News Reading & Leeds Festival 2009: Dananananaykroyd

With Reading & Leeds Festival just days away, we caught up with a few of the bands playing to see how they’re getting on, what they’re currently up to, and what we can expect from them over the festival season.

Dananananaykroyd, possibly our favourite band of the lot, are first up.

Has the year ended up like you thought it would, so far? Constant touring and interviews are to be expected when you release an album,but have you got to do anything you hadn’t expected?

I’m not entirely sure what I expected, but whatever it was, the year has, so far, ended up the complete opposite! Seriously, it’s been absolutely crazy. I can’t even tell you half of the stuff that has happened, it’s been that up and down. The festival circuit rules supreme, and I guess the strangest part of the summer so far (that I can say in public) was that we were all set to tour Japan and, when that didn’t happen, we did ten days in Australia instead, involving a mainstage appearance at Splendour In The Grass. Which was incredible up until John broke his daft wee arm, of course. We still have a European tour and a UK tour to come. I’m sure our label and management will have something fun and excruciating for us in November and December too, just to rub it in. You can’t hear me right now, but I’m laughing nervously and crying at the same time.

Speaking of touring and unexpected happenings; how’s John’s arm? Will it be ok in time for Reading & Leeds Festival?

It’s out of the cast and healing, thanks for asking! It’s got this huge rip across it, it’s boufing. John’s still in a hell of a lot of pain, but he was in pretty high spirits yesterday, which was our first practice as a seven piece! Maybe he was still full of morphine, or even just drunk. Who knows? Scott, our poor tour manager will be filling in on second drummer duties (as well as driving and tour managing - oops) and we’re looking at Reading and Leeds as the ultimate hardcore practice session (!!) to see if we can still perform to an acceptable, rocktageous standard and also to see if John is up for all the tough travelling and awkward sleeping arrangements that go with leaving the house and doing a band. Maybe we’ll bring him out in a wheelchair like Kurt Cobain.

How’s (Laura’s replacement) Ryan McGinness fitting in? Is he likely to be a permanent addition to the line up?

Ryan’s a regular awesome-o. A really good guy and a tremendous bass player. We call him Ryan-o. It must be very hard for him though. We are such a weary, hilariously jaded and tight little group and he’s like some mad 17 year old on his first holiday away from his parents. It’s not really the time for us right now to be making any 100 percent, completely definite, set in stone, do or die, now or never, puke and cry decisions about anything regarding our future and Ryan knows that, so we will just wait and see what happens once everything has settled down and we have some time to reflect on the complete abortion that is our band through the year 2009. So far, so good though. We can’t thank him enough for coming in and helping us out during what has been such a difficult time. Aw.

As far as the second album is concerned, have you begun writing or demoing for it?

Yes, we have! Just this week I heard the first vocal demo for a new song I sent to the guys a few weeks ago. Very rough, but pretty great sounding. I’ve just sent off the latest batch of demos a few days ago too. We have roughly 11 or 12 new songs on the go right now, with maybe 4 or 5 more to start working on in the next couple of months. It’s going to take ageeees!!! We’re (somehow) going to find some time before the UK tour in October to practice a couple of the new ones to play then though, which is something we haven’t been able to do for a long time! It’s exciting! We might even make them into an album. I just don’t know.

Along with other cult British indie labels such as Big Scary Monsters, would you say Holy Roar (through who you released mini-album ‘Sissy Hits’) have their finger on the pulse of the best ‘underground’ bands in the country? They have an ace roster.

I love both of these labels. And all three people who work between the two of them are complete aces. Not only are they releasing great records, but they’re finding all these rad bands before anyone else does too. No guff. They’re doing the UK proud and keeping DIY, underground spirit thriving.

Are there any other small labels you think we should keep an eye on?

I hope the Caspian Label are still doing good. I love that Sleeping States album. Also, Tough Love Records from London too. I love what they do. I wish there were more Scottish labels. Waah.

What about up-and-coming bands? If you ran your own label, who would you try for as your first signing?

I’d love to have a record label one day, but I don’t think I’d have the time or commitment for it. Anyway, I’d start with a Stage Blood 7’ and a gatefold Quack Quack 12’ with CD insert. I don’t really pick up on ‘cool’ bands, so I’d probably fail really quickly. It’d be rubbish. Oh lol.

Do you get much time to see other bands when playing festivals? Is there anyone you’re especially looking forward to seeing this year?

We get some time. But we’ve been so busy that we either have to do our own thing or we’re off early in massive huffs to whatever we have to do next. Reading and Leeds looks mental. We have to go to France in the day between them. Arg. Looking forward to Faith No More so hard. And DEFTONES. Wish we could see Radiohead, but we get to finally play with Los Campesinos at Swn Festival, which makes us all very happy little spurts.

Out of the line-ups you’ve seen, which festival do you think looks the best?

Liking the look of Offset festival so far. That has some crazy good bands playing. Yeah, I think we will have fun at that one. Unless I just jinxed it and I will fall off the stage and break my soul or something.

And finally: as a punter, what’s the best way to make the most out of a festival?

Wear comfy shoes, sneak in your own alcohol (oops), don’t talk to clowns, be good, always be prepared, remember that, 9 times out of 10, Dannakroyd means Dananananaykroyd and that, yes, we’re still playing, try to be careful, don’t sit about moping in the rain, go see some bands, don’t throw kebabs off the top of the big wheel and be good (again). See those people who go to festivals and don’t go and see any bands? I hate those people.

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