We took an afternoon with Jessica Risker of DEADBEAT to grab ice cream, discuss her new album, and reflect on the Summer of 2013.
Emulsion: Are you from Chicago?
I’m from Missouri originally but I moved to Chicago to go to graduate school and just stayed somehow.
Emulsion: Your last album was called Big Forever. That was a DIY space wasn’t it?
It was, yeah, In Humboldt Park. It’s not there anymore but they’re friends with the people who bought the house and every once in a while they let us come back and throw a Big Forever show.
Emulsion: So you played there?
Oh yeah. I lived there. In the summer of 2013 I lived there and played there and wrote a lot of that album there. A lot of the people who lived at Big Forever, or who were strongly associated with it, played some kind of role on this album. It was an homage to that summer and the place.
Emulsion: I went to a couple shows there. It was really cool.
It just had a great vibe to it. Those kinds of places still do happen in peoples homes. They just kind of pop up and get shut down for whatever reason, they get bought or noise violations, it’s just their nature. They pop up and go away and pop up somewhere else. But it was really great.
Emulsion: That released in 2016?
Emulsion: And you’re working on new music now?
A new album. It’s pretty much done and it’s on to mastering. A psychedelic folk album that we just finished mixing. Western Vinyl is going to put it out, in February I think. Theres a couple videos in the works and we’re working on album art.
Emulsion: You call it psychedelic folk?
Emulsion: Describe that to me.
I’ve always loved singer-songwriter rainy day music, and so I wanted to do that, but I also wanted to add these spacey, dreamy sounds that support it. You can still think of it as a guitar album, but there are all these sound effects and noises that Joshua Wentz adds which put a kind of spacey and psychedelic feel to it. These songs are very structured though, so in that way it’s different than Big Forever. But Josh adds his spin to it.
Emulsion: Well after having run a DIY space like Big Forever and getting to know so many people n the community, how do you make music in that community?
I love the Chicago music scene because I feel like it isn’t too fragmented. Most people know each other and people are happy to collaborate - whether it’s shows or whatever, it feels very supportive and inviting.
Emulsion: Is there anywhere we can see you coming up?
Now that we’ve finished the album we plan to play on it a lot this fall, and I think that’s going to fit the vibe really well. We’re just excited to play the album.
Catch Deadbeat playing in Chicago at a house show near you... or on these dates:
9/20 at Schubas
10/13 at Cole's
10/22 at Beat Kitchen