By Brian M. Howle
Everyone knows the old business advice about “getting in on the ground floor.” Well, here’s your chance for the musical equivalent, because Deepfield, based in Charleston, S.C., will be opening up for Puddle of Mudd and Saliva at House Of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. at 8:00pm on Tuesday, October 16, 2007.
I spoke with Baxter Teal, III (lead singer, guitar) via telephone recently and sought to find out what makes the band tick, and where they’re heading in “The Big Show” now that they’re opening for major headliners.
Alternatives: So, Baxter, how’s it going? Where are you now?
Teal: Well, we just finished the Drowning Pool tour across Texas, and we were just in Colorado Springs, and I’m actually in Chicago right now, looking at real estate because I’m going to move here after the tour is over, so my wife and I are looking are looking at properties now.
Alternatives: Oh, way cool .. (with facetious tone) So, are you looking for a place beside Oprah’s house?
Teal: (Laughs) Well, actually, we’re in the same neighborhood, so, yeah!
Alternatives: You da man, dude. Now, how did you guys all get together and form ‘Deepfield’?
Teal: Well, Russell Lee (drummer) and I were in a band before this, and we had some radio retention. A label in New York got sorta interested and we did a couple of showcases. Now, it didn’t pan out with that band, but I started writing music and the label took interest in that, and Russell sorta jumped ship with me. Jerry King (lead guitarist) and I were bartending in Charleston; he’s a great guitarist, so that made sense. And Dawson Huff has been in the band for about a year now, and he just answered an online request for a bass player.
Alternatives: Are you from Charleston?
Teal: No, I was born in Chapin, SC, right outside of Columbia; the band itself is from Charleston; and Dawson is from Columbia as well.
Alternatives: What were your major influences, and what styles do you blend?
Teal: Oh, that’s a good question … our influences are very diverse, as musicians; speaking for Jerry and Russell and myself. To me, they’re all combined in the process and come out as our original material in our rock sound. And we’ve made a big effort to not be “categorized” by one genre of rock. We have a record that’s full of hard rock stuff as well as easier listening … that’s one thing we never want to do, is get pigeonholed as one genre of music, because that genre can die at any time. So those influences can be anywhere from Porcupine Tree to Dream Theater to Rush and maybe some Southern Rock; and vocally, you’ve got Journey and things like that.
Alternatives: Hey, first thing I noticed when I listened to your CD was the spectrum of style and composition. There are killer rockers (Like “44 Teeth” and “Dead Horse”) that just nail you back, and then the ballads are just so melodicaly powerful. So when you write, do you just go with at-the-moment creation, or structured stuff where you write around whole notes and do guitar chords in diminished and sevenths and stuff to fill the sound spectrum?
Teal: Another good question! Actually, on the CD, most of those songs were written on computer. Jerry did a melody, and I would add on to it … the song “44 Teeth” was written, the drums were played the way he wanted all the way through, and we just added music to it. Mostly, it’s just melodies out of my head, and we throw music to it. It’s what makes it so organic; we start at the bottom and everyone sorta throws in their take on it. So it’s not like every song is written by me on an acoustic guitar – although some are – but that’s why the record has that feel of organic rock, and we pride ourselves on that.
Alternatives: Well, we wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you, Baxter.
Teal: Thank you for your time to help, Brian. We look forward to seeing you, too.
So come on out and discover a great, home-grown band on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the House of Blues in N. Myrtle Beach. See ya there!
This article originally appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, October 11, 2007.