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Interview: D.I.D

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 Many of us have been scratching our heads and tapping our fingers in eager anticipation to hear new material from Nottingham’s Dog Is Dead. Though, little did we know back then that Dog Is Dead were to re-emerge as D.I.D, and return with an EP about fast food.

Since critically acclaimed debut album All Our Favourite Stories hit indie shelves back in 2012, tracks like ‘Teenage Daughter’ and ‘Glockenspiel Song’ have dominated club speakers. The punchy full length glittered with saxophone solos, highlife guitars and quirky coming-of-age lyricism.

Talking to frontman Rob Milton on new EP Fast Food he firstly clarifies that if he were a fast food he “would be chips.” Why?

“Because I like chips” quite simply.

As the first material under ‘D.I.D’ the ‘Dog Is, well...dead’ puns have come in abundance, as the new identity is here to stay.

“Of course we were expecting the obvious puns and that's totally fine.

“I'm sure our fans will call us whatever they want but for us it was a chance to be something different, the end of one phase the start of another new one.

“We started this band when were 15 and picked the name for the school talent show after all so it felt like a decent time for a change, although we appreciate it'll take time to grow.”

Listening to the four track EP, it’s not just the name that has had a revamp. It would appear that the quintet have landed on their feet entering adulthood.

Exploring elements of RnB writing and reggae instrumentals, there are darker undertones and gritty edges to really get your teeth into.

Insisting that the progression has all been quite natural, Rob explains “We were adamant about not making the same record twice, because let’s face it – that’s just boring for everyone.”

Within the band, there are players of everything from saxophone to bass, accordion to drums, keyboard to guitar, allowing inspired sounds that infuse and blend.

New track ‘Gameplan’ soothes a reggae vibe with rhythmic drums and twinkling keys. Vocals harmonise, carefully juxtaposed by brash drums.

It becomes a euphoric, soft number to sway along to, with summer vibes.

“We're always trying to push ourselves, we looked at new approaches to writing and we drew influence from way further afield.”

Overall though, the EP is a little more downbeat than the usual. Bitter lyrics on relationships and breakups are sugar coated by soaring melodies ‘We both needed space, somebody else’s pillowcase’. 

 

As the lad’s vocals meet and reach incredible range on ‘Hotel’ they begin to sound like a barbershop quartet ‘Solitude arrives like a guest at the hotel’, accompanied by scratchy rock guitars.

An electric bassline roars to life, and a gnarly riffs rips through the contrasting smoothness in the tactile tones.

Whilst Rob’s distinguishable vocals, sometimes croon and often pine, they remain ever charimastic and tempt an urgent sing-along. 

Lead single ‘Fast Food’ sparks familiarity in its fast-paced, infectious delivery. It epically builds and keeps its anthem height with a dancing beat and sugar rush fizzle.

The pop production almost hides the hostility in the writing ‘So fade me out, I’ll fade you out’.

Just like the single, on the outset the band have become known for their upbeat personalities alongside their boisterous stage presence and being Twitter legends. It begs the question, is disguising problems in fast food wrappers a cathartic outlet?

“I think it's definitely true that I use lyrics as a kind of therapy, music can be so powerful like that. Of course we are human beings and go through a range of emotions but generally we are genuinely as daft as we appear online and at shows. We have a strange sense of humour and we have a lot of fun together!

“It's still a high energy show and a lot of fun. We take playing the songs seriously but that's just half the show, we've got a bunch of surprises and the new tracks I think are sounding really special.”

One of their favourite past times? Mocking Trev of course.

“Yeah I can't see that changing any time soon. Deep down he loves it.”

The more lookalikes, the better.

Having holed themselves away for the past year in a recording studio, Rob explains that doing so in their hometown has been “the best thing for us [them]”

“Here you actually live your life for better or for worse, rather than being far removed in a bubble in a luxury studio in Iceland or something.”

Before adding “Although that'd be nice.”

Listening to the EP, it’s easy to assume that the lyrics stem from being fucked over by a girl. It asks ‘What’s your game plan?’ and confesses with angst ‘we only loved you for your lose change’ before exploding into a anthemic ballad about big lies.

‘The tan line on your finger says it all, I’m the evening’s entertainment’.

“You could say that... Although the best thing about being a song writer is you get to project how you're feeling at one particular time.

“I'm not a bitter person but it's so powerful to know that if I feel that way about something I can scream about it on a stage.”

Lyrically, this is the strongest we’ve seen the band. They’re raw, gritty and honest and can cut to the core with attitude. Quickly switching between direct bluntness and metaphors, they confess and declare, commenting on cheating, sex and seduction.

It's funny because lyrically the EP is quite dark but making the thing was so much fun.

“There's a lot of trust between us. I think everyone was just excited to take on the challenge of making R&B and pushed me to be as brave as I could with the lyrics.

One of the most poignant comes halfway between the title track, where Rob spins ‘How very English of us’.

Commenting on how we Brits deal with relationships differently, almost incorrectly, Rob explains “I think British people are hindered in everyday life by an overwhelming need to be polite.”

“So I think in a relationship no one has any idea how to cut the cord, and it can all end up being pretty messy.”

Speaking of messy, that’s the direction the ‘Fast Food’ video heads in. The nauseating visuals feature the blocking of pipes and blowing up of inflatable as mouths eat a disgusting amount of the fatty grease we can’t help but overindulge in. 

 

So go ahead, treat yourself and give D.I.D’s latest ‘Fast Food EP’ a listen.

Listen on Spotify or buy through Apple Music. Or the 10” vinyl (“the silver lining to CDs dying a death”)




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