Initially, sitting down for a video call with Sad Night Dynamite feels like watching an episode of Gogglebox. The dark-pop duo – composed of Glastonbury-raised Josh Greacen and Archie Blagden – are perching on perfectly placed sofas, as if they’re watching me through a TV. “I’m glad you noticed the set-up. We’ve done so many of these [Zooms], so we thought people needed to see something nice,” Greacen laughs.
Immediately, it’s clear Sad Night Dynamite don’t take themselves too seriously, which is undoubtedly one of the secrets behind their success. “When Sad Night [Dynamite] came about, we’d worked together for so long, but with other people too,” shares Greacen. “I feel like when it became just Archie [Blagden] and I again, it clicked into place. It was really cool when that happened because for ages we’d listened to our music and hated it. It clicked because we weren’t taking it so seriously. You can easily take yourself too seriously and I hope we never do.”
Since first meeting at school, the dystopian duo have released their self-titled debut EP, signed to Elektra Records, and attracted a growing gang of famous fans and friends including The Gorillaz and FKA Twigs. But as their career continues to quickly propel to infinite heights, Greacen and Blagden have discovered their own ‘best mate/bandmate’ dynamic is a trickier one to balance. “If you’d asked us a year ago, we would have said, ‘Everything’s perfect.’ But there’s stress that comes with being best mates and business part- ners,” Greacen admits. “Don’t forget, lovers too!” Blag- den jokingly adds. “Speaking of that, there have to be boundaries!” Greacen retorts. “It’s not like anyone else’s best mate; it’s a constant balance. But it is great, and we pretty much have the same brain when it comes to music, which is a gift!”
“Musically, our dynamic is interesting,” Blagden continues. For a lot of that first mixtape, Josh was at university, so we weren’t together as much. That’s why a lot of it can feel disjointed, but I really like that. I find it really exciting working in that way and then com- ing together to finish it off.” Agreeing, Greacen adds: “I remember when we were working on it, sometimes I’d send Archie an idea, and he’d be like, ‘That’s cool, but this is better.’ We’d put those two bits together and make a song. There’s something instantly unique about that. When we’re together, I think we probably write better songs, but they’re not as interesting.” Now, the pair might live together, but Sad Night Dynamite won’t be switching up their distinctive creative process too much. “The second mixtape has that disjointed element too because we find we write our best ideas when we’re apart.”
Sad Night Dynamite is ready to rule the airwaves once again with their heady fusion of hip-hop, elec- tronica, punk, Britpop, and more. Their second mixtape is the same sound but magnified. After all, if it works (which Sad Night Dynamite’s genreless mash-up definitely does), why bother to change it at all?
“I think the new music is going to be like the first mixtape but on steroids. We’re still in that similar space, so it isn’t going to be a reinvention; it’s just improved,” Greacen explains. “It’s very high energy too,” Blagden adds. The strange story behind “Psychedelic Views,” the first single from the new mixtape, distinctly showcases why. “We were living in an abandoned pub, and that song was our focus. It was boiling hot, and the only thing I can remember was this smell. As you walked through the hallway, you could only describe the smell coming through the floor as death.We thought,‘Whatever that is, it must be dead.’ It was kind of inspiring, you’d get high off it, and that’s where “Psychedelic Views” came from.” Thankfully, the smell transpired to be a defrost- ing freezer rather than the looming presence of death itself. Despite the track’s twisted background, American rapper IDK happily hopped on a collaboration of the brooding track. “We’ve been big fans of IDK for a long time. We had this tune, so we sent it to him, and he was into the dead rat vibe,” Greacen jokes.
It might seem peculiar to produce a song inspired by a similar smell to that of a dead rat, and perhaps Sad Night Dynamite are peculiar – perfectly peculiar, in that, the mad world they’ve created somehow makes complete, and utter sense. “We often say our world is like a dystopian world, but actually, it’s just the real world. I guess we don’t cover up mistakes or sugarcoat anything in our music because if everything’s beauti- ful, then nothing’s beautiful.” It’s a chaotic world their fans are flocking to, and soon, it’s ready to swallow ours. “Coming up, we’ve got loads of gigs, more music, and after this mixtape an album,” the duo reveal. “Then, world domination.”