UK quartet Django Django are in town for a show at Le Poisson Rouge tonight, and they’ll make their way down to DC for a show at U Street Music Hall on Monday. I would HIGHLY suggest grabbing tickets to whichever gig applies to your geographical location, because it’s only ever so often that we have the pleasure of hanging out with the guys stateside!
While they’ve been back since I interviewed them before a show at the Knitting Factory a few years ago, that chat remains one of my favorites of all time, specifically because we spent about an hour talking about ghost stories in honor of the October tour dates. This time around I dialed up Dave Maclean to get a 2018 paranormal update, and lo and behold, he had a new story to tell! Read up on that (and what the band’s been up to, the nightmare that is Brexit, etc.) below, snag a copy of Marble Skies, and I REPEAT! GO TO CHECK THE GUYS OUT LIVE!
BYT: We’re so pumped to have you back in NYC! What’s the set list looking like?
DM: It’s a bit of a mixture, but a lot of it is brand new!
BYT: How do you approach tour now compared with how it was in the beginning?
DM: It’s kind of very similar in that we go back to the same venues and record shops, and we’ve gotten to know the cities, but there’s definitely a lot less drinking and partying. [Laughs] It’s a bit more chilled.
BYT: And since you are familiar with a lot of these venues, does that help you to plan how you’ll play the material live, especially the new tracks?
DM: Yeah, for sure. We definitely get less nervous about playing, we’re very comfortable in our roles, and that makes it even better to play new material.
BYT: Rad! And so what’ve you been working on lately?
DM: A new full-length! Album four. Rather than waiting until the tour is finished, we sort of felt like going for it and writing songs, getting the audience’s reaction, doing it that way. It keeps us entertained and on our toes as well.
BYT: Amazing! We’re super stoked to hear some of that new stuff in NYC, too. You’re at LPR this time, but the last time I spoke with you guys was a few years ago in Brooklyn at the Knitting Factory. You only popped into the green room for a minute of that chat, but we were speaking about ghosts, and you told a story about a light bulb that had popped out of a lamp on its own. (Which is spooky as hell!) Have you had any other ghostly experiences in the couple of years since we talked about that?
DM: Well, that’s probably my biggest story to date; it still scares me to think about. But there was another one that happened – my partner at the time and I were staying in a farmhouse Airbnb, and she woke me up at about 3am because it sounded like an upstairs room was just being totally raided by a group of people, dragging furniture around and slamming things. It was only us in this farmhouse, and we hadn’t even been upstairs, so I said, “We’ve gotta get out of here.” And so we ran out the door and could still hear the commotion from outside, and we were just kind of standing there in this field listening to all this noise that was happening upstairs. And then after a while, the noise stopped. For some reason I decided to get a kitchen knife and go upstairs to see what was up there (there was no other option since we were in the middle of nowhere), and the cupboard doors were all open and stuff, but there was no one in the house. And there was no way of anyone getting inside, so it was very, very weird. And so the next day we left. [Laughs]
BYT: You know, that’s almost more terrifying than if there had actually been a band of robbers, you know? I mean, clearly different level of scary, but it’s one of those things that kind of turns your stomach and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up for sure.
DM: I just remember how strong that feeling was that we both had of, “We need to leave. We need to get out of here.” Even after we realized no one was there, that feeling was still there. And there have been a few other strange things that have happened, too, but that was a big one. The light bulb one is still very scary, though.
BYT: That’s nuts. Well, speaking of scary things, let’s shift things in a more tangible direction, aka politics and the government! [Laughs] We certainly don’t have to get political here, I think I’m just pretty charged up at the moment because of all the crazy stuff that’s happening in America. Globally, too, but especially here. And in your case, the whole band is from the UK, and you, Tommy and Vinnie are all from either Scotland or the Northern Ireland, so I wanted to know what your feelings were re: Brexit and/or independence. (If you want to discuss those things, that is.)
DM: Well, Brexit is just a complete shit show. It’s a nightmare.And that’s not necessarily for the fundamental reasons of not wanting to belong to the EU, and whether or not those are good or bad, but it’s more the way it’s being dealt with. It’s very, very difficult to leave, and really should never have happened in the first place. Every day is just this kind of moment where you’re thinking, “Is this really happening? How could we mess this up so badly?” It’s gotten to the point where I just kind of have Brexit fatigue. It’s a nightmare. But it feels like the whole world is in a bit of a pickle at the moment. It’s weird. If you’d have told me it would be this way back in the nineties, or even in 2011, you know, that Donald Trump would be president…I mean, I think most people would have laughed at that. It’s weird. It’s a weird time. And there’s so much information and disinformation that it’s difficult to make sense of anything. I’ve just sort of accepted the difficulties of being able to decipher what’s going on.
BYT: Yeah, it’s incredibly surreal. Lots of shades of grey.
BYT: Alright, finally, back to the brighter side of 2018 – after you finish touring, what’s the immediate plan when you’re home?
DM: I think we all deserve a bit of a holiday. Whether that will happen or not is to be seen. But I think we’re just keen to get back into the studio. I’ve got a little music studio in the bottom of my garden where I’ve been making music, almost like the stuff I was making in 2003, hip-hop beats and stuff, so it’ll be interesting to see if the band takes any of that on, or whether we’ll sideline that and just go in and record a live rock and roll record. We’re never quite sure what the hell we’re gonna do next, so it’ll be interesting to see.