It has been an unbelievable year for Discopolis, who have already played at T in the Park, Reading and Leeds — and who received extensive Radio One coverage all summer. Incredibly, while everyone was mere weeks into demolishing their new year's resolutions, the Glasgow trio were still dangerously wet behind the ears, never even having graced a stage to perform the tracks they'd spent the last several months penning.
“It took us a long time [to eventually play] and we'd been going for about seven months before we started doing any live gigs so we could produce a sound we were happy with,” the band’s Dave Lloyd (synths/electronics) says, before admitting: “Timber Merchants was the first song we really wrote, and I remember it to this day, the way it came about. We had got to a point about things, really low about how the way things were going and we hadn't really had a song we were happy with. We hadn't even really had one song, it was so complicated with all the electronic and acoustic sound that we didn't have a way of recording and [then] we wrote Timber Merchants.”
The song's completion instilled confidence in the band — completed by vocalist Fergus Cook and guitarist Laurie Donald — and provided Lloyd with an insight into many different aspects of songwriting. “Fergus came out with his vocals and it was the first time that I really started paying attention to vocals. It reminded me of many things in my own relationship, so although there may be no bullshit behind the lyrics being 'incredibly far out there' or anything, they are very important to me and have made a big difference. Now things are working out well!”
'Well' is an understatement. In recent times, NME has repeatedly declared them 'unmissable', they've supported Unicorn Kid and are due to support Metronomy, and even the reverend Pete Tong has praised them for track 'Bears Kill Kids'.
The hype surrounding Discopolis surged after they played their first two Glasgow gigs in March. Normally, such buzz is reserved exclusively for the pages of acerbic music magazines, but the band quickly succeeded in causing a commotion amongst the revellers lucky enough to bask in their sunshine-saturated shoegaze over the summer. People started to take notice of the languishing vocals and playful samples on 'Lofty Ambitions' while the fusion of relentless, euphoric dance and sinister, organ-like synths in 'Timber Merchants' announced the band as innovative and fresh.
Vocalist, Fergus Cook modestly believes their diverse music tastes is the main reason their fan-base grew so quickly. “You never want to sound like a dick about it, but I guess we've all got a broad taste in music. Obviously everyone always says that. I think that's definitely a major factor in why we sound differently. Our set up helps, our taste in music helps.
“With all the hype going on now I think it's so mental but we feel now more than ever that we have to prove ourselves. It's really nice to have people giving us all this praise but we've got a lot of work to do ourselves to, I guess, in a sense, give it back to people to come along to our live shows. We want to be good enough for them,” he adds.
Discopolis progressively offered seven of their tracks as free downloads on the internet, and Cook is certain that is the best way to spread their music. “One thing we're all the same on, the band and the managers, is that it’s nothing to do with money and we're always keen to have everything available to download because otherwise you alienate fans. We've tried to avoid these kind of people who are obsessed with contracts and so far successfully we have,” he says.
They released single 'Lofty Ambitions' on record label Eli and Oz in August, and their manager Steven — who's been keeping a watchful eye throughout the interview (perhaps in case I try to get them to carelessly sign their recording rights away in blood) — throws in his view. “We've been really lucky with people who are keen to follow us and see us progress," he says. "Basically, people are now coming to see us and want to hear more about what's going on, to see if it's not just all hype.
"I think we're quite lucky to have people who are taking interest in the band in the long-term.”
With a much-anticipated album doing the rounds on the rumour mill, it's clear the band are being guided well and are mature enough to release something when they are ready, not when the industry tells them they are ready.
Discopolis play Glasgow’s The Captain’s Rest on Sat 8 Oct. Tickets £5.