Guitarist and vocalist, Danny Rocco, from Secret Weapons, signed to Epic Records and toured with Weezer and Fall Out Boy, is back with Des Rocs, a brand new moniker and style. His mission is to reclaim the ineffable feeling of pulse-pounding, sweat-pouring, honest-to-greatness rock music. This is exemplified in his debut single “Hvy Mtl Drmr“, a track possessing a retro, anthemic rock appeal with a modern, alternative and indie rock twist. Have a listen embedded below.
Danny Rocco: I’m New York born and raised, grew up on Long Island, and I’ve been based in Brooklyn the last few years. I would go to North Fork, LI, which is an amazing summertime retreat. It’s a perfect mix of country and beach. It’s super chill. You can really hang out and decompress out there.
SR: Now, being in Brooklyn, talk about its appeal. All the boroughs in New York have their own feel, but what stands out about Brooklyn in particular?
DR: Brooklyn is just so massive. There’s more people in Brooklyn then there are in Delaware. It’s so big, and people usually stereotype it as one neighborhood, like Williamsburg, but there’s so much more out there to check out. I run into new Brooklyn neighborhoods all the time and I’ve been living in NY my entire life. There’s always so much more to discover and so much more to see. If you get out of your comfort zone, walk around and explore new neighborhoods or places, there’s amazing things to unlock.
SR: To bring it back a bit, I wanted to talk about how you first got introduced to music. Was it through your family or friends? How did you become exposed to it? What led to eventually creating your own?
DR: I was always a classical musician growing up. I played violin when I was a little kid. I started in second grade. Then, when I was a teenager, I found a guitar in my attic that was my mom’s from the 60’s. I just started playing it. After that I was hooked ever since.
SR: Now, you’re back with your new moniker Des Rocs. Talk about your inspiration behind that. Why did you break away from what you were previously doing in Secret Weapons and start fresh?
DR: I was on tour for a couple of years and I really just felt there was something missing in rock music, a classic energy that defined the music I grew up on – Elvis, Roy Orbison and Queen. I just feel that energy is wholly absent today. That’s what I really know best, and what I wanted to re-contextualize and provide for a modern audience.
SR: I had a chance to listen to your debut single “Hvy Mtl Drmr” and I got that vibe from the sound and the liveliness of the video. Talk about that track. I know you wanted to bring that old-school feel into it, but what else makes it exciting to release for your fans?
DR: I think, lyrically, it sums up a lot for me. It’s a good introduction track for what Des Rocs is all about. It tells the story of what I just told about me finding the guitar in the attic. That songs sort of as if I was able to speak to myself in that moment and tell myself all the trials and tribulations I’d go through. The concept of this “Hvy Mtl Drmr” is just about this little kid that loves rock and roll and thinks about it all the time. I think there’s a nostalgic piece to it and it fits my music really well.
SR: Really cool to hear. To transition into travel, what kind of vacationer are you? Are you a beach guy or looking to be in the center of a city somewhere?
DR: I can’t sit still for 20 seconds. If I’m going to the beach, the second I sit down, I’m ready to go. What I love doing is going to Upstate [NY] to the Hudson River towns. It’s super chill hanging out up there, eating good food and doing a lot of good writing up there.
SR: How about international travel? What’s your travel history in that regard?
DR: I studied abroad in Rome for a few months, and I got to explore a lot of Europe. I went to Egypt for a few days, which was a really crazy experience. I’ve been all over Europe, and with touring I’ve been to every state in the United States – all over Canada, as well.
SR: I always love to ask well-traveled people if there are any necessities that you have to bring with you on an airline?
DR: If I don’t have headphones that really sucks. I bring a sleep mask these days, so I can kind of conk out.
SR: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world, but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling, specifically surrounding music, have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?
DR: I think it’s incredibly special to partake in any medium that crosses language barriers. Some of the best songwriters in the world don’t even speak English well, and their lyrics, some might not even mean anything, just feel good to sing. I think there’s something incredibly unifying about what syllables that people like to hear sung over certain things, or even vowels. It’s this unifying human thread. It’s just weird to think that we’re born in such different places of the world, but have this uniting factor in our brain that we developed. It’s really powerful and it’s really interesting.
SR: One thing that stands out to me is that all these cultures have different ways of consuming music. In Japan, a lot of artists tell me that when they play a song the crowd is just completely silent, but as soon as the song’s over they just erupt. Obviously, it’s not like that in the US where everyone is going nuts throughout the concert. Now, are there any destinations that you haven’t been to, but still want to hit?
DR: It’s really interesting. Talking about Japan, I really want to go there. I’m a huge fan of Japanese food and culture. I think it would be one of the most different places I could go to. There’s a lot I’d like to see and do there. I also want to go to Sicily. I’m half Sicilian, so it would be nice to get in touch with my roots and explore the country.
SR: Lastly, I know that you have a busy couple of months coming up. What do they have in store for you? Is there anything that we haven’t touched on that you’d like to highlight?
DR: I’m going to be releasing another track [soon]. So, on my radar it’s a lot of working on music. We’re planning what’s next now. We’ll be gearing up for a lot of touring this summer.