Music Q&A:

The Montpellier band take influence from classic British anthems on new studio release «debut» and play Fallow Café, Manchester. 15 Feb and the Waterloo, Blackpool, 18 Feb. Pascal DeStijl chats

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What informs your music and songwriting?
We try to make songs and albums that work on their own but there are also some hidden things in them, some correlation between all other songs and albums. DeStijl is like a puzzle for which we provide pieces years after years. Hopefully, there will be a global thing at the end. If not, never mind – we’ll be dead anyway.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?
We try to make something different with every new album. There’s something in DeStijl songs that sounds DeStijl, even if we try not to. If we put the first period aside, and focus on the last three albums, which have had more or less the same line-up, I would say that we’re getting warmer (and better, if I may). TWS was very dark, using mid-tempos and noisy guitars. With SWTWC, we went to something lighter, even if our post-punk influences are recognisable, especially on the tracks featuring Hooky. However, you can hear that we wanted to make an album that people could dance to. +debut+ is following this path and even if it’s definitely a rock album, it’s also a dance album – at least, that was our purpose. I guess the next one will go further this way, including more electronic things in it. Actually, there are already 12 new songs for it so I’m not guessing – I know that for sure 😉

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Last albums from Kasabian, the Wombats, Noel Gallagher, Franz Ferdinand but also some dance music. It’s always interesting to listen to the crap on the radio because there’s always some innovative sounds in it, no matter how terrible some songs can be. This is my interest in listening to this kind of stuff: stealing some production ideas to put in rock songs.

What’s on your rider?
Nothing very interesting really – it’s quite basic needs: food and drinks with nothing particular. I mean, sweets and booze are regular things, aren’t they? The only extravaganza is a single room for our singer. Actually, the only mandatory thing is to get some respect from the promoter, which is not the case occasionally, so we break and steal stuff and sometimes shit in the beds. We’re simple and basic people, I could say.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
A gig in Belgium for which the promoter was supposed to book accommodation for seven people and he just forgot. So one of the guys in the venue proposed that we sleep at her mother’s house, which was unoccupied. When we arrived there, at 2am, he woke up his mum, who lives next door, and they started to put some mattresses on the floor, which was – and this was the reason for the availability of the house – full of dust because of works. We felt very sorry for the old lady who was very kind and was woken up in the middle of the night, but we left the house for a hotel.

What song do you wish you’d written?
The one I’ll write tomorrow. I’m looking forward to listening to it. If I don’t write a song tomorrow, which is highly probable, I’d like to have written Blue Monday. It’s innovative, out of time, melodic, dance and rock at the same time, a bit mysterious – totally the opposite of the song I won’t write tomorrow.

What’s your worst lyric?
Sometimes, I write some cheesy stuff, a bit because of my laziness and a bit because of the lack of inspiration. So I’d say “A shining face, with gorgeous eyes.” I don’t know if this is the worst but it’s so cheesy! Usually, I try my best to write interesting lyrics, but it’s a long shot to know if what you write is good or not.

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