Monday, 22 October 2012

Dan of Divine Fits on The Cure, Frank Ocean and Fried Chicken

Divine Fits played Webster Hall in New York last night, as part of a new tour for their debut album, “A Thing Called Divine Fits.” The members, Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) said it was only their 20th time playing together, but the set was solid, rhythmic and refreshingly free of drivel or drama. Also, their sound is pretty addictive, and distinct from what the individual band members have put out previously.

Boeckner talked with Speakeasy by phone from Philadelphia, where the Divine Fits are set to perform tonight at Union Transfer.

That was a clean show last night. You guys don’t seem like a young band. 

We have good communication musically with each other. We really listen to each other when we’re playing, so we expanded the arrangements last night randomly for a lot of songs. There was a bit of improvising going on on stage, which is fun. I just have confidence on stage in the rest of my band members, that’s invaluable.

Is New York still a great place to play music?

It’s the place to play. It’s New York. I saw a couple people where I was like oh, these guys are in this band, and I saw my friend who’s in another band, the guy who’s an actor. Not that those people are any more discerning than the average concertgoer, but there’s such a wealth of things to do every day or every night in New York City that when people choose to come to your show, you’ve got to play well because you know there’s 15, 20 other things going on that night. You’re definitely never the only game in town, right?

How did you come to cover Frank Ocean’s song, “Lost”?

I was a huge fan when he leaked “Nostalgia, Ultra.” His first record, he just put it out on his Tumblr. I thought that was a pretty amazing move and I loved “Nostalgia, Ultra.” So when “Channel Orange” got released at midnight on their release date, I downloaded it, listened to it like three times, and Britt and I were driving to practice. I always thought “Lost” reminded me of Spoon, because it’s really obsessive, minimal R&B, and Britt loved that song when he heard it. So he came to the band a couple months later and was like, we gotta cover this.

Is Wolf Parade doing any new music or are you mainly focusing on Divine Fits?

Wolf Parade is on ice. I don’t see us doing anything for the foreseeable future. It’s been that way since 2010. We didn’t want to be like, we broke up. Maybe there’s a chance we’ll make another record together. We’re all really good friends, we all like each other’s stuff. It was just time to put it to bed. Divine Fits is my main jam.

Your music reminded me of what I like about The Cure or The Smiths.

Britt and I both are huge Cure fans. Specifically, that last song we played before the encore, “For Your Heart,” The Cure was a really big influence on me writing that. I was living at Britt’s house for four months in L.A. He’s got a huge record collection, so I just started going back through the catalog of stuff I listened to when I was a teenager. He’s got a whole bunch of Cure records.

Did you really throw fried chicken in a paper bag at the crowd?

I did. It was an entire bag of fried chicken that got handed out to kids in the front row. It was from this place called Dirty Bird – there’s one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn – and Sam Brown, the drummer, his buddy owns that restaurant and came with literally like, 40 pounds of fried chicken and macaroni salad and fried corn bread, and set it up backstage before we had finished. When we got upstairs, Britt said, let’s put this chicken in a bag and give it to the audience and I thought that was a good idea. Breaking down the fourth wall, you know?

Follow @barbarachai

Sydney Moon Jerri Manthey

No comments:

Post a Comment