We chat with My Disco
My Disco don’t do things by halves. Fast approaching their tenth anniversary, brothers Liam and Ben Andrews, and Rohan Rebeiro continue to push themselves to write music which excites them, challenges, and delights the musical world.
In October fans will hear be thrilled, challenged and delighted by their newest endeavour, Wrapped Coast, a four-track record featuring two new songs and two remixes from the local trio.
2010’s Little Joy was the band’s most accessible record to date, but guitarist Ben Andrews doesn’t think it’s changed their approach to songwriting, “For us it’s all the same thing. We write music we enjoy writing and try to make things pretty different record to record.”
“[Little Joy] was pretty different but this new 12” is different again, it’s just the way we work. We write something without too much intention that we haven’t explored before,” says Andres
Wrapped Coast, due out October 16, is described by the band as “post-punk clatter at its finest, like a slightly deranged bastard spawn of Boredoms and Mission of Burma.”
The band has continued to experiment, this time with two new tracks. Andrews also says the production is different this time around: “There’s just a couple of ideas, it’s just pretty primal but using more reverb and it’s a bit more ambient sounding – definitely not as strict as some of our older stuff sounds.”
Those who enjoyed Qua’s heavily played remix of the band’s single ‘Young’ will be delighted with the two remixes of the band’s music from Justin K Broadrick and Factory Floor. The latter remixed the title track into an almost unrecognisable song according to Andrews, “that’s completely different when you hear the original… they’ve just taken the drum tracks, it’s pretty interesting to hear it in that way because the original song has more grating stuff and some vocals.”
Andrews and co say they enjoy hearing different takes on their songs, “It’s kind of fun to hear another artist who you respect and like their music take on your songs. It’s exciting to hear what they come up with.”
Before enthusing more about the re-imaginings of their material, “the [Factory Floor] one is pretty housey and drums driven but the other by Justin K Broadrick is a more traditional remix, taking all different elements and made a classic remix which sounds like a 90s industrial mix.”
Choosing who was to take on the task of remixing the tracks proved quite simple with the connections the band have formed internationally, “Factory Floor are friends of ours from London – we played with them and now they’re getting bigger and about to release on [influential label]DFA so we thought it’s a good time and they were really happy. Justin Broadrick is a personal friend of our label bosses in the US so they asked him on our behalf and kind of suggested him.”
It’s no surprise they’ve made these international connections, the trio have been making music and touring the world for ten years all on a shoestring. Paying their way, a decade of world travel has taken a toll in many ways. “It’s pretty difficult financially and logistically and takes a lot of work,” admits Andrews. “You have to do it for the love of it but also for the fact you get your band out to places and to more people.”
In October, My Disco will have the honour of joining minimalist punk outfit Shellac, who will make a rare live appearance down under as part of Melbourne Festival. Shellac frontman Steve Albini has been actively involved with the Melbourne trio over the years, having produced their last two albums (Paradise and Little Joy) at his Chicago recording studio, Electrical Audio.
Having this relationship with Albini will make this high profile support spot more relaxed, explains Andrews: “We’ve seen them once in Chicago and it was good to see them in their home town. He’s a pretty relaxed, chilled dude and they’re all pretty friendly guys so I don’t think it’ll be a big deal.”
My Disco are heading in a different musical direction, planning to record their next full length album at Electric Dreams in South Melbourne where they recorded Wrapped Coast. “Our friend Cornell, who did that Qua remix, recorded the two songs and mixed and mastered it all at his place. He’s got a really nice studio that is relaxing and he’s a completely different guy to Steve – more of a digital wizard then an analogue rock genius but that brings a different palette to our music that we need. We experimented with vocal pitch and effects on vocals and it’s good to expand. We’ve made two records with Steve but it’s time to do other things.”
As for what kind of set we can expect from their upcoming Melbourne Festival appearance, Andrews elaborates that, “recently we’ve been exploring our older material. We’ve played a little bit of Little Joy, one song off Cancer and a song off Paradise – a mixed bag. I’m not sure [what the set will hold] because the new songs are pretty expansive, a bit slower, less abrasive and less energetic so we might just have to play a whole bunch of new songs.”
The trio will celebrate the tenth anniversary of their first ever show this coming February and while so much has changed for the three, the way they create music has stayed virtually the same: “We only write when we’re all together in a room – classic rock band style practising with our instruments loud and no vocals.”
“Recently it’s a loss less structured,” explains Andrews. “I like the idea of having five or six vague ideas, jamming them in the studio, turning them into something recorded and having to learn to play it live later on. We used to antagonise over structures for weeks and it kind of tears the fun out of it. This way if you’re vibing on a bass line, drum pattern, guitar riff or vocal idea you can explore it and be excited when you listen back to it instead of just hearing it over and over again.”
A decade together has meant the guys have seen much success around them, particularly from their local scene. “Melbourne has such an awesome music scene and we’ve known others doing amazing stuff.” Australia-wide, Andrews lists some other heritage acts: “The Drones, Haterock, The Devastations… they’ve all gone on to do amazing things and done time in Berlin and London.”
“Now The Drones are curating an ATP (next February’s I’ll Be Your Mirror in Melbourne) but they all share the same love we do. We’ve done it potentially with less support and more on our own… we’re not very good businessmen, I’ll put it that way.”
With three studio albums, a huge collection of recordings, a vast array of international stamps on their touring passport, and an upcoming performance at Supersonic, My Disco are doing pretty well for themselves.
Andrews puts it simply, “I feel like if you can keep something going and not go broke and have toured the world in ten years, you must have done something right.”
Wrapped Coast is out October 16 .My Disco play a mini-tour in support of their new 12” release from this Thursday including supporting Shellac for Melbourne Festival. Full dates and details here.