, - on 22/3/11
Does It Offend You, Yeah? have a new album coming out this month aptly titled 'Don't Say We Didn't Warn You'. Perhaps their previous label should have listened to such warnings. Following their refusal to play commercial soul and a determination to make their art when and how they want to, the band have returned with this rebelious album. Their current tour begins in the UK this month. Dan Coop from the band speaks to Kristen Marconi about festivals, the new album being leaked and playing with The Prodigy.
Pulse: Hi Dan, how are you today? Dan: Good. Where are you at the moment?
Sydney. Cool, i like Sydney. What's it like there today?
Great weather. Who's interviewing who here? [laughs] I saw you play here supporting The Prodigy last year. What was it like to tour with them? Awesome. It was an experience to tour with them. The Prodigy crowd were great, really large energy. That's what we go for, up the intensity as they do. We want to push the crowd and as they escalate, so will we. They were really humble guys. Just good to hang out with backstage when we could, and seeing them live and how they operate on tour was a great experience.
How is the current tour going so far? We're in a small town called Leicester at the moment, we had a show here last night. There was a really good energy in the crowd which helped us really get into it. The funny thing we noticed was the album is yet to be released here and we'd play songs off the new album and the crowd would be screaming along or even requesting songs. So it's like "OK guys. We know you downloaded the album", the proof that what we'd been told of the album being leaked to the public is obviously true.
How's that for you, mixed emotions? Yes exactly. I mean, obviously we'd like it to not have been leaked. We would prefer to release on the date planned and have the people's first opportunity to have the album be to buy it. Everything is leaked these days, you expect it and more than that, I can't judge. I download music from torrents and whatever and then if I really like it ,I'll buy the album or vinyl release. You can't beat the authenticity of vinyl. We've had emails from fans that say the same thing: They downloaded the album and liked it so they went and bought the album, or that's why they've come to see us live, or both. Downloads can't be stopped but if we can get the message out there that the way to keep the art alive is to buy music and keep coming to live gigs aswell as, if not instead of downloading, is what pays the artists and what keeps the music alive.
You've made a point of not letting labels define your sound, so how would you describe the DOIYY? sound? I'd almost say the soundtrack to a horror film. We try to stay away from defining it, we're more about getting us all into the studio and coming up with an idea, that's the best. Those first couple of weeks where you've got this new song being made. That's what we're about, the art of music. Trying to get that moment that sends tingles down your spine, we're about those tingles, that's when it's right.
Artists are trying so hard to commercialise, sell and fit a certain pigeon hole style, that they've lost the music. They're so focussed on selling rather than creating that they might as well be selling cars. They're now salesmen. Forgotten is the art. We won't do that! For us we need it to be about the truth. The art is the truth!
I loved finding out that Does It Offend You, Yeah? is a line in The Office, a response to someone having a go at him for drinking at midday. Yes that's right, it was a going joke at the time when we needed a name.
How do you choose the names of the songs? We tend to approach that the same way we do the music, it's not really planned. We usually stick with what most bands refer to as the "working title". It's what you call the song when your first working on it, usually words or a phrase you associate strongly with the song. It's a part of the song to us so we try not to change it. I see it as like having a baby then deciding after a few weeks that you don't like the name and changing it. No one does that. Why would you change the name? Because it sounds better?
We don't want to get caught up in the pretentious naming of a song to sell it. Our management are funny about it sometimes, they'll ask "Do you really want to call it John Hurt?" and we're like "yeah, that's John Hurt". The only one in this album that we really changed was We Are The Dead. When we were working on that song it was called Techno because it started with that tech beat we really liked, though it's not a techno track at all and we didn't want to confuse people. It's quite a militant track about this dark time we're in, hence We Are The Dead seemed a better fit.
Any crazy live show stories? Last night was fairly crazy. It's a small venue with a fairly militant crowd. We like to raise the roof, have that crazy energy or intensity in our show. We push the crowd and as they escalate and push, we push up again. We like our gigs to have that intense atmosphere and horror film like feel. We've almost got to wind it down sometimes if we see it getting out of control. We edge up and up with the crowd.
You've toured many international festivals, What's been your favourite to play? The standout for sure would be Coachella. It was the first really big festival crowd we played to that went really well. Like the crowd were one big unit. We were all one organism of energy that emerged. We played a really tight show and could feel the crowd with us. Exit Festival would also need a mention for the place and the same reasons. Everyone was just great and upfront with us. The energy was intense.
What size crowds were you playing to then? Not sure, maybe 4000 and 6000, but it's not that we've played to much bigger. It's not the size of the boat, but the motion in the ocean [laughs].
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