Blame it on the Ramones. After Deerhoof finished recording demos for ‘La Isla Bonita’ this past February, they began rehearsing for an upcoming tour. Halfway through a run-through of a long-time Deerhoof live favorite, their cover of the Ramones classic “Pinhead,” someone offhandedly asked, “Why don’t we ever write a song like this?” So Greg quickly dashed off a song on a scrap of paper, showed it to the band, and they recorded the breakneck stomper “Exit Only” in one take. “And we suddenly realized,” Greg says, “this is the whole thing, this is what the whole record is about!”
A little background: for years, Deerhoof was the only band that sounded like Deerhoof. It wasn’t a far-sighted career move, it was simply the only sound they knew how to make. Their early records were essentially rehearsals recorded on rubble. But in that rubble Deerhoof had planted a seed. And that seed took: when before the steady chug of post-Velvets indie had been the rule, Deerhoof’s neck-snapping syncopations, classical melody, minimal gear and maximal music has slowly become part of the vocabulary: St Vincent, Flaming Lips, Tune-Yards and Dirty Projectors are just a few of the bands to have absorbed some Deerhoof DNA.