Django Django's third album, Marble Skies, takes fans back to the freedom of the band's debut

“We always try to allow a song to lead us wherever it needs to go. We never really sit down before starting a track with a plan mapped out.”

Picture this. Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago, the sky filled with thunderous clouds clashing with the setting sun. That moment of clarity and unity was the inspiration behind UK fusion outfit Django Django’s third album Marble Skies.

The band were touring their second album Born Under Saturn. It was their first major label release, but it failed to reach the heights of their self-titled, bedroom-produced debut that featured indie banger ‘Default’.

For their third album, Django Django turned their back on the professional studios and producers offered by the record label and set up their own studio in London.

“Definitely having our own studio allowed us time and, as a result, allowed us to be more playful with songs,” says Django Django lead singer and guitarist Vincent Neff.

This was a lesson learned through Born Under Saturn’s failings. “On the second record we were in a huge studio with deadlines and money hanging over us and I think we ended up finding an efficient way of working but it didn't really allow us to relax or have fun with tracks.”

Early album single ‘In Your Beat’ showcases the band’s chronological sonic evolution. The rhythms are deep and textured and the structure chooses not to take the easy way out.

“It's all about being comfortable in your surroundings and having our own studio helps a lot with that. We could work on a track like ‘In Your Beat’ and if it wasn't working or we hit a brick wall with it we could set it aside and work on something else and revisit it with fresh ears. It allowed us to progress and tailor our sound,” Neff says.

However, the band has not forgotten the hallmarks of its breakthrough sound with the song ‘Tic Tac Toe’featuring a similar acoustic guitar chug to their aforementioned single ‘Default’.

“We always try to allow a song to lead us wherever it needs to go. We never really sit down before starting a track with a plan mapped out. For ‘Tic Tac Toe’ we had a set of chords which seemed to lend themselves to the kind of song it turned out to be.

“The thing I love about using an acoustic guitar on songs like ‘Tic Tac Toe’ is that it has a really nice organic sound which you don't get with electric guitars and when you start affecting the sound with pedals you can end up with a sound that is completely unexpected,” reveals Neff.

This seemed like an appropriate juncture to ask the Irishman how the band’s relationship fares with their hit song ‘Default’ celebrating its sixth birthday this year.

“We don’t feel resentment towards the track at all. The way that we approach playing songs live is really important to keeping the tracks fresh and exciting. We'll often take the song apart and rebuild it from the drums up so that it works live. This has always helped us to keep loving the tracks,” Neff says.

Even the most amateur of historians would contend that outdoor music festivals will be a hallmark of the first decade of this millennia. So what are the best and worst aspects of the experience from the stage? 

“For me being in a completely foreign place is the best part of international festivals. We played an amazing festival in Sicily a few years ago in this tiny outdoor courtyard in the centre of the town. There was us, Alt J and Primal Scream playing. It was such an amazing atmosphere and such a beautiful setting. Just around the corner all the locals sat drinking and eating whilst the bands played,” Neff says

“I guess the worst part, for me personally, is being at huge festivals you feel quite isolated on stage and far away from the crowd. It can sometimes be difficult to absorb the atmosphere, but then we've always loved playing in tiny clubs where you're pretty much in the crowd.”

Django Django’s third album Marble Skies is out now on Because Music/Caroline Australia.