Dreamy and deep, Canadian duo Doohickey Cubicle uses reverse psychology and soothingly intricate instrumentation in their newest album Don’t Fix Anything 😉.
Based in Vancouver, Alli Deleo (keys/vocals) and Francis Hooper (guitar/synth) get experimental and introspective in the music they create. Melodically reminiscent of bands like Khruangbin or Crumb, the lyrics from Doohickey Cubcile create an entirely unique atmosphere. Their newest album Don’t Fix Anything 😉 serves up their deepest and most inner selves on a platter.
Read the entire interview with Doohickey Cubicle below and sick your ears on Don’t Fix Anything 😉 here!Doohickey Cubicle, “Thinking”
BTRtoday (BTR): Hey! Excited for the new album, tell me about some of its real-life inspirations.
Alli Deleo (AD): It’s a lot of examining the self, our conditioning, etc. often with a playful tone. Most of the songs’ lyrics were written on my phone notes after a moment or experience. I’m not a prolific writer, the lyrics/concepts start from random bursts of output, then get developed from there.
Francis Hooper(FH): Music-wise, we’ve been super inspired by Crumb, Khruangbin, Salami Rose Joe Louis, Sea Moya, Bernice, Anemone, and Men I Trust to name a few bands. One other memory that comes to mind is seeing Anemone play a 20-minute experimental rendition of one of their songs in Boise, Idaho. That song actually inspired one of the bass riffs I wrote for “Sign Here.” The show was back in 2019, we were playing Treefort Fest and I remember feeling quite depleted after a long drive there and after seeing that set, I was inspired for days.
BTR: What’s the “;)” in the album name?
AD: You know when someone is trying to make a child smile by saying “don’t smile?” Sort of like that. Reverse psychology, ha!
BTR: What are some other artistic outlets you two get into?
AD: We really enjoy creating visual accompaniments for songs. We make our own music videos and that’s really rewarding and freeing. Francis was editing skateboard videos on VHS as a 12-year-old and I’ve been getting into it over the last five or six years.
FH: Most recently, I feel super grateful to be working as a production editor on a few shows I admire a ton like Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites, and Harmonquest. Such creative shows, I love seeing these totally out-there ideas come to life. Alli and I have talked about trying to create an animated project one day (she likes to illustrate) intertwined with music, I think it would be a rewarding adventure.
BTR: Do your different artistic outlets intertwine with each other?
AD: Very intertwined I would say. In addition to making our music videos, we also create projection visuals for our live performances. A video can really enhance a song. It’s fun thinking about concepts for a video or live visuals—like what colors and lighting do you see while listening, ya know?
BTR: If your listeners could walk away with only one line from a track on the new album stuck in their head, what line would you want that to be?
FH: “It’s about who’s around, it’s about who we surround ourselves with.”
AD: “Indulgence, let me be luxurious.” I just love singing that line, it makes me laugh.
BTR: What’s your favorite part about making music?
AD: The self-expression. A song is a safe place to put your thoughts/feelings. I also have a busy brain and so I love the moments where I actually get lost while playing or singing. It can be pretty meditative when you aren’t resisting it. I love performing too, it’s so scary and fulfilling.
FH: One of my favorite parts is the first recording session when a band member comes in who has yet to hear the bones of a new song and records those first fresh takes. Playing the actual shows and touring has got to be the most gratifying part of it all for me, the hardest too.Doohickey Cubicle, “Milano Sport”
BTR: Where do you see the future of live music going post-pandemic?
AD: This is a hard question. I do picture myself standing in an audience watching an artist I love and crying. That’ll be me at the first show I go to post-pandemic. Completely overwhelmed with joy and inspiration. I get energized by being around people so I haven’t been keen on playing live streams, although I’ve attended many and they’ve been so nice.
FH: Something I’m learning more about is crypto-art and NFTs related to music. NFTs look like they could be a way to dissolve the scalping ticket market. Also, it is quickly becoming a new way for artists to release unique “Non-Fungible” collector items alongside new music or merch. I’m excited about the idea of having a more direct way to support artists. If their art gains more popularity it’s another way artists could benefit in the growth too. Each time an artist’s NFT is sold to a new owner a cut of that sale will be shared again with the artist. It’s like earning royalties on upsold collectibles or tickets! Artists of all kinds could receive more off-the-cuff “tip” money with crypto micropayments for live streaming shows or any content really.
BTR: What should be we keeping an eye out for in the future of Doohickey Cubicle? (Unique name, btw! Where did that come from?)
AD: We keep a shared note called “title and concepts” where we write down random ideas/titles and Doohickey Cubicle was on that long list. We found the original note I wrote in my phone on September 2018. There was no context, it just said “Doohickey Cubicle.” I guess the name chose us, haha!
FH: I like to envision our studio or wherever we’re making music as our doohickey cubicle, full of odd doodads, knobs, and instruments. In the future, we’re hoping to embark on some tours, maybe opening for a band we love, and continue to make stuff we are inspired to make. Oh, and our debut LP is out March 12th.