They may claim to produce 'Idiot Rock Music', but when Billy Hamilton catches up with Dananananaykroyd's Calum Gunn he finds an ambition to conquer Eurovision lurking beneath their ear-piercing sounds
It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for lug-puncturing melody merchants Dananananaykroyd. Throughout the last 24 months, the Glaswegian sextet have been unanimously advocated by the slaver-strewn quills of the UK music press, undergone a string of momentum halting line-up changes, found the time to tour – and, in the case of bassist Laura Donaghey, even proposed nuptials with Sunderland’s indie kings The Futureheads - only to see their record label go bust on the eve of their debut EP’s release. Oh the drama.
Having faced such turbulent vicissitudes over the course of a thus far brief career, it would be entirely understandable to find the group looking no further than the proverbial next meal. Yet when I get chatting with 22 year old frontman Calum Gunn, it seems the band has its eyes on more of a belly-bulging banquet. Or to be more precise, the Eurovision Song Contest.
“Oh, I would definitely play Eurovision,” lights up Calum. “Someone needs to do something different. What was it last year with those folk who dressed up as flight attendants?” I shamelessly display my knowledge of all things Eurovision by revealing it was stomach churning pop-suckers Scooch. “Aye, that’s them – they were absolute idiots… I think I’d definitely have to wear a monocle though - we would need to be in full British costume to get the point across.”
Video: Dananananaykroyd - Song One Puzzle
Such bold – and somewhat tongue-in-cheek - declarations are, of course, the token sound-biting responses of today’s modern young gun-slingers, yet Dananananaykroyd are different; somehow you find yourself believing their every word. Perhaps it’s down to the band’s unhinged live performances where chaos brews menacingly like a bubbling vat of acid, or maybe it stems from the yelping, chugging triumph of inaugural EP Sissy Hits. Whatever; there’s certainly no denying this mob of rock-glazed chancers have both the audacity and ability to surpass even their own expectations.
Yet it’s been far from an easy ride. After garnering critical acclaim for advance copies of Sissy Hits back in January, the band’s label Jealous Records suddenly collapsed prior to the record’s nationwide release. “It was quite worrying when it happened – we had a wee bit of a crisis where everyone was phoning each other and screaming ‘what’s going on?!’” explains Calum. “Luckily [London-based record label] Holy Roar came to the rescue, but then the pressing plant went into liquidation and we ended up thinking it was never going to happen. In the end it turned out okay.”
Some would say it’s turned out more than just okay. Religiously followed by an ever-growing gaggle of adrenaline-hankering teens, Dananananaykroyd seem to have been on the cusp of success for as long as they’ve been around. Despite such adulation, Calum insists the band feels under no pressure to pander to the mainstream: “We’ve not bowed to any requests to be softer and we’ve got to this nice happy level where we’re just doing what we’re doing. We’ll just see where it takes us on our nice long tour of, um, everywhere!”
So where does Calum envisage Dananananaykroyd’s so-called “moronic” brand of “idiot rock music” will carry them to in the next 12 months? “It would be great to play Japan and places like that, but we would really just like to play to more people and be doing the same thing without having to have a job,” he declares before quipping: “And, of course, we want to be selling tickets for £36 and programs for £15. We wanna keep on rocking in the free world, yeah!”
The Sissy Hits EP is out now via Holy Roar.
Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh on 30 Jul
The Arches, Glasgow on 31 Jul
Moshulu, Aberdeen on 1 Aughttp://www.dananananaykroyd.blogspot.com