10 Questions with DC Gore
Part of a rich tradition of distinctly British disrupters, DC Gore released his debut solo single, ‘California’ in November, we managed to catch him for a quick chat about his new single and more.
1. Thanks for your time. You’ve just released your debut solo single “California”, are you pleased with the reaction to it and how does it feel to have the single out?
Yeah definitely. Working during the pandemic was like working in a blackout box, no one had really heard it and then bam it was out in the world! I don’t think I had any idea of what the reaction would be like apart from the usual existential dread, so hearing people reacting so positively was really something. Stream ‘California’ HERE.
2. In terms of the music, you remodelled your sound from your days in Little Cub, what prompted that shift in direction?
Saxophones! We all grew up around classical and jazz music so when we started the band our act of teenage rebellion was to avoid all that. I think I thought synth bands were all about lock and load, more energy, the demos I make are all about the words and mocking my own ‘emo’ melancholia, so I just embraced that – and then I thought sod it and stuck horns on it.
3. Is the single a good indicator for what we can expect from you stylistically in the future?
Yes I’d say it’s a good introduction. I like synths and drum machines and the aforementioned horns above so there’s a lot of that in what I make. In terms of themes, I spent quite a bit of time exploring the great British seaside around Essex and Kent whilst I was working and I think there’s a lot of that in there. From the artists I admire I try and maintain that level of brutal honesty and unreserved self mockery which inspired me and I hope I can join that tapestry of common language as best I can.
4.What are your plans in 2022 for new music?
I’ve been recording for some time so there’s a pharmacopeia of songs, remixes and maybe something a bit longer coming soon.
5. Musically, Jarvis Cocker and Neil Tennant are names that pop up as influences. Do you remember the first album or artist that had an impact on your life?
Jarvis certainly inspired me with regards to not taking myself too seriously but Pet Shop Boys were my first real influence. An older kid who lived round the corner brought round a copy of Discography right at the age when I was looking for something of my own. In the movies it’s always Led Zeppelin or Nirvana that captures the kid’s imagination, but for me it was dressing up like Neil and Chris in the ‘Opportunities’ video and miming to ‘West End Girls’ in front of our somewhat baffled family and friends.
6. If there was someone you could collaborate with musically or otherwise, who would it be and why?
Well right now I’m doubling down on the classical music my Dad was playing to me as a kid so Warren Ellis or Mario Batkovic would be a dream. There’s a part of me that would love to have some involvement in a Wim Wenders or PTA film but I think Ry Cooder & Jon Brion can probably take care of this for now
7. California is your debut single, what is the relevance of California to the theme of the song?
Did you watch the OC? I didn’t get a TV till I was a teenager and so I do wonder if I relate to it in a slightly different way to other people. There is something intangible there which is why I think Americana is so big across the world, but for me I had so much to catch up on there was a slightly obsessive approach to how I viewed these shows. We see it all the time right? Like which character from SATC are you or Friends, and yet none of us are really like any of these people because they’re not really people.
J.G. Ballard wrote about this phenomenon quite a bit. Certainly I can see how much of my values and aspirations have been shaped by shows like the OC. One of the lines in California “just because I’m reading Rousseau doesn’t mean I can’t quote Scrubs” came from a break-up argument I was having.
That being said, it was visiting the country that really helped me understand that disconnect. Like a lot of ex-pat writers I admire, I think there’s something about going abroad that can really distil your sense of being English. I mean as James Murphy said, “living in America has nothing to do with American TV”, but I’ve never felt more pasty and Alan Bennett-esque than standing on Venice Beach.
8. You’re just starting your career as a solo artist, what lessons did you learn from your time in Little Cub that you’ve taken into this new chapter?
Trust your own ideas and not just listen to the supposed experts is a big one. There’s a lot of interesting stuff to be found by not doing things properly and particularly with the internet you can learn most things by busting a gut trying to work it out. Oh and don’t ever stop. A lot of the artists I love put out album after album to overwhelming indifference. It takes a long time to cut through and as long as you put everything into the work nothing else really matters.
9. Just for fun, if you could play a character from any historical book, play or tale, who would you pick and why?
I watched Chimes of Midnight recently and I love Falstaff, but Christopher Tietjans from Ford Maddox Ford’s Parade’s End is the one I always think of. It may be an English thing but that level of frustration and ineptitude coupled with a level of stoicism and pomposity really resonates with me. If only he wore baseball caps.
10. Thanks for your time, just to finish what are your plans for 2022?
Same thing we do every year, try to take over the world!