08 August 2011

Fresh Meat Monday - The Deportees

Would you care to introduce yourself?

We are the Deportees from Aberdeen in Scotland. There are five of us: Me, Adam K, on lead vocal duties and guitar; Ricky on guitar and vox; Christy on Drums; Diarmaid on Keys and vox; and Adam M on Bass guitar, fiddle and vox.

How would you describe the music you make?

Honest, natural, country-tinged, big rock music I’d say is a fair description. There’s a celtic influence in there too so you get people trying to wedge us into that New Folk genre that seems to be doing the rounds at the moment.

How did you start out making music?

This band was formed after the demise of our earlier projects. I had just spent 6 months on the road with Christy’s previous outfit, Edgar Prais, playing 2nd guitar and a bit of mandolin. When they decided to call it a day, in my view prematurely, it gave Christy and I (we’re brothers) the opportunity to collaborate on something a bit closer to our hearts and minds. We were raised on traditional music, American and British Folk in particular, and we had discussed for a while how nice it would be to play together in a band that nodded towards the sorts of musicians and bands that had sound-tracked our childhoods. Ricky and I had played together in bands since we were 16 so he was first on our list. Adam M was Christy’s choice because the guy is an incredible musician and knows his way around a fiddle. We advertised for a pianist and up popped Diarmaid to make it 5.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

As clichéd as this might sound, we’re very much a collaboration. The main melodies and the lyrics come from me but I rarely complete a song prior to playing the bones of it to the rest of the guys. I find song writing works best when you throw your original idea into the pot as quickly as possible and see what other people come up with; see how they hear it and where they think the song could go. If you’re too rigid and controlling as a songwriter then you’re limiting yourself to possibilities. The other guys are all so talented it would be a crime not to collaborate on arrangements, counter melodies, harmonies, structure etc.

What can people expect from your live shows?

No frills. We just play our instruments the way they’re supposed to be played and don’t rely on gimmicks. There seems to be this thing at the moment where, because there’s such a saturation of new music - endless reams of the next big thing – bands feel the need to turn gimmicky in order to stand out: let’s all stand around a floor tom and hit it with our elbows for 5 minutes; that’ll look cool. No it won’t, it’ll look like every other band. I’m not trying to sound like I’m too cool for school or anything, it just ain’t our bag. Let the music do the talking (there’s another cliché).

What are you all listening to at the moment?

Speaking for myself, I can’t get Dylan off my stereo: Oh Mercy is the album for me right now – His first with Daniel Lanois producing. As far as modern stuff goes, I’m a big fan of everything the Decemberists do. And the Waterboys are probably my all time favourite band. Forget U2, there’s your Big Music right there.

I imagine Christy is listening to Modest Mouse, Neil Young and Van Morrison at the moment. Ricky’s probably not listening to anything because he’ll be in his home studio making fat beats of his own. Diarmaid might have eschewed Abba in favour of the Divine Comedy. And poor Adam M will be dancing is his bedroom to McFly or other such pop delights.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2011?

Well it’s knocking on August so there’s not much of 2011 left. We’ve just released our debut single, I Lost Her to the Sea on Bedford Records, which we will continue to promote for a while. Unfortunately I’m still recovering slowly from a bad bout of laryngitis, which despite popular belief, really is a nasty, nasty thing for singers to get. Could take a few months yet for my voice to come back so we’re spending the time in our practice studio writing at the moment. If we’re gigging again by the end of the year then we’ll try and pop out on a wee tour in October, November time. If not then we’ll start planning for 2012, which should hopefully see us assaulting the hell out of the festival circuit, and recording our album.

The Deportees - When The Roses Bloom Again



  1. Hey ... take it easy with the laryngitis ... my brother Robin Adams (he played on the DHC bill with you back in April) came down with it just before the release of his debut album back in '09 ... killed the release dead, tour cancelled, lost nicely building press/radio interest .. he couldn't sing for 4 months due to risk of permanent damage. Don't take any chances - ain't worth it. Chris

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Chris; very validating indeed. It wasn't great when we had to cancel the single launch because I had no voice, or the subsequent shows. But it had to be done. You're right about not rushing back to. Been for an endoscopy and I'm going to have to go through a wee course of speech therapy to right some wrongs down there. Patience is the key. Cheers, AdamK