San Francisco experimental rock band Deerhoof are known as much for their live shows as their quirky, jittery, inventive music. On stage the four-piece is an explosion of music that fuses rock, jazz, prog and noise into one throbbing, powerful sound. Frontwoman/basist Satomi Matsuzaki is a wound-up rock ‘n’ roll cheerleader, jumping and kicking and chirping in a language that sounds like a fusion of Japanese and English. It is, indeed, a sight to behold.
While the band’s idiosyncratic art-tortured albums can be a challenge to navigate, their latest, The Magic (2016, Polyvinyl) comes as close as they’ve ever dared to something resembling traditional rock. Nestled among the Eno-esque rhythms are some of the best holy-shit power-chord riffs I’ve heard from a rock band since Superchunk. Over the course of 15 tracks, the band can go from high-energy Sonic Youth grind (“Dispossessor”) to throbbing, blue-light art lounge (a cover of “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”). The Magic is a career high-water mark.
With the band returns to The Waiting Room Thursday, Aug. 4, I caught up with Satomi Matsuzaki with a Ten Questions survey. Here you go:
1. What is your favorite album?
Satomi Matsuzaki: The Magic by Deerhoof
2. What is your least favorite song?
“Hotel California” by Eagles
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Making music with Deerhoof.
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
Long flights when we go on tour.
5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?’
Barley tea and dried squid.
6. In what city or town do you love top perform?
Everywhere we go.
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
If there was any, I already erased that memory from my brain. I wanna stay positive and keep going forward. I learn from mistakes and just move on.
8. How do you pay your bills?
Usually bank wire through my phone bill payment app.
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
My profession is music and I prefer not to do other work. I won’t hate any job though if I decide to do whatever to live.
10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
I have been there before. It’s located in the middle of USA and The Waiting Room is a great venue! They have a laundromat in backstage and that helps me a lot on tour!
Deerhoof plays with Blank Spell and Thick Paint Thursday, Aug. 4, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m., tickets are $15. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.