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dead leaves rising interview april 19, 1997

dead leaves rising is a folk band with a dark edge, I like them a lot. they were called fade for their first two cassettes.  this was recorded outside of the Batcave on the night of a Lycia show.  Jon DeRosa went on to form the bands Aarktica & Pale Horse and Rider.

Jon – you should start this out with teeth chattering.

QRD – what's your favorite Metallica song?

Jon – probably "Fade to Black" or "Sanitarium."  I kind of like the whole Ride the Lightning album actually.

QRD – at what age do you think someone becomes old?

Jon – someone becomes old when they get mad when they get dirty from playing outside or when they stop watching cartoons.  they get old when they start having the urge to hit little kids when they act out.  so some people are old & only twelve.

QRD – how often would you like to play live a year?

Jon – I'd like to play live not as much as possible, but maybe four times a year, something seasonally.  I'd like to do solo shows, maybe have the whole set up every now & then.  it's just too hard to play live.

QRD – what's your favorite cough medicine & why?

Jon – I kind of like Robitussin elixir, the purple kind; but I haven't been able to find that kind.  I kind of like Chloroseptic even though it's not a cough medicine.  if you spray it all over your mouth it gives you a special feeling.

QRD – which do you think is a more derogatory term, boy or man?

Jon – I think man, especially in regard to mankind.  I don't give mankind much credit.

QRD – what's your favorite cartoon?

Jon – no doubt Winnie the Pooh, but I also like the Groovie Ghoulies.  it's about these monsters like Dracula & Frankenstein, etc. having all these stupid adventures, but since it was on in the 70's they're considered "groovy."  it's funny because the wolfman wears bell bottoms & the vampire girl is into disco... I only have a few episodes on tape though.

QRD – which would you rather be Zack, Screech, or Slater?

Jon – I don't think I'd want to be Screech because I don't like his hair.  I don't like Zack's hair either.  I guess Slater has the best hair; I'd want to be him.  plus he had the coolest girlfriend.

QRD – what do you want people to know about you or your music?

Jon – I want people to know that my music is not necessarily music that belongs to any scene, it can be liked by pretty much anybody as long as the message isn't overlooked.  my music definitely has serious connotations that transcend the boundaries of folk or goth or whatever you want to call it & long as it's appreciated, that's good.

QRD – what do you think about the internet & it's effects on underground culture?

Jon – I hate computers.  I don't use them.  I don't own a decent one.  I have a web-site that was put up for me & I don't have much say as far as what goes on with it.  I'm glad it's there, because there's enough people into the internet that it'll serve it's purpose, but for me I don't think it's a good idea.  it's kind of interesting that we're young during this age, because we're kind of experiencing the downfall of modern technology & I kinda see this as where things start to fall apart & become dehumanized, but maybe that's just me.

QRD – how many records do you think you could sell?

Jon – will you buy one?

QRD – sure.

Jon – then probably two because I think my mom'll buy one.

QRD – what's your favorite Swans' song?

Jon – I really don't know.  I don't know if it's my favorite of all time, but I think my favorite recently is "Helpless Child" from the new album.

QRD – what's your favorite love song?

Jon – either "Delia" by Johnny Cash or anything by black tape for a blue girl.

QRD – do you believe in unconditional love?

Jon – I believe in unconditional love.

QRD – from humans to each other?

Jon – yeah, sure.

QRD – what's going on about you releasing a cd?

Jon – the dead leaves rising... well, with the break up of the Fade up in boston we're thinking of changing the name back to "fade", but I don't know.  as of now it's dead leaves rising & the new cd should be out in a few weeks & it will be called Shadow Complex.  I guess in a lot of ways it's different than the earlier tape releases because it's more textural & has got more musical & lyrical variation.  some people I think will really appreciate the changes & some people I guess will prefer the older stuff.  it should be available soon through darkwave, Middle Pillar, & some other places.  in addition to the cd I'll be starting a record label primarily for my own material, but there will be a series of releases on it over the summer & the next is going to be a cassette by the Rejects of Sir Theodore Geisell which is extremely atmospheric & interesting stuff for those interested in the more experimental side of things.  then after that dead leaves rising will be doing a collaboration with them, a seven inch, tentatively titled "songs for children."  it's going to be what it sounds like, songs for children – all the lyrics come straight from Mother Goose herself.  the name of the record label is Brighter, so check it out.  in closing I'd like to say, "I can't believe I'm sitting here with the QRD man, the man from QRD, it's like... unbelievable."