Interview with Destroyer

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Canadian indie ensemble Destroyer with singer-songwriter Dan Bejar in the forefront have been true chameleons of the scene for nearly two decades. On August 28 they return with a brand new record Poison Season, which promises to be bolder and louder than the successful predecessor Kaputt. To find out more about what to expect from the new LP, we caught up with Dan Bejar for a quick chat, and here’s what he had to say.

You constantly keep changing and evolving your sound. What can we expect from your new album?
I’ve been focussing on honing the Destroyer sound, so hopefully it’ll just be more of the same from the last 20 years. Wait does this mean you haven’t even heard the album? Why am I even writing this? How can you be sure I keep evolving?

What inspired you to write Poison Season?
Death. Jazz. Classical music. Ingeborg Bachman. Boogie shit.

Was there any pressure writing a new album after the success of your previous record Kaputt?
Not at all. The success of Kaputt was a complete illusion. Were it an actual success, I would be crippled with creative paralysis.

Every instrument on Kaputt was played blindly, recorded separately, and revealed only before mixing. What kind of recording and mixing techniques did you use for the new album?
7 men. 24 mics. One expensive room. Later, one man, various woodwind instruments, a couple different mics. One plane ticket back to Toronto! Mostly tried to have it sound living and real. The opposite of Kapput. Which was frozen, or at least cool.

What was the songwriting process like this time?
Same as always. I gotta be me. Though I think I was maybe influenced by pre-pop culture music for the first time ever. By pre-pop culture I mean pre-Beatles. Is that wrong? I mean, not immoral, but incorrect as a definition? Morally, I know it’s wrong.

It’s been almost 20 years since your debut album. How has your approach to music changed throughout the years?
I’ve become a much better singer. Maybe a much worse writer. This is generally the tendency with 98% of all singer-songwriters, so I no different from the rest…

What do you think of Vancouver’s music scene nowadays?
I’m sure it’s really good. Though I have no idea what it is. But Vancouver’s always had the best scene in Canada, no contest. And that must mean something, no?

Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Joni Mitchell. Van Morrison. Bob Dylan. Lou Reed. John Cale. John Phillips. Tomas Transtromer. This list never changes…

We’re very happy that you’re going to be playing in Sweden. What can people expect from your live show?
Devastating improvements on the albums Poison Season, Kaputt and others. Jazz-rock of the deepest intensity, with a bewildered lead singer…

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