THE world of bands is a varied and, often, murky one…
that promises idols and the ‘next big thing’ – without necessarily offering anything original and substantive. When it comes to Manchester’s Dantevilles; I am much more hopeful and primed. The boys chat to me about their new single, Blackjack, and whether there is more gold coming from them; what the Manchester area is like for music; how the band got together – if we can see them play anytime soon.
I ask about musical inspiration and whether they have progressed since their early days; some new artists worth time and study; albums that are important to the guys – and whether they have any goals worked out for the remainder of 2018.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Yeah, we’re top! Spirits are high after the new release - and first show of the year was a sell-out to follow.
So; not bad at all.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
(I’m) Connor - Vocals/Bass
Jamie - Vocals/Guitar
Paul - Lead Guitar
Cory - Drums
Blackjack is out now. What is the story behind the single?
Blackjack was written as a demo only a month or so ago. We had a pile of tunes we wanted to put on the E.P. – then, this one came out of nowhere and instantly became a contender. It was written, lyrically, with risk in mind and trying to tap into the struggle that is midweek vs. weekend. We all have a lavish, over-excessive approach to the weekend - and spend the week trying to feel normal again.
It seems the lyrics nod to a certain dare – going for it and taking a risk. It seems like you adopt a similar tactic regarding composition and styles. Would that be fair to say?
Yeah. We don’t actually try too hard to produce clever compositions as I think we all understand how each other works now, which helps massively when writing. We’re just trying something different to your normal band - music’s a bit boring at the moment - and we’re attempting to spice it up again.
Will we see any new material come down the line? What are you working on?
Yes. There’s plenty more material on its way, finished and recorded and, as for new stuff past that; we’re constantly writing and trying to push ourselves towards what we believe is going to be are best-sounding tunes!
Do you think your music has evolved a lot since your first demos? Do you think you will incorporate new elements and sounds into future work?
Certain elements have changed: we’re probably all better musicians than we were when we first had a jam a couple of years ago. I’d never picked up a bass before Dantevilles! We’re trying to push our own boundaries and get out of our ‘comfort zone’ - it’s important.
But, then, other aspects are still the same - like the duel-vocal aspect. It was an aim to perfect that from the off!
Tell me how Dantevilles came to be? How did you all find one another?
There was a voice in heads one night…
We all had the same dream and met on a street In Manchester…it was fate (jokes aside) but, nah, seriously…we met in Fallowfield, Manchester and moved in a house together in Moss Side. Everything clicked and took off from there.
Manchester is where you are based. How influential is the city? Do you hear a lot of local artists who will make an impression this year?
We’ll make an impression this year: our aim is to take 2018 by storm.
The city is a melting pot for music and now more than ever - we love Manchester - bands up here all get on and do like to support each other both old and new. It’s nice to be involved: it’s a proper-passionate city from music to football and everything in-between.
Did you all grow up on the same music? Which artists did you all vibe to when you were younger?
I think we’re all influenced all sorts. We all love bands like The Stone Roses and The Smiths - but then, personally, we have some random music we’re into: Cory loves Dennis Edwards, whilst Jamie’s partial to a bit of Jeff Buckley; Paul loves Led Zeppelin and Connor (loves) anything out of Manchester.
IN THIS PHOTO: Gathering of Strangers
If you each had to choose the one album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Connor: Oasis – Definitely Maybe
It was the first album I listen to on-repeat from start to finish (still do). You get to an age where you start to understand the meaning behind the music a little more - and this, for me, was that album.
Cory: The Streets - Original Pirate Material
For me; it opened the door to a broader taste in music - which has influenced my personal style and drumming style etc.
Paul: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
Because it made me realise I was into guitar music more than All Saints.
Jamie: Carry on Up the Charts - The Beautiful South
Other than having a great deal of sentimental value; the songwriting - composed by Paul Heaton - really opened the door into getting creative with lyrics and structure - and into The Housemartins. The amount of melody and riffs in their singles was inspiring. 36D inspired me to write my first song - even though I didn't fully understand what the song meant...
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
We’ve got a gig on 08/02/2018 at Deaf Institute with Sea Girls. Then; we’re back on the writing game for February. A tour is around the corner – though, for spring, we are currently making plans.
Is the stage where you prefer to be? What can one expect from one of your gigs?
We all love performing best part of being in a band. All eyes on us and we thrive on that. We’re experimenting a bit with our live set to create more of a spectacle: a much more intense, exciting experience when you come to a Dantevilles show nowadays.
What has been your most treasured memory from your career so far?
Playing the Kendal Calling Main Stage last year has to be up there.
We got a taste of how it feels to do it properly and we want that all the time - just the treatment you get is on another level as is playing a stage of that size. We feel like that’s where we should be, anyway.
How do you all spend time away from music? Any hobbies or favourite ways to chill?
The pub, mostly - we all like a pint – but, apart from that, there isn’t much time away from the band. It’s 100% most of the time: apart from Christmas. Haha.
So, Christmas must be our collective hobby.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Paul: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication