Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock are just a couple of Midwest folks. One from a noticeable city on the map and the other from a town whose population would barely fill 2% of most NFL stadiums. Despite being far from your typical music hot spots, they managed to each find their way to music after finding friendship in one another. Come middle school their minds were set and the groundwork was being laid for Disq. Today they’re on the verge of releasing Communication b/w Parallel at the end of January 2019 and playing on the west coast. They talked about all of the above and representing an underrepresented part of the music scene in a new doc series.
Kendra: When did you two realize that you weren’t just lifelong friends, but could potentially make something of music together?
Raina Bock: We started playing in bands together in 2012. So I was in 7th grade and Isaac was in 8th. I distinctly remember going over to Isaac’s in maybe 4th grade though. I’d been playing bass for a bit, but he’d been playing forever already and he played “Jesus of Suburbia” on this absurd massive drum kit he had in his basement and being totally mind blown.
Isaac deBroux-Slone: I definitely have some memory of this. Although I feel like I most likely played “Tom Sawyer” on the drums. Raina was definitely one of the only friends I had at a younger age that was somewhat serious about playing music. So it became a pretty natural partnership pretty quickly from what I remember.
Kendra: Some musicians have lessons and some are self-taught. You two represent both sides of the coin in that regards. How do you feel your personal journey to learning music has helped shape the overall sound of Disq?
Raina Bock: I had SO many opportunities to go about music in a more formal way. Whether that was personal instruction, school orchestra, or summer jazz programs. I really just never took to it. Music has always been something that’s much more intuitive than intellectual for me, which I’m super grateful for. If I enjoyed juicing my brain all the time I’d have pursued chemistry. Of course, there are trade-offs, but I think not having the lens of theory affecting everything I do with music allows me to conceptualize and think about it in a lot of different weird and creative ways.
Isaac deBroux-Slone: Recently I’ve been a lot more self-taught, I’m grateful to have had guitar and piano lessons for a long time growing up. It definitely gave me a good foundation to be able to carry out whatever musical ideas I have. On the other side, I’m a completely self-taught drummer. It’s nice to be able to let ideas flow organically but use a more technical side of knowledge to analyze what you’re doing and really make it the best.
Kendra: Speaking of two sides, your upcoming release Communication b/w Parallel showcases that. Whose idea was it to have “Communication” represent one idea and “Parallel” rep another? And do you feel like audiences can hear each of you represented more on one side over the other?
Isaac deBroux-Slone: I wrote the two songs around the same time. “Communication” about the everyday struggles of interactions and misunderstandings I experience. Then “Parallel” about a deep personal friendship that I had lost at the time. We took “Communication” and the video to Saddle Creek and needed to choose a song to go on the other side of the single. Eventually, we realized “Parallel” would be perfect. The two themes and sounds of the songs contrast in an interesting way, but also compliment each other really well.
Kendra: This record is also part of an interesting documentary series from Saddle Creek which highlights artistic communities that have been overlooked. How did you get involved in this project and what community are you highlighting?
Disq: We had “Communication” finished along with the music video and had shopped it around a bit to see who would put it out. Saddle Creek offered to put out “Communication” as well as another song which turned out to be “Parallel” on their Documentary Series. It’s a vinyl single series that highlights different overlooked artistic communities, such as our hometowns of Madison and Viroqua, Wisconsin.
Kendra: Right before the record drops you’ll be playing in LA at the Bootleg Theater. Will this be your first time playing in LA?
Raina Bock: First time playing anywhere on the west coast! We’re really excited to be playing the Bootleg. We’ve heard good things.
Kendra: Other than the new album and the LA show, what else does 2019 hold for you?
Raina Bock: Hopefully some east coast touring, hopefully.
Isaac deBroux-Slone: East coast touring, hopefully, SXSW as well! And playing some shows in and around our good old hometowns.