Exposure: Detroit Social Club
- Thomas Meek
- 23 March 2009
Detroit Social Club - Soldiers
Quite simply, Detroit Social Club are the best new band in Britain (even if their name suggests otherwise). They're Kasabian without the unmerited cockiness, the Stones without wrinkles, BRMC without the fade into obscurity. Lead man David Burn explains why.
Your guys are from north-east England, not Michigan. What's the reasoning behind the name?
Detroit is the US equivalent of Liverpool, the home of music. In terms of the western world, it is probably the most important city there is. However, I would be lying if I said there is a hidden meaning behind the name. The truth of the matter is I thought it sounded cool. I think its important that a name conjures up images that are relevant to the music a band plays, and I think ours does. The name sounds very warm as well (to me, anyway!) so suits us as individuals! Ha!
You've gained a reputation as a phenomenal live act. What makes DSC so good on stage?
I think it's a combination of a lot of things, rather than one specific thing. We are all very confident in what we are doing, and with confidence comes a certain freedom. You aren't restricted by inhibitions or self doubt. You can just focus on what you are doing. We are lucky enough, and dedicated enough, to spend seven days a week rehearsing, even if it is old songs, and that definitely shows in our live show. We also try to make the live thing a bit more thought out, its very much a different Detroit Social Club live than is on record, and that is something we have deliberately made so. We work very hard on translating our recordings into the live arena, and I think we've managed to do that very well up to now, and people seem to enjoy us. We just have to make sure we work hard to make sure it lasts.
You've drawn comparisons to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream and Kasabian. How do you see yourselves?
Whilst we understand that people listen to music in different ways, and opinions and comparisons are completely subjective, we don't like to compare ourselves to anyone else. Of course I can see why people would compare us to those bands, but its perhaps a bit lazy, or should I say its perhaps not understanding what Detroit Social Club are about to compare us to those bands. All three are highly successful, but more importantly, all of them have managed to maintain their musical values and still be successful, so we will take it as a compliment. I personally see us as just a band playing music they like. When we are producing some music, we make a massive amount of creative decisions. The different directions we take at each of these will lead us to the end result, which is what it is. If someone thinks it sounds like something else, then we can handle that.
There's a definite swagger to your work. Are you confident guys?
Very confident. I wouldn't mistake confidence with arrogance though. We fully believe in what we are doing. We fully believe that our music is very good, and fulfils us as far as saying what we want to say, but at the same time we realise we haven't got a right to be doing this. We are very lucky to be given this opportunity to develop, record and release our music. As well as confident, were ambitious. Without confidence, it's hard to be ambitious.
You've just signed a record deal with Fiction/Polydor. What were your reasons for choosing the label?
The general attitude of the label. Within ten minutes of talking to the head of the label, Jim Chancellor, we knew he was the right man. He's probably the best A&R man in the country, and has a proven track record. But best of all, he listens to bands. He doesn't dictate anything, and allows people to direct their art the way they want to, without asking them to compromise at every turn. Since meeting everyone at the label, we really couldn't have a better team around us. They all get what we want to do, and how we want to do it, and are 100% behind us.
We've had a couple of singles already, but when can we expect a full album, and should we be excited?
We're taking our time with the record. We're in this for our music, so getting it right is priority. A lot of bands probably want the other stuff, so can't wait to get something out, but we're really up for taking our time. That said, we're not a band that buy into the cliche of "Well, we make music for us, and if other people like it, then that's a bonus." I know that if I like it, then there will be a shitload of other people out there who like it. I'm lucky, if I get the music sounding right, then the team around us are the best in the business at getting it out there and into people's ears, So that's what I'm doing, upholding my part of the bargain, a bit of patience will make all the difference to the music. Hopefully it will be released in January, and yes - although biased - Id say it will be worth any hype people want to throw at us. The pressure that could bring isn't something that would bother us much.
Critics are falling over themselves to give you deserved plaudits. Is there pressure to live up to such expectations?
I think such plaudits can spur you on and remind you that the next thing you write could be heard by a shitload of people. Some can see that as pressure, I see it as massive motivation to work as hard as I can to make sure this is a success. I couldn't bare the thought of this not working out, and us letting people down, especially those that have been kind enough to believe in us.
What's DSC's ultimate ambition?
Its all small steps, In the short term, it would be for the next single to be successful in achieving what it is we want to achieve from it, then to make a great album that we all like. Obviously the next step would be for people to see it like we see it, and to believe in it as much as we do. Having people believe in what you create would be an amazing feeling. It's already great meeting random people who know words to songs and stuff, so on a bigger scale, that would be unbelievable.