by Daniel Colussi | It was only last week that Destroyer wrapped up their Never Ending Tour in support of 2011′s very fine long player, Kaputt. Over the last eighteen months, Dan Bejar and ace backing band, The Kaputt Players, have criss-crossed the North American and European continents, hitting all the major festivals and too many seedy clubs to count. From Coachella to Utrecht, their focus remained the same: bring Kaputt to life every night. But now the tour’s finished and their last official band duty of 2012 is to DJ at The Waldorf this Wednesday night as a benefit for the Portland Hotel Society. The timing couldn’t be better; having lived a communal life on the road and spent nights in dark clubs only to walk out and see the sunrise (or not rise), the band is perfectly positioned to convey the madness and immorality of the road life through a carefully curated selection of mood music. I spoke with guitarist Nic Bragg and organizer Amber Webber about what to expect. Read on…
Nic give me some perspective on what a Destroyer DJ might consist of. We’re like marauders, we’re seasoned old dogs. We just got back from a tour in the land of no sun – Scandinavia – and the cold hard streets of Helsinki, where everything gets really real in a hurry. It’s enough to destroy your mind when you’re living on a bus and you wake up in a new city, and you’re never quite sure how you got there. So for me, I’m going to recreate some of the feelings of being out on the cold streets of Copenhagen, looking into the eyes of Scandinavia. I’m going to be playing wax. My set is going to be golden nuggets, I’m going to have some soul music, some blues, because my tour persona is smokestack, as in the song Smokestack Lightning, as in Lightning Hopkins, probably the best blues guitar player that’s ever influenced me. And a little bit of the crazy vibe of the Muscle Shoals, which I’m addicted to.
So the tour itself is going to inform your playlist? On tour, at the end of the night, after the after-party, the band is still just sitting on the bus playing tunes off Bejar’s iPod, because he’s still trying to teach us what it’s like to listen to jazz music.
Give me just one tour tale that’ll help attendees get into right frame of mind on Wednesday. A crazy thing happened to me in Stockholm. We wake up on the bus…everyone’s groggy. Usually Ted has already scoped out where the best coffee in town is, the best thing to get your life back on track, to find out where you are. The good thing is that when we play these clubs they’re usually in the bourgeois centre of town. So we find the place, we all enjoy some delicious coffee and as I’m coming out this woman starts speaking to me in Swedish. And I’m like, I’m sorry I don’t speak Swedish I just speak English, and she said, Oh no that’s the wrong answer. And then she asks me, How long are you going to be in Stockholm? And I say, I’m only here for six hours, and she says, Oh no that’s the wrong answer. So I had to ask her, What is this? And she says, I’ve been following you and I want to cast you in a Swedish television commercial and you’re perfect for the part. So I just said, Look I’m sorry I don’t speak Swedish and I’m leaving town after the show. But of course I had to ask her, What is this for? What am I perfect for? And she says, The commercial is for a person who loves to go to the racetrack and gamble on horses. So who knows, I could’ve stayed behind and made my career as a two-bit actor in Swedish TV commercials, and that’s the thing, when you’re on tour everyday something could change your life, and that day it happened to be that one thing. Read more
There is currently a campaign underway headed by ex-Vancouver musician/performer/personality Robert Dayton to raise funds for a first time ever vinyl pressing of the long lost, legendary Points Gray recordings, a bummer acid folk trio that consisted of Dayton and Julian Lawrence (of July Fourth Toilet) and Dan Bejar (Destroyer!). As Dayton explains in the video above, the late 90s were a heady time in Vancouver music, and Points Gray tapped into the pre-milleniall paranoia of Vancouver.
Sounding much like acid-damaged ESP-Disk 60s freak-out band The Godz, but with a more West Coast vibe, Points Gray anticipated the basement mould, bad street drugs and rising real estate that now (partially) define the Vancouver experience. Donations can be made at the Points Gray Indie GoGo page, and the clock is ticking: 56 days left and approximately $4000 left to raise. Let’s make it happen!
by Daniel Colussi | Vancouver favourite son Dan Bejar is not shy about his love of New Order. They’re his first love after all, and 2011′s meisterwerk Kaputt was positively dripping with the epic sweep and existential dread synonymous with the group. So it’s fitting that the Destroyer frontman was commissioned by Mojo Magazine to cover Leave Me Alone, the final track from Power, Corruption And Lies, as a celebration of New Order’s reuniting. Bejar’s treatment is faithful, and yes, loving. While I can’t say that New Order taking another kick at the can is all that exciting to me (especially since bassman Peter Hook isn’t involved), hearing Bejar take on this killer track from one of the most definitive albums of the 1980s is still what I call rad.
[top left image via Color]
Zulu Records veteran and tunage aficionado Daniel Colussi is the Music Editor of Scout Magazine.
Savage Night At The Opera | Destroyer
Remember back in 2009 when we posted that awesome 1978 film called “Rendezvous”? In it, French film director Claude Lelouch bolted a camera to the front bumper of his Ferrari and had a still anonymous professional Formula 1 driver tear through the heart of Paris at death-defying speeds running red lights and nearly killing dawn’s pedestrians in order to meet up with his girl. It was brilliant. Anyhow, director David Galloway’s new music video for the Destroyer song Savage Night At The Opera was clearly inspired by Lelouch – red lights and all – only it’s Vancouver and not Paris, a motorcycle instead of a Ferrari, and a woman doing the driving instead of a man (the dude she meets up with and hugs in the end is Destroyer front man Dan Bejar). The ride starts in Railtown/Gastown and ends up in Stanley Park. Hold on! This equals amazeballs!