Luce Unplugged: Five Questions for Des Demonas

Photo by Brian Santostefano

This evening, Thursday, February 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Luce Foundation Center hosts another installment of Luce Unplugged.  Thursday shows, presented with Hometown Sounds, are a tribute to a Luce Center artwork selected by the performer. Jessica McFadden, the Luce Foundation Center's Program Specialist, reached out to February’s headliner, Des Demonas, with a few questions.

How did Des Demonas come to be? Can you tell us how you met and where the band name came from?
All of us had been friends before Des Demonas. Our previous bands had played together and we moved in the same circles. We started playing together in a social context, just meeting up to make noise, share ideas, and experiment. When it began to feel like a proper band, we started booking shows and recording and doing the usual band stuff. There's no significance to the band name other than it being the name of this band.

What's your experience in the DC community been like?
DC is complicated, but we live here. The community of people that we have around us is the best.

For whatever reason we're all compelled to make music, and our lives seem better when we do.

— Des Demonas

Can you talk a little about your creative process? From start to finish, how do you make music collaboratively? Does it happen a different way for you every time? Or is it sort of formulaic?
This band doesn't overthink process, we just try to do it. We write through improvisation, repetition and refinement; no rules and no agenda. We try to keep it fun and free and just let things happen.

What inspires you to create? Are there any artists/musicians that have influenced your creative process?
For whatever reason we're all compelled to make music, and our lives seem better when we do. One of the good things about playing in a band is being able to take inspiration from one another. Our backgrounds are different, we all have our own musical influences and aesthetic sensibilities, and we do a lot of sharing within the band. We also pay attention to the music happening around us in DC and that our friends are making. 

Can you give us any details about upcoming projects that you're working on?
There's a new Des Demonas record that we finished late last year and should be released in the next few months. We have fun taking this band on tour and hope to do more of that in the next year. Otherwise, just doing what we do, writing our next set of songs and seeing where that takes us.

Check out Des Demonas on Spotify. Luce Unplugged is a free, monthly concert series held in the Luce Foundation Center for American Art at Smithsonian American Art Museum. The series is organized in partnership with Hometown Sounds, and Washington City Paper.

Be sure to check out our upcoming performances and don't miss Des Demonas performance at Luce Unpluggged on Thursday, February 13! Snacks and libations available for purchase at on-site bar. No registration required. Object talk at 5:30 p.m., Des Demonas at 6 p.m.