Set to play Dazed & Confused's first ever festival on April 9th, Gang Gang Dance are also on the verge of releasing their fifth studio album, ‘Eye Contact’. The Manhattan group have been cited as an influence to more musicians than we care to mention. Why, you wonder. They’ve maintained autonomy since inception... that and they know how to write a great tune. As such they’re the perfect patrons for Dazed Live’s ‘Declaring Independence’ ethos. We caught up with Brian DeGraw to find out about his Dazed experiences and to see what the new album is all about.
Dazed Digital: Are you guys excited to be playing the first Dazed Live? Looking at the line-up, what else are you looking forward to catching?
Brian DeGraw: Yeah for sure. I haven’t seen the full line-up but I heard word of About Group, Actress, and Greco-Roman DJ set... all of which I’m looking forward to experiencing.
DD: When did you first become aware of Dazed & Confused?
Brian DeGraw: A long time ago, late 90s maybe? I had a show at Dazed gallery in 2000 or so. I ended up in jail somewhere in Hoxton but whatever... was fun.
DD: Musically, where have the band taken ‘Eye Contact’ since 2008’s ‘Saint Dymphna’?
Brian DeGraw: I'd say this record is a lot more refined than the last one. We finally allowed ourselves the time to really stretch out in the studio and get the tunes to where they needed to be. I think this record has a much better arc as a whole movement than the previous record and I think the moods we created from song-to-song are much stronger.
DD: Do you feel pressure bringing out this record after that success?
Brian DeGraw: Not at all because I know it’s better than the last. And everyone always says that.... but I really do feel that way.
DD: What were you listening to while making this album?
Brian DeGraw: I was listening to KLF's ‘Chill Out’ every day while we were recording. That and the ‘Street Fighter’ tune by D Double E.
DD: How does it feel to be cited as an influence by so many bands?
Brian DeGraw: It’s an honour I suppose. Sometimes it can be a little strange though because most of the bands that cite us as an influence are much more popular or ‘successful’ than we are.... but that’s OK too. Most of the things that influence me are more underground than we are at this point so maybe that’s just the cyclical nature of influence in GGD world.
DD: What’s next for Gang Gang Dance?
Brian DeGraw: Hopefully an Ayahuasca retreat.
Photo by Brian DeRan
Gang Gang Dance is playing Dazed Live on Saturday April 9, 2011. The festival takes place at several occasions in and around Shoreditch and is presented in partnership with Levi's and Absolut Vodka. Find out more about the Dazed Live HERE and buy your tickets HERE