I knew immediately that Kelley Deal and I were going to get along, but I don't think it had anything to do with me.
Lately, I've been getting a little bummed out on bands. I've gone to enough house shows starting three hours late with five bands on the bill. The magic has worn down.
But from the second Deal answered the phone with a wild hello, the excitement was back. Her warm-hearted ecstatic energy lifts you up. By the time our call ended, it was obvious to me why there would be people lining up to collaborate with her
This positivity radiates from her newest band R. Ring. Both Deal (The Breeders, The Last Hard Men, The Kelley Deal 6000) and bandmate Mike Montgomery (Ampline) are decades into careers putting out music that is consistently idiosyncratic and innovative. Their combined superpowered songwriting ability comes through on every new R. Ring song.
It would be easy for someone with as prestigious a career as this duo to slip into nostalgia, to coast on their own success. Instead, they created a musical world for themselves that is not centered on spectacle and self-aggrandizement, but instead rooted in creating and engaging with other humans around them. They maintain a relationship with music that makes it about connecting and communicating with the active community of people in their lives.