If you’re looking for a meal that’s satisfying, diverse and always filling, look no further than DINNER. The brainchild of Danish songwriter / producer Anders Rhedin, DINNER provide all the lo-fi, jangle pop nutrients you could ever wish for. Sam Lambeth spoke to the songsmith to find out more.
Your latest record, New Work, saw you strip back a lot of the recording processes you were used to in Copenhagen. Did that make for a much more satisfying experience?
Yes, it did.
“How", you'd might ask. Well. For the last Dinner album we went to this really fancy ‘80s studio in Copenhagen. Miles Davis recorded there. You know, a big place. It was very clean. Huge. If you stood in one end of the live room you wouldn’t be able to shout to someone standing at the other side. All the stuff we recorded there sounded too nice, somehow. I ended up re-doing most of it in my bedroom. And THAT was pretty tedious. So this time I thought - let’s just skip the fancy studio.
My 2nd EP, Girl (2014), was recorded at a small, cold studio during a snowstorm, in Copenhagen. I was so sick, I could barely stand. There were four of us in the studio. We were fighting all the time. And freezing. Such bad vibes. The recordings sounded great, though. That’s what I wanted to do this time around, that’s what I wanted to get back to. Less studio, more great, bad vibes.
New Work, as a result, feels quick, raw and instant, but not rushed. Was there ever a worry, though, its bare bones feel would see the songs suffer?
You also work as a producer, but you had Josha da Casta on board with you. Did having someone else help the process?
Josh Da Costa. Yes, having someone else there was a big help. When you’re working alone it can get tricky. At least for me. My ego (in lack of a better word) can take over. The process then becomes an echo chamber of worry and creative fear. So, you know, having a guy like Josh saving you from yourself is really nice. He’s also an extremely talented musician. Check out his band, CMON.
The video for ‘Siren Song’ is certainly an interesting one. Can you give us a bit of explanation behind it? It almost feels like an early ‘90s pastiche.
I really haven’t got much to say. It’s made by Pierce McGravy from Walter TV. I really like Pierce’s work - for Mac Demarco, White Poppy etc. We just met on a Sunday morning in LA and I just did what he asked me to do. We bummed around the rest of the day, and he shot me doing stuff.
I’m kissing a girl through a donut in the video. That’s Nina Tarr. She is a very talented comedian and actress. She has a great Robert De Niro / blowjob joke that cracks me up every time. Trying to eat a donut with my face so close to hers / semi-kissing though pastry made me giggle like a school girl. I’m a total amateur when it comes to any form of acting. She was as cool as ice though.
New Work also features a lot of collaborations. Was that initially difficult for you, having been used to working alone? Is it something you’d be keen to pursue in the future?
You just get so tired of yourself sometimes. Dinner’s songs with Dinner’s voice on it. Dinner with Dinner. It’s so nice to work with other people.
How have the songs from New Work been received live?
When I play I just play. I think people like them. Maybe they hate them? I don’t know.
Why ‘Dinner’? Why not ‘Brunch’ or ‘Supper’?
Because I think “brunch” or “supper” don’t sound that cool?
You are signed to Captured Tracks, home of a clutch of revered acts (DIIV and Mac DeMarco, to name but two). Being in that environment must be quite rewarding, right? How important do you feel the relationship is between band and label in today’s musical environment?
Yup, C/T is kinda like a very nice family. I’ve been on labels / released music for more than 15 years now. This is the first I can remember to have come across someone who are pragmatic and great at business stuff - but also are super passionate and idealistic when it comes to relatively “weird" music.
The other bands on the label are great! Charlie Hilton sings on the new Dinner record. Andy from Mac’s band and Mac play on it (well, we actually ended up cutting out Mac’s contribution). I’ve toured with Boulevards. Sweet people.