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Artists on Trial: Deco Auto

Artists on Trial: Deco Auto

(Photo by Leah O'Connor) 

Some things never change. The sun will always rise in the east. The roadrunner will always outsmart the coyote. Clowns will always scare the crap out of at least 85% of the general population. Parents will truly just never understand. And someone, somewhere, will always be rocking the handful of familiar power chords that constitute “power pop.” Fortunately for Kansas City, Deco Auto currently occupies that role. Its brand of hook-laden, hard-hitting pop rock does justice to this often unjustly ridiculed genre. Recently, I got a chance to catch up with this swell trio of musicians. Here’s their take on music stuff, as well as a preview of their upcoming performance at Apocalypse Meow.

The Deli: Gun to your head, 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Deco Auto: Extra-crunchy power pop.

The Deli: Let’s talk about what you have coming up. What can we expect?

Deco: Steve: Live via satellite from the International Space Station.
Tracy: I am most excited about possibly playing SXSW and more recording in 2013. In the near future, Steve is working on a Deco Auto Christmas song that I am super-jazzed about.
Michelle: Steve’s working on a Christmas song? Well, I’m very excited to play Apocalypse Meow and help make a lot of people aware of Midwest Music Foundation. After that, I am looking forward to a very long nap.

The Deli: What does “supporting local music” mean to you?

Deco: Steve: Giving local bands a chance. You're not gonna like all of 'em, but there's more to life than $100 concerts at the Sprint Center.
Tracy: Going out to see the local bands that you like. The recent MMF sampler (Midwestern Audio Vol. 1) showed me that every genre exists here and every band has to come from somewhere, so go see someone that's up your alley.
Michelle: There’s at least a few shows worth seeing on any given night for under $10, being created by people probably in or close to your network. Help support and foster the talent around you simply by enjoying it and investing a small amount into it.

The Deli: Who are your favorite “local” musicians right now?

Tracy: Molly Picture Club and Schwervon!. They really do it for me.
Michelle: Too many! The Quivers, Ha Ha Tonka (semi-local), Schwervon!, Thee Water MoccaSins, Tiny Horse, The Grisly Hand, The Caves, many more. I like my other bands when they’re nice to me.

The Deli: What bands are you most excited to see at Meow?
Deco: Steve: The Empty Spaces are always always always a good time. And I haven't seen The Architects since SXSW '06, I think, so that'll be cool.
Tracy: The Atlantic because of what I heard on the sampler and people have been saying really good things about them.
Michelle: Though everyone on the bill is stellar, I haven’t seen The Architects in years and I’ve never seen The Atlantic, so I’m stoked for those. It’ll also be great to see Tiny Horse playing Meow again, especially as a full band.

The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

Deco: Steve: Bob Mould, Superchunk, Guided by Voices, and Deal's Gone Bad.
Tracy: Legendary Hucklebucks: they are one of the top acts this year's Rockin' the Suburbs fest back in ol’ Beaver County. My friend Bill Mays III is also doing some really cool ambient stuff under the name Infinite Third down in Florida.
Michelle: Tame Impala, Esperanza Spalding, The xx, Dum Dum Girls, Liars.

The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

Deco: Steve: The Cars, Buzzcocks, Superdrag, Smithereens... ya know what, I don't wanna play this show, I just wanna watch it!
Tracy: Flaming Lips, Deco Auto and Clutch. This will never happen.
Michelle: We’d open up for David Bowie on his one-and-only reunion show that he would for some reason decide to do at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. Radiohead would show up for an acoustic set too.

The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?

Deco: Steve: I used to really love recording, but I'm not ready to go back in there for a good long while.
Tracy: STAGE. HELLO!!!
Michelle: I love the energy of the stage, but I also have an annoyingly structured mind, so the studio is a good place to implement that. I’m also very indecisive. Moving on…

The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

Deco: Steve: Elvis, Buddy Holly, Johnny Rotten, Joe Strummer... all are music idols of mine.
Tracy: Mozart, because it would be the world's biggest bust of his head and we could get into the Guinness Book of World Records; Coltrane, baby. No explanation; Frank Black, because his bulbous head is the perfect shape to be immortalized in stone; Joey Ramone, because he is cool. (FYI: I have always been against landmarks like Mount Rushmore because they took a beautiful mountain and blasted it apart to carve the faces of politicians on the side of it.)
Michelle: Yo-Yo Ma, Yoko Ono, Ravi Shankar, and me. Just because I think it’d be great to see Asians on Mount Rushmore. And I only picked me because it was down to me and William Hung. America, can I be your idol?

The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?
Deco: http://www.facebook.com/decoautokc
@decoautokc on Twitter

The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
Deco: Steve: WARNING: Persons denying the existence of Robots may be Robots themselves!
Tracy: Words of wisdom. Legalize it!
Michelle: Read The Deli KC every morning with breakfast. They have a really excellent editor. Don’t toot your own horn, even in jest. Hug your mother.
Deco Auto is:
Steven Garcia – guitars, vocals
Tracy Flowers – bass, vocals
Michelle Bacon – drums
The next time you can catch Deco Auto will be this Wednesday, October 24 at The Riot Room, where they'll be opening up for Reno Divorce (Denver) and Hipshot Killer. Then, be sure to see them at Apocalypse Meow on Saturday, November 3. They'll take the Beaumont stage at 8:00 pm.

 --Zach Hodson
Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until "Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings" begins production.

He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.

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Published: October 23, 2012 |

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