Depth test 

Photo: Laura Raczkowski

Owning a recording studio and heading a small, Oklahoma record label
gives Chris Harris, front man of local shoegaze three-piece Depth &
Current, a certain perspective on what it takes to survive in the world
of independent music: Namely, adapt or die.

To that end, the Norman-based “nightmare-pop” band decided to include a download code for its debut album of 2011 with the purchase of an upcoming 7-inch single, despite having plenty of physical discs left to push.

“Nobody gives a shit about CDs,” Harris said. “It’s hard to sell them for $5, even. This is a way for us to get our full-length out to more people than we would have.”

2012 has been a year full of changes for the band, both in how it approaches releasing music and in terms of personnel. Tommy McKenzie — also of The Boom Bang and Chrome Pony — hopped into the lineup, and soon enough, drummer Scott Twitchell departed.

That leaves the band without a new drummer, but no problem: The group forges ahead, and the current Current can be seen in action Thursday night at Opolis.

“I had started demoing songs with drum machines, and I was kind of getting attached to those,” Harris
said. “We thought we’d have a practice and just see how it felt with the
beats. It became obvious that it felt how the band should feel with the
direction we were heading. It suits our sonic personality perfect.”

Although that direction had been changing even before the personnel change, the floodgates opened soon after with a new Depth & Current emerging from the storm.

“In
the past, we’ve always had these long songs. The writing process with
those is easy for some bands: Smoke a joint, play for 30 minutes, pick
the best nine, and that’s an epic jam,” Harris said. “For us, making
those long songs felt torturous, coming up with so many parts that you
like. There’s three parts you love, and two parts that are just meh.

“We
kicked around this idea of doing one short pop song and seeing what
happened, actually crafting a song with only good parts.”

So Harris
holed up in his Hook Echo Sound studio, and out came a new man.

“I
came into work on these demos I had, and I just cut all the parts that I
didn’t like,” he said. “I kept doing that, and it felt so liberating.
Now I love every part. I had long committed to the idea of forcing
things to work, but you can make way better music when you aren’t
forcing anything. We have a better path to making good music from here
on.”

The short cuts
give Depth & Current the chance to do something few others have had
the chance to: Put a full-length album on a format reserved for EPs. The
end result is something the trio hopes to see released sometime next
year.

Darwin would be
proud. “The songs are only about a minute and a half long. I can take
eight of those songs and put them on a 7-inch record and have a
full-length record on what would normal be a single,” Harris said. “The
whole album right there, and that’s what we are going to do.”

Hey! Read This:
The Boom Bang interview    
Chrome Pony interview  

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Joshua Boydston

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