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Destroyer: The ninth time round




Found amidst an extensive tour following the release of another acclaimed studio album, Destroyer's Dan Bejar is enjoying the band's latest chapter in their fifteen year lifespan - sort of. "It's been really good. The band's sounding good and heaps of people are coming out to the shows, which is kind of helpful," he declares, dryly. "It's been kind of a long one compared to what we're used to, so I think people are a little tired. But the end is in sight. It's like ten people living on a bus . . . I'm not sure that's the most natural way to live, but it's also been fun."

  

Bejar's general attitude towards life on the road has never breached great enthusiasm over the years, the front man reflecting upon touring demands with cutting diplomacy. "A bunch of us get up there to go and live in bars and buses for thirty-one days straight. There's things around constant touring that are draining," he admits.

  

It is perhaps a necessary evil, however, particularly when you have a brand new release under your belt - one that's receiving major praise from all manner of outlets. Destroyer's Kaputt marks a key evolution in the life of the band, boasting an cool aquatic ambiance to ensure a lounge-lizard vibe. According to Bejar, it's no coincidence that the record posits such a definitive mood and tone. It was all laid out from the start. "We had a very specific idea about what instruments we wanted on the album. We've never been so full-on or so confident. We came up with a pallett," he reveals of Kaputt's early stages.

  

As the recording process of Kaputt unfolded, it too proved a point of difference for Destroyer this time around. Bejar, pioneering the sessions as per norm, identifies the changes this time around. "Usually I get into a room with a bunch of people and we try to start playing a song together. Then at some point we decide to try and record it. This was the exact opposite of that," he reveals. "There was no one ever in a room together. I made one record before this called Your Blues that had a kind of similar approach to the conception, but the music that we were making and the instrumentation was different, a lot more computer based,"

  

"(Kaputt) was recorded over a twenty month period so no one who played on the record ever saw any other person who ever played on the record," Bejar continues. "There was never any group dynamic whatsoever. It wasn't intense recording for twenty months. It was quite casual on and off for the first year or so,"

  

The result is one which Bejar himself has recently categorised as pop. Although Kaputt arguably flies in the face of traditional notions of the genre, the prolific muso gives insight into his labeling of the band's ninth studio album. "A pop record is where the role of the production is to make sure they're not snapped out of whatever stupor they're in," he muses.

  

It might be this quality above all else that has ensured Kaputt's success to date. Bejar appears typically modest concerning its reception, a typically matter-of-fact approach in full swing. "People seem to like it, it's cool," he begins. "We had a record called Destroyer's Rubies . . . we're fond of that and people really liked that one as well. It seems every five years I put out a record that people really like. It's weird as you get older, because having people really love your record involves people half your age listening to it, getting off on it. It also involves maybe people who hated you in the past decide now for some reason they can stand the sound of your voice, things like that."

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