Django Django Interview

django django interview

As bands go, Django Django are one of the hardest to place. A mash-up of psychedelic rock and electronic production creates an inimitable sound all their own, and with second album, ‘Born Under Saturn’, out on 1st May, they’re cementing this even further. We had a chat with bassist, Jimmy Dixon, to find out how things have changed from their debut.

Hi Jimmy, how are you?
Good, thanks.

Where in the world are you at the moment?
I’m sat in my flat in East London.

After the success of Django Django’s debut album, how are you all feeling about the release of ‘Born Under Saturn’?
I think we’re all pretty excited. We’ve spent a year and a half writing and recording it, and we’re itching to get it out and to start touring. It’s strange when you’ve spent so long with something and no one’s really heard it yet, you’re almost ready to move onto the next thing.

For anyone that is yet to discover your sound, how would you describe it?
It’s so difficult! We’ve got such an eclectic taste. I think this album compared to the last one feels a lot bigger, we threw a lot at it. To me it feels more confident and well rounded. Whenever I get a taxi in London, the driver asks me what I do and I tell him that I play in a band and he asks what kind of music it is, and I totally struggle. He asks if it’s like the Beatles and I end up just agreeing!

I understand you all shared in the songwriting; how do your styles and processes differ?
Most of the songs on the first record were written by Dave and Vinny, and, for this record, Tommy, Vinny and I would bring in little ideas to the studio and then Dave would come in and almost take everything apart and put it back together. I suppose it was different that we had a month of getting used to the way we all work and getting to trust each other, but it was very different for me because we were in there from the start as opposed to coming in later. Personally, when I was writing, I was listening to a lot of ‘70s songwriters like Jerry Raferty, Harry Nilsson, John Lennon.

From live shows in small art spaces to festivals and global tours; how has a live set changed since you formed?
We do, but when we first started touring, we didn’t really know what we were doing. We’d recorded all these songs but didn’t really know how to play them. It was like we did it the wrong way round! Just before the album came out, we were doing gigs and learning how to play live. You’d have shows that totally bombed so you’d have to take it back to the studio and rework it. It’s been a slow progression. One big jump was when we got someone to mix the front of house – Paul Yates – who we stole from Metronomy – he’s been totally amazing.

Are there any stand-out moments or locations for you from touring?
There have been loads; we went over to Japan to play Fuji Rocks, which was surreal, and then we flew straight over to Australia to do a run of shows with no sleep, in these beautiful festivals in the sunshine. Touring America has been great; we played a venue that Prince used to film the video for ‘Purple Rain’ – that was pretty amazing! It always feels really nice coming back to London because everyone’s family are here and we finish in London at the end of a tour so we go out and get really drunk!

What do you have confirmed for this summer?
We’ve got a bunch of festivals in the UK and Europe; Latitude, Pukkelpop, and we’re going to America in July, I think! Hopefully towards the end of the year we’ll be able to make it over to Australia. We all came over in New Year and had an amazing three weeks touring around Australia in the sun – hopefully we can wangle a festival in New Year and do another stint!

By Charlotte Mellor

Image courtesy of Fiona Garden