Interview: Darren Cross, Jep and Dep

Jep and Dep
Image Courtesy of Jep and Dep

Sydney duo Jep and Dep are halfway through their Timber and Steel presented NSW tour so we thought it was about time to sit down with one half of the band, Darren Cross, and find out how they’ve been getting along.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Most people would know you from Gerling, yet Jep and Dep has a completely different sound musically. What’s drawn you away from rock and to the country side of the music spectrum?

Darren Cross: Once Gerling called it a day i did a fair bit of experimenting with dance music and samples and stuff and toured the country a few times and it fell on deaf ears. I got very disheartened by making music this way. So I brought it all back to basics. Learnt how to finger pick, found out about amazing music like Townes Van Zandt, Roscoe Holcombe, even early Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings – I also really loved the troubadour mind set. Touring with Gerling was such a big thing – lots and lots of instruments and sound-checks – so to play with just a guitar – to me was such a great idea, no where to hide- just a guitar and a voice and some songs. At the same time all of this was happening I met Jessica and we started Jep and Dep. I taught Jess a few chords on the guitar and we started writing songs really naturally, almost immediately. Country music and the melodies just really resonate to me. Even stuff like Glen Campbell [laughs].

GHE: How has the reaction been from Gerling fans to the new sound?

DC: Not really sure. Gerling fans were always very supportive of our genre hoping so I’m sure they are not too confused! I have produced music with a few different styles since Gerling – E.L.F weird dance based stuff, Betty Airs 50s Grunge act and more recently Darren Cross alt-country troubadour style. Gerling fans were mostly progressive thinkers so I’m sure they can enjoy Jep and Dep as well.

GHE: You’re currently on the road for Timber and Steel. How have the shows been so far?

DC: The shows have been “Intimate”. Its always great to have a crack at playing in regional areas like Parramatta and Newcastle but some times it is hard to get people to the shows. We had more luck in Berlin and Germany with the regional areas – people in Germany listened to the music-enjoyed it, didnt speak through our set and gave us Euros, dinner and drinks at the end of the show. Pretty damn good – but we wanna get out to the regional areas as much as we can. Ask us – we will come.

GHE: Your last video, “Bluebird Skies”, was shot in Berlin, Paris and Bejing. It must be pretty cool to take your music all over the world.

DC: To travel and also play music at the same time is so much fun! We actually toured Germany before we toured Melbourne, Tasmania and Adelaide. Europe in general is very respectful to the musician – its really encouraging. So many places to play!

GHE: You also perform alt-country music solo as The Darren Cross Band and are often seen supporting Jep and Dep. How do you decide what’s a Jep and Dep song and what’s a Darren Cross solo song?

DC: The more recent Darren Cross solo music is much more troubadour inspired and depressing than Jep and Dep, and both Jess and myself equally write Jep and Dep so melodically it’s different. The Jep and Dep stuff is more prettier with Jess’s beautiful voice – more atmospheric. Darren Cross is much more rougher, burnt out. Jep and Dep is also written with two people singing the parts as well, whereas Darren Cross is totally in the solo/troubadour mind set of performance – at the moment anyway!

GHE: Once the tour wraps up what’s next for Jep and Dep?

DC: More gigs, more writing and more work on our debut album. A European tour at the end of the year is also on the cards.

The remaining dates for the Jep and Dep tour are below:

Saturday 22nd June – FBi Social, Kings Cross, NSW
Wednesday 26th June – City Conversations, Sydney Town Hall, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 27th June – Green Room, Enmore, NSW

2 Comments

  1. June 13, 2013 at 16:39

    […] Interview: Darren Cross, Jep and Dep. […]

  2. June 14, 2013 at 15:27

    […] “Country music and the melodies just really resonate to me” – Darren Cross from Jep and Dep chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here […]


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