The AU Interview: Dan Coop of Does It Offend You, Yeah? (UK)

It’s been a long time in the works but UK electro-punks Does It Offend You, Yeah? are finally ready to drop their sophomore record Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You. The AU Review caught up with synth maestro Dan Coop ahead of the official Australian release to discuss the new album and everything in between.

Hi Dan, thanks for chatting with us today. Whereabouts are you at the moment?

We’ve doing shows in England at the moment. We just played a gig in Leeds last night and are headed to another show in Leicester tonight.

How was your gig in Leeds?

It was good, there was some injuries though. I walked into the guys toilets after the gig and found all this blood. The sink was full of blood and tissues. I don’t know what happened but it was pretty bad. I took photos for our Facebook, it was gross stuff.

I saw on your Facebook page that you had a run in with the cops on the way to that gig?

Yeah we did. In England there’s no point in getting a tour bus cos it’s such a small place, we just get a van and we all jump in the back of it. We got pulled over and they basically said the van was to heavy. We had to wait for another van to show up to take us and we were almost late to the gig. We made it just on time to put our stuff onstage and then start playing.

I had a chat to you ahead of your 2010 tour for Future Music Festival and supporting Prodigy on their Invaders Must Die tour. How was your last trip to Australia?

It was really good actually. There were a few things that were annoying. We got rained offstage quite a few times at Future Music. I don’t know what happened, but every time we went onstage all of a sudden rain would start coming down really quickly and we’d have to get off. We had fans having a go at us saying why didn’t you just play on and we were all hang on a minute the whole stage is made out of electrics and when rain mixes with electrics its not good or safe. So that was really annoying. The whole tour was just plagued with technical difficulties and we‘ve never really had that before. We started to get really bummed cos we came half way around the world and just wanted to play but we couldn’t.

Last time I spoke to you, you said the album was near completion and you were happy with the results, but it took another year for Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You to be released. What changed?

We were happy with the final product then, its just the major label that we were on weren’t happy with it. Our record label didn’t like it and we were all well we love it so what do you want to do about it? So we basically spent another year just scrapping over really stupid stuff and they would tell us that we have to write a song like this and we were all no, fuck off. We’re in a band we should decide what music we write. We got very tired of the label telling us what to do so we dragged our heels for a good year until they decided to give us our record back so we could put it out how we wanted to do it and not how they wanted to do it.

How’s the creative process been since freeing yourselves from the major label constraints?

Oh it’s been amazing. We can write the songs we want to write, use the artwork we want to use, choose the bands we want to tour with, its been great and a much better experience and we’re happier as a band. Its like a blessing really we got our own album that we wanted to put out and we don’t have to answer to anyone but ourselves. Making the album that we wanted to, if people don’t like it then I can live with it but if we had to put out an album that we thought was shit in the first place that was supported by a major record label and people didn’t like it then I think I would slit my wrists.

What’s your favourite track off the new album?

My favourite poppy track is “Pull Out My Insides”. My favourite track technically is “Yeah”. We got fans to send in clips of them saying “yeah” and we recorded different bits and cut it all up and put it back together over a couple of months. Its got this glorious messy sound and it all sounds a bit weird but technically that’s my favourite one.

“Pull Out My Insides” is one of my favourites too, its got a real ‘Cure’ feel to it.

Yeah that track definitely has a Cure influence, I won’t lie about that. Another track is “Wondering” which has a guy called Trip on it who we kind of grew up with in the music scene. He’s just an amazing rapper and it was a bit strange to have a rap on a Does It Offend You track but we decided to go with it and it kind of worked on the album so we stuck with it and I’m really happy with that track as well.

So you are definitely happy with the album this time around?

Yeah definitely. The last album was a bit of a naïve record. We were getting told to do things we didn’t really want to do so we were kind of sacrificing ourselves a little bit here and there. With this album we were like you know what we just want to do exactly what we want so we basically told everyone to fuck off and leave us alone so we could write the record we wanted to write and if people don’t like it then they don’t like it. I think we’ve done alright. We’ve made something a bit different that people normally wouldn’t have heard of. We’ve made something with a bit more soul than we would’ve done if we were getting told what to do.

Have you been playing the new material live?

Yeah we’ve been playing “The Monkeys Are Coming” and we’ve rehearsed “Pull Out My Insides” and a few other tracks off the album. I think we’re gonna wait until the album’s been released properly before working more of the new material into the set. Otherwise people will have never heard any of it before and they might get a bit freaked out.

There are a lot of movie references on this record. If you could star in a movie what would it be and why?

We’re all big science fiction fans so Aliens or something like that. Or if John Hughes was still alive I’d love to be in a Ferris Bueller type movie like Weird Science of The Breakfast Club. I’d be the nerd in the back of the class getting told off by the principle at a high school somewhere. I’d love to be in one of those style 80’s movies. Back to the Future was pretty fucking amazing, I’d love to be in that.

Any plans to head back to Australia this year?

Hopefully. We’ve had a lot of airplay from Triple J and I’ve heard from Inertia that they’re really happy with how things are going so hopefully we’ll be out there in the next couple of months. I would’ve loved to come over there for your summer but it looks like we’ll back over for your winter instead. We’ve just been to America for winter where its been minus 20 and if we’re in Australia for the winter to we’re just gonna be fucking cold the whole tour.

We didn’t have much of a summer here this year. The weather has been insane with the flooding and it’s been a lot colder than usual.

I heard from my friend’s in Australia and they told me it was really hot like 40 degrees and stuff and then I saw that shit about Brisbane on the news and it was like oh my god. We’ve played there a couple of times and everyone is really supportive of us over there and it was awful seeing the footage of cars floating past and trees being knocked over. And then New Zealand and the Christchurch earthquakes. It’s been heartbreaking watching that on TV. Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon and we’ll be able to come down and play a few shows.

What does the next 12 months hold for the band?

I dunno. Just go on tour all around the world. Hopefully another massive band will ask us to go on tour with them and we can support them and do our own shows around that. We haven’t got to the level yet where we can just go out and do our own headlining tour of Australia which is something we’d like to do. I’m kind of just waiting for a phone call from a massive band asking us to support them in Australia. Other than that we’ll be doing some club shows and theatre shows and we’ll see what happens from then on.

Just quickly to wrap up what’s the best live band you’ve seen lately?

Oh God. I dunno. There’s so many. There’s a band on tour with us at the moment called Tripwires. They remind me of Sonic Youth crossed with Radiohead. It’s pretty fucking cool shoe-azey, indie type stuff and it’s not the sort of stuff you would think I’d like but I’ve been watching them every night and they’re pretty amazing. I’d love to take them on tour with us in Australia.

And the last record that you bought?

I haven’t brought a record since 1996! Nah I have. I think the last one was In Rainbows. Cos it was kind of like a nice thing to do with Radiohead saying you can spend what you like on it and I was like I think I can spare 10 pound to pay for it. Not that they need the money I’m sure but it was a great record so I wanted to buy it.

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You will be available in stores from March 18th.