Django Django reach for the skies
The best things take time, they say, and Django Django live by this maxim. Working at a rate of an album every 30 months or so, they aren’t ones for stress and hassle. Well, unless you count their busy touring schedule, which again sees them gear up for a trans-European jaunt.
“We have been on the road a lot,” agrees synth player Tommy Grace, “then we just settled into writing new songs and recording – so we have been busy.”
And yes, they have been gainfully occupied, fine-tuning their latest work. Marble Skies, just released, is another collection of wistful, yet toe-tapping spacerock from theLondon-based quartet.
Eagerly anticipated by their fanbase – which is somewhere between cult following and mainstream fan frenzy – the foursome are pretty relaxed about the whole business. And happily, despite a Mercury nomination for their debut release, any stress is self-inflicted.
“We put pressure on ourselves to make the best record we can,” insists drummer / producer David Maclean.
Despite their being based far from their Edinburgh College of Art roots, the band have put their training to good use. “I think that the collage / cut and paste approach that we have comes from art school,” Tommy says. “At art college you have to get on with making stuff. even if you are broke. You just have to do it yourself and find a way. That stuck with us.”
And this carries through to the visual element of their music, again enlisting Maclean’s brother John – once a member of east coast psychedelic legends the Beta Band, and now a renowned video maker.
“It’s important that we like all the visuals. We work with John a lot because he knows us and knows what we like and what influences us,” says his younger sibling.
That connection goes back, with one of the band’s earliest live headline shows being at Fence Records’Homegame festival in Anstruther, although the big city was more of a draw for John. “I spent all my time as a teen in Dundee more than Fife so I think that shaped me more.”
With many an artist it’s childhood music that shapes future musical direction, and the Django boys are no different. Tommy’s hotchpotch of childhood memories adding to the band’s eclectic, multi-faceted sound. “Yes, I was into Public Enemy, the Beatles, AC/DC, the Prodigy, Nirvana, Hendrix...” he pauses for breath. “Just whatever I could get my hands on that excited me.”
With their debut recorded in a squat and its follow-up born in a studio used by Robbie Williams, the new one’s feel sits somewhere in between. But the band’s star status is a far cry from their roots when they planned their debut. “I thought it would be an underground album that would sell a few hundred copies,” David confesses. But the band’s philosophy remains the same.
“We want to please ourselves,” he insists. “If we like it that’s all that really matters to us.”
Marble Skies is out now.
Django Django tour the UK from the end of February with show including Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham. Full details at www.djangodjango.co.uk