[:de]Boner’s favourite Alabama rockabilly picked up the phone to tell us about his new album Century Plaza and why our gaydar may start ringing when we hear his sexy sound. Dan Sartain flies from one topic to the next, his conversation is as high and loopy as his music and we certainly wouldn’t have it any other way. 

T: So we have been listening to your album Century Plaza in the office and we love it! We’ve noticed that you made a big transition from Americana type folk-punk to Synth-Pop…how did that come about?

D: Um I don’t know you know. I’m using what’s at my disposal every time and now that’s just what’s more readily available I guess. When I started making this record I was imagining making music for Depeche Mode, I found it easier to produce music when I was trying to do it for that band, if I was trying to like consciously make one of my records – I would have thought longer and harder about those decisions when I was trying to make an album for Depeche Mode, it was liberating. You know what I mean, just trying to be someone else for a change.

T: You start the album with the track Walk Among The Cobras, which was previously released in 2003 and yet it’s now the opening track to Central Plaza. Why is that, does that song have a special meaning to you?

D: Well it was originally released in 2003 in Europe – in the US, I made that thing on a Casette four track – back to the readily available thing, that was what was readily available to me then. I released that there in 2001, though it’s even older than that to me. It’s part of the stuff I always used to play in my sets and then I was starting to put stuff together for my new record and I realised that people would wanna hear the older songs, if I wanted to play it. I realised that people would want to hear my older songs, if you’re doing your headline show people want to hear the classics and so I started reworking some of the older stuff in that style and to me that track was too good to not put on the album. At the end of the day when we started sequencing everything that one just went right to the top.

T: Our editor Anita wrote in the Review to Century Plaza “If Adele makes music for break-ups then Dan Sartain has made the perfect album for break-downs.” Your response:

D: Um, I’ve not heard that Adele song is what I will say, I’ve avoided it but I get half the reference but sure I’ll take that!


T: You may wonder why is Boner Magazine interested in your music. To answer that question we need to go back in time to your previous album Dudesblood: Your songs are generally cryptical, but when we heard that cover of Pass This On by The Knife our gaydar totally went off: was that deliberate?

D: No, well, yeah, I was covering their song right and it’s obviously a woman singing it originally, and when she sang it, she was singing the words of someone else still. So when I sang it, I’m still singing the words of someone else so there’s no reason to change the genders. Like the Beatles or pop musicians used to do, if The Beatles would cover a girl group song, they would change the lyrics. But that’s different. In that song by The Knife she is saying the words of what I think is a stalker but yeah I figured that I might get that reaction. But they weren’t singing their own words originally. But on this album, I didn’t totally succeed as I wanted to, I wanted to do a little more with it I wanted to change some lyrics to make it not gender specific because I wanted to make it more inclusive. I wondered if that’s pandering because Jack Kerouac said to never go back and change your words but Jack Kerouac was a kind of a I don’t know, fuck Jack Kerouac, I like him and everything but he said never go back and change your words but I did go back and change some of it so boys or girls listening to it can project and relate however they want.

T: With your previous album Dudesblood, it’s much more relatable: How does a HPV Cowboy and his Glory Hole experiences relate with the lyrics to say Marfa Lights? Where do you get inspired from?

D: Well the one you mentioned, HPV Cowboy, the past two albums right Dudesblood and Two Tough to Live, those were kinda…everything was a joke. I wasn’t wanting to be serious at all and then when I did this one, as I said, I was trying to do like Depeche Mode.

T: How would you define your audience? What kind of people come to see you live?

D: Well there used to be a joke, people buy two of my albums – one for themselves and one for their Dads…it’s always been something that dad’s listen to and it probably still is… a lot of rockabilly dads. That’s my audience. Rockabilly dads and Jack White Stalkers. English rockabilly dudes, rockabilly families. Rockabillies.

T: You’ll be playing at All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0 in London this year. Do you have any plans to tour in Europe?

D: Yeah doing that again, we’re trying to figure out what we can do as far as clubs and that. I don’t know I’m a bit antagonistic when I play live these days. Your gaydar will definitely go off… I’ll be running around with no shirt, leather pants and like make up on and I’ll shake my ass and stuff. Electronic music you know.

T: So now: Century Plaza, it’s dark, melodic. Great for remixes actually. Have you considered working with a DJ to hit the clubs too?

D: Absolutely, that’s the thing about electronic music you’re making perfect sounding music for metronomes. I would really push isolated vocal tracks if thats what they wanted.

T: How did you start out in music?

D: I just didn’t ever get better at anything else, I tried sports and mechanics and I’m ok in a lot of things I just never really got better at anything else. I never got a raise in any job I’d ever had in any jobs except music… I started getting more gigs, money I started getting better.

T: Alright man, lovely talking to you! That’s a wrap. Thank you for talking to us.

D: Absolutely man, Thank you bye.

Dan Sartain ‘Century Plaza’

New Album, 19th February 2016

One Little Indian/ Rough Trade Distribution


Dan Sartain Artwork



Interview: Torsten Schwick[:]

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