Photos by Danny North
“You know what, it’s a grimey industry” asserts Dom on breaking Superfood onto the music scene. It’s safe to say it hasn’t always been an easy ride for the Birmingham band, but in a dazzling return via Dirty Hit Records, this could very well be the duo’s big break. Frontman Dom Ganderton chats to us on trusting your label, record pride and the bore of four-piece indie bands.
After three years spent cooped up writing in flats and smashing new sounds in studios, alt-indie two-piece Superfood are more than ready to unveil their revival as Superfood 2.0 with a record set to destroy all expectations you thought you had. “We had to let people know that this album is special to us” declares Dom, on the thought behind the release of latest daydream cut ‘Double Dutch’, the band’s first piece of new material since 2014. “It’s just a bit of a bookmark, a tastemaker”.
A surprising swerve into synths and samples, ‘Double Dutch’ sees the duo demonstrate an exciting new direction, remaining as slouchy in style as debut Don’t Say That, but with ten times the banger potential. “The album is quite sample-heavy and there’s loads of tracks where we both sample and use elements of spoken word. I do think ‘Double Dutch’ is quite a good representation of what’s to come with the rest of the album”.
“We’ve been busy making an album that we’re really proud of. It hasn’t been rushed, it’s all just exactly what we want to put out now, and yeah, that’s really satisfying”.
It’s clear the band are ready for a completely fresh musical venture, one which scraps any hints of formulaic guitar parts for an all-embracing, sound-focussed mentality. “We don’t want to be another auto indie band. It’s just the same fucking shit every year”. It’s all day-to-day influences for Superfood, drawing on musical ideas which they’d both “listen to on a night out”, or “play full-blast on the bus”. “I think if you make the kind of music that you listen to and respect, drawing directly from your influences, you’re never going to be let down by it”.
“We’ve been busy making an album that we’re really proud of.”
This departure from a sonically ‘indie’ sound are evident both on ‘Double Dutch’ and in Dom’s insistences that it’s just not what they want to do anymore. “We just kind of decided we’ve got to do what we want to do and not fall into the trap of being the four-piece indie band like everyone else. I swear, you could make a compilation CD of indie albums this year and you wouldn’t know it was ten different bands!” “I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve got fucking ADHD but it just bores me!”.
Signing to Dirty Hit (The 1975, Wolf Alice) has this time allowed Superfood the freedom to produce music free from control, meddling and outside influences. “They weren’t thinking about fucking Facebook likes or Twitter stats, it was just that they loved the music we were making and wanted to work with us. They weren’t thinking about anything else other than the music”. Dirty Hit were the first label the duo sent their new sounds to, and the first to claim them. “Matty [Healy, The 1975] who has quite a say in the A&R at the label turned around and said they loved the record. Whether we’d been gigging or not for the last few years they didn’t care, which was really refreshing”. “You’ve got to trust the people that you give your music to and work with. We really trust this label”.
The music industry may appear all parties, VIP areas and big figs to some, but this has not been the reality for Superfood, and for many bands trying to break in. “I don’t think people really understand how much hard work it is to really fucking get to place”.
“You have to slap yourself sometimes because this is what you want to do, even though it doesn’t seem the best thing when you’re lugging loads of gear up some stairs at fucking four in the morning, but if we weren’t doing it… I’d miss it, I’d definitely miss it”.
Dom and bandmate Ryan Malcolm are musical soulmates and it shows; the upcoming record is a project they’re proud of as a duo, written with a mutual lust for producing stimulating sounds. “It’s always just been me and Ryan who sit and write and record everything. I guess when the two of us start writing we just close everyone off and kind of get into a zone. No one’s allowed in”. Superfood will have new band members playing with them on tour, and show excitement for future collaborations.
Superfood are heading on a UK tour with Dirty Hit (support from fellow signees King Nun and Pale Waves), their first with new songs, new members and new sounds. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be hairy because we haven’t played many gigs for a couple of years. I’m a bit nervous but I’m confident in the music that we make”
Dom comments on plans for a new Superfood single in April, with the LP (as yet untitled) dropping after festival season. “We’ll just go from there, start really upping our game”.
Superfood begin the Dirty Hit Tour today (Friday 16th March), hitting London’s Tufnell Park Dome on 31st March.