Derrick Dieso is a third-year computer engineering major. He plays guitar and does occasional vocals for his band Skinny Dip, which released its first album this September. They often play around Drexel’s campus on the weekends.
Triangle Talks: Tell us about yourself.
Derrick Dieso: My name is Derrick Dieso. I am a third-year student here at Drexel University as a computer engineering major. This is the third major I’ve gone through.
TT: What were your other majors?
DD: I came to Drexel as an environmental engineering major. After freshmen year I switched to electrical engineering and after my sophomore year to computer engineering.
TT: What made you want to switch to computer engineering?
DD: When I first decided to come to Drexel, or do any sort of school actually, I wanted to progress solar power. That was my goal. I thought by the name that environmental engineering would have something to do with solar power but I was wrong. Turns out that environmental engineering is a lot more chemistry, biology and chemical clean up which isn’t necessarily what I’m interested in, so I switched to electrical. That was going well, but after my first co-op at Princeton Power Systems I realized that I like computing more because it’s a lot like electrical engineering, plus some coding. I’ve been this major for like four weeks now and so far so good! Who knows, next year I’ll maybe find a fourth major, change it up.
TT: Are you involved with anything outside of Drexel?
DD: Funny you should ask! I do a couple of things. Aside from engineering, school and Drexel, I like to be creative and I like music. I do vocals and play guitar in a band called Skinny Dip with some high school friends of mine. We’ve been playing together since our sophomore year of high school and formed Skinny Dip during the summer of our freshman year of college. It was actually around the same time I made that first major switch! It’s been going pretty well. We just played at Drexel two weeks ago and that was pretty cool.
TT: How often do you guys get together to practice?
DD: We practice every now and then. One of the things we like to think is we don’t have to practice as much as newer bands because we’ve been playing together for going on five years. We’ve gotten in sync the way musicians do. So we practice probably a little less than we should.
TT: How would you describe Skinny Dip’s music?
DD: We like to throw around this term moody rock. But if I had to put it in a genre it’s like emo and heavier punk music.
TT: How would you describe the audience who listens to your music?
DD: Drunk college kids. If I had to give it a label. We associate a lot with the underground music [scenes] in Philly. I guess the people that tend to attend house shows in and around Drexel, as well as anyone who is into emo music. We’ve gone on a few tours and had some decent attendance there.
TT: Where did you tour?
DD: Around the North East. We played in Poughkeepsie, New York, New Jersey and Long Island. When we played in Long Island, I was speaking into the microphone between songs and accidentally said “It’s great to be here in Long Island, New Jersey!” If you know anyone from New York the one thing you can say wrong is confusing them with people from New Jersey.
TT: Do you have a cool stage name that you use?
DD: Not particularly. My friends sometimes call me Rick. Actually, we have a song named “Rick’s Couch.” It was based off a joke where my buddy said crashing at Temple when he was in Philly was “better than staying over at Rick’s couch.” He normally sleeps on my couch when he visits. He doesn’t live on my couch. That would be weird.
TT: What do you want to do after graduation? Did you want to be the same thing when you were younger?
DD: Right now I’m definitely looking into engineering. I like lab work. I like doing hands on stuff with electrical engineering and building circuits. But when I was a wee lad between five and 10 years old I wanted to be a paleontologist so bad! Dinosaurs were everything. Paleontology was it and then I realized you just kind of go dig in dirt. All of a sudden it lost its luster.
TT: If you could trade places with anyone, who would you trade places with? Why?
DD: Johnny Depp. He’s got it made. There’s this picture that goes around the Internet every now and then with all the roles Johnny Depp has played. He’s just has done some wacky stuff. Recently he was the Mad Hatter. He’s got the whole “Pirates of the Caribbean” thing going on, “Sleepy Hollow” and “Edward Scissorhands.” I think they’re all really cool and his acting is great.