We premier the video Dogtanion’s new single, “Islam”, and speak to the London based singer and producer – often referred to as Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau – about his inspiring instrument-shifting abilities.
What was your first memory of music? Can you remember your first instrument or penning your first song?
I had The Best of Queen on cassette and learned all the words to every song when I was off school. My first instrument was the guitar . I used to write some pretty intense teenage songs about suicide and shit.
You seem to have a very diverse range of musical abilities. Who is your biggest inspiration or influence?
Artists in London like Micachu and Kwes, or American artists like Fog and Why?. People who don’t see a distinction between producing, songwriting, remixing or playing instruments. Music isn’t really skill based for me – it’s about combining with the creativities of other people, or the computer or the instrument. You kind of build up an archive of skills, or sounds or styles, and you can re-use and rearrange them in different ways for different situations.
How did you become introduced to the Tape Club family?
Will from Tape Club Records got in touch in about 2008, we put a single out in 2009 and it got into Drowned in Sound’s Singles of the Year. Did the ‘Home Made’ tour in 2010 where me, Mr James Bright, Peter Lyons and Kerry
Leatham all played in each other’s bands. That sort of cemented the relationship.
Your debut EP Switzerland includes a massive mash-up of genres and styles from electronic, dance and R&B. What sort of things were you listening too as you were growing up?
I was deep into metal and hardcore, but my sister was really into partying. She loved UK garage and house, and it being Essex, there was lots of drum and bass [around], too. Getting wrecked sort of naturally leads to an interest in dance music, so I graduated from scream metal to upfront drum and bass, then on to more progressive stuff – then techno and house, and then when all the post-dubstep and UK bass stuff came up I realised that songwriting and dance music weren’t mutually exclusive.
What can we expect from the full length record?
A more live-sounding collection of songs. SWITZERLAND was all about the feel of a song – getting a certain sound and working within it. But this album, JAPAN, is more about lyrics and instrumentation. The songs are darker, more blackly humorous, and there is a off-kilter feel, with some really tiny songs that are like vignettes or little quiet moments in between noisy songs with processed guitars and drums.
What can we expect from Dogtanion for the remainder of 2012?
“Islam”, the first single and video from the album is out at the end of June, then the album JAPAN is out in August. We are just confirming more live shows, and I’ve got a few remixes knocking about waiting to be released
Words: Shane Hawkins