Decoded’s Derek: Charities, Boise and A Girl Named Al

Last week Decoded’s Topanga made its way onto the Golden Mixtape pages, but this week we’re getting to know one of the men behind the music; Derek Jordan. He’s had his battles in the past from weird middle school days to the ever changing roster that is his band’s “members” section on Facebook. Today he’s no longer that socially inept kid and has a line-up he says is as solid as could be.

He’d fight for Topanga Lawrence in a heartbeat, has some solid leads to reaching his goals and it winning his war with time. Keep on reading on to find out more about Decoded’s Derek Jordan.

Kendra: When we first hooked up you were being very charitable. Is Decoded still helping out others?

Derek Jordan: I still look for charitable causes to get involved with. We aren’t currently linked to a particular one. I have to feel really passionate about something to give it my all. One day I’ll create my own charitable foundation that improves the lives of Native Americans living on reservations. I’ve always wanted to do that.

Kendra: What’s up with going through 20 members since the band started in 2012?

Derek: I’ve wondered the same thing!  I didn’t know if it was because we were bad or good.  It was like a revolving door and super frustrating.  We finally have a solid lineup in place.  Without those changes, we wouldn’t have what we have now, so I’m thankful for that.

Kendra: I honestly thought the album was named after Topanga Canyon until I saw the cover art, which I love. But were you in an adolescence mindset when you made the record since it seemed to be inspired by a childhood crush?

Derek: I’m a very nostalgic person.  I grew up on that TGIF shit!  I do look back a lot on my middle school and high school days.  And I regret a lot.  I wasn’t social.  I was extremely introverted, had no confidence and didn’t know how to communicate with people.  When I see all of these super mature and confident kids that are still under 21, I think to myself, “I didn’t learn how to talk until I was 20.”  I never even had a single girlfriend in high school!  Topanga was the love I never had.  And I think about what-ifs.  What if I would have been the way I am now back then?  But you know what; I’d never be the person I am now without going through that stuff.  I identified with music, with my guitar.  It gave me significance.  It was my out and I stuck with it.  But that nostalgia will always remain with me.  I still look at 5th and 6th grade as my two favorite years.

Kendra: Other than Topanga, who were some of your other crushes?

Derek: Winnie Cooper, Jennifer Love Hewitt, one of the Step-by-Step girls, I think her name was Al, and the singer Jewel, to name a few!

Kendra: Have you accomplished anything off your guys’ goal list yet?

Derek: Well we’ve got some interesting leads towards a couple of them.  If you put things out there, other things pop up and you realize things are closer within reach than you think.

Kendra: Since it’s on the list, why do you want to tour Boise – what’s going on over there that I’m not aware of?

Derek: There’s a festival happening there in March that our good friend Greg Shaw of Nanobot Rock Reviews told me about.  We want to play it.  That would be our first festival show and Decoded’s first show outside of Southern California, so we’d make a tour out of it.

Kendra: What’s one thing you wish you could have complete control over?

Derek: Time.  I’m obsessed with it.  I’ve gotten a lot better though.  I used to feel like everything was on a time crunch and I had to achieve certain things before I hit certain ages, but I kind of let it flow now.  It will happen when it happens.  All I can do is do my best and love what I do.

Kendra: If you were Cory and were going to make Topanga a mixtape, what 5 songs would have to be on it?

Derek: Ooh fun!
Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
Oh! Darling” by The Beatles
Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells
Since I’ve Been Loving You” by Led Zeppelin


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