Everyone's favourite Scottish fight-poppers Dananananaykroyd release their eagerly-awaited, DiS-endorsed debut LP Hey Everyone! on Monday April 6th via Best Before records.
Here, the band's Calum Gunn (vocals) and David Roy (guitar) take us through the record on a track-by-track basis.
1. 'Hey Everyone'
David Roy: This is just your typical rocking intro track. We have opened with this at gigs on and off since the very first one. I just thought, 'What would be the perfect hello without just shouting the word "hello"? Oh yeah, us all starting together at the same time as loudly as we could like a bunch of noisy eejits! 'Hello!'. So it made sense to open the debut album with this too. And I've also thrown in a little bit of some badass acoustic guitar at the Jim O'Rourke-type middle bit when we recorded it, because I thought it would be funny to show off my folk guitar influences on the opening track of a freaking rock album. Yes. Hmm.
Calum Gunn: This song has no lyrics, but if it did, it would be about the importance of being a bro. The lyrics would be "Yeah! / Come on, bro! / It's important! / To be a bro! / Bro!"
2. 'Watch This!'
DR: One of the most important parts of the record for me was the segue from the Sonic Youth-type noise ending of the first track into 'Watch This!', the opening song proper, and getting it just perfect. It is perfect, dummy! So there's no break or chance to catch your breath, it just jumps straight in with a crowd of people chanting our name. HELLO! Ego swells. LOL. It's one of my proudest moments on a guitar too, from start to end. Lots of twiddly, really tough-to-play bits and overall a nicely paced little pop song with a lovely little sing-a-long middle section for the ladies. Good first song.
CG: This is the first song we wrote with double vocals in mind, so there are lyrics everywhere, sprinkled all over the song like a fine dust. John and I came up with some of the lyrics literally as we were recording the demo, and structured the lyrics by pointing at what the other was to sing as he was singing, the sing-song. Then we went out to a club and no-one was there. I love this song. The song is literally about WATCH THIS! Also, screaming!
3. 'The Greater Than Symbol And The Hash'
DR: Probably the song that has most defined us as a band until now. Kind of pop, danceable, then really fast, pointlessly daft, an unbearable racket of stupid noise and unnecessarily brutal, all rolled into one little ball of custard. When we wrote this one, we didn't know how to finish it, so we just repeated the start at half speed and hey presto. Doy! When we play it live, it's a good chance for people to absorb everything across the whole spectrum of what we're trying to do and if they don't like it, chances are they won't really enjoy any of the other stuff. We're still at the 'introductory' stage of the album here, so this is a good place for this one to go. Oh yeah, it's also the second guitar noise freakout within three songs of the album, which we think is quite funny.
CG: Giles (our ex-singer) wrote the lyrics for this one, and as far as I have been told, it's about discovering a new alphabet in the rubble of a destroyed city. Which, of course, is amazing. I write songs about geese and trains. And cigarettes. This song makes me freak out and sometimes, live, David and I are killed (dead) during the ending and have chalk outlines drawn around our corpses.
4. 'Black Wax'
DR: We thought it would be cool to have 'Greater Than...' roll instantly into our tongue-in-cheek pop anthem. This is where we begin to settle in and, to me, 'Black Wax' sounds a little weird out of context as a standalone single, but is the perfect antidote to the epic end of 'Greater Than...'. There's a bit of Pavement in there, and other assorted 90s jangle chord indie-rock guff. It was meant to have a sort of anti-chorus chorus, but that didn't really happen. It began as a laugh, but we all really love it now. It's our album's version of 'Today' by Smashing Pumpkins, in what it stands for and how and where it is represented/juxtaposed on the album as a whole.
CG: Hey, it's a single - but it's about a kidnapper! The verses are a Twin Peaks-esque tale of weird kidnapping men with big jackets on in suburban towns, while the chorus/ending relates the story of John's dream about having sex on a bus of drums. This song has had many names, including 'Bus Of Drums', 'We Are The Party' and 'Dr. Benji's Invisible Thumbs'. Also, if you listen closely, you can faintly hear me trying really hard to sing properly. Oh, and David whistling. Listen for it!
5. 'Totally Bone'
DR: The very first song we ever practised and one I originally demoed in 2001 for a fake internet girl-band called 'Volks Gang' (long story). There's probably an ancient demo of this floating around somewhere between a Geocities webpage and an America Online floppy disk. Anyway, it was a good place to start with our new band and it's certainly a good way to follow up 'Black Wax' and to get back on track. I think right here is the official start of the relentless rocktageousness. It doesn't let up and, in all honesty, will probably make your mum yell up the stairs at you to stop the stupid noise more than any other album will this year.
CG: This song is about the sort of sex you have after a rad day of hunting. Sweaty, ritualistic sex. Wait, we have songs about sex? WHAT'S GOING ON?
6. 'Pink Sabbath'
DR: The first single from the album played just that tiny bit faster and more brutally. To me, it's the sound of early Pavement sped up too much and Sonic Youth-ified. It's pretty dumb.
CG: 'Pink Sabbath' is about the bad parts of brains.
7. 'Infinity Milk'
DR: The finished version of the Sissy Hits outro track. This was always intended as a teaser for the album. We decided to put it on the EP completely unfinished for a laugh. I love the riff in this one, it's one of my favourites and the chorus is lifted from one of the greatest songs ever written - 'Before The Train' by Rodan. Can I admit that? Please don't sue us, Rodan!
CG: Another song where the verses differ lyrically from the chorus. The verses are the tale of some kind of crazy fashion war with facepaint and grenades outside Next on Boxing Day or something, while the chorus is an ode to nervousness and all the nervous people I've ever met. Kind of a call-to-arms, I guess. This song makes me lie down sometimes because my body is in a state of catatonic despair.
8. 'One Chance'
DR: For me, this is the only 'filler' on the album. Sort of. We were practising just before leaving for New York to record and we needed an extra song, so we came up with this. It's essentially an old discarded rock riff with a bit of Nirvana added on for good measure. Really daft. When Calum told us the lyrics, we laughed for ages. I don't know why. How could we leave it off after that though? So yeah, it goes right after 'Infinity Milk' as a perfect sort of follow up to the epicness of that song, but also sounds great as a lead into 'Some Dresses', so it kind of serves a purpose musically and can't be completely dismissed as 'filler' even though it is, haha!
CG: The lyrics: "One Chance (x83572) / This is your only chance / What is going to happen when you find out you have used up your only chance?" Sing along at home, guys! This song is rad because it's hardcore. And it's hardcore because it's rad. I'm into it. When we wrote it, I got all excited and made the guys play it over and over until John had to leave for an unscheduled hospital appointment. He said it was something to do with his arms.
9. 'Some Dresses'
DR: The only good thing I did during a particularly lame period of my life a couple of years ago was write the music for 'Some Dresses'. I was living with Colin Kid Twist, aka Drums Of Death, at the time in this odd little room and I don't think he quite got how miserable and twisted I was, so it was kind of a weird experience for both of us. This song and buying the beast of a computer I still own today is all I really remember from that strange period of time. Aye, so, unnecessary and uncalled for back-story done with.. ahem, it's another pretty decent riff and a lovely harmony chorus. Also, how to join two parts of a song together #32: Make your band sound like everyone has simultaneously been shot in the face whilst playing, resulting in the spackiest of breakdowns with which to join the two parts. Oh yeah, this also has the second appearance of the acoustic guitar for another one of my twiddly little folk bits. Imagine a year of your life where all you do is write a song and buy a computer. Madness.
CG: The hardest song for me to perform, because there's just so many words. Getting them in order is sometimes a problem, and getting them out of my lungs is an even bigger problem. We do get a chance to recline all over our captive audience's heads during this one, though. Our party-minded trick-up, the 'Wall of Cuddles' (RIP) was regularly performed to the beat of 'Some Dresses'. For our upcoming UK tour thing, we've got a whole different flannel of radness to impose upon people for the 'Blue Screen Of Death' breakdown, so tie your shoelaces.
DR: Another track from the Sissy Hits EP re-recorded with [album producer] Machine in New York. Just sounds like another straight-forward Dana... song with the exception of the nice little quiet section at the end. The only time we do that on the album, so it really stands out. The only lyric I wrote for the record was "Turn your hissy fits into sissy hits", which kind of means "Hey dweebs, get off your MSN Messenger and do something creative, even if it's crap!", which is as lame as it sounds... yes. The EP version has glockenspiel in it, but, for the album, we forgot. We were so drunk in New York, give us a break.
CG: That's not entirely true, David - you also wrote the lyric "How many cheese / How many damn cheese" for 'Infinity Milk', but when you left the room, we changed it. Sorry to inform you online. Anyway, '1993' is a song about breaking through negative boundaries and getting on with being a fun time for all. Remember 1993 (the year)? How awesome was that? So many good records were released in 1993. So we took our collective hat off.
11. 'Hey James'
DR: This is a tribute to our old drummer James [Hamilton] who left the band to pursue TEKNO DANCE (!) funtimes with Errors. Some people, from what I've read online, think it's a re-working of our old song 'Hey Giles', which it isn't, hence the name 'Hey James'. James? Giles? Different? We were going to re-record 'Hey Giles', but we forgot again. Drunk! So, anyway, I wanted to write James a furious sort of epic rock thing with a hint of sadness... haha! It's probably the most rocking song on the album. Well, the ending is anyway. I hope he likes it. John says it's the only song he plays from the very start to the very end without stopping. So there you go. The whispers at the end are supposed to signify embarrassment and being ashamed of oneself. I can't really let on any more than that. Edwin from Foals is in there somewhere too! Hey Everyone! These are the days of our lives!
CG: The words aren't about James though, heh. Soz bro! They're about some kind of weird underground fight with underground trenches and underground rivers. Then, at the end when it goes rocking, the fight breaks out into open air and everyone's confused. Hey Everyone!
12. 'Song One Puzzle'
DR: Oh look, it's the song we finish gigs with at the end of the album! What a surprise! Token epic album closer. The only song where you will really notice the Smashing Pumpkins rip-off. Squirty biffters. Plus, it's the only song with a mistake left in. If you listen carefully, before the end section kicks in, we mess up a bit and you can hear John laughing and saying "See, my intentions were good". I think this is quite a fitting end to our first album, so we left it in. I really hope people listen to the album as a whole, all the way through. LOL.
CG: My voice is totally broken, it's awesome. The album broke it. I hope you like it, dudebrain!