Cascade Weekly - February 7th, 2002
Featured Artist of the Gorge by Mike Cortner
For about two years, electronics based trio, Dead Poets Society, has been performing their style of electro-goth music in the Gorge and around the Northwest, and have built up a dedicated following. All residents of The Dalles, members Wa, Tim Gibson, and Raven Nightshado are musically working towards promoting the gaining of knowledge as a worthwhile pastime and to change the face of electronic music through their live performances and studio recordings.
Their debut album, The Electric Haze, is described as having created an emotional experience through the use of instrumental textures and moods. With the release of their second album, DEPROGRAMMING, the dead poets re-explore some of the avenues already trad upon in the virtual city of the electric haze, while also providing some new experiences as well.
With influences randing from hard dance to goth, Dead Poets Society’s music presents a unique mix of moods and rhythms ranging from tribal to a darker, at times almost “pink floydish”, tonal groove. As well as performing their own original arrangements at live shows, they also knock out some cool versions of popular new-wave covers such as Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”, and Gary Numan’s “Cars”.
As primary programmer, percussionist, and songwriter for the group, Wa is a driving force behind the music. Playing percussion since age 9 and highly influenced by jazz, Wa performed in the University of Oregon Marching band and in The Dalles Theatre Company. In 1992, he was selected to the Columbia River Gorge McDonald’s All Star Jazz Group, performing clinics at selected venues as a way for students to gain exposure to jazz.
Guitarist and bassist for the band, Tim Gibson has played for years and has been involved in many musical projects including work with The Dalles Theatre Company as both performer and make-up artist. His theatrical credits include productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Stop The World I Want To Get Off. Tim also plays piano, sax, trumpet, trombone, and is involved in keyboards and programming.
Raven is keyboardist, vocalist and lyricist for the band and is involved in programming as well. Also an artist, she works with Wa in the creation of the bands album and poster art. Self taught in music and art, she recalls always having drawn and as a kid being particularly fond of doing collage. She now enjoys drawing on the computer through various art programs that are available. As for Raven’s artistic inspiration, “I’m all about books.” she says. “Everything that I read comes out in my music and my art.”
Currently the band is promoting their new album with live shows in addition to getting radio support over the internet and airplay through programs like Area 54 and on KMCQ 104.5 FM. They recently played the Portside Pub in The Dalles, but plan on performing more all-ages shows.
In the band’s pursuit to promote knowledge through music, WA notes that they are trying to open up opportunities for other all-ages groups, and for people to see art. “I don’t think of us as a bar band- that we’re selling alcohol. We’re actually artists selling different visions of life, and if we can rock your butt off at the same time, well that’s great!!”