Interview: David Burn of Detroit Social Club

By on Friday, 1st October 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Most everyone likes a good soccer game, and many more like a good song. So it comes as no surprise that up and coming Detroit Social Club has landed a mega deal with Sky Sports for their tantalizing track, ‘Northern Man’. The song is being used for all the Premier League and Champions League football games. How does the band feel about the news, you ask? Well, here, frontman David Burn will tell you…

First off, let’s start with your latest piece of news about your deal with Sky Sports and ‘Northern Man’. What was your reaction when you heard the news? Did you ever expect to land upon something like this?
I don’t know if I ever expected it. I was obviously delighted when we got told about it, not because of any football reasons although I am a football fan – it was more as a writer, you want for your music to be heard by as many people as possible, and knowing that there’s about 4 or 5 million people watching every match on a Saturday and on Mondays – it’s obviously a lot of people hearing your music – and there might not be any financial gain or anything, but that’s second to knowing that on a Saturday afternoon there’s people in pubs up and down the country listening to your tune. And the weird thing is that probably thousands and thousands of people know the song now instantly and then when it’s played on the radio they’ll be able to tell us so I’m obviously delighted for that – knowing that one of my songs is going to played in front of other people.

Secondly, can you give us a synopsis or a snapshot of what ‘Northern Man’ is about?
The regionalist part of the song is just an analogy for the excuses that we as human beings put up in front of ourselves to not do anything – things that we could do, that we have the potential to do, a lot of us feel as though we shouldn’t do it – I think that it’s a very British thing. So, it’s kind of about the pessimistic outlook that a lot of people have on their life, and maybe they shouldn’t do… And the line “I’m just a Northern Man” is no representation on how I feel about myself. I just used that kind of sentiment as a way to describe those constant excuses to not get up and do anything.

How many band members are soccer (sorry, football!) fans and what teams do each of you support?
There’s only two of us really that are football fans – Courtie, Chris, the bass player, he’s a Liverpool fan, I’m a Sunderland fan – I got a season ticket again this year so I’m happy… And Greenie our drummer is kind of one of them ’armchair’ supporters for Newcastle but he doesn’t (really follow them) – if you asked him about the current team, he could probably only name about 4 or 5!

Now, some questions about the band in general: When did Detroit Social Club came about and what made you want to form a group in the first place?
I started up the project by myself and then got quite a bit of interest from it and then once I decided I wanted to follow up with it I got a band together out of the people that used to use the studio that I used to run – I used to record local bands – I was lucky because of the position I was in I could offer the most certain musicians to go on and luckily they all said yes, and here we are today.

Upon listening to ‘Northern Man’ and other tracks like ‘Sunshine People’ and ‘Kiss the Sun’, it may be easy for some to lump DSC into the likes of The Verve / Richard Ashcroft / Oasis and maybe even Ian Brown. Who are your influences and how would you describe your music?
Well if someone’s going to say that we sound like the Verve then I don’t care, I’ll take it as a compliment… I’m a big Verve fan, but there’s obviously a lot of other things like the Rolling Stones, there’s Led Zeppelin. We’ve supported Ian Brown a couple of times, so obviously I like the Stone Roses, so that’s fine… But I wouldn’t say that at any point in our recording or writing process we’ve sat and thought we want to sound like any of them. I’d say the biggest influences are Rolling Stones, Can, Pretty Things, the Verve are obviously an influence ‘cos they’re my favourite band probably, Beatles obviously…and if that means there’s certain things that sound like Oasis or whatever, then so be it.

What are the plans for the band the rest of the year?
We’ve got the tour coming up in October, which is eight dates and there’s a couple of dates sold out so it should be a great tour. We’ve done all the festivals. We had an amazing festival season – all the tents and that were full so it’s going to be interesting – we’re really looking forward to getting in front of our warm crowd. People we’ve picked up along the way. Just doing a lot of writing as well and a lot of listening to some music and having some jams and going back to having a bit of fun. Very little time off – I gotta spend time with my little girl, so I can’t complain.

Besides your own, what’s the most important album of 2010?
I would never ever answer that question by saying my own album anyway… I think… An album is never really important is it? cos it’s just music… There’s always bigger and more important things out there – so I’d never say that an album never really that important anyway and it’s completely subjective so – important to me is what I’m listening to at the minute which is ‘the Suburbs’ by Arcade Fire because it’s the one that has most captured my imagination and it’s got me into writing again… Recently I’ve sat down to start writing again, and you need things to inspire you – there haven’t been a lot of bands that have massively inspired us in the last couple of years – and that’s always been old bands like I said – Can and Pretty Things but there’s only so many times you can listen to ‘Desire’ by Bob Dylan and still get inspiration from it. You can still like it but you maybe don’t get inspired by it… So if it’s about an album that’s only been released this year then Suburbs is the one that I’ve most fell in love wit. A lot of people would argue that the xx‘s (‘xx’) is the most important album of the year seeing as though it won the Mercury Music Prize, but a lot of people would disagree with that as well, like…

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