Mancunian art-pop rockers Dutch Uncles talk the music scene up north and Greggs pasties.
Hype has been gathering around Dutch Uncles for a while now, with comparisons to angular rock bands like Everything Everything. But unlike Everything Everything, Dutch Uncles are actually old hats at this rock malarkey – Out Of Touch In The Wild is their third album, and arguably their best, following up on the bewitching Wire-inspired guitar rock of Cadenza. They tell us how this time, it’s a “proper” studio album.
Anti-genre labelling aside, how would you describe the band?
Well… In my mind I would describe us a band of brothers. We’ve been doing our tunes in many shapes and sizes for many years. The music takes on forms depending on our current situations. I think the next album is going to be straight down the line rock and roll. Prog is dead. In all seriousness, we’ve picked up a lot of genres labels in our time but art-pop has stuck of late.
Do personal tastes ever compromise the sound of certain tracks?
Our producer Brendan listens to a crap load of looney tunes. Which has somehow lead to him using a crapload of spring reverb. Phil (our mix engineer) tells him to turn it down. We all have to compromise. Ideally I would solo from start to finish. But this wouldn’t be economically viable.
Manchester’s known for producing quality musicians. How has that heritage shaped you guys and how does it compare to other cities for its live scene?
Bands in Manchester have their favourite bands from Manchester. We like chorus pedals because of The Smiths, they certainly shaped me as a guitarist. The Manchester live circuit is really on a high at the moment. Freaky deaky venues keep rearing their heads because of dead cert promoting adding to new gig experiences. The Fuhrer Bunker is a fine example.
Do you have any standout moments of being together as a band so far?
Recording ‘Out of Touch In the Wild’ has to be my standout moment. Cabin fever in Wales never felt so good.
Your new record will be your third release. How will it differ from its predecessors?
It’s a proper studio record. The only element that was truly complete before we went into the studio was the midi. We all had to dig deep and craft the songs from the bottom up. Songs on previous records were already immovable objects as we had played them live for so long, so it was just a matter of throwing up a couple of mics.
Where do you guys find inspiration to write and record?
Definitely the music we listen to and bands we play with. Wild Beasts have had a lasting impression when we toured Europe with them. Their music is so assured and this has translated into how we maybe start to now try to view our own music.
You say the record is an album of ‘bad habits’. Would you say that’s a fair description of what people can expect?
Dutch Uncles is built on bad habits. We keep getting more of them. Let’s just say we have insatiable appetite for Greggs the Bakers.
Out Of Touch In The Wild on Memphis Industries. dutchuncles.co.uk
Words: Shane Hawkins