Mix the stunning intricacies of New Order in with the wondrous sounds of chill wave, and you are well on your way to encountering the wondrous musical reveries of Dempsey. A dynamic duo consisting of Niels Pederson and Adam Abildgaard, Dempsey has recently released a self-titled EP featuring such dreamy pop gems as Late Night, When We Were Younger, and Sex On The Beach. Read on as we explore the magical late night world of Dempsey.
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Dempsey, and how long the band has been together.
Me (Niels) and Adam have been playing music together for the last 6 years but Dempsey’s only been a project for about a year. Adam does a lot of the actual song writing while I’m in charge of most of the production. Production in a sound engineering kind of way. We both provide vocals and guitar tracks. Overall we have a pretty well balanced dynamic
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there? Are there any other local bands you could recommend?
Well, Adam’s currently living in San Francisco and me in Davis, CA. We’re both from Davis originally and got our start here. There’s really no music scene to speak of in Davis and San Francisco’s is far smaller than I think it should be. As far as local bands are concerned, we have a lot of buddies who are making excellent music right now but unfortunately don’t have band names to refer to them by.
Who or what is Dempsey? Did you name your band after Patrick Dempsey or is there another story behind the name?
Haha no, not Patrick Dempsey. Though realizing our name could be interpreted that way propelled our decision to stick with it. The name actually came to me one day when I was scrolling through my iTunes library and noticed there was an artist named Dempsey, the name of my old meditation teacher who had given us a guided meditation CD. We really just didn’t want a name typical of our genre and Dempsey seemed to fit the bill.
Who is Patricia and why does she have a short 56 second instrumental song named after her?
Patricia is a fictional character in our lyrics. The song itself was a jam I had made a while ago which then turned into a transition track. The title just seemed fitting.
Select any other two songs from your EP and what inspired the lyrical content.
When we were younger: The lyrics of this track mainly tackle nostalgic themes, as the title implies. Nostalgia seems to be an overarching theme in my generation and was a theme I couldn’t help approaching.
Late Night: This was the first real song we wrote and lyrics were written pretty freshly after Adam had experienced a rough breakup. Overall our lyrical process consists of finding a satisfactory vocal melody and then ad-libbing lyrics until something comes out that we’re happy with. Out all the ones I’ve tried, I’ve found this to be the most genuine method for writing lyrics.
Whose idea was it to do your photo shoot in a bath tub and has the photo received any unusual reactions?
That was all mine. We did a bunch of more typical band photos which were great but I just wanted something a bit more eye catching. The photo caused some strife in familial relations for Adam, which was really unfortunate but otherwise its reception has been largely positive.
What could one expect from a live Dempsey show?
Well, we’re throwing together a live set right now. We’ve added two more members for our live lineup so we can play as a full band rather than having some sort of DJ configuration. Translating our music into a more traditional band setup has been a little difficult but the results have made it a worth while endeavor.
Have you ever played in the Los Angeles area or plan to do so in the future?
Never, but we’d love to! I’m sure once our tour gets rolling we’ll be making a stop in LA.
If New Order invited Dempsey to participate on a tribute album, what New Order song would you do and why?
Oh man, it would have to be between Bizarre Love Triangle and Age of Consent. Those two tracks really influenced my approach towards song writing. I’ve been producing music for a long time but it wasn’t really until I heard Bizarre Love Triangle in high school that I began making music like I now do in Dempsey.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Dempsey?
I had a two piece hardcore project for a while with a buddy under the name of Badboys but we both just got to busy to continue. Though we did record an EP which will likely be released soon.
Any final words of wisdom?
Just hoping everything continues to work out.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)