Distorted American Dream
Depswa Jeremy Penick - Guitars and Vocals Ryan Burchfield - Bass and Back-up Vocals Dan Noonan - Guitars and Back-up Vocals Steve White - Drums and Back-up Vocals Originally collaborating in the progressive hard rock/metal band Carcinogen, Vocalist/Guitarist Jeremy Penick and bassist Ryan Burchfield discovered early success in Northern California's Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. With 2 EP's under their belt and a growing fan base, they decided that moving to Los Angeles would provide the mainstream exposure that they needed. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, the bandmates recruited long-time friend, Dan Noonan to join them as their second guitarist. Dan Noonan was also a Northern Californian native whom had already established a place within the Hollywood music scene by playing guitar for several popular bands including early incarnations of Static-X and Spineshank. Noonan states, "Joining up with Carcinogen was seamless. We were all close friends and on the same page. Everything came together very effortlessly." Eventually, the music began to evolve from the hyper-aggressive metal style that Carcinogen had pioneered to a more diverse, melodic, and mature collaboration. Their new direction was much more open-minded and drew not only from their metal roots, but from many other genres and influences. The transformation was a natural progression. The result was a fresh and innovative sound that showcased their powerful music and the incomparable voice of Jeremy Penick. With the change in musical direction, it was evident that the name of the band should also change. They were ready to step away from the metal stigmas that a name like Carcinogen represented, and adopt one that would not allow them to be pigeonholed as just another metal band. They had much, much, more to offer. "Depswa" was derived from a Swahili word meaning 'deep behind the moon." In the Amazon rainforests of South America, it is a term for the "Medicine Man" or "Tribal Healer." The new moniker reflected the band's desire to produce music that was driven by emotion and would have a profound and meaningful impact on their audience. In early 2000, Depswa unveiled their infamous "Faithless" EP, which elicited critical acclaim from many online webzines (i.e. "Band of the Month" on theprp.com, featured on both GarageBand.com and thegauntlet.com among others). The music world was beginning to take notice in Depswa and they were being catapulted into a new realm of musical existence. The "buzz" they were receiving enabled the band to tour throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. In Los Angeles, they frequently played sold-out shows at clubs such as The Whisky A Go Go, The Roxy, Viper Room, and Troubadour. With every show the band continued to increase their already substantial loyal following. In 2001, Depswa's unique sound garnered the attention of several major music labels and they were eventually signed to Geffen Records by Geffen president Jordan Schur. For their major label debut, Depswa hired producer Howard Benson (P.O.D., Papa Roach, My Chemical Romance, Three Days Grace) and veteran mixing engineer Chris Lord-Alge. The team fashioned Depswa's debut CD "Two Angels and a Dream." The album featured innovative songwriting, intricate melodies, dynamically explosive music and emotionally driven vocals. After completing the recording process for their debut album, the band began to tour extensively. Throughout 2002-2003, Depswa completed several national tours in support of Evanescence, Chevelle, Mudvayne, Cold, Trust Company, etc. Depswa's single "This Time" was featured on Coca-Cola's heavily-aired "New Music" campaign on radio stations nationwide. Concurrently, in a few radio markets (Sacramento, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, etc.), "This Time" frequently received the largest numbers of phone requests each day surpassing bands such as Staind, Evanescence, and Cold amongst others. In addition, Depswa were frequently played on XM radio's Squizz and Sirius Radio's "Hard Attack." The songs "This Time" and "From the Inside" were featured on several prominent video games including, "MLB 2005," "Nascar Thunder 2004," "MX Unleashed," and "NHL 2004." In addition, Motorola included "From the Inside" and "The Prom Song" as a part of the 20 preloaded tracks on their portable MP3 players in 2004. Depswa filmed a music video for "This Time" with producer/director Matt Goodman (XXX, First Hand, OP King of Skate) in Rosarito Mexico. The video was featured on Fuse's Oven Fresh and received the most "Keep It" votes over other bands such as Papa Roach and Deftones thus winning it a spot in regular rotation. MTV2 also acquired the video and added it to their playlist. In June 2003 their debut CD was released and the band was given the opportunity to perform on the second stage of that summer's Ozzfest. The band toured with veteran rock icons Ozzy Osborne, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Chevelle, etc. The experience gave a substantial boost of confidence to the up-and-coming group and solidified their already powerful live show. However, their appearance on the tour was cut short 8-days before the tour was to end because of the lack of support shown by their record label. Although daunting, it was necessary for the band to leave the label and take creative direction into their own hands. After a brief hiatus, during which time Penick lost his brother in a tragic motorcycle accident, Depswa started from scratch to make music on their own terms. By utilizing their own recording studio in Sun Valley, CA and taking the reins on marketing and promotion, Depswa took charge of their musical direction and liberated themselves from the confines of what could have been creative suicide. In the summer of 2007, the band recruited their new drummer Steve White. White was previously the drummer for the band "Turn of the Screw" which featured Nick Annis and Sean Fetterman of Wes Borland's (Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson) band "Black Light Burns." White brought with him amazing chops and the attitude and stage presence that elevated Depswa to a new level of musical prowess. Since their debut album, Depswa have self-produced/recoeded 21+ songs. They now feel they have finally honed their craft to contain all the components of a great musical accolade. In late 2009, they recruited veteran mixers/producers Toby Wright (Alice in Chains, Korn, etc.) and Logan Mader (Five Finger Death Punch, DevilDriver, etc) to mix 11 of 13 of the tracks featured on the new album. The album ("Distorted American Dream") is slated for release in early 2010 on their own label "Tears & Smiles Recordings" and will be available for digital download on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, etc. And as a digipak through terrestrial distribution, webstore and CDbaby.com. It has been a long and winding road for Los Angeles based band Depswa, nonetheless they are now gearing up to release what they call emotionally driven and confident music. They are poised to expose to the fans, and the rock world, their revamped style that they say demonstrates a range of what they were, are, and how they have evolved musically and mentally. "The first CD is the one that you spend your life making, but the second is the one that really tests a bands longevity," says Noonan. "Our goal is to create music that isn't represented by a certain time-period or genre, but to create music that will hold up on it's own and stand the test of time." Their music definitely stands alone and holds true to those ideals.