SO many things strike the senses…
when approached with Dame Jean. The band have a determination and passion few others do; their music sounds like nothing out like there; there is a clear connection within the ranks. I speak to the guys about their debut single, Wasted Love, and what its story is. The band has no social media presence at the moment – they explain the reason behind that.
I ask what gigs they have coming up and what they have planned regarding new material; some new artists we need to get involved with; why humour is important to them – they end the interview with some great song selections.
Hi, Dame Jean. How are you? How has your week been?
Tired, excited; broody…
We’re thinking of adopting now we’ve released a single.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Of course. We are a four-piece sickly, surfy; dysfunctional Rock band from all over the place who writes our own songs and play them to beautiful people.
Wasted Love is your new song. Can you reveal the inspiration behind the song?
Sammy: It was written, cathartically, during a pretty nasty break-up. It’s very spiteful, honest and bitter - but I needed to find a way to purge a lot of bad emotions quickly before they took me to a worse place and this song, for a time, let me do that.
It is the debut cut. Has it been quite exciting releasing that first song? Will there be more material arriving?
Yeah. It’s a really exciting time for us at the moment. We’ve got so much we want to do and show people, though: from crazy stuff we’ve done in the studio that can't be recreated live and messed-up videos. We had our launch-party the other night and shot the video for the next single - which will follow Wasted Love very soon.
How did the band get together? What is the inspiration behind that name, too?
We all went to the same uni, but we were in different years or courses and a strange series of events brought us together.
With regards to the name: it’s a combination of Sammy’s love for James Dean and a comment on the frequent confusion people seem to have with his sexuality and gender.
It seems like you have a love of artists from the 1960s and 1970s. Who did you all grow up listening to?
As a band, we all have a very diverse music taste, but seem to all have an overlapping interest in the more weird and wonderful cult artists of our time.
I have to ask about the lack of social media pages – that has garnered some raised eyebrows. Is there a reason behind this?
We didn’t feel like we’ve seen much benefit from using things like Facebook in other small bands in the past. Practically every person/new band is on there - which is great, for some reasons. But, when the state of the music industry isn’t too peachy, and the way society communicates is pretty poor, it doesn’t make sense to keep doing the same thing.
It says a lot how surprised people are because a small band like Dame Jean don’t have a Facebook page and can still function. Social media didn’t exist when any of the bands we love were around anyway. That might be a post hoc ergo propter hoc mentality but it’s worth a shot…and so far, is going okay.
Might we see a Facebook or Twitter account forming at some point?!
If we can’t get our music out there, and it’s obviously because of our lack of Facebook/Twitter, then we will find us some edible hats…
Then, we'd get over it like we all did with MySpace (sad-face emoji).
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
We’re playing The Pig and Fiddle in Bath on 19th; Fiddlers Club (Bristol) on 4th of May with Wayne Hussey (from The Mission). Then, we’ve got Camden Rocks in June. Though, we’re constantly booking shows and will keep everyone updated via our website.
If someone wanted to come and see you play – what could they expect? Does the band have an outrageous rider at all?!
We don’t really get riders…but, if we did, we’d probably just ask for money or emotional stability. Live, we feed off each other and drink wine until one of us gets too excited and/or something stops working. The wine usually makes its way around the crowd, too, and it’s super-gross; so you can probably expect to catch something, too.
What do you all hope to achieve in 2018?
We’re hoping to get around and play to as many people as possible - and we are releasing an E.P.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Honestly, we’re probably at the same stage; so all we could ask for is to (just) support other bands and help make your music scene as healthy as possible; the odds are stacked, so stick together and enjoy it.
IN THIS PHOTO: George Glew
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Between working and Dame Jean, our free time is mainly dedicated to sleep - but we all hang out a lot, listen to sad music and cuddle.
Looking at some of your ‘reviews’; it seems like you have a self-deprecating and humorous approach. Is it important, to the band, to keep things light?
We think so: there’s no point in taking yourself too seriously. We take music very seriously and our music means a lot to us, but we’re only doing it because it makes us happy. If you’re too precious, it’s not going to be as enjoyable - and the whole thing loses meaning.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Cigarettes After Sex - Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby
Supergrass - Caught By the Fuzz
Courtney Barnett - Nameless, Faceless
Sharon Van Etten - Every Time the Sun Comes Up
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