Dananananaykroyd - Interview
Contact Music are currently in the car park of a supermarket off Camden High Street. Amidst all the shopping trolleys, 4x4 gas-guzzlers and littered till receipts are a band who've been labelled THE most exciting live act in the UK at this moment in time. Dananananaykroyd, they of the difficult to pronounce and even harder to spell name are the third in our series of interviews from this year's Camden Crawl.
The six-piece of Calum Gunn (vocals), David Roy and Duncan Robertson (guitars), Laura Hyde (bass), John Bailie Junior (drums/vocals), and Paul Carlin (drums) have just released one of this year's most frenetic long players, 'Hey Everyone!', whilst seemingly being on tour forever.
We find them in a particularly buoyant mood ahead of their Red Bull Bedroom Jam slot later today. Doing it for the kids.You bet!
It's fair to say 2009 has been a good year for Dananananaykroyd so far.?
David Roy: It's going well..
John Bailie Jr: .but we're still poor!
David Roy: Maybe 300 more people now know of us than this time last year?!?
The album 'Hey Everyone!' has received positive reviews in just about every publication you care to mention. How do you feel about the way the music press seem to have taken you to their hearts?
David Roy: It's been great, but at the same time it still hasn't quite sunk in yet. We haven't physically seen any benefits yet from any of the reviews. We don't know any of our actual album sales either.
Calum Gunn: We haven't really played any shows since the album came out.
David Roy: I'd like to think we will see something happen over the next few months, but for now we're just taking it one day at a time.
John Bailie Jr: While it's nice getting positive reviews, at the end of the day it's just one person's opinion so we won't be getting too carried away with it just yet.
I think more than anything your live show is what's really been responsible for bringing you to the forefront of most people's attention.
Calum Gunn: That definitely means more to us than any kind of review, the fact that people are coming to our shows and genuinely enjoying the whole experience and then going away and telling their friends about us.
David Roy: I think that's because we've always been more about playing live than making records right from the start. Everything we'd ever released right up to 'Hey Everyone!' was basically just a live-take demo, even the first couple of singles and mini-album.
Prior to 'Hey Everyone!' being released, there was allegedly an almighty scramble of record labels vying for your services..
David Roy: You know what, we only really had two labels that made us serious offers about releasing our stuff. One label told us what they could do for us, the other told us what they wouldn't do for us!
John Bailie Jr: So we went with the one that told us what they could do for us!
You've also recently acquired a management deal through Big Life. How did that come about?
John Bailie Jr: We were playing in London last year and we needed a place to stay, and Colin from Big Life was in the front row and he offered us his place to stay, and then a while later he asked us if we'd like him to manage us. It works because we like to keep it among people who are our friends rather than just on a business level, nothing too serious.
Does this mean that the band may re-locate to London in the not too distant future?
All: No! Never! Never! NEVER!!!
David Roy: I don't see any point.
Laura Hyde: Not that we'd ever be able to afford to anyway.
Are there any expectations from the label, Best Before, in terms of sales targets or such like?
Calum Gunn: No not really. I think they're fully aware that the kind of music we play isn't exactly going to fit in with your average radio playlist.
David Roy: They have some level of expectation. They wouldn't have spent time and money releasing and promoting the record if they didn't, but they know that the reality is we're anything but your average run-of-the-mill sounding band. I guess that's another reason why we chose Best Before, because their philosophy isn't just about selling a product, regardless of the consequences.
You mention your music as not "fitting in with your average radio playlist". How would you describe your sound, bearing in mind there's so much going on between the six of you?
John Bailie Jr: Busycore!
Calum Gunn: To me we're a mix of nineties indie rock and hardcore punk, nothing too complicated if I'm being honest.
David Roy: I think the hardcore aspect is more modern sounding though, and its fun and positive rather than angry and negative.
At the same time, you're a band who seems to have progressed on a word-of-mouth basis via internet forums in a similar way the Sarah and K Records bands of the late eighties did through fanzines. Do you a feel a kind of kinship with those artists?
Calum Gunn: I like a lot of those bands so I can see why people would say we've done things in a similar way.
David Roy: For me though, I'd rather compare us with the Dischord label and its bands.
John Bailie Jr: We did start off as a very strict DIY band and we always kept in touch directly with bands and people who came to see us play, we always made the effort in letting people know we're on the same level as them.
David Roy: That's always been really important to us. I hate bands who put themselves on a pedestal just because they're in a band.
Are there any new recordings planned for the foreseeable future?
David Roy: We're actually going into the studio soon to record our new single, which won't be off the album. We've also started writing the second album, so I don't know when we'll get to record that.
John Bailie Jr: .but we'd like to think it will definitely be before this year's over.
Where do you see the band in say, five years time?
David Roy: I don't know if we'll still be together in five years time. I don't see us being able to keep it up that long. I can't see us making any money. I don't mean that in a negative kind of way but five years of doing something with little reward would be a long time.
John Bailie Jr: We might still be around but we could be playing stoner space rock by then!
You're playing the Red Bull Bedroom Jam for 14-18 year olds later today. What can they expect from your show?
Calum Gunn: The usual! No seriously, its going to be quite interesting because we're gonna be playing to people who might not be aware of us so I guess we'll have to wait and see how they take to us as well.
John Bailie Jr: We're planning a new dance-off and there's a disco session in the middle too so hopefully that will keep them entertained!
The album 'Hey Everyone!' is out now on Best Before Records.
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