Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Q&A: Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Does It Offend You, Yeah?: Don't Say We Didn't Warn YouDoes It Offend You, Yeah?: Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You (The End / Cooking Vinyl, 3/15/11)

Does It Offend You, Yeah?: “We Are The Dead”

[audio:|titles=Does It Offend You, Yeah?: “We Are The Dead”]

Following its debut in 2008, Does It Offend You, Yeah? challenged Virgin Records’ ideas for its music, and the frustration caused by demanding executives and mainstream models is evident in the band’s outspoken nature today. Although it took nearly three years to release its second album, the five-piece outfit from Reading, England has ditched its major-label constraints, disregarded boundaries, and comfortably created a musical adventure titled Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

The album fuses psychedelic acoustic interludes, electro-pop attacks, dirty-grime raps, and one synth-free ballad into a single collection. One of the band’s founders, synth player Dan Coop, recently took some time while touring the States to answer our questions.

First and foremost, your animosity towards the mass-music media, major record labels, genre tags, etc. is justifiable. But if you believe that mainstream musicians have simply found an obvious “formula,” can you explain how your approach to music is different?

Well, I think we just write tunes that we like and run with them. We’ve got a bit of a love-hate relationship with the first record. We were getting a lot of pressure from our ex-major label to do stuff we weren’t comfortable with, so in that way, we see it as a quite naïve and pretty disjointed album.  At one end, you’ve got ’80s synth pop, and then at the other, you’ve got produced dance-floor tracks. Luckily, I think it kind of worked out, as we’ve got fans coming at us from lots of different “scenes” so to speak, be it the metal scene who liked “Heavy Heart” and “Let’s Make Out,” the electro crowd who liked “Rockstars” and “Weird Science,” or the indie kids who liked “Dawn of The Dead.”

It’s a bit of a cliché, but it really pains us to be just dumped in a pigeonhole. The UK press really tried to put us into the whole “new rave” debacle, which was pretty funny as there really was no such thing as new rave until some journo thought of it, and, of course, since we use a synth in our songs, it was automatically assumed we were part of it. The only thing we want to do with our band is play sold-out shows and write songs we would like to hear on the radio. Scenes are fine if you want stereotypes; we just want to do our own thing.

BPM Counter: Interview With Desy Balmer

Ireland and her music is really what this story is about.

When I think of Irish music, I think of Belfast and seminal artists like U2, Stiff Little Fingers, and Van Morrison who all weave a rich tapestry of the romantic poet traditions as old as the Emerald Isle itself and the modern problems that plague all divided nations.