Q&A :: Dutch Uncles
Words: John Balfe
English group Dutch Uncles will travel to Ireland for a date at the Meteor Camden Crawl Dublin in May. The five-piece from Stockport released their second album Cadenza in April of 2011 and are about to commence work on their third.
John Balfe caught up with frontman Duncan Wallis for a chat.
Tickets to the Meteor Camden Crawl Dublin are on sale now via entertainment.ie/tickets.
Will the Dublin incarnation of Camden Crawl be your first Irish gig, or have you played here before?
It won't be actually, we’ve played once before but we forgot to tell anyone to come
What can the uninitiated expect from a Dutch Uncles show?
Attendee's of our gigs can expect to hear slightly stripped versions of our records played at an increased 10-15bpm, with a sprinkling of stunted banter.
I read that before Cadenza was released, three of you were finishing up degrees. What are the chances of some of you completing a Master's before, what, album number five?
Well Album number 5 is light-years away so you can never say never to a Masters, but since degrees were completed last summer it has been the first time the band has been a full-time prospect for us so we'd like to keep it that way as long as possible, having to decline European tours because of exam dates doesn't get easier with time.
I've seen you described in the music press as 'indie-math', both of these being terms that I have a problem with. How do you react to being labelled and categorised in this way?
It can all get a little silly can’t it? Think the only way of labeling bands anymore is to add a humorous touch to the description, so if we had any reaction to that it would be that its not very fun to say, calling it "math-soul", "ADD-Indie", “wonk-pronk” or “prog-pop” would be much more eye-catching.
Listening through Cadenza, I get the impression that it's a melting pot of all of your various individual influences and interests. What musical themes tend to unite all five of you?
The first part of our manifesto when we started was to select 5 band influences, not necessarily representing the 5 corners of the earth we have grown from but just for direction. At the time i believe they were: Talking Heads, Tears For Fears, King Crimson (Belew era), Field Music and Steve Reich. That was years ago though, and obviously you can't run away from Kate Bush forever. One thing that sticks though is to be intricate but to the point with choruses and the like, and to be as over-dramatic as is tastefully possible.
A lot of your music strikes me as quite intricate in nature. Do you think some of your songs have different identities in a live setting, when compared to their recorded counterparts?
Definitely, one thing we've never got away with is using lengthy samples in our live shows as people who know us expect the more organic energies which cant be achieved if you're replicating every sound on the album, i'm sure the voice provides a more 'interesting' approach to being 'in tune' as well.
How's album number three shaping up? When can we expect to hear it?
It's close to the end certainly, and hopefully you'll hear something sooner than you expected. We've made a very 'studio' album this time around but you'll still be able to smell us all over it i reckon.
What is on a Dutch Uncles rider? Are you low-key when it comes to that kind of thing, or do you go down the 'no brown M&M's' route?
It would be nice to get the full range of Nivea moisturisers at every gig, but there begins the madness of touring so just bring on the boiling hot bottles of Carlsberg every night please.
What are the plans for the rest of 2012? More festival dates?
To finish our 3rd album, figure out how to play it live and then release it.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Wednesday 18th April 2012 | Music
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