Unfortunately, this in-store show has been canceled due to travel delays. You can still catch them at The Independent later tonight.
For a new band without an album out in the U.S., British psych group Django Django
already have a lot going for them. A band that began in drummer/producer David Maclean’s bedroom after the band met in art school in Edinburgh, Scotland, earlier this year Django Django (which also includes singer/guitarist Vincent Neff, bassist Jimmy Dixon and synth man Tommy Grace) released their debut, self-titled album, a whirling stew of spaghetti western guitars, Middle Eastern-inspired synthesizers and psych-pop structures, to universal acclaim in the U.K., putting them up for the esteemed Mercury Prize. As their album is set to release in the U.S. Oct. 9,
they’ll play Amoeba San Francisco Sept. 25 at 6 p.m.
Catch them before they blow up stateside, and preorder their album here
! I caught up with Maclean as the band was in Chicago, settling into its U.S. tour, which also will put them at S.F.’s The Independent the night of Sept. 25 and L.A.’s The Echo Sept. 26.
PST: You guys haven’t done many interviews in the U.S. press yet, but there’s already a lot of chatter about this album. We’ve been hearing about it from the U.K. for some time now! Are you excited to come here and take over.
Maclean: Yeah, it’s good to finally have a label sorted and have it coming out in America. As you say, it’s been out in Britain since January. To finally have a release over here and get to come over and do some proper shows is amazing. We’ve been itching to do it all year really. It’s taken a while to but it’s good to finally get here.
PST: U.S. audiences seem to have become more amenable to psych pop as of late with the success of MGMT
, Hot Chip
and the like. Why do you think that sound is resonating with so many more people now than, say, in the ’90s?
Maclean: People like Beck
have had the time to grow a long career now. I guess he would be someone who has influenced a lot of bands in the moment with the kind of way he mashes up psychedelia and funk and hip-hop. I guess since he broke out, there’s been a lot of bands both in America and Britain that are interested in pop music and making it slightly weird, whether its MGMT or Hot Chip, there’s a certain kind of strain of bands that have been doing that for quite a while, so I guess that it’s starting to resonate with people and sort of spread throughout pop culture.
PST: I’ve read you are sort of the aesthetic director of the band. How do you decide, amid all the musical ideas presented, which is a good fit for this band?
Maclean: I guess yeah, it’s different sometimes because we can sit down and start a track that ends up sounding completely different. From that starting point, it gets twisted and manipulated and the more people who get involved with it, it ends up sounding like us. I guess we’re happy just to take a starting point from anything, whether it’s a rockabilly riff or a drum machine beat. We just take it and work it ’till it’s something we’re happy with. So many songs … have started out sounding like garagey and ended up sounding electronic or started off techno-y and ended up garagey. They just go through a lot of phases and we end up happy where we’re at. … A lot of the ideas, we wanted a big psych sound and would aim toward that and end up with something else in the process. It’s just a mixture of playing around and also pushing limited resources — one mic and floor tom and guitar. For me a lot of the fun of making the album was pushing the sounds, not even pushing but just letting the music come out. … I think they all kind of are jangle but they come from sort of disparate places. For us that was just a fun thing to do, let the music sort of take us on a sort of trip.
PST: The aesthetic of the record sort of reminds me of steampunk. Like it makes me want to play Final Fantasy or something. What are some of your non-musical influences?