Review Fix chats with Three More Shallows’ Dee Kesler , who discusses the band’s new album, Dad Jams.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Dee Kesler: I played violin from the age of 3! But around when puberty hit I found I had some aptitude for writing songs, and have pretty much kept at it since then. Songwriting and musicianship are weirdly different processes.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Kesler: Speaking of which! My creative process is quite extended, and since I play all the roles I imagine it as handing a collection of songs off from one part of my personality to the next. Observer me keeps a lyrical diary that’s years old – hundreds of pages long – and still growing a verse at a time. Singer me keeps a memo diary of vocalized lines and harmonies. Then Songwriter me selects a few handfuls of the ideas to start shaping, but frequently doesn’t finish, instead saying it’s Producer me’s job. Producer me then comes in beats the whole thing into a coma by iterating over arrangements and rewrites until Mental Health me fires Producer me and brings back Singer me and Observer me to sift through the wreckage and try to bring back some of the simple joy they’d felt when coming up with the ideas in the first place. At that point, Marketing me comes in and says enough already, let’s ship it, but who the hell is going to do the marketing?
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Kesler: Though the process is ridiculous, when I arrive at a line or a chorus or a part that communicates some feeling I have really accurately, I feel like a success as a human.
Review Fix: What does music mean to you?
Kesler: An unanswerable riddle that’s infinitely simple.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Kesler: This album? Technicolor sad sack dancehall. The dancehall is a lie, but it just needed something at the end there.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Kesler: At this point, live shows are non-existent. Which is ironic bc I’m much more proficient as a singer and songwriter than I was when we were touring. I’m doing some digital performances this month to back up my big talk.
Review Fix: What inspired your latest single?
Kesler: Fatherhood, oldness, the chafe of ego on the face of impermanence.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2021?
Kesler: To write and record an album with only voice, baritone guitar, sax, and violin. As Naruto says, believe it.