The return of Melbourne experimental icons My Disco

The return of Melbourne experimental icons My Disco

Words by Augustus Welby

My Disco bring their intense, multi-sensory live show back to Melbourne.

Having spent much of 2019 touring the UK, Europe, Russia and Japan, Melbourne’s My Disco are back for a hometown show this Saturday night.

The experimental rock trio released their fifth LP, Environment, in March last year. Although it wasn’t a complete stylistic overhaul, it continued the band’s tendency to change things up from one album to the next.

2015’s Severe was full of heavy, droning compositions and harsh rhythms. Environment was comparably unsettling, but dipped into ambient and environmental music. The album was recorded in Berlin, which has become a second home for the band.

“We’ve been there so much, so many shows there, so many tours start and end there, lots of friends there,” said guitarist Benjamin Andrews in an interview on 3RRR’s Double Bounce.

When My Disco started out 15-odd years ago, Andrews was the guitar player for what could more or less be described as a rock band. His role has drastically evolved, with the guitar now acting as a tool for building texture rather than playing chords, riffs or lead licks.

The unique sonic character of Environment was greatly enhanced by the recording circumstances.

“The guy that we recorded Environment with has now become a good friend of ours and sound engineer,” said Andrews. “He’s very relaxed and it’s like you feel at home. You can get in there at ten in the morning with your own key, make yourself a tea or coffee, chill, do all this stuff.

“We probably spent nearly a month in that studio, which for us is heaps of time, and then another six weeks or so doing vocals and mixing.”

The opportunity to be immersed in the recording process has changed the band’s perspective on how they’d like work in the future.

“We were very productive and it all had a similar theme and motif, which was super important to the album,” said Andrews. “I think [the next album] we would do it almost exactly the same but maybe even challenge ourselves and do it in a shorter time frame.

“There’s something about the immediacy of, ‘right guys we’ve really got to get this done’, that brings out some work we’re really proud and interested in.”

My Disco will kick off their national tour in Hobart before arriving at The Curtin on Saturday January 18. It’s the band’s second time at the Lygon St venue.

“The last time we played there was one of our funnest shows in Melbourne actually,” said Andrews. “We’re going to do something different in Melbourne than the other shows in Australia as in a light design aesthetic. Because it’s small, it’ll be quite an intense situation.”

Catch My Disco with support from Nerve (Live) and YL Hooi at the John Curtin Hotel on Saturday January 18.