This Saturday, the entire ground floor of the ICA will be thrown open for a massive new event they're calling Nightclub. Among the international roster of musicians, performers and visual artists overseeing the avant-hedonism will be Matthew Stone, Prinzhorn Dance Hall, Steve Bicknell, Cocadisco, and, best of all, New York tribal noise quartet Gang Gang Dance. I emailed keyboardist Brian Degraw.
Dazed Digital: You recently played a gig at the incredibly prestigious Whitney Biennal. What was that like?
Brian Degraw: It was like any other show except that we had a bit of a budget so we were able to get into some visual aspects that we are normally unable to do. We played behind a wall so essentially it felt like our practice space.
DD: You also recently played in Istanbul. What was that like?
BD: It was psychedelic. A bad trip for me but psychedelic nonetheless. I was picking up on some energies there that didn't seem to vibe with my mind and body too well. I was in a temporary state of anxiety, dizziness, and nausea. Not exactly sure why.
DD: I've never seen you live, but one of my friends has seen you several times. He's a big fan, but he says you can be a bit inconsistent live. Do you think that's unfair?
BD: We would never be weak deliberately - it's all just very circumstantial. We aren't jesters or entertainers and we aren't the types to put on fake smiles, so if we are not feeling the vibes than we probably won't have a very good show. Maybe it's just that often what we deem as "good" is difficult for the audience to embrace.
DD: What can we expect from your next album?
BD: Expect to hear the sound of confliction.
DD: You've said before that you love grime, but from a London perspective, grime is in a bit of a slump right now. Do you still listen to it?
BD: Yeah, tons. I dont really think it's in a slump, there's loads of talent there, I just think that the artists that are more succesful need to stop trying to emulate US hip hop and get back to the roots a bit. In my opinion the rawness, the regionalism, and the originality are huge parts of what makes grime important. Chipmunk and JME are on top.
DD: You've also said before that you love apes and monkeys. What has been your best-ever primate-related experience?
BD: Looking in the bathroom mirror every morning.
DD: What's your favourite thing on the internet?
BD: Benn Loxo du Taccu, UbuWeb, Mutant Sounds, Swine Mending, and Blessed Operation.