Though initially accepted and confirmed for SXSW 2010, London based Scottish band Django Django sadly were not able to get visas issued in time. Dave and Tommy spoke with Dear Scotland earlier this month when it looked like they were heading to Texas. It’s a really funny interview and hopefully they’ll make it next time.

Dear Scotland: Where are you now and what did you do last night?

Dave Maclean: Right now I’m in my new flat in London answering emails and watching Fawlty Towers on Youtube. Last night I was .. em in my old flat answering emails and watching Alan Partridge on Youtube. My life is amazing.

Tommy Grace: I’m in the house eating a dramatic pile of mashed tatties. Football fuel. I play every Monday night, and eating 3 hours beforehand gives me the juice to run about for an hour. Last night? As a neutral, watching Man United beat Arsenal in our local.

Dear Scotland: Paul McCartney said he got into music to avoid a job – and get lots of girls. What made you get into music?

Dave Maclean: I wonder if Macca has ever had a proper job? It’s about time he had one. Get down that job centre McCartney. He should get a job at the Zap Zone in Dundee I reckon… getting the guns ready between games and turning the smoke machine on. I have no idea why I started making music. I wish I’d paid more attention in school.

Tommy Grace: I went to art college to meet girls but ended up meeting Dave Maclean. We were flatmates (along with Craig ‘Randan Discotheque’ Coulthard) and we’d each be making sweet music in our bedrooms (separately…!). However, we never made anything of it at the time, which is shocking. It wasn’t until we’d decamped to London that we got together – Dave got in touch about forming a band to perform the tracks he and Vinny had been working on and it went from there….

Dear Scotland: What is your favourite song of yours to play right now?

Dave Maclean: Ooooh, I’d say ‘Storm’ because I can play it in my sleep. I never make mistakes on that one. The rest just scare me.

Tommy Grace: ‘WOR’ – our new single, where I get to leave the synths and bang some drums for a change. A real humdinger to end the set on…

Django Django – Storm


Dear Scotland: Your heading out to Austin soon for SXSW, have you played there before and are there other places you’d like to visit?

Dave Maclean: We were accepted to play there last year but we never got the funding. So this year is our first time. We’re booked to play The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn while we are over there which is more exciting for me because I have always loved New York. We are playing Croatia in September which I am thrilled about, I’ve always wanted to go there. I’d love to play a tour of the Highlands. Half my family are from Skye and Wester Ross and I’d love to tour round in a van up there.

Tommy Grace: Not been to Austin before no, but I imagine it’ll be a bit like the Edinburgh Fringe, except instead of desperate, broke, American am-dram companies, it’ll be desperate, broke, British bands. As for America, I’m just keen to hit as many roadside diners as possible. And the cowboy boots of course.

Dear Scotland: Do you feel more Scottish when you are abroad, or do you adapt well to new places? Anything you miss about Scotland?

Dave Maclean: I’m at my happiest up in the Highlands so I miss that when I’m in London but I know its always there and I can escape there pretty easily. When I’m abroad and I hear a Scottish accent I always want to say hi to the person and ask where they’re from! On one hand that’s pretty daft but on the other hand I think Scottish people are like that, they are proud of where they’re from and feel connected to the place. One thing I don’t miss about Scotland is the diet! I lived off smoked sausage suppers and Irn Bru when I was a student but as you travel you realise how bad our diet is. I’m talking rubbish now.. god I really miss smoked sausage suppers (with sauce) and a glass bottle of Irn Bru.. I’m moving back.

Tommy Grace: The key is to move en-masse, wherever you go. Dalston’s a bit like a tartan curtain, behind it you’ll find plenty of pockets of ex pats. Miss about Scotland? Plenty, but I’m not going to get down about it. Reckon we’ll be back before long though.

Dear Scotland: Are there any Scottish musicians, past or present, that have influenced you?

Dave Maclean: Well The Beta Band are an obvious influence. Having grown up swapping music tastes and being so close to all that, we’re always going to have a similar approach. We all love Orange Juice, Franz, The Phantom Band (good pals of ours) the Average White Band, The Proclaimers, Fence stuff, Randan Discotheque… ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the Eurythmics is one of my favourite records…Uncle John and Whitelock  (and now ‘Tut Vu Vu’ and ‘The Pearly Gate Lock Pickers’)..loads of Scottish folk stuff.. my cousin’s folk band The Occasionals are great. I used to love going down to the Royal Oak and listening to the old guys playing folk songs there. Oh and Bobby G’s Primal Scream of course.

Tommy Grace: Primal Scream, Ivor Cutler, Edwin Collins, Incredible String Band, The Humblebums, Phantom Band.

The Phantom Band


Dear Scotland: How do people react when they discover that Django Django are Scottish?

Dave Maclean: With a look like ‘Oh god, I’m sorry’ a bit like you’ve just told them you have cancer. No not really. I’m not sure. It’s that old thing, that everyone has a Scottish connection. Especially in America.. ‘My great uncle’s sister’s wife was born in Coupar Angus’ etc.

Tommy Grace: I got a good response to this the other day there actually… it was “Really?…. that’s funny, cause I’m from Durham!”. There are a lot of folk that really should get out of London more often.

Dear Scotland: What will be your first words on stage at your SXSW showcase to an audience of fans and industry types?

Dave Maclean: Em.. probably TOMMY YOU T$&T, TURN THAT F!%$ING SAMPLER UP!

Tommy Grace: I was thinking of bringing a Speak And Spell (Texas Instruments) and doing a little spelling competition to start us off – think that’d really pump up the away crowd.

Django Django – Zummzumm


Dear Scotland: After Austin, you’ve a gig in Paris lined up but what are your other plans for 2010?

Dave Maclean: Other plans really revolve around making an album… so some summer festivals and an album in Autumn is the general plan.

Tommy Grace: Finish off the album is definitely The Big One. Anything besides that would be a bonus.

Dear Scotland: What should the Scottish national anthem be?

Dave Maclean: It should be the theme song from beloved 80s cartoon ‘The Family Ness’ I reckon. Either that or “2/2” from Brian Eno’s ‘Music For Airports’, but thats a tough one to sing along to.

Tommy Grace: I reckon national anthems can drag on a bit, maybe we’d be doing each other a favour if we each condensed ours down to a little three second ditty, like in the Intel adverts. Maybe Scotland’s could sound like when you boot up your megadrive except instead of singing ‘Se-Ga’ it would go ‘Scot-land’. Your opponents would do the same, (I dunno, ‘Slo-ven-i-a’, to the sound of MacDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin it?’) and then you’d get on with the game.

The Family Ness


Dear Scotland: What is the best after-show experience you’ve had?

Dave Maclean: That has to either be Bad to the Bone, the club night me and my brother run in London or The Hot Club at Nice N Sleazys in Glasgow. Both great parties. The Hot Club probably takes it though because these two girls got on the speakers and started stripping.. rock n roll.

Tommy Grace: Dancing with an amazing Leeds crowd during an Optimo set at Nation of Shopkeepers in Leeds… Brilliant.

Dear Scotland:
And finally, many many years from now, when you finish your farewell world tour, is there one place to where you would like to retire?

Dave Maclean: For me it has to be Polbain in Wester Ross because that’s where I’m most at home.. although a house in the Wester Indies could probably tempt me.

Tommy Grace: Culross