Damefrisør: Pissing In The Wind

Seeing Damefrisør for the first time was a lot like watching a rabbit being pulled from a hat. The mystery, the anticipation and the magic were all there long before they had even hit the stage. The band before me bore their souls that night and left an impression that I hope to never forget.

It felt like Damefrisør had been drawing crowds for years and looking back I am astonished to think that at that time, they had probably only been a band for a matter of months. Yet, their name deservedly carried with it a reputation that for such a young band was unheard of and quite frankly still is.

Now just over a year into their tenure as one of Bristol’s most exciting musical prospects, Damefrisør are even more deserving of their reputation than ever before. Their singles ‘Huile‘ and ‘And You Know‘ are timeless efforts that pull at every fibre of the band’s being.

If someone told me they had been recorded 30 years ago I would have believed it and I wouldn’t be surprised if people are still talking about this band 30 years from now. While it may seem like Damefrisør came crashing through the gate fully formed, their journey as a creative force has barely begun and it is clear that they have far more of themselves to give. I like to think that not even Charles Darwin himself would be able to explain the band’s impending evolution and I for one, can’t wait to see it.

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Am I right in saying that you are named after a ladies hairdresser? What’s that all about?

Kazhi – I was actually in Denmark recently and I was at a party and I met the lead singer of Iceage and he told us that it was a really stupid name and we should change it. He was like “that’s so stupid man” and I was like yeah well your band are named after a kids movie so I dunno, fuck it, you’ve just got to run with it.

Armon – He was actually really nice afterwards, Iceage are sick!

I was quite surprised to read that your newest single ‘And You Know’ marks the end to your first year as a band. Do you consider the single as the opening of a new chapter for Damefrisør?

K – It’s kind of strange, because when we started we were just friends and some of us could play instruments, some of us couldn’t, y’know. So, in the beginning, we wrote a lot of shit, stuff that’s been filtered out. Even with the singles we are releasing now, we wanted music out but it doesn’t necessarily represent exactly the sound that we are. We are just making music that we like and that we want to listen to and it keeps going from there and it keeps changing. It’s just fun!

With this single release and the increase in publicity the band are receiving it feels to me that a veil is slowly lifting and we are starting to see what you guys are all about. Did you start the band with a set plan in mind or are you happy to let things just sort of snowball out of your control?

Nyle – This year is just about playing as many shows as possible I guess. We’re in the process of getting an EP together and a solid body of work. As the two singles have come out its sort of an idea of where we are going but the majority of the stuff we are writing now is still more of an exploration. We’ve got a good manager, he’s able to send multiple emails…

A – It’s his first time managing and he’s the only one out of us that can speak, I guess, articulately.

K – Speak for yourself!

A – I tried to write an email once and it was just so informal and he was like Armon don’t ever do this again.

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In recent months you’ve played with the likes of Talk Show and you’re joining The Jacques on tour for five dates at the start of March. How does it feel knowing that more established acts and promoters are looking at what you are doing and starting to take notice?

K – It feels great. It feels weird. It could have so easily have just been us in Nial’s attic playing guitar through shitty tiny amps to a drumbeat that he made on logic. It could have so easily been fucking shit, do you know what I mean? But for some reason, people seem to be liking it and it just feels great, it’s kind of overwhelming sometimes but it’s really cool.

A – I guess for me personally, one of my best friends passed away around this time last year. He was in The Jacques and I was roady for them. I remember how we were in the van and talking about how I wanted to start a band and now that we are going on tour with them it just feels right, it feels special. Even though we don’t play a similar type of music, it’s nice just to be with them, it’s like a family sort of thing.

You sort of mentioned that when you started everything was quite a bit ramshackle and you didn’t know what you were going to sound like. How has playing more shows with loads of different types of bands influencing you going forward? Has it changed the way you write music?

N – We pick up a lot of stage things, like presence and things like that. Like when we saw Crows at Rough Trade, Kazhi didn’t have an effect for his vocal yet, but he saw that the guy from Crows was using it and he was like, “I need to get one of those.”

K – I started chatting to the lead singer and was like, what is it that you have? He was like, “you just need this,” and it just changed everything instantly. When we went to that next practice it just added something that was always missing.

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When I first saw you live, it was almost mystifying in a way, it was like you were in a trance up there and I think that sense of atmosphere feeds into the music itself. Do you aim to make it that much of an experience or is it just something that comes out of you?

K – I think we do, we talk about it a lot. There is so much music that everyone listens to on the side and whatever, but as a band, the music that we collectively enjoy has mainly been Shoegaze. Stuff like Slowdive and MBV are a huge influence on our band. Going into more progressive Indie Rock stuff like the Naturals, for me also feels like a huge influence in a more subconscious way. The way that they approach and write music I think is just so fucking sick and I think that huge wall of sound is something that we aspire towards.

A – We don’t want to be pigeonholed. We all take influence from so many different things and we all bring something to the table. As much as some songs might be a bit post-punk, others might be a bit shoegaze, darkwave, we just want to make music that we like.

K – It just goes hand in hand with the way that we started. Without knowing anything about what we are doing.

A – Just pissing in the wind innit.

K – Haha, pissing in the wind.

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Words: David Sturgess      Photography: Aidan Stojsavljevic

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