Pedestrian recently caught up with My Disco guitarist Ben Andrews to discuss new records, strange live experiences and paring shit back.
What are you guys currently working on? What’s new in the world of My Disco? Just finished writing the new record. 8 songs, 50 minutes or so of music. Good times!
Talk us through the writing process for “Young” it’s a great deal longer than we’re used to hearing from you guys. Is it a good indication of how the new album will sound? It’s a fair indication, although the album seems quite diverse. Originally there were a few of these longer, jammier songs that we had loosely written. Over time we have refined them, including “Young”. It used to be a lot straighter, and now I personally love the mellow drum solo middle section.
Has the songwriting process changed in any way this time around? Our song writing seems to always naturally evolve from record to record. It can be both a conscious and not so conscious decision. We’re always trying to explore ideas and techniques that we have never done before, whether it be the way a song sounds, or more of a structural idea.
What are the weirdest places you’ve ever played and why? The Philippines is a strange and chaotic place to play. our first show in Manila didn’t start until after 11pm, and that’s with a ten band bill too! We played on a bar in Jakarta once, like actually on it with people serving around us and shit. We’ve played on a tennis court, and outside an elderly woman’s house on the Mexican side of the US/Mexico border while cops drove past. That was scary.
Do you have a big hand in the visual representation of the band or does that responsibility fall solely to the band’s visual collaborators? It’s a democratic three way vibe.
What is (Producer) Steve Albini’s most endearing and annoying quality? He loves good food, and showed us some great places in Chicago to munch. He like to sleep late and will take anyone’s money if you agree to play poker with him on a Tuesday night at his studio. We declined.
Do you have any touring horror stories? Um, yes. We are My Disco! I believe they are fairly well documented. If Liam looses one more passport, he ain’t leaving Australia for a while.
Can you explain the songwriting process from conception to execution? We come in with nothing and leave with something sometimes, it all happens rather organically in the room and it has always been that way and it seems to totally work for us.
Your style seems to become more reductive and utilitarian with each record. Is this a conscious decision? I think it is both conscious and sub conscious. We have vague ideas that become more and more refined as we write. The music shapes itself it would seem and we just choose which directions we like the most.
From the outside looking in My Disco seems to exemplify this relationship between art and music. Do you have an affinity with the Melbourne art world? I’m not too sure about making an analogy between our music and art but I will say that we played at a gallery opening the other day for a friend’s exhibition. And I liked playing in a room where the centre piece was a large piece of tied up wood offcuts with some computer mother boards sewn into it.
You can see My Disco play this Saturday January 9th (12am-9pm) at the St Kilda Beach Foreshore as part of Sandcastles (Neon Indian, Micachu and the Shapes, Miami Horror and a whole lot more!).
You can purchase tickets online here or through the below vendors:
The St. Kilda Branch: 204 Barkly Street, St Kilda 9078 1104
POLYESTER RECORDS: 387 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 9419 5137
POLYESTER RECORDS: 288 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 9663 8696
Cushion: 99 Fitzroy St, St Kilda 9534 7575