Introducing: Dutch Uncles
With their pop-infused indie sound Manchester's Dutch Uncles are quickly gaining a strong and devoted following. With a slew of upcoming dates, such as the Leeds and Friends of Mine festivals, the band look like they have a busy summer ahead of them. The Music Fix talks to Duncan Wallis to find out just what makes this band tick.
First off, let’s start with the name of the band. How did you come up with Dutch Uncles?
Dutch Uncle was actually the name of a previous band I had entered for a 'battle of the bands' in secondary school that came last. The name had come from a book I found at my Dad's house and its appeal was the way it looked on the cover (it was very old). Four years later when Dutch Uncles were looking for a name I brought it back as a last attempt to break us out of our nameless misery, everyone took it on pretty quick and we decided it should have an 'S' on the end for that gang mentality.
You recorded an album in Germany a couple of years ago. How did that come about?
A year before we were Dutch Uncles we had been palmed off to a German label Tapete records through a previous manager as they were initially interested in a different band of his. They listened and caught on to it very quickly and invited us out on a tour which was then followed by a record deal offer of four albums. We all thought that was a ridiculous amount to commit to so we said no and came back to the UK to become Dutch Uncles (yay!). When our first gig was televised for 'Channel M' one of our dad's emailed it to friends and accidentally cc'ed in Tapete Records! They then offered a one album deal and that seemed like a good opportunity to get some tracks down that were going to stale otherwise. Our Germany experience was over very quickly as people decided to start Uni the same year which meant we could barely tour at all... the summer was fun though!
You’re all from Manchester which has a strong musical history. Do you ever feel daunted by that?
Not at all. Personally we're only interested in a couple of those bands of the 'glory days' so the full gravity of our heritage has never really dawned on us. If you're asking whether we're phased by the lazy comparisons then the answer again is no. If we weren't from Manchester we wouldn't get them ... probably.
How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
People seem to get offended when they've had us pinned down as an Indie band before hearing us, but we can't call ourselves 'guitar music' as that's too boring, apparently. In the past we've called it 'ADD-Indie' as anything to do with 'Math' sounds a bit cold, so we'll settle on that for now.
What are the bands or artists that have influenced you?
Too many to mention. One thing our shared music taste has in common is that its all at least 30 years old ... except for Field Music.
Your new album Cadenza is released next month, what can you tell us about it?
As opposed to our 'German' album, 'Cadenza' was us writing for an album instead of us stumbling into an album format. There's highs and lows, tracks into tracks, breakdowns, shakedowns and booty sweat all over the floor. Quite simply, it'll get your ass in traction! Put your weight on it!
What’s next for you guys?
Gigs. Last November we played with an extra five session players at a church in Salford to preview the album. It was the first time we felt we'd done a proper gig so if we can get ourselves into a position to tour that around the UK at some point then that would be just aces. Until then we're just going to be a dull as dish water five piece.
Dutch Uncles' album Cadenza is out 25th of April. Visit them on MySpace