Tuesday 1 December 2009
Dagger Brothers Interview
The Dagger Brothers on stage at The Macbeth
The Dagger Brothers are Sam and Oliver, or Heath and Cliff if you believe their MySpace. They played Adults last Wednesday and we were treated to their warm-hearted onslaught of electro-pop ridicule. Sam sings lead and Oliver does a sort of exciting (their word) dance around the stage. If you missed it have a look at their MySpace, http://www.myspace.com/thedaggerbrothers, where you'll find a video that might illustrate it better for you.
After their performance we had a wee conversation on the ins and outs of Brotherhood...
Macbeth: I liked your gig, a lot of people seemed to like it a lot, is that something you find?
Oliver: Generally, when they don't it really bums us out 'cause generally they do. We've got a real cross section of people, the real arty people like it and.. er, morons like it as well. Simple folk like it.
Sam: We played to a load of beer boys, a load of rugby boys and they really liked it.
M: Did they chant something?
S: Yeah, they just loved do you remember the 80's, they were, "Aw, yes i REMEMBER the 80's, aw yes"
O:A lot of the new John and Edward stuff we're very much inspired by, especially the clothes and dress sense and attitude really.
S:Yeah, John and Edward have really got an attitude and so do we.
M: So the Saudis are running this night, where'd they find you? Or where'd you find them?
O: We do like a million gigs and people hear us through one thing and you know, it's completely sort of crazy. We played the Tate Modern and the guy, the promoter saw us from that and liked us so you know...
M: I was hoping you'd say, "They found us in a party full of multi-coloured balloons and we were taking ecstasy and riding imaginary camels," or something...
S: That's not what happened.
O: I'll tell you something exciting though, we're going to be on the new series of Skins.
M: Really? You two or just your music?
O: Our music and us performing, so.. that's going to be pretty exciting.
M: Do you know what the scene is going to be?
O: Um, I think it's a club, they go to a fucking club and we're singing...
M: Well your not singing, you're pretending to sing...
S: (Laughs) No, Ollie's singing you know!
M: You are singing?
S: Yeah they wanted Ollie to be the main singer.
O: He wasn't good looking enough. They gave me an opportunity so I'm just going to go for it.
S: I'm just playing bass in the background.
M: So it's not even real, it's a fake interpretation of your band?
O: I can't wait, we always wanted to break in to popular culture (laughing) and we've managed that.
M: So, your matching outfits....
O: yeah, we shop a lot in Primark.
S: And Peacocks.
M: I imagine it's quite the opposite to most girls when they go out, you turn up and go, "Oh my god, we didn't wear the same thing!"
M: Does that happen ever?
S: Well, actually no, but we've worn outfits where we've been out with girls who've been wearing those outfits.
O: We were wearing skirts once and i gave it to an ex- girlfriend. She just thought it was quite nice.
S: It's a crossover, we wear things because we think they're really funny but actually they're really trendy. We would sort of dress, we would wear certain things...
O: ... And they would just become fashionable. Yeah we wear skin tight blue trousers then you walk down brick lane and everyone's wearing them. and we're from bristol and nobody's really wearing them there.
M: I heard this is your side project and you have a main band?
O: Oh yeah, we run a record label called Void of Ovals. We put out our own music under various aliases.
S: Don't tell them that, that's not meant to be known!
We've got so many different projects and our other band's called Eftus Spectun and we've been doing that for about ten years. And it sounds, just, well, it's got incredibly difficult, and it's got so difficult that not many people like it. It used to be quite popular but it's got so weird...
M: Is this the future of dagger brothers, you like us now but give us ten years...
S: No, because the two things used to be combined, we used to be quite funny and really weird, like a band, with instruments, and then the two things split off into two different things and now we make pop music and incredibly avant garde music. It's more like modern classical composition than anything else really, nothing ever repeats.
M: Is it a bit grating that your side project is more succesful?
S: It's pretty horrible. Most people don't have the musical knowledge to really appreciate something that's really bonkers like that, so it's always gonna be a handful of people that appreciate something that's that avant garde.
O: The people who really dig our other band is American bands who're touring and they hear us and they're like, oh, actually it's really different from all the other music, they actually dig it - the audience pretty much hate it. But with Dagger Brothers it's like...
S: Yeah, go!
O: ...everyone loves it!
S: That's because Americans appreciate technicality
M: Do they?
S: English people are all about style and fashion and Americans just like, they can really appreciate someone who's really good at their instrument. Yeah, the Americans are like 'Wow, he can really play his instrument,' and English people are like 'Wow, look at his hair-do, it looks so cool'
O: Americans really like Emerson, Lake and Palmer, you see...
S: I really hate Emerson, Lake and Palmer... Don't link us to that at all.
O: I link the Dagger Brothers to Wham meets King Crimson, what do you think we sound like? (to Sam)
S: I don't know, I don't really think about it.
O: We're a bit like the Big Breakfast meets the generation game.
S: We're Eric Bristow meets Jimmy White...
O: A bit like Bulls Eye meets Big Break meets Blind Date.
S: We've been compared to the Mario Brothers before...
O: We're a bit like Dalziel and Pascoe, a bit like that as well.
M: Are you actually singing on stage when you're jumping around or do you just mime?
O: No, no, it's like, you know when you're in a club and you're dancing about to the music, this is great music, imagine if you'd written the music, that's what it's like for me every night. Dancing to my own music.
S: Ollie's a great dancer. We made a video recently and all the moves I do are very subtle but if you look at what Ollies doing it's very exciting.
O: I think the biggest mistake of my career was, my mum was like, 'I think your a great dancer,' from a young age, 'I should send you to dance school!' but she never did and I think that was a massive mistake.
The rest of our conversation basically consisted of Ollie and Sam trying to discover which of them was my favourite Dagger Brother. I haven't quite decided but if you have a preference you can vote via their fan club on Facebook...
Also have a look at the very pretty Void of Ovals website, and see if you're weird and difficult enough to enjoy Eftus Spectun...