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My Disco

My Disco

Tuesday 7th December, 2010 9:45AM

From Cancer to Paradise Melbourne-based My Disco perfected an entirely unique brand of minimalist hardcore. With their third studio album, Little Joy, they're taking things in an entirely new music direction. UTR caught up with vocalist Liam Andrews to discuss where they're headed and why.

There is a notable change in sound between Paradise and Little Joy. Tell me about this change of musical tact

We don't often discuss our musical direction or sound development - it's quite an organic process that evolves during the writing stage. We never want to make the same album twice, and that's as much as we know when we begin working on a follow up. Little Joy was written over a fragmented space of 18 months or so, as we were in and out of Australia on tour. The songs "Young" and "A Turreted Berg" were the first songs we wrote for the album and gave way to this structurally open approach to our song writing. We became more and more interested in allowing ideas for a song to develop as we would perform them. For example, a song like "Young" has been played as a six minute version and extended as long as 15 minutes live. And this is the case with nearly every song on Little Joy. We're really enjoying the improvised indulgence to these songs. There's at least three drum solo's in our set these days.

Tell me a little bit about writing and recording Little Joy. Where, when and what were you trying to achieve with the sound and aesthetic?

Well, much like Paradise, we recorded the album at Steve Albini's studio in Chicago, Electrical Audio. This time around, however, we just recorded the music with him, returning to Australia to record the vocals and mix the album with Scott Horscroft at BJB Studios, whom we had recorded an instrumental version of the song "Young" with a few months prior. We gave ourselves a couple of months between the sessions that allowed us to develop ideas further from listening to the recorded music - particularly for me recording vocals, which is something I'm always under-prepared for. On a studio production level, we took it further than we have before, experimenting with Scott on layering vocals and various effects. There's at least two songs on the album that were vocally written in the studio. Most notably it's a warm sounding album, which I think sets it aside from our previous recordings.

You worked with Steve Albini on Paradise and decided to go back for Little Joy. Tell me a little bit about this collaboration?

Working at Electrical Audio is amazing, it's a beautiful studio and a really comfortable place to record in. We spent a little under a week there, living in the studio as well, which is where Steve also lives. Nothing's stressful and nothing seems to ever go wrong there. There's still no other studio we'd rather record in, it really works for us. It's also the only time we get a chance to play Billiards.

If you were to note any inspirations, either musical or metaphorical for the latest release, what would they be?

Rasmus Norlander, and a small bar in Los Angles aptly called Little Joy.

Last time I interviewed you there were a lot of personal things happening that were affecting the kind of music you were producing. Is it fair to say you have entered a new phase of personal development and songwriting?

I would hope so, I mean without development we probably wouldn't still be writing music together, or at least in the way we do now. There's a lot that affects that way we do things, but it's something that's hard to pinpoint and generally something I choose not to analyze.

Even though this album represents a sonic shift, the minimalism of early My Disco remains. What draws you to this sparse, intense set-up?

I think it's in our live performances more than anything else. The use of repetition and skeleton-like instrumentation allows us to become really focused and "lost in the moment" for use of a better phrase.

You formed and reside in Melbourne and I imagine there is a solid and tight knit music community there. Tell me a little bit about the creative community you reside within, whether it's conducive and nurturing of bands - basically do you think where you live is affecting your music?

Most definitely, and whether you like it or not. Melbourne is such a musically rich city, and has been a great place for us to be based over the years. We've drawn a lot of inspiration from the bands we've played with here, particularly when we were first starting out as a band.

You guys all have side projects separate to My Disco. What is it that makes My Disco special and unique compared to these other projects?

We've been a group for seven years now, I think that's what sets us aside. We've toured most parts of the world together and a lot of what we've achieved we've done so for the first time with My Disco. It's hard to compare anything else to that.

What do you hope people take away from listening to the new album?

To be honest I’ve never thought about that. I would hope for nothing more than an enjoying listen.

What pushes you to continue to create music, more generally and within My Disco?

A love of writing, performing, and touring. There's still a lot to be achieved with this group, and i feel we're still in our early days.

When are you coming to New Zealand again?

Feb '11 for one show. That's as much as i can reveal right now.


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