Interview – The Datsuns.

Renowned hard rock revival band The Datsuns have now been on the scene for twelve years and they are going as strong as ever. This month saw the release of the bands fifth studio album, Death Rattle Boogie. We caught up with the kiwi rocker’s frontman Dolf de Borst to discuss the new album and their busy touring schedule.

Q – So Death Rattle Boogie is now out in it’s full glory. We straight away during the first song ‘Shadow Looms Large’ hear that notorious ‘Datsuns’ sound we love. Can you tell us a little bit about the new album?

The new record is basically the culmination of the last few years of writing together while living very far apart from each other, Auckland, Wellington, London and Stockholm. We recorded half in New Zealand and half here in Stockholm at my studio Gutterview.

Q – I saw The Datsuns take Hop Farm festivals Big tent by storm over the summer, would you describe yourselves as more of a live band?

I used to describe us as that exactly. We definitely are very enthusiastic about playing live and giving people a show. And yes the songs are perhaps best experienced that way but these days we are also trying our utmost to relish and make the most of the recording medium.

Q – It’s brilliant listening to a rock band who haven’t forgotten the power of huge dirty guitar riffs. What bands inspired you while growing up in New Zealand?

Well classic rock and local punk. Christian has always been super into Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple that kinda thing, but he also got me into T-Rex, Devo and Gary Numan. I think Phil and I reciprocated with modern stuff like Hellacopters, Rocket From The Crypt and local punk bands like Nothing At All! 

Q – You are set to tour the new album in Australia in December. Do you have plans to come back to the UK in the new year?

Yes. It is a pity we have to wait until next year but if you think about it we should really have our shit together by then. Perhaps we will start tackling the harder songs to play live by then, like Wander the Night.

 Q – Is there a different vibe between playing in New Zealand and the UK? (except the weather of course)

It is pretty similar, we tend to tour in New Zealand during the summertime though, so it can get awfully hot. New Zealand crowds are pretty relaxed and possibly less shy about throwing themselves into the show.

Q – You have previously toured with big names such as The Pixies and Velvet Revolver do you have any funny anecdotes from your time on the road with these bands?

Um, not really anything funny off the top of my head. The Pixies were very friendly and had amazing catering every night. Velvet Revolver apart from a dressing room had a ‘Vibe Room’ set up with joss sticks and the like, they were pretty mellow dudes too.

Q – You really seem to just let go of yourselves onstage, what’s your favourite Datsuns track to play live?

Haha, yeah. Right now my favourite track to play is Death of Me. We have only attempted it twice because it’s form about half way through is basically ad libbed. It can either be really good or go horribly wrong. I like that feeling personally. Also Phil plays bass so I can just sing and wig out at the noises Christian is squeezing out of his Les Paul.

 Q – Just to leave us with give us an insight into The Datsuns, music, meaning and generally what you guys are about?

Well there is no manifesto or anything like that. We basically just wanna make music that we think is exciting and then go out and perform it. We like things to be instinctive and primitive as much as possible and have a hard time sometimes getting to grips with the way people consume music these days. So we hope to make our shows and records a very direct experience in sound.

Thanks so much for your time Dolf. Really great to hear from you. Good luck in Australia. 

Don’t forget to check out Death Rattle Boogie, it’s available on Spotify and is definitely worth a listen.

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