We caught up with Nottingham five-piece D.I.D as they look forward to the release of their second album, The State We’re In, tomorrow.
For those unfamiliar with D.I.D, how would you introduce yourself?
“Five boys that make music together and have done since they were even younger boys.”
Why did you decide to change your name from Dog is Dead to D.I.D?
“We felt like change was in order after the first record. We’re still the same band just abbreviated our name!”
You’ve been together for eight years: are you still a mess, failures and, most importantly, loving it?
“We’ve achieved a lot since we wrote that song but yes we’re still very messy and in love of course.”
You seem to have gone from writing songs about being carefree and going with the flow on All Our Favourite Stories to songs about self-reflection and taking others’ opinions to heart with The State We’re In. What was the idea behind the record?
“I grew up writing the first record so it was easy to write about that kind of transition. This record I wanted to give a detailed account of what I went through day to day and the people and the places involved. I don’t think I’ve been too concerned with other people’s opinions, I’ve just reserved the right to vent about anything I need to.”
How did the artwork for The State We’re In come about?
“I wanted to make something that looked like a medical patch like a badge you earned if you listened to the entire record and got the right therapy from it. The artwork is hand embroidered too which is pretty cool.”
You had some eye catching artwork for your first album that got a lot of attention online. What was it like being an uncredited meme?
“It’s weird that artwork being all over the Internet. I wonder who decided to crop the band name off the top and write their Twitter handle on in the first place but it’s pretty cool Snoop Dogg and George Takei have posted it up to sum up something or other.”
The State We’re In is being released on your own label. What did you take away from your time being signed to Atlantic Records?
“There’s good and bad things about being on a major label. It suited us at the time but now we’re in position where we know exactly what we want and exactly how to achieve it. We’re independent in every sense, we did pretty much everything for this record.”
Do you have a favorite song from the new record that you particularly enjoyed writing or like listening to and playing live?
“I think “Flush” is a lot of fun to play live and also I had some mad times in the studio messing around with synths and programming beats and all those kinds of things.”
You’ve had a pretty quiet year of touring by D.I.D standards. What can fans expect from your London and Nottingham shows this weekend?
“New songs, old songs, loads of energy. We love playing live so much and we’ve missed it big time so these are gonna be very special.”
In previous years you have done Christmas covers and even an original. Will there be anything this year?
“I had big plans to release a whole Christmas album, I started writing in July in the heat and now I’m racing against time to get anything at all done. Let’s see!”
BBC released their Sound of 2017 shortlist this week. Who would be your on Sound of 2017 list?
“Loads of great talent here in Nottingham: Tusk, Daudi Matsiko, Kagoule, Billie, Eyre Llew.”
What are your plans for 2017?
“To tour as far and wide as possible!”
The State We’re In comes out December 2nd and is D.I.D at their most interesting. The quintet could have played safe and replicated the energetic, crowd pleasing singles like “Talk Through The Night” and “Teenage Daughter” that headlined their debut but they haven’t. Still at the core is the signature upbeat indie-pop with worldy flavors and warming harmonies capable of putting a spring in anyone’s step but, as they admit, it was time for a change. Everything they did was on their own terms including an evolution away from the momentousness of their coming of age debut and instead touch upon darker themes and varying their sound. “I Meant To Hurt You” is as brutally honest and heartbreaking as it is empowering, backed by the labored tempo and “Funnybones” almost journeys into pop ballad territory. A couple, notably “Big Lie,” failed to make any impression on me whatsoever but the highs are still as towering as ever: the tight “Fast Food,” crunching “Hotel” and the melodic bounce of “Killer Whale.” It stands not only as a fantastic album but also an engaging representation of the ebb and flow mirrored in our daily lives.
(For those finding the new initialed name difficult to find online, I’d suggest searching their social media handle DIDnotts)