Des Rocs Talks Musical Background, ‘Used to the Darkness’ and More


Get to know Des Rocs, a classically-trained violinist turned rock 'n' roller.

Des Rocs – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Rory Barnes

Meet Des Rocs, a classically-trained violinist who makes raw, real rock ‘n’ roll

Des Rocs makes the kind of raw, real rock ‘n’ roll that one wants to crank on a warm summer night. Songs such as “Wayne” and “Used to the Darkness” showcase an earnest talent for creating and passion for quality songwriting and performing. It’s easy to hear the influences, from Bruce Springsteen to Roy Orbison.

Des Rocs has a fascinating history, which includes growing up in New York City, going to law school and, musically, opening up for everyone from The Rolling Stones to Muse. He checked in with Audio Ink to talk about new music, what he’s been doing on quarantine and more.

You have a very interesting background of touring the world as a classical violinist in high school. How did that experience influence you and make you want to pursue music when you were older?

I grew up with so many different musical influences and experiences, and they all get dumped into the Des Rocs blender and form my DNA. I think most importantly from the classical world was a sense of drama, emotion and an endless appreciation of sweeping melody.

You also hold a law degree. How did you successfully juggle law school and being a musician?

In school, you have one test at the end of the semester that’s worth 100% of your grade. I spent a very wacky three years of my life touring in vans, sleeping on basement floors, and reading textbooks in the parking lots of recreation centers in Kentucky. I could meek out a few dollars on the road and study during the day while getting to make my art at night to a handful of people.

Do you think getting an education has helped you with your music?

Yes– I always want to know everything. Knowledge is power. Every artist should know as much as they possibly can about every single facet of what they are doing.

I really enjoy your song, “Used to the Darkness.” Tell me about the genesis of that track and what it means to you.

Thank you. I was going through an unbelievably dark period in my life. I became numb to a lot of the world, and it took a long time to crawl out of it. This song is about the genesis of that period.

Coronavirus has turned the world upside down this year. How has it impacted you and your music?

Well, like everybody else, I’m grounded and off the road for the time being. All those times that I said, “Man, if I just had a few months off the road to really focus on finishing all these songs…” Now, I have to make good on all of that talk.

How are things in New York City right now? At first, New York was a hot spot, but now, I’m happy to see New York seems to have contained the virus.

New York City went through a really dark period in early spring. They were some tough days, but we don’t f** around. New Yorkers snap to it. We’re doing so much better, and it’s incredible.

What has kept you busy during quarantine?

Everything. Life. Music. Art. I never sit still.

What do you hope listeners bring away from hearing your music?

That I would die for every single note and word in every single song.

Great checking in with you, Des Rocs. Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

Stay safe, everybody.