WITF Music: The Deconstructionists

  • Joe Ulrich

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Joe Stauffer, Chris Kauffman and Dan Carpenter

The Deconstructionists is a central Pennsylvania band headed by Chris Kauffman. He’s backed up by guitarist/vocalist Joe Stauffer, drummer Dan Carpenter and bassist Joel Meck.

“Sometimes I find that the way I think about things, [are] a little bit lacking,” says Chris. “Sometimes I find that I think I agree with them. And then sometimes you find that maybe I need to change the way I’m thinking about things a little bit. So The Deconstructionists is just a way of taking things apart. And it’s just kind of where I’m at right now with with life, with politics, with religion with just everything.”

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Singer/guitarist Chris Kauffman

After years of playing together in various incarnations, the guys have gotten married, had kids and gone through career changes. And how music fits into their lives and their relationship to each other has evolved. In a previous band Chris and Joe would share writing and lead vocal responsibility, but with changes in life priorities, Joe wanted to step back from songwriting.

“For me music is creative and a stress release,” says Joe. “And so over the years my wife has gotten to know that I still need to be responsible with with how much it takes me away but she also recognizes that it’s important for me to do this because it’s part of my personality, it’s part of my DNA. And if I don’t do it to some degree, then it’s going to be detrimental to me as a person.”

Dan adds that it’s the kind of band where gigs can revolve around whoever can make it. “We’ve kind of become flexible. Like we can have a full band, full drum set, bass and everything, but…depending on who can show up at a gig…we will scale it back a little bit.”

“I think we’ve all come to that point where we know we’re not going to be big rock stars,” Chris says. “I think once ambition comes into it, it compromises the music. I think you start for different reasons. I think your your goals are different, your writing is different, your art is different. And so it feels very freeing to not have to think about that. We’re doing it for the fun of it.”

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