In the Middle with Superfood
Dom sounds a bit worse for wear as we chat over the phone. He’d been at the NME awards the night before with friend and flatmate, Harry Koisser. “Everyone who was playing came back to our house, and I was in bed by like, 2am, but they were in the kitchen being so noisy. I thought fuck it, I’m just going to get up, joined them until like, 5am. So unnecessary…”
It seems like the party always seems to find Superfood, whose notoriety for rambunctious antics on and off the stage has stayed with them, despite becoming pretty quiet in the near-three years since their debut album Don’t Say That. With no new music since 2014, fans were delighted when their new single ‘Double Dutch’ dropped earlier this month in the middle of the Super Bowl, in a fittingly sensational fashion.
“It’s been so long, but it’s just a real relief, because people seem to have taken to it quite well,” Dom says. In explaining the lengthy absence, it seems that the band were left floundering after their debut album, parting ways with their label almost immediately. “We were trying to make an album with no label, and we didn’t have managers for a while either… We were living on absolutely no money.”
It’s clear that in their time off, Superfood have definitely made some changes. They’re now just a duo comprised of Dom Ganderton and Ryan Malcom, and their new single has moved quite significantly into a new direction. “When we first started the band, they were a lot more kind of Beck-inspired, processed beats, and we put guitar on top of that. We ended up getting the band, and before we knew it, when we were going in to record our album we were an ‘indie band’ and we sort of lost sight of what we first set out to do,” Dom explains, in response to the band’s categorisation of being Britpop-inspired and 90’s-revivalist. “I guess we’re trying to shake off the cobwebs of those stereotypes.”
The synth-heavy sampled track ‘Double Dutch’ exhibits this perfectly, with the frolicsome lyrics and harmonies contrasting with a brooding bassline unheard of previously in Superfood’s repertoire. “I was just scrolling around the internet and I found these old videos, instructional videos for double dutch, and I found this group called Stan’s Pepper Steppers,” Dom remembers. “I thought it would be cool to write about these girls – they’re still going now.”
Although confident in their new material, there seems to have been some growing pains for the group. “We were thinking of doing that whole thing when you like, change your name. We deleted all our online presence. We were just like, fuck it, social media, it’s just a tool. The old music is still there on Spotify and stuff but… It’s more of a rebirth.”
Having said that, Superfood are known for not taking themselves too seriously, and their friendship with bands such as Peace and Wolf Alice have always led to general carnage. Dom fondly remembers last summer, when members of Superfood and Peace joined forces to form a one-night-only super group called Radical Lasagne. “Us and Peace used to have the same manager, a guy called Russ Tannen, and it was his birthday, and he basically just asked us to pay a little covers set, and then for some reason, ever since I’ve been like, 15, I’ve just wanted to be in a band called Radical Lasagne… So I said I’d do it, as long as we could be called Radical Lasagne. And then Harry (Koisser) took it really seriously and started putting it all over fucking Twitter and shit.”
Indeed, Superfood’s childish larks were displayed in a particularly hilarious fashion at Glastonbury Festival 2015, when they interrupted Peace’s set: “We were so messed up, we were trying to sing ‘My Generation’ by The Who, and then I can just remember seeing their manager’s face, trying to escort me and Ryan off the stage, just like ‘get off! What are you fucking lunatics doing?’ That was funny.”
Clearly still retaining their boyish charm, the upcoming Dirty Hit Tour, where Superfood will hit the road with label-mates Pale Waves and King Nun, is set to be a boisterous one. “It’s just a bit nerve-wracking because we’ve got new members, we haven’t toured before, and I’m really scared that the other bands are going to blow us out of the water” Dom admits, “but I am looking forward to it. Just need to get the first show done and it’ll be smooth sailing from there.” Although it’s set to be a capricious and uncertain few months for the band, with the album set to come out at the end of the summer, their new material is already resonating with a fan base that has grown alongside them.
Catch Superfood on the Dirty Hit tour at the Brudenell on 21/3/17 with King Nun and Pale Waves
(Image: Read Dork)