THE DHDFD’s – unstoppable rhythms and eruptions of power

Auckland, New Zealand’s THE DHDFD’s have just released a new single and video. It’s teasing their new album “French Fries” , to be released on April 1st through UK’s Bomb Shop.

These guys started this project back in 2005 and released “Pastor of Muppets” in 2006, and “Fromage Du Pouvior” in 2008. They regrouped and now are back with this new crazy indie garage noise dance pop rock partyhouse full of riveting rhythms and screechy riffs. It will surely move you and have you moving.

Press play and check out my interview with the band below to get you in the mood. Let’s dance!

Hey! What’s up, guys? How are we doing tonight? [smiles]

I’m very good! Just having a holiday for a week at a beach just out of our hometown (Pt Chevalier, New Zealand). Our summer has nearly ended down here.

Come on! And what does winter look like over there? Check out the view from my window. Welcome to Warsaw. [laughs]

Alright, let’s start off with your discography, guys. I’m curious… you stated in a press release that “after nearly seven years together they finally have an album ready to be unveiled”. How come? “French Fries” was released back in April 2012, wasn’t it? You’ve also released at least 2 other proper outings, right? Please give us the official look at your discography.

Our band has a drummer problem, I think. We have had over 10 drummers so this trouble causes the band to start and stop all the time. This is why we are so slow with putting out records. We put out “Pastor of Muppets” in 2006 which was done as a band after about 5 months of being together. Then we did “Fromage” which was a rush job so we could take a new EP over to Japan when we toured there. We did “French Fries” a few years ago but after recording it the bassist and drummer both left. We have now got a line-up that we will be recording with ASAP before we lose the drummer [laughs]. I’ll send you a photo from the bedroom where I had to stop swimming today because of sharks that were also swimming with us.

Aaarrgghghhh! Come on! Give me a break! You’re cruel [laughs]. But seriously, is there a shark threat on the spots in your neighborhood?

The place I was staying today had sharks spotted by the surfers that were near us – no lie. I’m not in my home town at the moment, but I’m only 2 hours south.

Dude, I’ve just seen the cover art for “French Fries”. It’s disturbing. What inspired you to create such a thing? [smiles]

I had the images in my head for a while but I could not draw. So I gave strict ideas to our good friend Tane Williams and he did everything that was in my head which I had for the artwork.

The album was recorded and mixed by Kody Nielson (THE MINT CHICKS, BIC RUNGA) and mastered by Nick Roughan . How do you recall working with those guys?

Working with Kody was very easy. We did everything live with not many overdubs – most of French Fries was done 90% live.

Can you tell me a bit about the process of writing that record? What was it like to create these crazy tunes?

Most of the songs are about one girl and the rest of the songs are about another girl [laughs]. So pretty much all love songs.

You mean last year’s session, right? How do you want to approach this new recording with your new drummer?

Yes. Everything will be done live again – I think we are the kind of band that needs to record live. We’ve tried multi-tracking in the past and it hasn’t worked with our style.

How do you remember shooting scenes for “Babysitters Club (PV 2)” video? It turned out very nice. Who’s responsible for it? What inspirations did you have when designing it?

Eddie Fifield directed it. So I just had a few ideas of the main shots I wanted in the clip and discussed with Eddy and he storyboarded it so it would all fit together. It was a very messy shoot with all the blood.

Any plans for another video to celebrate the re-recording?

Yes we will be doing one within the next month. We start recording tomorrow, March 16th.

Can you shoot me some details on that?

We will film the video in our house in Auckland. We live in a 160-year old house in Auckland that was converted from a brothel into a house so this is where we do all our rehearsing and recording. It’s a really large old stone house, which is rare for New Zealand. With heaps of weird rooms.

Can’t wait to check it out.

You guys toured Japan, right? How do you remember that run?

Japan was awesome. It was an awesome place to tour. We toured with KING BROTHERS and WATUSI ZOMBIE which both are my favorite bands. KINGS BROTHERS are very close friends of ours and we have always looked up to them when we were young and firs met them in NZ.

How does the Japanese music scene differ from the approach you know from your area? What was some of the most amazing aspects of it?

Our experience of the Japanese music scene was incredible. We were blown away by how genres weren’t so divided – it was interesting to see quite heavy bands playing with quite poppy bands. The crowds were the biggest pro, every gig ended up with a drum kit amongst the audience. The crowds in Auckland can seem a bit stand-offish oftentimes so it was mind-blowing to play to such energetic and embracing crowds.

What other places have you toured with this band? How was Australia?

Haven’t been to Australia.

Oh, damn. I was convinced you have performed at Big Day Out festival, haven’t you?

No just the big day out in Auckland. But now NZ has stopped having Big Day Out.

Oh, sorry then. Anyway, what shows do you consider your biggest achievement?

I think playing Big Day Out or touring Japan with KING BROTHERS.

Your upcoming European tour will hopefully change that [smiles]. Can you provide some information about the trek? Are you excited?

I guess the tour is going to be coming really soon (May). I know that we are driving everywhere so I guess we will see a lot of the countries. I want to see some crop circles from UFOs in England. I have alot of interest in UFOs so seeing some crop circles or some UFOs in-between shows will be awesome. The shows I’m very excited to be playing in front of a crowd which I expect to be pretty new to THE DHDFDs.

Do you have all gigs lined up already? How have you booked it?

We have a tour manager booking them from New Zealand working with our label (Bomb Shop). The shows should be 100% booked within the next 2 weeks.

They say your live shows have become the stuff of legend. What are some of the craziest things that happened at your gigs?

I think it’s just all the energy of us four! There has been a lot of blood and plenty of crowd interaction. I like to sing on the same level as the crowd. If we have a stage at the venue I’ll make sure I spend most the time on the ground. Being on a stage makes be feel awkward. So that’s why I sing in the crowd. Sometimes I’ll bring the whole band in the crowd, a trick we learnt from Japanese bands. I don’t think any of the things I have done are crazy. All the things I’ve done is just interaction with the people.

Oh yeah, I love these kind of moves and actually don’t understand bands who isolate on stage while there’s a lot of space below it.

What inspires you to leave a solid dose of craziness in your live appearance, as well as your personal lives?

My personal life is not crazy I work alot at Auckland airport as a baggage handler. In my spare time it’s mostly hanging out with the people I live with. Music would only take up about 2 hours a week in my spare time, even though I have a room in my house which is set up full time as a rehearsal space. I live with James, our guitarist, but we don’t spend more than a few hours a week doing band work. When we play live I guess it’s just letting our emotions out and just partying on stage.

In terms of being a musician, how is it to live in Pt. Chevalier, Auckland? How does your area support young artists?

Pt Chev is just a quiet suburb in which I lived for 23 years, 8 of those in DHDFDS. It’s about a 15 minute drive from Auckland city. It was just the place we’ve told people we’re from when asked. You can Wikipedia Pt Chevalier if you want more info. It’s a very nice place for me to go and just sit on the beach and have a BBQ and swim.

Is there a local scene or has everything centered in the city?

Since Auckland is quite small no scenes in the suburbs so much. Mostly everyone plays in the city.

Ok. Let’s sum it up, guys. What’s 2013 looking like for you?

Alright 2013 we’re going to do a lot of recording – we started yesterday. We are going to put out two fundraiser tracks on our NZ label’s (Hell Is Now Love) Bandcamp on Thursday for download to help us get enough money to get to UK. We want to tour Australia since we live so close – only a 3 hour trip. I want another EP and album before 2014 and a few more videos.

Thanks for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to share before you go?

Thanks heaps man so much !!!!!!!

Thank you!

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