D-A-D (face to face)

Interview date

27 Aout 2011




Interview D-A-D (face to face)

A new album is being composed right now (we could see a studio video on your website in January). When will it be released ? What can you tell us about it?

Stig Pedersen : If everything goes well, it should be released on the 31st of October. It has no title yet, only working titles, which I won't tell you ! Generally, we wait for the album to be completely finished, the songs to be selected, and then we chose a title, which reflects the general idea of the album. Concerning the music, it will be closer to Helpyourselfish... you could describe it as "concrete rock"!

How’s the process of composing and recording in D-A-D?

Stig Pedersen : We work in the studio on a daily basis, from Monday to Friday. We work in a circle and jam together freely, until a good riff emerges. Then we work on it, develop it, and... magic, we have a song!

What are your musical influences?

Laust Sonne : it's Stig !... Stig Pedersen : it's Laust ! No, seriously: our roots are in the punk music. It's always been with us, even if our music evolved in time. It's in our music as well as in our lyrics.

Helpyourselfish seemed to be the end of an era musically speaking, and Simpatico the beginning of a new one… could you explain why?

Jesper Binzer : It is true. We do our best not to make the same album twice, that's a fact. And then, at some point after Helpyourselfish, we had the feeling that the "hard" rock of D-A-D was not ourselves anymore, and maybe not what our fans expected from us. So we naturally changed into something else with Simpatico, including new elements in our music, sometimes softer, but with the basic of never forgetting the punk spirit.

You seem to be a very tight pack, the four of you. Only one change of line-up in twenty-six years, that’s almost a world record. Congratulations. The credits on the CDs always mention “all selections by D-A-D”. Is it something natural or do you have to “work” on it… like a couple?

Stig Pedersen : That's easy... and difficult at the same time : we never let our eyes off the goal. That's a good system to overcome our differences and find solutions to go forward in a good spirit.

Your music has always been a mix of energy, humour and melancholy. How is that?

Stig Pedersen : Again, that's easy to answer : that's because it's us, simply us. We don't have to force it, it's our natural self. Our lyrics are based on our life experiences. So it all became our style, our trademark!

When did you begin to really live from your music as a full time job?

Stig Pedersen : Basically from the very beginning. For us, making music when we began was not a hobby or a part-time job. We dedicated to it full time with the aim of making a living of it as soon as possible, without a secure job besides to pay the bills. It had to work, and we did what we had to do to record an album quickly after having played gig after gig in clubs. We liked punk and fun, but this was not a reason not to do our best and try to be as professional as possible.

As a French fan, it’s not easy to get your CDs in shops. Is your career now mainly targeted on Danemark , Sweden , Germany and Japan ? Or do you also sell and tour outside those countries?

Stig Pedersen : We don't target precise markets. It's more the opposite : markets choose us... or don't ! After our troubles with the American music business (Riskin'It All era), we recentered on Europe, beginning with Scandinavia, our homeland, but with Germany too, where we're always warmly welcome. We'd be eager to play other places, but concerts organisers just don't want us on a bill and take a risk of non-selling tickets.

How did Stig come up with the name Disneyland After Dark?

Stig Pedersen : In the beginning, we were big fans of American culture : everything colored, flashy, oversized, grandiloquent, kitsch. A good symbol of it was Disney. So we took it... but our punk spirit made us add to this the "After Dark" part, subversive and fun, to counterbalance. That was until Disney threatened to sue us ! Then we changed into D:A:D and lately to D-A-D, more internet friendly.

Stig… how many two-string basses do you have?

Stig Pedersen : Eight or nine, I guess... I used them to record all D-A-D albums, except the new one, on which I used a four string bass. I design those basses, as well as my stage costumes.

Who are your musical idols?

Laust: T-Rex and Nirvana (Nevermind)

Stig: Nirvana (Nevermind) and Ramones

Jakob: AC/DC and punk

Jesper: Ramones and punk.

What’s your favourite CD in all your discography?

All four of them : Everything Glows, undoubtly. First, because that's when Laust joined us, and he was a great input to the band. Second, because we like very much the songs and the general spirit of the album ! It was a great pleasure to make it.

What’s your favourite song?

Jesper: Jacketless In December

Jakob: Sleeping My Day Away

Stig and Laust: Something Good.

What’s the album that was the most difficult to bring to life?

Stig Pedersen : Helpyourselfish was by far the hardest album to make. It took three years to be conceived, recorded and launched. We had troubles with the record company and many delays of all types. So many bad vibes on this one !

Is “No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims” still the album that met the biggest commercial success?

Jesper Binzer : Yes, this one and Riskin'It All are the biggest worldwide success of our career.

I saw you live in 1995 at the Rock Am Ring, it was tremendous… what was your best gig ever?

Stig Pedersen : Wow, hard question ! We played so many places, it's hard to tell. We'd say we remember more the craziest places we've played, as well as our first shows, twenty years ago. Lately, the Bang Your Head Festival was a great concert and the Main Square Festival in Copenhagen too, where we had champagne on stage just before midnight.

Do you still have as much fun as when you began twenty-six years ago?

Stig Pedersen : Of course we do ! We're lucky to do what we love and make a comfortable living out of it.

Nick Foss produced five of your ten albums. Why did this collaboration end ? Who produces the next album?

Jesper Binzer : Well... Nick Foss, precisely, back home !

When you look back at your career, would there be something you’d change if you could?

Stig Pedersen : There are things we'd change, yes. But then, if we did, would we be here now? What would be the consequences of those changes? Really, we try to discuss, all four of us, as much as we can on all occasions, all our choices are made as wisely as we can, in order not to regret them afterwards. And after twenty years in this job, we've learned quite a bit from our mistakes and try not to reproduce them!

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