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Deantoni Parks (born November 2, 1977) is an American new wave/avant-garde/experimental drummer, songwriter, film director, actor and record producer. He is the founder, producer and drummer of the New York band KUDU, and one-half of the writing duo Dark Angels with producer and keyboardist Nick Kasper, also a member of KUDU. He was a member of progressive rock band The Mars Volta, and is currently a member (together with Kasper) of the alternative rock band Bosnian Rainbows.
Based in Brooklyn, New York City, he is a vested partner in a developing audio/visual communications agency. In between writing and performances he has been participating as part-time faculty at Stanford Jazz Workshop, Berklee College of Music and NYC’s Drummers Collective.
Deantoni was born and raised in Newnan, Georgia. His family’s musical preferences leaned towards funk, Southern soul and gospel and with their full support he began playing drums when he was two years old. He was put in the national spotlight before the age of five as a result of his practice and performance with the Newnan High School band. Xernona Clayton from The Xernona Clayton Show broadcast on WAGA-TV in Atlanta interviewed him for a national broadcast segment that aired in 1982.
He later explored jazz as a teen with Delbert Felix and chose to enroll at Berklee College of Music, where study with Lenny Nelson and exposure to Photek, Squarepusher, and Hidden Agenda turned his focus to the mechanistic beats of electronic music.
In 1998 while living in Boston Deantoni drafted the Now Wave Manifesto. It was these beliefs that provided the foundation for the core song structures that ultimately led to the recording of the KUDU demo. He founded KUDU with his then girlfriend Sylvia Gordon, Nick Kasper.
KUDU was performing Photek, Roni Size and Cujo covers at venues (name specific venues or shows with select acts) around Boston. Due to Deantoni’s ability to play these hyper/punk/virtuosic rhythms live, KUDU inspired and influenced many American drummers and live drum and bass acts from 2000 forward. Bill Laswell, Vernon Reid (Living Colour) and Jojo Mayer, were all seen at early KUDU shows after the band relocated to New York City in 2000.
Kudu released their self-titled debut on Velour Recordings, a New York-based label, in 2001. The band eventually agreed to terms with Nublu Records and in 2006 the label released their Death of the Party album. NuBlu also released Back for More: A Remix Collection. The album featured a cherry-picked selection of unreleased tracks, B-sides, rare recordings and remixes by Armand Van Helden, Tommie Sunshine, Sinden, Drop the Lime, King Britt, Curtis Vodka, Hess Is More, LingLing and others.
Between summer 2006 and the fall of 2007 they performed at the Roskilde Festival held south of Roskilde in Denmark, Delta Tejo Festival in Portugal and Transmusicales held annually in Rennes, Brittany, France.
Their last public performance was opening for Me'shell Ndegeocello at the Highline Ballroom in the fall of 2009.
Despite KUDU’s early success the group has not released an album since 2008’s Back for More. Nick Kasper, Sylvia Gordon and Deantoni have all continued to write and produce tracks for other artists including John Cale and Me'shell Ndegeocello. In early 2009 Deantoni and Nick Kasper began collaborating as the writing duo, Dark Angels. They are currently shopping their debut record for a publishing deal.
Parks briefly joined The Mars Volta in September 2006, following the departure of Blake Fleming. Touring with the band for two months, Parks was subsequently replaced by Thomas Pridgen. Regarding his exit from the band, Parks stated, "I was already working heavily with John Cale at the time, and also KUDU. And, to be honest, at the time, I was just more loyal to them, obviously. And, you know, were looking for drummers too. I was just there to fill-in, or whatever. I mean I clicked really, really well with Omar and I always remember that so I never blocked out the idea of working with them again. It was just that time, it was a weird time for me to join then so that’s why it didn’t happen."
Deantoni joined the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group on their autumn 2010 tour across Japan, the US and Russia. He has also recorded on a handful of Omar's albums since 2008's release Old Money, his contribution recorded when Deantoni first joined The Mars Volta in 2006. He rejoined The Mars Volta in late 2010 and stayed until their dissolution after 2012's Noctourniquet.
Together with Rodriguez-Lopez, singer Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes and his KUDU/Dark Angels bandmate Kasper, Parks formed a new band called Bosnian Rainbows in 2012. Their first full-length, self-titled album was released on June 25, 2013.
Deantoni maintains part-time work as an instructor at Stanford Jazz Workshop, The Drummer's Collective NYC and Berklee College of Music. He has been involved with each of these institutions since 1998.
Deantoni was featured as an actor and drummer in Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut "Sympathy for Delicious" along with Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney, Orlando Bloom and Mark Ruffalo. He also performed on the title track for the movie with The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. Deantoni appeared on the soundtrack of the Tamra Davis documentary, The Radiant Child, with Michael Holman and Jean-Michel Basquiat's band, Gray.
While touring the globe between 1998-2009 Deantoni collected hours and hours of video footage. In the fall of 2009 he compiled this footage and edited it with photographs from these travels to create a series of ten videos. These ten videos encompass the whole of the DaDa YaYa video series. These short films, all of which are three to ten minutes in length will be produced as Sound Art/Installation/Performance Art pieces. The entire series consists of ten installations (one for each film) and a retrospective, where all of the films will be screened in their entirety. The event series will be produced and marketed by his audio/visual communications agency.
Jul 31, 2012