We caught up with David, John and Calum from Dananananaykroyd at The Harley, Sheffield, to discuss all sorts of randomness, including (but not limited to) recording their new album with Ross Robinson, and their new label.
“We chucked a load of noise in a big stinky pot and swirled it around Ross Robinson’s house”
S] The new track ‘E Numbers’ has just gone up on your website and there’s a new album on the way, Tell us about recording it?
D] “We went to West Hollywood, in Los Angeles and recorded with Ross Robinson, who is [a door opens and then closes behind John]…a ghost.”
J] “Whenever you say his name.”
D] “A door chatters in the night!”
S] The Ross Robinson?
D] “Yeah, of ‘At the Drive In and Blood Brothers’ [production] fame. He made us sound like a fireball falling down stairs, rolling down the stairs, setting the stairs on fire as it goes. Then the stairs just wobble and they fall down.”
J] [Motioning towards the staircase next to us] “I know for a fact that there is a fireball coming down those stairs at some point during this interview.”
D] “Uh oh, is that Calum?”
S] How do you go about writing the songs, does the music come before the lyrics?
J] “Yeah, David writes the music and then I or Calum will write the lyrics. We do it over the internet using eight tracks, then we’ll share the finished demos with the band. We’ll then go to the rehearsal room and flesh it out.”
S] Your music is such a weird blend of pop and hardcore. What are your influences? Because at times, it’s not so clear.
J] “There’s a few members of the band who are into older stuff; David and Duncan are into Fugazi, Rocket From The Crypt and Pavement, and all these kind of people. Calum and I like At The Drive In, Blood Brothers and Glassjaw, we all have a shared love of pop music, so our sound’s just a mix of all those things.”
D] “So, It’s like a nineties sound mixed with a noughties sound.”
J] “Don’t be naughty!”
S] When recording the new album, how was it different to the way you usually record?
D] “The last album was sort of turn up in the morning, make sure everyone played all their parts in tune perfectly, overdub every wrong note and the producer would put in his twenty minutes of work. This time, we actually lived in the record and Ross inspired us to just play as hard as we could and if we made mistakes, then whatever.” [At this point Calum comes running downstairs].
S] Was there a conscious change in sound with this album? ‘E Numbers’ sounds a bit rockier than your earlier stuff, but obviously, you can’t make a judgement based on one song.
D] “There is a load of pop, there’s some funk, and there’s some hardcore. I think the first album was just a sort of BLUUURGH and the second album is BLUUUuuuuUUURRRrrrrrGGHHH!”
J] “Try writing that one down!”
D] There’s a krautrock influence as well, with a little bit of dub. We just chucked a load of noise into a big stinky pot and swirled it all around Ross Robinson’s house.”
C] “Ah, that stinky pot!”
D] “We picked up a saxophone guy off the street, he played on the record. Ross told us to rip up magazines and throw them at him to get him fired up.”
J] “When he came in the studio, he asked what key the song was in and Ross told him: “We don’t do that here” and wouldn’t let him hear the song before he played on it.”
D] “He was very tame, until we threw stuff in his face.”
S] You’re not on Best Before Records anymore, How are you releasing the record?
J] “We are self-releasing because labels take most of your money. They give you some money, but you can never pay your money back to make real money. So the day that record labels disintegrate is the day that bands are free.”
D] “It’s the day that bands get paid and aren’t forced to take matters into their own hands. That’s why we started our label.”
S] What is the label called?
D] “The label’s called Pizza College.”
C] “That sounds horrible but it’s…”
D] “It’s actually true!”
S] What’s the plan for the rest of the year?
D] “By the time the album comes out, we’re almost into festival season, so there’s only gonna be a very short album tour. Then it’s festival season and we go to Australia in the summer, then later in the year, we’ll do a proper album tour. By then everyone’s going to know the songs inside out and they’re gonna go ‘I can’t wait to hear that song that I didn’t know two months ago’, yeeeah!”
S] So when does the album come out?
J] “June-ish, maybe June.”
D] “It’s gonna be the best summer pop album.”
J] “It’s almost as good as Gwen Stefani’s first solo album.”
D] We’ve basically written the next ‘Hollaback Girl’.
C] “We’ve called it ‘Dollarback’, because whenever you hand in the CD case, you get a dollar back, even in the UK. It’s a new initiative.”
D] “The album is called ‘What Did You Expect From Dananananaykroyd?'”
S] Won’t The Vaccines have something to say about that?
D] “We are arguing with our management because that’s actually what we’re trying to get it called.”
C] “I wanted to call it ‘Pork Pies On Tour’ but nobody would let me!”
D] “Our album is about starting again and that’s what this tour is about; coming back to the places where it all began, erasing the past and starting from the very start again.”
S] What made you form a band? What made you want to pursue this crazy life of pork pies and…
J] “We hated every other band and everything that they stood for.”
D] “We formed at the exact point in Glasgow when Franz Ferdinand had inspired, [despite being quite an energetic band themselves], the new wave of Orange Juice wannabes. It was the most insipid period in Glasgow’s musical history.
So we decided to start a band that’s the antithesis of that and blow up the place. And we did. It was easy.”
C] “We were all doing our own mental, weird music and we formed and got together and it became a pyramid of success.”
D] “We all live for music, why does anyone start a band? Because they want to drink beer all the time!”
S] So, if you weren’t here right now, where would you be?
D] “I’d be sitting in my mum’s house, wanking into my Playstation.”
C] “Instead of having my hands in my pockets, they’d be in my trousers.”
J] “I’d be downstairs probably.”
D] “You’d have somehow magically found your way here.”
S] Is there anything you would’ve wanted to be asked that we haven’t?
J] “Describe our sound as a metaphor. I would have said Dananananaykroyd is like when you see the moon reflecting on a lake. Imagine that, but there’s no moon. And there’s no lake. There is only Dananananaykroyd.”
S] Any Closing Words?
D] “Be excellent to each other. Party on and rock out as hard as you can, without hurting anybody.”
For more information please visit the official website.