The refreshing Kiwi quartet The D4, take time out from recording their second album as well as playing gigs in Japan and their native land, to let us inside the party machine that is their band. The Enigmatic and fun loving front men Jimmy Christmas and Dion Palmer openly discuss life on the road, the different array of personalities which makes up their group and give an insight into their amazing live shows.
Jimmy and Dion can be summed up by recourse to the name of the first track on their '6twenty' album; 'ROCKNROLL MOTHERFUCKER'. It is their spirit and openness that The D4's ever growing fan base, hope is going to catapult them above the ranks of The Datsuns' poor relations. This is how some quarters of the music press seem to have harshly placed them in their estimations.
1. Before heading into the studio to record your second album, did you take time to reflect upon the success of your debut album (6twenty) and the impact your music has had on its audience, if so what are views in this?
6TWENTY was damn good to us. I am thankful for that record and the places from whence it was spawned. It's amazing to think something you made can transport you around the world. I like to think of the first album as a large cruise liner with a never ending bar tab, and all the peanuts you can eat. I'm not sure what other people think of it.
2. You have been touring incessantly for the past few years. Most bands find touring draining, but you are renowned for the energy and effort you put into your life shows on each leg of the tour, do you suffer from fatigue or does the party drive you on?
Fatigue is definitely a factor, especially on big runs. I think we discovered that around 6 weeks on the road things start to get pretty crazy…you end up running a really short awake cycle. Sleep until soundcheck, sleep until showtime, hang out for a while then back to bed to get whatever rest you can. For a while there the 1 hour show was the peak of my 5 hour days. And the best fun I have ever had.
3. With yourselves and The Datsuns back in the studio bands such as The Kings Of Leon and The Darkness are being more hyped up then Muhammad Ali over here. Do you think the nation is losing it's taste?
You're asking me to comment on the tastes of a nation where Mr Blobby once held the number one spot on the singles chart?
Hah..well, I think people should get off on whatever takes their fancy. After all, everybody is someone else's weirdo.
4. Describe the mood of the new album. Is it more of the same frenetic party inducing garage rock numbers? Or is it more reflective? Are you still Rock N Roll Motherfuckers???
On the second album, while we are still using chords that everyone will be familiar and comfortable with, we have changed around the order in which we play them. There has been a bit of work on tempo, and of course a whole new bunch of words about different stuff.
If questioned on the matter, I would still consider the other guys in the band to be Rock N Roll Motherfuckers, more so now than ever before. I would like to think they feel the same way about me.
5. There is seldom an article written about you without a reference to you being to you being The Datsuns' poor relations, with Dion selling an Amp to them early on in your career. Do you find this annoying and do you plan with your next album to grapple the New Zealand rock crown from Dolf and his army?
With our next album we plan to grapple the hearts of all the worlds' nations and bind them together in an orgy of love & understanding. We have no current agenda in regards to the armies of General de Borst but we have heard that they offer 3 square meals a day, a roof over your head and all the motherfuckingrocknrolling your sister can handle.
6. Many indie & alternative bands are hypocritical in their criticism of manufactured boy and girl bands, as they are manufactured themselves with the use of drum machines, pre-recorded vocals and guitars. However, this cannot be said of you, so go nuts?
It is not common knowledge but Beaver is in fact manufactured from old spitfire parts, crushed motorhead cassettes, diesel oil, cornflower, and wood. So it would be best for us not to comment.
7. You seem such fun loving guys; do you have a darker side? Who or what makes you angry?
I have a drunker side. Its not that much darker but it looks a bit that way because it's closer to the ground. It doesn't get angry much but has a long list of whom or what makes it horny.
9. What sort of music are you listening to currently?
Really really good stuff. Fucking unbelievable. You should hear it.
10. You rate your live performances on a scale of 1-10, but added that if you ever did reach a ten then there would be carnage the place would never be the same again. Throughout the whole of your touring in support of the album 6twenty, which one show achieved the highest score? Where was it and what happened?
Hard to say, as the top three shows all crossed the 8.5 mark which as you know can involve seizures and long term memory loss. So while we know they were fucking incredible nights we can't remember where they were. Or who was there. Or why Jimmy woke up underneath the bus in a leather apron and a welder's helmet. These nights, like many before them, are lost to us now. However there may be pictures.
11. What do you want people to take out of your gigs and how do you want to leave them feeling?
If someone comes to a D4 show and over the course of the night has as much fun as we do then it's a good chance that they would be left feeling exactly the way we planned. The formula is simple and the symptoms worth the entry fee on their own.
12. There seems to be a split in personalities in the band. With Jimmy and Dion be livelier than a stallion with a jet powered engine stuck up its backside, with Beaver and Vaughan appearing somber and reflective at gigs. Does this cause conflict or do you all rub along together nicely???
Strangely enough, behind the scenes Vaughan is the most extroverted of the group and Beaver is a complete maniac. When Dion is not on stage he can be found at the helm of his 1:72 scale model railway with a piping hot cup of chamomile tea, while Jimmy will most likely be asleep or working on his Dungeons and Dragons character sheets.
So it goes to show you never can tell, but some unexplained reason the combination of dangerous energy and complete inertia fuses together perfectly to create the fire in the rock and rock reactor that is the D4.