Q&A: Dave Best
On 'doing a kraftwerk', and his band's rubbish name
Hello Dave. We're coming to you from deepest Kildare where, thanks to the snow, we haven't been able to leave the house for three days. How are things in Brighton?
Not so bad at the moment. But last week we did a show in Croydon and got stuck. We had to stay in a Travel Tavern, just like Alan Partridge. Not much fun.
You had ventriloquist dummies of yourselves made for your album Ventriloquizzing. Crimes against punning aside, why on earth would you want to do that?
We had this idea of making dummies of ourselves, so that we wouldn't have to appear in videos or do photoshoots or any of that. The title and the imagery infected the rest of the record and tied it together.
So how exactly does one go about having themselves rendered in dummy form?
A lady called Claire in Brighton -- she's a model maker, she didn't specialise in dummies. We explained what we needed. And she did a really good job.
Did you have to pose for hours while she got busy with wood and chisel?
No, thank goodness! I think all the dummies are modelled on my head. That way it's cheaper. The hair and the various beards were used to distinguish various band members.
Obviously, the next step is to 'do a Kraftwerk' and bring the dummies on tour with you.
It would be great, wouldn't it? I had this idea that, after we'd go off and people were calling for us to come back, assuming they were, we'd send the dummies out. But Kraftwerk have already done it.
You've essentially disowned your last album, haven't you?
When you write something, you never try to make something you're not happy with. That said, with the last record, after about six months it became obvious that there were a lot of similarities with our debut. We had wanted to make an album in the same style that we play live. I don't think it quite worked. On this one, we made it how we wanted and decided we'd worry about the live stuff earlier.
We were struck by the lyrics to Sixteen Shades of Black and Blue -- it sounds like you're itching to give someone a proper kicking.
I deliberately kept it vague. Nothing is explained. I like the way my voice is very quiet -- it makes it eerier. I'll keep it to myself what it's about. There are definitely feelings behind those words. Of course, everyone gets angry, don't they? Sometimes you say things and have no intention of actually following it up.
Fujiya & Miyagi is quite an exotic name for a band fronted by a bloke named Dave. You've said in the past that you regret not calling yourself something else.
Every day, every day... I don't think it really reflects. In a lot of interviews, the first question is how did you get your name? I know lots of band get that. But if you've got an unusual name, being that it's a Japanese name and we're not... I wish we were called anything other than what we are called.
Ventriloquizzing is released today
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