In the studio with Damn Vandals

Jack Kansas_BW

Rock Britain loves Damn Vandals affectionately. Not only this band’s music is absolutely out of the ordinary, but they are also extremely interesting and witty people to talk to. Damn Vandals’ splendid debut album ‘Done For Desire’ caused such a massive noise on the underground UK scene that to miss it was absolutely illegal for all lovers of good music. Just at the end of the year 2013 Damn Vandals went to the studio to record a follow-up to ‘Done For Desire’ under the name of ‘This Music Blows My Tiny Mind’.Adam Killmore G Rock Britain talks to Damn Vandals’ Jack Kansas about the upcoming sophomore, which is due at the beginning of 2014, and also gets an exclusive look in the studio where the band worked! Thanks a lot to Julian Simmons for all the photos he’s taken of the band in the studio!

– How and when was the material for the songs on the album written?

– For starters we’ve nicked another song from the kid that penned ‘The Revenge of Spider Toothy’ on the last album. He’s five now and his song is called ‘I Hate School’. It’s got proper venom. The authorship of the other nine tracks are a bit of a haze … However, I’m pretty sure most of them were conceived on a single night round at Adam the bass player’s flat. He had cooked his ‘special’ mushroom lasagne which smelt of sick and muddy football boots. He had spent so much time banging away in the kitchen that we ate it just to keep him happy. After that, we all fell about laughing unstoppably for a reason that still eludes me to this day. The next thing I remember is waking up with a note pad full of demented scribbling which looked just enough for an album. Job done! Jack Kansas_Mad As Hell 1

– What were the main sources of inspiration for the album?

– Broadly speaking, the album covers psychotic musical obsession, stalking celebrities, whisky, a story about a lazy stoner, death by dreams, hatred of school, the crippling hollowness of pornography, late nights, madness and homeland security. There’s quite a bit of screaming …

– How is it going to be different from ‘Done For Desire’?

– The songs are a bit shorter.

– What was the main goal you set for this album while recording?

– It’s going to be called ‘This Music Blows My Tiny Mind’, so the main goal was for it to be as mental as possible. In addition, we wanted to make it as honest and as good and as cheaply as possible.

– After the success of your debut album ‘Done For Desire’, what was your main approach to recording your sophomore record?

– It became clear quite early on in the session that we had to start eating bigger lunches. If we were going Damn Vandals - Frank Pick studioto rock louder and harder for longer we needed the fuel. It was at this point that Producer Julian Simmons got us addicted to Chicken Royale wraps, vended from a small café across the road in Limehouse. He started us off slowly with the Chicken Caesar (a class C gateway wrap), but soon ramped us up to the Royale itself. Scoring one of those every lunch time was like mainlining adrenalin – this fat-full feeling that kept you rocking at full-tilt until it was home time. I’m now doing cold turkey and feeling pretty sheepish about having killed so many chickens. My therapist has suggested I take a trip to Hackney City Farm and apologise in person to a hen.

– How did you like working with Julian Simmons?

– Julian Simmons is a cross between George Martin and the Incredible Hulk. He pushes you to breaking point, feeds you a Chicken Royale then tells you to do one more take (especially when your throat is bleeding). Once he held my favourite guitar out of a fifth story window and threatened to drop it if I didn’t do a vocal properly. He wanted more anger I guess. I was more worried about the guitar hitting a kid coming back from school on the head. Julian has strange methods, but hey, they work and he got what he wanted in the end – I think …. Got to love the Simmons, he’s a classy guy …

– How is the record going to surprise your listeners?

DV in studio– It’s proper bonkers. Not sure if that’ll surprise anyone or not as we’ve done some pretty silly things in our time …

– How did the recordings for the album go?

– There was a lot of blood and sweat, but thankfully no tears. Tantrums aren’t really DVs’ flex. It’s all recorded now bar the shouting. Actually, all the actual shouting is done. Now we can just enjoy the mix …

– What are your dos and don’ts while working at the studio?

– Dos: Do drink as much tea and coffee as is humanly possible until 5.03pm Don’ts: Don’t open your first Kronenbourg before 5.04pm (they print 16:64 on the cans to remind you). Don’t ask anyone to pull your finger, or perform any other ritual that leads to an unnecessary fart being Frank Pick_BW_3launched in to the atmosphere. Such activity in poorly ventilated rooms can only result in low morale.

– What’s your most favourite thing about recording at the studio? 

– My favourite moment this time took place as a blood red sun was setting over Limehouse. Frank was shredding out this solo of such lust, ferocity and sheer volume that the majority of Cable Street Studio’s brickwork now needs re-pointing. Anyhow, during those brief seconds as the sky fired-up against these scars of cloud on the horizon, I peered down on to the street. In between two blinks of an eye I saw a Hare Krishna dude fall off his bicycle, three blokes doing a drug deal, a kid being mugged of his phone and a couple lean together to take a tender kiss beneath the crimson-black dome above them. Then Frank struck this final bone-crusher note and the hairs on the back of my neck went to tingle-town. At this point I realised something – life is a ballet of chaos performed upon a floor of nails that few are even watching. After that, it was time to get the DLR home.

Thanks once again for having us Rock Britain, you rule! Love Jack and the DVs xxxx

Find Damn Vandals on Facebook

Catch the band present new music live!

Sat 14th December 9pm @ The Dublin Castle
94 Parkway, London, NW1 7AN
£7 on door / £5 with flyer


Have a say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: