Des Rocs isn’t attempting to repeat history. Though his music draws inspiration from the glory days of rock’n’roll (the authenticity of his lyrics, the ability to command a crowd without the bells and whistles), he’s not in the business of replication. “The best shits already been done,” he once declared.
Instead, Rocs (full name Danny Rocco) seeks to capture the feeling of vintage rock. Previously a member of pop/rock duo Secret Weapons, Rocs is having his first go as a solo artist with the experience of a major label behind him. Because of this, he strives for genuineness in his work; his first batch of songs were conceived against the backdrop of the New York City skyline, with no more than a guitar, his laptop, and determination.
The result was a body of work that instantly resonated with rock fans everywhere. His lead single, “Let Me Live / Let Me Die,” just surpassed 21 million streams on Spotify and has been featured everywhere from WWE programming to Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It's loud, and filled with enough roaring guitars that it's no surprise we first discovered it on a playlist titled "Walk Like A Badass".
This summer, the NYC native was given the chance to open for the Rolling Stones, a dream opportunity for any young artist. Last week, he tore up the Lollapalooza stage, and this fall, he’ll embark on a North American tour with the Struts. Suffice to say, it’s been a big year for Des Rocs.
In the midst of it all, we caught up with the rockstar-in-the-making to get exclusive access to the songs he plays to get pumped up before getting onstage every night. Check out the playlist below, and be sure to track Des Rocs to be reminded when he comes to a city near you!
"An absolute insane and almost comical amount of drama. He's just going for it so hard over such beautiful music while also being one of the greatest singers of all time, it's pure entertainment."
"I'm a huge Johnny Cash fan. I feel like this record is a lesser known one that I'm in love with and simply want people to listen to more..."
"Kinda an odd ball 80s record that wears its influences on its sleeves. It's so rad for me to see these foreign decades drawing from the previous decades I'm influenced by, and how with the same inspirations, we arrive at radically different conclusions based on the times we're in."
"I'm obsessed with Stop Making Sense and have been my entire life. The uplift of this chorus sends me screaming every time."
"I remember being a kid and watching the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play Maps at the VMAs. It shook me to my core. It was dramatic, dark, rockin', beautiful... everything that defines what I love most about music. It also defines an era of rock made in NYC and will forever be one of the most special songs to me of all time."
"I think this is one of the most underrated songs of all time. It's the last song on this whackadoo record she did with Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees. I bought it on vinyl because I was in love with the cover and listened straight to the end. When it came to the last song I just couldn't believe what was happening - all the changes in flow and energy, this strange combination of blues, disco, and f*ckin' Barbara. I wore the record out listening over and over."
"Damn this is just a dope gospel record that I want the world to know about. It's exhilarating and all the syncopated band hits drive me wild. You won't get a tighter band than a gospel band. Period."
"An absolute classic and they still rock it to this day like they did in the 70s. One of the greatest guitarists of all time who NEVER gets her due and needs it."
"I'm obsessed with Roy Orbison. This is a period when he came back in the 80s. The song isn't very PC so it didn't age very well, but damn what a beautiful piece of music made by one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time."
"Love the story behind how this song was written in a few mins because their manager said they needed a hit. It's a primal response, and that's everything to me (and motha effin Stevie Winwood is a teenager singing like a god damn 50's soul singer smokin' 100 cigs a day)."