Photos by Ashley Osborn
People have said that “rock” is an outdated word for a few years now — but I would argue rock was never even a “genre.” Sure, it’s a category, but in the true sense of the word, what does it mean? “Rock” has always been an adjective that describes artists with charisma, bravado, drama and commitment to their theatricality — suffice to say, we shouldn’t belittle it to representing a dead era or simply a “genre.” In the past few years, the word has evoked an image of old rock stars who are on their 17th reunion tour and performing for crowds who are all over fifty. Well, lucky for us, “rock” is getting a new face — and it has good hair too.
If you heard new solo electro-rock act Des Rocs’ first single last month, “HVY MTL DRMMR,” you’d know that he carries the same theatricality as the rock greats before him — only he’s far from old and crusty. In fact, he’s bringing the genre back with a freshness and modernity that’s a breath of fresh air for those who miss the days of blaring guitar solos and fuzzed out “We Will Rock You”-type anthems.
Before Des Rocs, Danny Rocco was just one half of the electro-rock duo Secret Weapons, who broke through with their soulful pop sound with the underground hit, “Something New.” When it comes to this new project, Danny says, “Des Rocs is something I’ve felt inside myself since the first day I started making music. It’s a more personal expression of the energies that make me tick.”
Today, he’s releasing his second single from the project, “Used to The Darkness,” a pulse-pounding, vocally soul-filled, fuzz boxed tune about being lost. But what does our new favorite rock star have to say about the supposed demise of rock music?
“Rock was the most culturally disrupting movement in music history, yet somehow today the word has lost something. So many artists worry about sub-genres and lose the greater energy of what it means to say you’re a rock artist. I think there’s a lot of great songs out there waiting to be revealed if we could embrace the “rock artist.”
Des Rocs just recently started playing live shows — and if you’ve seen his artwork, you’ll notice something important:
“I want you to see the artwork and think, ‘this is live.’ When I was a little kid and before I knew anything about recording, I would hear a song on the radio and thought these guys just went in there and played into microphones and that was the record. There was a certain live energy in the presentation of the music then that you don’t have today, and that is what Des Rocs is all about.”
Follow Des Rocs for more to come.