoeck tells BTRtoday. The Athens, GA-based group of DeRoeck, Taylor Chmura (frontman), Brandon Page (bass) and Michael Gonzalez (drums) started over five years ago, before overheated QAnon fans started obsessing over Trump’s supposed battle with the “deep state.” At the time, it was just obscure government jargon. Now, the name Deep State it gets them roped into in angry conservative conversations.

“It’s just like, ‘dude, we’re a band, just ignore this,’” he says. “[But maybe] we can use it to strike some fear into the hearts of some Trumpsters.”

They still love the name and are excited to see where it takes them—especially in light of the band’s new sound.

Chmura formed Deep State while he was playing in a country band that he didn’t feel musically “slick” enough to be in. He started Deep State to take all of the old country songs he’d written and speed them up into punk songs.

They’ve since mellowed out, especially with their most recent album Path To Fast Oblivion (released Feb. 1) and 2017’s Thought Garden.

Path To Fast Oblivion is Deep State’s most complex emotional and musical statement yet. With the group tackling subjects like mass shootings and other tragedies, it’s no surprise that the music is more than just products of basement hangouts. DeRoeck says the band took longer to make it than any of their previous albums. They had the tracks for a year and played them live before heading to the studio. Though it still has the gritty distortion and guttural vocals, the quartet takes a more considerate punk rock approach.

“We all have gotten much tighter as a band and a unit and started to explore new things,” DeRoeck says. “[We’re] really trying to examine what makes someone become that—we don’t want to sympathize, we just want to understand.”

Deep State, “Son”

Deep State’s no stranger to the dark side. The band members love murder mysteries and the Last Podcast On The Left show, with DeRoeck adding that just the night before he had fallen into a late-night YouTube rabbit hole on Neil deGrasse Tyson theories. “I was watching simulation theory videos—for like two hours,” he says. “We’re living in a simulation of another alien’s universe, like some snot-nosed alien punk in his parent’s basement just created our earth? It’s terrifying to think about.”

The group is wrapping up a short tour through the South-East but intend to hit the road again in late spring/early summer. In the meantime, hear the entire interview with Deep State and their most recent album Path To Fast Oblivion on this week’s The Music Meetup.