TF Archives

The Datsuns - Louder Than Yo' Mama

Author: Carlisle Rogers
Monday, December 1, 2008

With Shihad having found their softer side on last year’s Beautiful Machine it’s left to The Datsuns to annihilate New Zealand’s ear drums. But they’re also being heard further a field thanks to their insane latest album, Head Stunts.

The Datsuns, the hardest thing to come out of New Zealand since the All Blacks, have released their fourth album, Head Stunts. Produced by the band in Sweden, it slouches towards psychedelic rock while maintaining the same level of aural attack that has made these kiwis a household name in the antipodes. It is also a neat anagram of their name.

Bassist and lead singer Dolf de Borst says the album was actually written in Germany, trying to push the band’s boundaries yet again. “We lived there in between doing summer festivals. We hired an apartment and had this hired space set up where we could just write and write for as long as we wanted to every day. It wasn’t like a grind to get to a practice room in the middle of the city or anything. The stuff was permanently set up, so we could go in anytime 24 hours a day and work. It was a nice luxury to have, especially living in cities for a while. It’s usually a bit more of a hassle. We didn’t have to book a practice room and move gear. That’s really not very productive. We recorded everything that came up during the weeks and months. And then we weeded it down to what we wanted to say and what we thought would constitute a good record.

Dolf says the band contemplated taking the album even more into the psychedelic realm than it ended up being while in Germany. The finished product is a perfect balance of what the Datsuns have been and what they might be. “For me it’s still pushing the boundaries of what the Datsuns can be and refining things that have annoyed me about the band in the past, while at the same time keeping the essence of the band which is high energy. We’re known as a live band, that’s where we are best seen.

“The dynamics actually changed quite a lot. It used to be Christian [Livingstone, second guitarist] would write the riffs and a basic idea for the song and then I would spout out my stuff over the top and we would arrange it as a group. Now, everybody writes whole songs on their own and brings it in and says ‘this is how the song goes, how can you guys make it better-’ We have a new drummer, he’s been with us for a couple of years and joined just after the last record came out. Writing with him is really quick and simple and he has a very good sense of what a song requires. We don’t have to spend too long arranging the songs which is really good.”

Recorded in Goteburg, a sunny city in the south of Sweden, was easy for the band considering Dolf lives in Stockholm and they had the use of The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ studio. “The bass player, Kalle, has a really great studio they and share a lot of the same philosophies towards music as we do. They became fans of what we do. We actually have a few good connections to Sweden through some different bands.”

WHO: The Datsuns
WHAT: Play Manning Bar / Head Stunts through Speak N Spell
WHEN: Friday 12 December