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Q&A with Dan Scheuerman of Deleted Scenes


photos courtesy of Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes is an indie-rock quartet based in DC. Their debut album Birdseed Shirt was released in 2009 to much critical acclaim. (They are beloved by Pitchfork and NPR alike.) I arrived late to this party, but I’m happy to have made it. I met singer/guitarist Dan Scheuerman by chance a few weeks ago after seeing his brother Vince play a show at The Hamilton. (Vince is also a super-talented musician- he fronted the DC power-pop-rock group Army of Me, and alt-Americana leaning River James. Coincidentally, I interviewed Vince recently, and you can check that out here!)

Deleted Scenes just released their sophomore album, Young People’s Church of the Air last week on Park the Van Records, once again to great acclaim. It is a work of complexity and beauty, dancy yet reflective, light and dark. I sang its praises last week on WLDC, and you can read that here. Deleted Scenes is currently on tour in support of their new album, and will be making a hometown stop this Saturday, July 21st at Red Palace. I got the chance to chat with Dan recently*, and here’s what he had to say!

Alexia: You come from a musical family, how did you first start playing music? 

Dan: My Mom and Dad both played guitar in church and sang, and we’d have these big family sing-alongs on Saturdays, and we all sang. Well I have five brothers, so it was actually very Von Trapp- we’d all sit in the living room and play, like, religious songs and sing in these huge harmonies. That was very natural.

Alexia: Oh, that’s really cool! Was your brother Vince an influence on you at all when you started playing music?

Dan: Yeah! Well I used to go see his band all the time- they were called Linus and they were called Cactus Patch, and then they were called Army of Me. But in the Cactus Patch days I used to go to all their shows. Yeah, it was inspiring and he kind of showed me how to do it myself, you know? I was in I guess grade school and he was older so he would teach me to make CDs in the family CDR drive, and printing CD labels, and flyering shows, and just kinda, like, showing me how to get started. That was definitely a big influence. And I used to go see his ska band all the time. I was a big fan!

Alexia: How did Deleted Scenes come together as a band?

Dan:Me and Dominic, the guitar player, and Brian, the drummer, and Matt, the bass player, we all grew up playing in bands together in high school and grade school. Then we all went off to college, and when we came back it was just natural to play with each other again. I think we’re all pretty shy dudes, so we kinda gravitated back towards one another. It was kind of like a family, I guess, since we’d started playing together so young, but it was basically a totally different band than it would have been back then. We played in like, crappy alt-bands. Me and Matt and Dominic and Brian played in a band that sounded like Incubus, back in high school. Continue reading