If asked “What do you want” you indeed would have tons of things to say and that is quite a question to be asked by Desperate Electric. The band which started as a four-piece band in 2018, playing gigs and touring the country to showcase their talent, but with just Kayti and Ben, the duo blends perfectly to produce a refined super eclectic mix of soul, funk, R&B, and rock.
The new album which comes out on September 9th is the final single off of their upcoming album ‘What Do You Want’, followed with a national fall tour.
When asked about the song, this is what he had to say;
This song has really become our anthem. Being an artist and a creator is difficult and lonely, and sometimes you feel like you’re just screaming into the void.
Desperate Electric shared some sentimental stories about their lives and growth in the music industry as a whole in a recent interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh
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What is your stage name
Is there a story behind your stage name?
Yes! We actually had a different name when we started out. We formed as a four-piece band back in 2018 and hit the ground running. We really wanted to tour full-time, and it was very difficult to keep the band together. We had to hit the road without a drummer; Ben used his production skills to create drum tracks for our entire set list while we were on the road.
We thought it was a moment in time. A blip. We planned to record an EP to ‘commemorate’ that tiny era. We named one of the songs, and subsequently the EP, ‘Desperate Electric’. After trying and failing to keep a band together over the next six months, we reverted back to the electronic drums, and made it our signature sound. The following year we were feeling more and more disconnected from our old name. It seems incredibly natural to change the name that better reflected our sound, and who we had become, Desperate Electric.
Where do you find inspiration?
Mostly, from our lives. I think we try our best to write about what we know. We take inspiration from our surroundings, our friends, our relationships, and of course, other art.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
Music has always been a huge part of both of our lives. We both started singing and playing instruments at a young age. Ben started playing in bands when he was 10; learning to play bass, guitar, drums, and piano over the course of his childhood, performing in a variety of bands and acts. Kayti started performing at events when she was 7, singing the national anthem at sporting events, rodeos, horse sales, and school events.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Neither of us come from musical families. Our families are music appreciators, and incredibly supportive.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I’m not sure that we felt necessarily inspired to become a part of the industry—the music industry isn’t a pretty place. We feel called to be musicians, and the industry is really a byproduct of that.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
We both took lessons for a variety of instruments at a young age, as well as studied music in college. As far as songwriting, I think that’s just something that you need to be passionate about, and do it over and over and over again to get better. Once you learn the tools (your instruments, even basic music theory) the world is really your oyster.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
Kayti’s first concert was Blake Shelton when she was five years old in New Hampshire. Ben’s first concert was Flogging Molly!
How could you describe your music?
Our music is a super eclectic mix of soul, funk, R&B, and rock. We really do love all kinds of music, and we can’t help ourselves from infusing that into our own. We have dubbed ourselves ‘electro soul’, because we feel that encompasses most of our sound, but it’s really something you need to hear to understand.
Describe your creative process.
We don’t have a cut and dry creative process really. We both write, and sometimes those ideas are more fully formed than others. Then we take what either person has writing and expand upon it wherever it needs. I think our lack of process helps us stay outside of the box, and really get unique with our music.
What is your main inspiration?
I think the thing that keeps us both the most inspired is the other person. We’re lucky that we get to have a creative partner that is equally as invested, it’s definitely rare.
What musician do you admire most and why?
One of Ben’s biggest influences is Paul McCartney, and we both really admire him. He’s had such a long, incredible career, and has gone through some serious shit to keep doing it. Seeing somebody still tour and perform music that spans literal decades at 80 years old is pretty much the dream. To get to continually create and perform and have an audience for that.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Oh absolutely. We started out as more of a soul/funk/rock band—four pieces, loud, dirty, and fun. So many things have changed since then, and we’ve also just grown up and grown as musicians. Since it’s just the two of us, we get to really make the music that we want to listen to, without needing to consider other people. I think everyone develops in their artistry over time, and I’m sure we would have found our sound eventually with that group, but being more focused on just the two of us has allowed us to evolve quicker.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
Is this really a competition? I really hate the idea that art and music needs to be competitive—that’s not at all what this is about.
What are your interests outside of music?
Kayti is passionate about interior design and art. Ben loves to spend time outside, and basically any physical activity!
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
Honestly, it’s anybody’s guess at this point! Kayti would probably be working at an interior design firm, or owning a boutique of some kind. It’s hard to imagine Ben doing anything else. If he wasn’t performing he’d be an audio engineer or production manager—still running the show.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Trying to figure out how people do this without an unlimited bank account. Every single piece of this costs tons of money, and as an artist you want to see your entire vision realized. That can be incredibly difficult to do without somebody funding you. It’s just not always possible to shoot every music video, go on every tour, and do all the things you want to do.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
I wish people would stop gatekeeping. It’s honestly so overrated. If you’re not willing to help people and be transparent, I think you’re a shady mf-er and you probably aren’t doing anything cool anyways. I just don’t see the point. There have been so many people who have helped us, but the same amount of people who have been unkind and unhelpful.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
This song, and subsequently the title of our record, did not have a name until, like, the middle of July. We had kind of a demo of this track and were working to revamp it a bit. We were working on Ben’s verse, and having and intense conversation about exactly what the song is about and what we wanted to say.
At the end of the day, it boiled down to asking yourself “what do you want?” and going for it no matter what. It was really a lightbulb moment and those lyrics just kind of popped into my head. Approximately two minutes later we knew that was the name of this song and the record.
What are your plans for the coming months?
Our album comes out on September 9th, and then we hit the road for the rest of the fall! We’ll be touring the Pacific Northwest, the midwest, and the northeast. Then we’ll hunker down for the winter and work on projects in our home studio in Butte, MT.
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
We have some friends here in Montana who we love collaborating with, and hopefully we can fit that in this winter!
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Thank you for listening and being a part of our journey. We hope you love this new music as much as we do!