The Kaje talks international acclaim to Django Django

Django Django have come a long way in the three years since their formation in 2009 at art school in Edinburgh, with the now London based quartet dominating the musical press worldwide. Having received universal praise for their long-awaited eponymous debut album, the boys (David Maclean, Vincent Neff, Jimmy Dixon and Tommy Grace) are currently loving the festival circuit and feeding off the positive response to their sound. With the boys on football break before their set at Summer Sundae, The Kaje crashed to chat potential global domination to the laid back lads.

It has been quite a manic year for you, would you be able to pin-point a highlight?

Tommy: We went to Japan and Australia a few weeks ago, that was the first time that we had experienced a massive Festival crowd. It just felt really foreign and a lot different to the UK and Europe. That was quite a cool thing.

Then we played New York back in February before SXSW, which was the first time we had been out of Europe. That was quite a momentous experience.You are going places and you don’t know how you will be perceived or received or anything. We got really good reactions, which was totally strange.

How have you found the crowds differ?

David: I think we have got quite a broad fanbase. I think we appeal to really old people as much as we do to toddlers. I think abroad it is much more teens to thirty age group, but in Britain it is really broad. We get a slightly older and slightly younger audience here.

Tommy: Everything seems to be going pretty well in all the regions, so we don’t really worry. We know in other places that we are getting radio play, but it is not until you get there that you realise that there are people wanting to see you play. It is bizarre to get 20,000 people in Japan. We did not know what to expect. It could have been a couple of hundred people and we would have been pretty happy.

David: I like the way we don’t appeal to a specific demographic. It is interesting to be like that.

Your success around the world has bought you the chance to perform on some massive stages. Do you miss the intimate spaces?

Tommy: When it works out, the big festival thing can be amazing. When it doesn’t it can be absolutely terrifying. Sometimes it doesn’t really take off the way you had hoped. That can just happen, whether it is the atmosphere or sound.

David: My favourite shows are sweaty midnight club gigs where everyone is drunk, and there is a really clubby soundsystem. Deep base is harder to recreate when there are big winds. It suits our music a bit better. It is hard to generalise, but those tend to be my favourite gigs.

Tommy: In Australia they have lots of sideshows, so we did our first club night in about 4 months. It was so surreal being that close up again as you get used to there being a barrier. People put cokes over your monitor or spill their drinks over your stuff, but that was the way we came up. It is still good to do that.

This year has seen the release of your album-how does it feel to have finally hit that landmark? Also, what do you prefer-the live or recorded?

Tommy: They are two different types of process. The recorded stuff leads to the live.

David: That is not normally the case, for most the live leads to the the recorded.

Tommy: That was what I was just about to say. That is how it has worked on this one. A lot of the songs were done in a bedroom, with people going in individually. It was only after that that we had to transpose it all to a live setting. The original has not been adhered to closely as we just couldn’t. They are too layered. We had to take the bare essence of what the song was, then do something with that.

David: There are some tracks which came a bit later that we sketched out in the studio then played them live, changing them slightly as to what worked and what didn’t, then took them back to the studio. But on the whole they were all songs already and we had to work out how to reproduce them live.

Were you expecting the immense commercial and critical acclaim you have received?

Tommy: I guess we didn’t really think what we were doing. We personally liked it. It was a personal achievement but we didn’t know where we would fit in. Certainly in London there are lots of other music scenes which were more popular. We live in East London and that sort of area does influence national music, but we don’t necessarily fit in there. For us it was just about doing parties and making them fun. It was about dressing up a bit and not taking it too seriously. It was about not making it super cool.

We went into the charts when the album came out and I didn’t even know that the charts still existed. I thought Simon Cowell was in charge of the charts. I thought he said what went in the charts. I don’t know how. I was almost a wee bit like I don’t even know if the charts are where I want to be.

David: We have just been so totally shocked by the general response to it. Really we are just really introverted and concentrated on getting it out. It wasn’t until we actually had the real physical thing that we stopped and went “Amazing!” Everything that has come after has just been an amazing bonus.

How do you think your success has changed the expectations of others?

David: I don’t think we care much about what other people want. It is good that we are going to have more time and resources to make something due to the way it was received. At the end of the day we are just trying to make things that interest us. It may sound cheesy, but that is the way it is.

Interview and Photographs by Jeremy Williams

NEWS: Django Django Announce UK Dates

Fresh from the release of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut LP last month, Django Django are pleased to announce new single ‘Storm’, will be released on April 23rd. With its irresistible bass-line and pop stomp, Storm sums up everything that makes this band so special.

David Maclean (drummer and producer), Vincent Neff (singer and guitarist), Jimmy Dixon (bassist), and synth operator Tommy Grace make up the quartet, who met at art school in Edinburgh. Currently on  a sold-out tour of the UK, more dates have been added to their live schedule with a new tour for this Summer (full dates below).

Django Django’s story looks set to be a long and compelling one going by the overwhelming response to their debut record from the public and critics alike.


Thu 31-May-12 The Cellar, Southampton
Sat 02-Jun-12 Field Day, London  
Tue 05-Jun-12 O2 Academy2, Oxford
Wed 06-Jun-12 O2 Academy2, Birmingham
Fri 08-Jun-12 No Direction Home @ Welbeck Abbey nr Sheffield 
Sat 09-Jun-12 Parklife Festival, Manchester
Sun 10-Jun-12 Rough Beats Clapham, Yorkshire
Mon 11-Jun-12 Fibbers, York
Wed 13-Jun-12 Doghouse, Dundee
Thu 14-Jun-12 Cockpit, Leeds
Fri 15-Jun-12 St Pauls Church, Cambridge
Wed 31-Oct-12 Heaven, London

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