NME Awards Interview: Django Django

Our German tour-bus driver was a pervert…”, Django Django

Who is the biggest musical obsessive in the band?

David: Probably me. I’m a bit of a record-collecting obsessive. In my student days I used to go to town in Dundee and buy records and then hide them in my garden, because my Mum didn’t want me to buy any more. When I was young I was trying to imitate my Dad’s record collection.

So what was the first music that was all yours?

David: That was the rave scene, what you would call Hardcore, which was sort of proto-Jungle, which then became Jungle. That’s all quite treasured, for me.

Who are you listening to more than anyone else at the moment? Is there someone current?

David: I listen to a lot of Jam City, but Night Slugs records in general, all the compilations they put out. We play a lot of Tame Impala in the dressing room, some Grimes, Metronomy and Connan Mockasin too.

What was the best album of 2012?

David: I think it was Goat’s World Music. I’ve listened to that most out of any album last year.

What was the best track of 2012?

Vincent: I really liked Grimes’ Genesis. I could listen to that all day, it’s ethereal, strange music, but it crossed over into a lot of people’s record collections.

David: For me it would probably be the Jam City track, The Courts, just a minimal dance record that’s made it on to a lot of my mix tapes.

If I could air drop you into any band in history, who would it be?

Vincent: Probably Can. I’d just be like an old man who would juggle on stage.

David: I have to say the Beatles, because I grew up obsessed with them and their banter, but, in the same way, Public Enemy became that for me when I grew up. They had this enormous power for me – they opened the door. Fight the Power is a brilliant track with an incredible video. For me that sums up their power, energy and political motivation.

Who do you think should be getting an award next year?

David: Well, Donald Byrd recently died, and he was a kind of big hero to me, up there with Quincy Jones and Roy Ayers, so he should get one. Larry Heard too, he should get one for what he did with Acid House.

Who sound tracked your biggest night out of 2012?

David: I do this club night, Bad to the Bone, and that’s always my biggest night out of the year because I DJ ‘til 6am!

What will never leave your record box?

David: Probably Funky Town by Lipps Inc, because no matter what the crowd is doing, it’ll always work. It’s just got that groove. So that, or Dominoes by Donald Byrd, because it can go either way: it can bring the crowd up or it can be the chill-out groove.

What music do you only listen to when you’re properly drunk?

Vincent: Ha! Maybe The Monks’ Drunken Maria. That or some Gun Club.

David: I’d go for Super Sharp Shooter by Ganja Kru, some serious jump-up ragga jungle! I would put that on and just jump around. What’s great about it is it just transcends Jungle, you know, and there were a few records that did that in the Jungle era, like Alex Reece did.

All bands have impenetrable in-jokes, what are yours?

Vincent: Ha! That would be the enigma of our keyboardist, Tommy Grace.

David: Yeah! Our in-joke is, essentially, winding up the synth player. He doubts everything you say. At New Year we were in Tasmania. When the ten-second countdown started, we were on this harbour, and he didn’t believe that the countdown clock was actually real. He thought it was a fluke, and that no fireworks would go off.

Vincent: Like they just happened to be counting down for something else. He’s got the habit of Googling everything you say.

What’s the most alarming thing you’ve ever witnessed on a tour bus?

David: Vinny in his pants is alarming enough.

Vincent: We had a German tour bus driver who was, basically, a pervert. He would look at a mannequin wearing a negligee in a shop window and get really excited behind the wheel.

And this man has, among other things, your life in his hands.

Vincent: I know! I would try to reason with him, saying, “you know that’s not a real person?” but he’d just shrug and say, “I don’t care, anything will do.” That was very alarming.