Django Django are back in business with their third album Marble Skies. After the brilliant, rave-shaped grooves and expansive arrangements of its predecessor, Marble Skies is a more concise and focused offering which recalls the dynamic, genre-blurring music of their debut. It’s a return to form; an album which finds them returning to the handmade, cut-and-paste approach of the past. Vincent “Vinny” Neff speaks to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the album.
Congratulations on the album. Do you feel a sense of relief, excitement, or is it thank God it’s finally finished and out there now?
Yeah, I think there’s always that feeling to be finally getting it out and now we’re excited to start touring in March
Is it a bit of a weird limbo period before the album comes out, just sitting around waiting for people to buy it, listen to it, react to it before you can start really getting out there and focus on touring?
It always takes a while to kick in really. You always see, when you’re recording your tracks, even though they might be out in a couple of weeks, there’s always blank faces staring back at you compared to the old tracks. I think we kind of just get on with it as we’re so involved in everything from the artwork, a lot of the press releases, merchandise, posters and everything, so we’ve got so much on our plates in terms of involvement and the visual side of things that we don’t really have time to focus on much else. We’ve all got two or three jobs each trying to keep on top of all concerns. If somebody comments on a t-shirt, Jim’s taking care of it. I might be taking care of a stage set. There’s always more than just the music really, to kind of get our heads through and the anticipation and all that does.
Do you feel that Marble Skies really challenge the band and push the band creatively?
I think it did. I suppose from the get-go it was quite different the way we kind of approached it compared to the second and the first in terms of the process of. We jammed and made demos really early-on, which is something we haven’t really done before. We already had areas that we wanted to go to in terms of new rhythms and sounds. Then it was just a case of trying to push it through. Where we came from on the second album was like, everything was starting as over-dubs. We started the session at the recording studio and were writing at the same time. Normally the thoughts are that you can’t just start the session again, because costs, studio costs but we had sense of freedom and in that way we it was much more enjoyable. I think you can kind of hear it in the music. Certainly for me it was a lot more enjoyable process and a lot more fruitful as well.
Does recording in your own studio bring another level of comfort, one less stress, one less worry?
Yeah. I’m not ruling out that we wouldn’t work with somebody but we all felt that we needed to get back to that sense of playfulness and poppiness. In our own studio if we have this track that wasn’t working right, we’d stop, we’d park it for a while, we’d move on to something else and come back to it a month later. Trying all these different things was great and so much cheaper to do and you almost move faster, in some ways, you can kind of solve the problem a lot quicker. We lived five minutes from the studio so we’d be in at like ten everyday to like six or seven and just start cracking through these songs. We would tell our manager we were going there and take a demo each to try to work our way through it piecing the thing together.
Does the music come first before the lyrics for Django Django, or is it the other way around?
It’s always the beat or something. I think that when you have a groove to lock into creating a sound takes a lot of time.
Is it too early to have a favourite track?
It kind of changes because often I suppose as we’re playing them, you get to better understand them as what each one does when you get into it a lot more. Sundials is a favourite of mine, it’s got a different vibe than what we’ve done before. I’m always drawn to tracks that we’ve never done anything quite like that before such as Real Gone, or Sundials. They seem quite fresh for us, even Champagne vocally the grooves and the vocals are more energetic and more active than what we’d normally do. It’s really grown on me as a track.
Are there any plans to come to Australia this year for a full tour?
Not sure really. We’re going to see how the album goes. We’ve been there quite a lot over the last couple of years. On the first album we came a couple of times. The second we came twice I think. I think on this one we’re going to see how the album fares. Hopefully, we can make it over. Maybe after Christmas time or April next year or something like that. Yeah, it’d certainly be nice to get back. We’ve always had good times at the Fall Festival.