Deniz' enduring friendship with Scott Morgan dates from when Deniz first saw Scott's mid-60's band, The Rationals, when he was 14 years old. They began to play together in the mid 70's, when Deniz did the occasional guest spot with Sonics Rendezvous Band. Since then they have worked together in Dodge Main, 3 Assassins, the SRB Reunion), and finally, Powertrane. At heart the band delivers a brutal guitar onslaught with three and sometimes four guitars in the line-up. Powertrane's guitar section is underpinned by Robert Gillespie (The Rockets and Rob Tyner's All Stars). The engine room is manned by Ann Arbor natives Chris Taylor on bass, and currently, Al King on drums. The line-up varies, and part time members besides Deniz include singer Hiawatha Bailey (Cult Heroes), and guitarist Ron Asheton (The Stooges). The only recording so far Ann Arbor Revival Meeting (2002) documents a gig at A2's Blind Pig with Mitch Ryder. The band continues to tour and has recently released their studio album Beyond The Sound.
Deniz first met Ron Sanchez and heard Donovan's Brain in 1995. It would be several years before he joined the Brain for the Great Leap Forward album. As a full member of this sprawling psychedelic combo, he has become one of the principal songwriter in the band. Along the way Deniz and several of the Brains recorded half of the Angie Pepper album, Res Ipsa Loquitor. Donovan's Brain have also backed Career label mate, Penny Ikinger on her debut tour of the US. Fires Which Burnt Brightly, the 2009 Brain album, features two Deniz Tek compositions, as well as his vocals and guitar. Deniz received a co-producer's credit for his work in the studio. Ron and Deniz have also collaborated on film music produced by the Donovan's Brain side project, The Armchair Explorers.
The Soul Movers
In late 2008 Deniz teamed up with Lizzie Mack, and began writing new material custom made for Lizzie's voice, which seemed to fall into a 60's groove somewhere between Memphis Soul and Beat music. They called the studio-assembled band the Soul Movers, and had completed an albums worth of tracks by March of 2009.<br>
The Soul Movers first album, "On The IN Side" on Cool Time Records / Career, was greeted by critical acclaim and is now available through usual mail order and digital distribution channels.
Soul Movers played showcases in the USA, Europe and Australia in late 2009, and further live performances are planned for 2010.
Q: You've always gone your own way, temperament or circumstance?
"I try to go my own way regardless of circumstances, so I guess it is partly temperament and partly upbringing. My Dad always told me that it was better to be guided by gyro rather than radar"
Q: Do the best songs always write themselves?
"I don't know. Other writers may be able to sit down and deliberately and technically craft a great song. But for me, it just happens. I find the songs, or they find me ... they are out there and I uncover them or bring them down out of the ether. I feel lucky to get those songs, and the word "creativity" in this instance may be a misnomer. Once the idea is there, of course, it takes a degree of songcraft to get it finished"
Q: You write very poetic lyrics and your instrumental stuff is really lush and lyrical too, what speaks louder lyrics or music?
"I try to keep the lyrics ambiguous or obscure, so the listeners can find their own meaning. Often they come up with better meanings and they may even mishear the original written lyric and hear a better one. People will comment on these "wrong" lyrics to me and sometimes I will use the listener's misheard lyrics when the songs are performed thereafter. The important thing is for the sound of the words to be right so they can merge with the chords and the beat. The sound speaks on a more basic and universal level that the lyrics. When I hear a singer from Mali, it speaks to me although I have no idea what the guy is saying"
Q: Is there such a thing as a perfect show and if so, when and where was it?
"Nothing is perfect but there are many outstanding shows. Any time a band is playing out of their minds as hard as they can, and the audience connects with that energy, that creates a special situation. The energy grows and it all becomes much bigger than the individuals involved. When that happens, it's better than perfection"
Q: Were all the people who claimed to have seen Radio Birdman really there, and were they paying customers?
"I have no idea, but we do have fairly large guest lists ... "
Q: Which song do you wish you'd written?
"Gimme Shelter. Among hundreds of others"
Q: Do all the best bands combust?
"Everything combusts. It's just a matter of when. The great bands stay long enough to pass on the torch to the next generation, to connect to the next link in the chain coming along. The volatility of personalities and the tensions in the way they interact may contribute to greatness, but also contribute to destruction. Negative emotions can be taken a long way and can power some very intense art. It may be exciting to watch but ultimately it's not good for the band or the individuals and it may eventually destroy them. It happened to Radio Birdman.Some of the greatest bands have proven to be very durable. What about the Stones? The Who? The Stooges? There are many examples. Despite the death of members and all sorts of personal and interpersonal crises, these bands that started in the sixties are still here today and still making great music. They were able, in the long run, to put their troubles aside and keep on with the music. And in a heartbeat, they too will be gone."