Having bounced from a bedroom-DIY debut that brought a Mercury Prize nomination, to a follow up they seem to have dismissed as an uninspired blip, Django Django – an almost impossible band to peg – are back with a third album, ‘Marble Skies’, and heading for Dublin..
Django Django have been hovering around the edges of a burgeoning indie scene for years, hard to define but easy to love. They draw in aspects of straight-up indie rock, electro-punk, mild psychedelic tendencies and plenty of varied, often-sampled beats.
The entire concept seems to hang on limitless experiment, something that’s evolved strongly through their careers, and now revolves around a large practise room in Tottenham (North London), crammed with their monstrous vinyl collection and all the instrumentation they need.
“We have to take it a little differently now,” frontman Vincent Neff – a native of Derry – says of the band’s everyday life. “When we’re back in London, it’s very much a normal working schedule, as some of us have families, so the whole all-night, up drinking while we write music thing is largely a thing of the past. That’s totally different on tour, of course, but when we’re recording we have to consider family life.”
“What we produce comes largely from a lack of belief in genre. Dave [Maclean, the band’s producer and drummer] has a crazy techno record collection, while the other lads have other influences. There are five or six new records coming into the practise space every week. Growing up in the 90s you were going to a gig one night and a rave the next, listening to the Happy Mondays and hard house. I don’t really understand how anyone can just be into a genre, and come out with stuff like ‘I just listen to techno’. That idea eroded for us a long time ago.”
There are difficulties with that variety, of course, not least in Django Django’s textured and nuanced sound being extremely difficult to reproduce live. “It takes a long time to sort,” Neff admits, laughing. “You get onto the stage and it sounds different. There are definitely some songs we just can’t do, and others that are different live, that we change the rhythm of, or use different instruments.”
“Some songs we try for a few minutes as a live setup and it’s immediately obvious it’s just not going to work. Others we kind of stumble on solutions.”