Kendal Calling 2012 - Dan Le Sac Interview
Kendal calling 2012 is held at Lowther Deer Park in the beautiful Lake district. Despite an overall decline in festival goers, Kendal calling has again sold out this year. Make sure you get in early next year for your tickets for Kendal Calling 2013. In the meantime, here's an interview with one of this years headline acts Dan Le Sac of Dan Le Sac vs Scoobius Pip
• Hello, how are you today and what is the first thing you thought about when you woke up? Swimming, 8am, every day, I swim.
• We are so happy you are coming at Kendal Calling festival, its set in the rolling hills of the Lowther Deer Park and this year's theme is Comic Books and Fairy Tales. Do you 'do' fancy dress? If so what has been your favourite creation? Tell us about some of the most inventive costumes you've seen at a festival? I don’t often get the chance to ‘do’ fancy dress, when you’re doing a load of festivals in a weekend it’s pretty much the last thing on your mind. 9 times of 10 my fancy dress style is simply, ‘ooh I’ll go as an old lady…’, although my favorite was a wedding dress I found in a charity shop. Most inventive I’ve seen at a festival was an Amy Winehouse, replete with paper mache head and ridiculous stilts.
• We assume you don't camp at festivals much anymore, how do you feel about the great outdoors? What are your top tips for surviving festivals and essentials you shouldn't forget? I camp at festivals all the time thank you, especially Bestival, it’s like a little holiday at the end of the festival season. Like above, you don’t really get the chance when touring!
• After touring the globe, what is your favourite place to play and why? How on earth are you meant to choose, I couldn’t tell you my favourite room in my flat, let alone a favourite city in the world. I can tell you where I don’t like playing, Oxford, there is something about that town that leaves me feeling grumpy after every show.
• With such emphasis on spoken word, the work you do with Pip highlights the importance of quality lyricism. How do you think the current music industry is doing in terms of supporting good lyricists? The industry does extremely well in supporting good lyricism because the best lyrics often reside in Pop music, look at Adele, simple insightful lyrics yet she’s the biggest selling female in the world other than Sade. Yes Sade. Joshua Idehen, Kate Tempest, Jodie Anne Bickley, Sophie Cameron are all worth checking out on the spoken word scene, although Sophie would make Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown blush.
• with the rise of spoken word artists over the last few years, there has been increased interest in poetry amongst a younger generation. Do you think 'spoken word' originates in Hip Hop or poetry scenes, and how do you see this relationship between genres developing? Are the 'scenes' mutually supportive? Honestly does it matter where it comes from? If people are getting ‘hooked on phonics’ then all good, whether you rap, write poetry or sing it can only be good for you to express yourself. There is an issue with people trying to define “who is hip-hop”,”who is spoken word”, as if one is more important than the other, it’s a fairly snobby thing to do. There is always going to be good and bad quality work in both scenes.
• Although you have played to thousands of people, do you ever get nervous when your family comes to the show? My parents have only been to one show and I do remember getting nervous but maybe that’s because it was in a Library rather than them being there. Scroob certainly doesn’t let his family effect him but they’ve been to loads so maybe he’s used to it.
• Who were your early inspirations both musical and otherwise? What inspired you to start performing? My cousin Billy got me in to Joy Division, New Order & anything on Factory Records, they’re the people that got me excited about making music, so Billy is fairly responsible for it all. Performing came much later for me, it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I did my first gig and that was only because I was forced!
• Do you ever get writers block and if so how do you overcome it? Of course I do, everyone gets writers block but often it’s only a block on whatever you a currently working on, so the best way to over come is to keep working but work on something else.
• What are your tips for beginning to write a song, how do you start? The strongest writing is writing that knows where it’s intending to go, having a rough idea of where the start & end is, what the point is, is really important, knowing the broadstrokes before you start makes it far easier to fill in the details. That said if the song ends up going somewhere else by the time you finished it, that’s not a problem, you just have to be happy with what you’ve done. Often songs come from strange places though, Scroob misheard the word ‘creator’ as ‘curator’ while he was driving and ended up writing Letter from God to Man by the time he got home.
• What do you think of the Lake District and are there any areas that you would like to explore? We’ve been to Kendal Calling before but sadly our impressions that year were mainly of MUD! The Lake District & Cumbria are generally quite beautiful, thinking about it the North is pretty special too, the Pennines, Snakes Pass, damn, why do I live in Reading again.
• Can you tell us a joke? Nah, Scroob does all the gags, he gets upset if I steal his laughter!
• There have been various comments in music mags lately about the festival scene being in decline, and yet Kendal Calling sold out in record time. What do you think of the UK's festival scene and do you think 'times are a changin'? Yes the festival industry is in decline, but declining away from the bloated, money grubbing point it go itself to. The reason festivals like Kendal are surviving is purely down to the idea that it is more than just a cash-in. All festivals need to make money, but the public will walk away from a festival when it becomes wholly about the money and not the line-up or atmosphere.
• If you weren't a musician what would you be and why? A Photographer, that’s what my degree is in and I hope that is the path I would have followed. That said, I did work for HMV for 7 years so maybe I’d still be stuck there.
• What did you want to be when you were little? Everything, every time I learnt of a new job, that was what I wanted to be, I was essentially like an easily distracted puppy trying to chase 6 squirrels all at once.
• What are you working on at the moment – do you have any new releases in the pipeline? Well, funny you should ask, I’m just in the middle of releasing solo album on Sunday Best called Space Between the Words. It’s a monster and features collaborations with B Dolan, Merz, Emma Lee-Moss aka Emmy the Great to name just a few!
• What can we expect from your gig at Kendal Calling, for those that haven't seen you before? We put on a fairly high energy show, Scroob raps fast and I make a lot of noise! But as Scroob has two shows that day, we’ll have to wait and see if we survive the night.
• What music are you listening to at the moment? Sadly very little, with the album coming imminently it’s difficult to find time to listen to music properly, but I can tell you for certain that the new Squarepusher record is dope!
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