Rick Carl (who creates music under the moniker Deaf Wasp) is a second-year student and musician at UR. Fun, poppy synths and staccato drums make up his homegrown EDM, always accompanied by hazy imagery and titles reminiscent of snapshot photography. The Campus Times sat down with Rick (virtually) to discuss his musical process, and the merits of wasps over bees.
Campus Times: When did you first start writing music?
Rick Carl: I started writing music when I was in middle school. I started by playing keyboard in
a few bands and writing some parts. Around 2012, I started making electronic music on my own,
and I’ve been working on improving ever since.
CT: A lot of your song titles relate to locations or weather. Would you say it’s easier
writing about internal or external states? To what extent do they relate?
RC: A lot of my songs are inspired by little snapshots of things that have happened to me, so I’d
say they’re a combination of internal and external things. Like, for example, ‘Mount Hope’ was
inspired by a night that I was walking alone in Mount hope Cemetery. So it’s inspired by that
place, the walk I took, how I felt, what I was thinking, etc. Feelings are definitely easier to write
songs about, but I’m mostly focused on capturing a mood in a specific atmosphere.
CT: Do you notice a difference in the sound you produce while you’re in your hometown
versus in Rochester?
RC: Well, I think my friendships and interests that I’ve developed since being in Rochester
have definitely affected the kind of music I make. My new album, “Evening Comes,” is my first
release in several years because I’ve been changing my sound from my older experimental music to a new dance-oriented EDM sound.
CT: What about making EDM appeals to you?
RC: I like making EDM because I have a lot of opinions about what makes a good EDM song.
Most of those factors are things that I’ve only heard one or two artists use well, so I like trying to
make EDM that I enjoy. EDM also leaves a lot of room for creativity, and it’s a lot of fun
spending hours getting a tiny little second of music just perfect. And at the end I’ve got a fun
track I can dance to, and that’s always really rewarding.
CT: Now, the most important question: If you were in a fight and could only pick between
a bee and a wasp to back you up, which would you choose?
RC: [Laughs] I’d definitely pick a wasp. Bees just sting once and they’re done, a wasp can just keepon fighting!
Deaf Wasp’s newest release “Evening Comes” can be found on Spotify.