A REAL GOOD PERSON IN A REAL BAD PLACE
Interview by William R. Lankford
Photography & menswear styling by Alexander Thompson
A gigantic sound that’s personal, unexpected, melodic, and range fully uninhibited. These are just a few adjectives that describe the New York native’s sound that is Des Rocs. Daniel Rocco aka Des Rocs tone is a wall of resonated frequency of airwaves that moves through an otherwise suggestive abstract vibration all its own. With his first headlining tour Rocco is setting out to showcase his heavy hymns of harmonious sound if you will.
“It’s been a wild ride, especially losing performances, which was so integral to the essence of my being. But the silver lining is that I got to make an album that I would have otherwise never ordinarily had the chance to make, which was an awesome thing”. Said Rocco.
With his most recent single, “Hanging on by a thread”, I asked Des about his upcoming full-length album and the three songs currently making waves on Spotify. “So the full-length album just came out on September 24th, and the last three releases over the last few months will be on the full-length album”.
Like so many artists the transition back into the musical circuit of touring is fresh on the mind. Throughout the industry, the dates have been set and the show will go on.
“I’m excited to get back out. It’s been eighteen months off the road for me. Which is the longest that I’ve gone without playing a show since I was thirteen. I last got off from touring March 1st, 2020 about forty hours before everything hit the fan”.
When asked about the recording process for Des’s newest album and the effects that it had on him during the pandemic stylistically, Des stated, “I made my records pretty much in isolation, it’s a very lonely process. I think that Covid only exaggerated all of that, you know. It was even more isolated than it usually is. It was just myself and at most one other person making this album. It was pretty insane”.
For many musicians, this past year, recording, and dishing out demos to one another was somewhat of a new creative challenge. The overwhelming scenarios demonstrated while in seclusion truly reared its face and the expedience of an almost overnight dumbfounded adaptation to the momentum that was taking place only further inspired the creative lines of communication. With Des, it was simply just getting down to business.
“I recorded the album, which was mostly self-produced, with one other person, Gerry Lange, a friend of mine from high school. There were a couple of other hands that helped out as well on a couple of individual tracks. But it was largely a pretty mom-and-pop operation. The album was inspired by a desire to kind of escape everything that I had been feeling over the past few years. I think that element of escapism is so important in music. For me, it was all about creating a world that I could live and express myself in”.
Artistically there’s a noise that New York City has always held…its booming environment. Collectively, with its thriving creative resonance as it always has and always will, the inspiration the city has to offer for some artists is undoubtedly spellbinding and for Des this couldn’t be any more true. When asked about his inspiration and opening for seasoned musicians like The Rolling Stones, Des went on to say, “New York City is like a character and the music in a sense. The energy of it, the buzz, the vibrance. That’s integral through everything that I do as an artist and as a human being. It’s without a doubt mixed into the DNA of the album itself. I opened for the Rolling Stones in 2019 on their last tour before covid, the “No Filter Tour”. It was an absolutely incredible experience…they’re the greatest living rock band of all time. It was an unbelievable honor and a great show. They were so amazing, so nice and so welcoming”.
Musically, in a world of oversaturated exuberance, Des has managed to individualize himself throughout all of the static. His current album, A Real Good Person in a Real Bad Place, exceeds not only the status quo but rather his status owned by himself and is a hat tilting combination of many different things.
“It’s a blend of many different things from artists I loved growing up but are completely filtered through the novel lens of who I am as a person, and my experiences and everything about me. I grew up on big music. I love Queen, I love Elvis Presley, I love music that is larger than life and music that offers you an escape. But also I love Nirvana…I love music that is intensely personal and emotional and real. Music that has an edge to it. Music that makes you feel something for better or for worse, and the artists of that caliber in that line are the ones who really inspire me the most and are who I draw my influence from”.