Melbourne minimalist trio My Disco have just kicked off a string of Australian dates, playing at the Nash Hotel, Geelong on Saturday April 7, with their next gig booked for this Friday the 13th at Sydney’s Good God Small Club. When it comes to live performances, My Disco’s raw and primal sound has earned the band a reputation for putting on tight, loud and hypnotic shows. Guitarist Ben Andrews sheds some light on how My Disco has managed to create such organic and fluid live musical experience.
“We tend to draw songs out and change them a bit live. It probably comes from playing a lot live and wanting to change them up a little bit. I think sometimes it comes from a couple of happy accidents where we’ll make a mistake and then end up keeping it in,” Ben said.
“I think it’s good because then it’s almost like playing a new song. You’ve got to have a new approach and it makes it more interesting to play those songs every night,” he said.
For those unfamiliar with My Disco’s music, it’s not quite what one may expect from a three-piece made up of live instruments. My Disco forgoes a typical rock/pop song structure that alternates between a verse and a chorus, instead opting for an elongated and highly repetitive delivery.
“A lot of the time it’s extremely repetitive and not everyone’s going to be into that… I don’t think it’s more a rock fan’s music. I think you have to be maybe a bit more open-minded and get into the electronic techno side of things to fully get into it,“ Ben said.
“I guess that bands writing verse, chorus, verse, chorus songs — their songs tend to go for like three or four minutes maximum. Their repeats probably only go for like 16 bars maximum… Some (My Disco) songs go for like 10 minutes of the same bass line or the same drumbeat… It’s probably a lot more taxing on a listener and a lot more bludgeoning. You can put up with hearing a chorus three or four times, but if it went on for 10 minutes, you’d be a bit more challenged,” he said.
This distinctive style has led to My Disco being saddled with a variety of common and unusual musical genres in an attempt by others to describe their sound. You’ll find the band linked to everything from indie, dance, minimalist, proto-punk, post-punk, noise-rock and math-rock; the last of which Ben insists has little to no association with the band.
“I think that’s a pretty archaic term in regards to our band… Really, that term to me describes some of the bands in the 90s that were doing really technical instrumental rock music and using a lot of different time signatures and lot of quirky song structures,” Ben said.
“I couldn’t see us being further away from that sound because we’re not ‘mathic’ at all. We always play in the same signature now and it’s always really repetitive and doesn’t change very much. I don’t know why that moniker’s stuck because I don’t think that’s very representational,” he said.
No matter how one tries to classify My Disco, the band has built a very appreciative fan base that continues to slowly broaden. Their latest record, Little Joy, has been their most widely received record to date, with the single Turn being chosen for My Disco’s first ever music video. The video depicts the silhouette of ballerina Erinn Arnel against the lighting show of Robin Fox. Shot at The Toff In Town, Melbourne, where My Disco will finish up their current Australian tour, the clip comes almost 10 years after the band first formed in 2003.
“We’ve never really put much emphasis on it before. I guess we haven’t had the time or know-how up until recently. I think with Little Joy it kind of worked out… It was just time and we like to do things in our own way and not rush things, so it just turned out this way,” Ben Said.
“We had the idea… to incorporate Robin Fox doing his laser show. The dancer was the only thing that we didn’t know how it would go and whether or not it would work. It could have gone either way, but it turned out she really understood the idea visually that we wanted,” he said.
Watch: My Disco – Turn
MY DISCO – TOURING APRIL 2012
Saturday April 7 – The Nash Hotel, Geelong, VIC. “Dress up for Jesus” party feat. My Disco and over 20 bands. Tickets $15 at the door.
Friday April 13 – Good God Small Club, Sydney, NSW.
Tickets $20 on the door.
Saturday April 14 – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC.
Tickets $20+bf from Moshtix and the venue.
Sunday April 15 – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC.
Tickets $20+bf from Moshtix and the venue.