Kounterclockwise: Wife & Husband Team Mixing On The Mic & Real Life
1) Krip-Hop Nation KHN – Lets go back to NY where you started in Hip-Hop give us your story of that time.
Deacon: Basically I moved to New York City in 2001 and started a recording studio with a childhood friend, called The Padded Room on 38th & 8th ave in the heart of Manhattan where I was making beats for other groups, ghost-writing for other artists, and developing and recording my own material.
2) KHN: So in your bio it said you were planning to come to Cali, why?
Deacon: Well, we had 3 deals on the table in NYC with Rawkus, Tommy Boy, and Universal; that all fell through. So we decided we needed a change of pace and since I really loved the underground music scene that I experienced while visiting Los Angeles, I really wanted Kaya to share it with me. We also had a few independent labels in LA that were interested in us, so the plan was to relocate.
3) KHN: Then your car accident happened. Take us back to that time.
Deacon: Well, it wasn’t a car accident. I can’t discuss the specifics of the incident because of a pending lawsuit. But, at the time of the accident we had stopped in Cleveland to spend time with my sick Grandfather and to spend quality time with my mother before making the big move to LA. The accident kept us in Cleveland. For the past 4 years we’ve been recovering physically and mentally and pouring all those mixed emotions into our music.
4) KHN: Krip-Hop Nation haven’t run across the husband/wife Hip-Hop group until Kounterclockwise tell us how you two met and that name.
Deacon: We met in NYC in 2001 right before 9/11 happened at a venue in the East Village. We clicked instantly and when I found out she played bass, I asked her if she wanted to form a group together. We came up with the name Kounterclockwise, which simply means going against the grain and going in the opposite direction of the mainstream.
5) KHN: Love the way you mix Rock, Hip-Hop and I hear everything from Jazz to Punk. Am I right? Please explain and who have inspired you musically?
Deacon: You are definitely right. We are both inspired by a wide variety of artists and love pretty much ALL genres of music. We love everything including: Nine Inch Nails, A Tribe Called Quest, Maximum The Hormone, Joy Division, Kool Keith from the Ultra Magnetic MC’s, Skinny Puppy, Thelonious Monk, Dethklok, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, The Ramones, Dangermouse, Stereolab, Nirvana, Sun Ra, Bjork, De La Soul and the whole Native Tongue, Johnny Cash, KRS-One, Beethoven, The Cure, High Powered Mutants, Marilyn Manson, The Sex Pistols, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dead Can Dance, Tricky, Led Zeppelin, Jim Morrison, Tenacious D, MF Doom, Beck, The Dissociatives, The Cocteau Twins, Duran Duran… We can really go on and on literally for pages of bands that we love and listen to daily for inspiration. It’s so hard to narrow down to just a few.
5) KHN: Your new CD is coming out give us a highlight of themes of the tracks.
Deacon: The album is called “Daylight Savings Time.” It starts out with a song called ‘December 20th, 2012’ and ends with one called ‘December 21st, 2012. The theme of the album basically is about humanity in the face of the Mayan Calendars prediction of the end of the world as we know it being on that day. Humanity is living like scavengers trying desperately to hoard and get as much as they can before it’s all over. Each song takes you through different human emotions and actions; desperation, fear, excess, drug abuse, loss, sex & love, ambition, desire, betrayal, confusion, anger, revenge, reflection, redemption, self-destruction, and finally total destruction.
6) KHN: This is for Kaya Carine Gabriel, being a woman, musician and partner of Deacon have you seen discrimination in the Hip-Hop scene against u and your partner
Kaya: Most certainly although I choose not to dwell on it. For example, Deacon & I split the production down the middle and I’m fully involved in the production and recording of each song, yet often times people assume that I’m just a back-up singer or they think my husband is the whole band and I’m not even in the group at all. (Though I must say when it comes to lyrical songwriting genius – Deacon Burns is definitely the MC!!!) We also get discrimination from major record labels that want to be able to fit us into a category and since they can’t figure out how to box us in, they may say our music is un-marketable in any mainstream manner. I have also noticed that many venues are still not wheelchair accessible, limiting the places we can perform.
7) KHN: In your view what is missing in Hip-Hop?
Deacon: Originality and the freedom to experiment and be yourself!
Kaya: Major labels are still pigeon holding young talent causing them to try to fit the molds and be just like every other mainstream Hip-Hop group. It’s frustrating to constantly hear statements like, we love what you’re doing but can you make it sound more like this person or that group. We insist on being ourselves!
8) KHN: Do you think the music scene is ready for you two being a couple dealing with disability and sexism of the bling bling of Hip-Hop?
Deacon: I think people are more then ready after being force fed years of the same bubble gum Hip-Hop. People are thirsting for something that will truly speak to them. The reality is that most people are dealing with real life issues including disabilities, disease, addiction, sexism, poverty, etc… I think they want to hear music that they can relate to. We’re not all living lavishly and can afford to live in mansions, sipping champagne, riding in Maseradis, making it rain $ on strippers, while rocking platinum chains encrusted with diamonds.
Kaya: (lol) And we are going to give it to them our way whether they are ready or not!
9) KHN: In your point of view what is the advantage of being an independent verse a sign artist and visa-versa where do u see yourself in the future?
Deacon: The advantage of being independent is complete freedom to be ourselves and express our music our way without being told what is a single, what is not a single, and that we need more radio-friendly hits before we can release our album. And we avoid making forced music made under the pressure of un-inspiring deadlines and major-label demands. The only advantage of being signed that I can see is having the marketing, promotion, and distribution teams helping to put you out there. But with The Internet, we really have the power to reach people worldwide by putting in the work, marketing, and distributing ourselves. In the future? Well, personally I want to form an army of disabled/paralyzed artists worldwide called ‘The Autobots’ and start our own musical and creative revolution. I see myself sort of as an Optimus Prime telling them it’s time to Transform & Roll Out. We will be seen everywhere shocking the world with just how Able and Powerful we still ARE!!!
10) KHN: What is your advice for couples that are artists and want to collaborate?
Deacon: To completely focus on each other by cutting out the people that bring you drama. Create your vision and work, work, work, until it becomes real.
11) KHN: When your CD comes out are you planning a tour?
Deacon: Yes! We do plan on touring. We want to hit both coasts. It’s going to be quite a challenge and require careful planning because of the wheelchair situation, but we are going to make it happen.
12) KHN: How can people get your CD & contact you?
Deacon: “Daylight Savings Time” – the album will be available for absolutely FREE download as soon as it drops and the links will be posted at:
You can contact us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our own website is Coming Soon:
13) KHN: Any last words:
Kaya&Deacon: We want to thank Leroy Moore and Krip-Hop Nation. “Daylight Savings Time” will be out soon. Feel free to contact us at any of the links above and we will make sure you’ll be among the first to hear the album. And to all people living with disabilities, don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do or stand in your way!