Having already had a good interviewing experience with Kav from the Basement Birds, this interview went a lot easier. It ended up being more of a conversation, which made it harder to keep quotes in context.
Dan Kelly may not yet be a household name, despite five ARIA nominations and a Triple J album of the year nomination with his former band Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males, but it has been a song about living with Bindi Irwin under the sea which has brought his music to Australia’s attention.
He recently released his third album, containing the single Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam, a song that probably needs an explanation. Dan spoke to UniLifeMag and explained how he managed to fit Bindi Irwin and the end of the world so well together.
“For some reason in Bindi Irwin I just had that phrase ‘Bindi and me’ and I was like ‘Oh fuck well what does that mean?’”
“So let’s see if I can write an underwater song about Bindi Irwin.”
Dan hasn’t received a response from Bindi’s lawyers, saying
“I haven’t really slandered her… she’s just mostly sort of a superhero in the song.”
“In the end I do throw myself into a flaming tornado, but I don’t want to attack the little kid.”
Despite his last full album being released way back in 2006, Dan has not just been sitting around, with many musical ventures between then and now.
“I just played solo for about a year, just trying to work all those songs out in a solo thing which was really good for me because I figured out how to be much more entertaining.”
“I’ve spent the last year writing the record, getting the new band together, then recording the record which took about four months all up.”
The new band, featuring members of Augie March and The Ground Components, is called Dan Kelly’s Dream Band, although not much has changed from this and The Alpha Males albums.
“They’ve all been epic processes, and this wasn’t any different.”
“Halfway through the record I just thought it was awful, and I freaked out, and I went home and just tightened it up and figured out how to make it good.”
“I’m really happy with it now, but it was a fucking adventure.”
The recent tour featured an ‘under the sea’ set, with blow-up sharks and a bubble machine. It may not compare to Muse or ACDC, but Dan explained the reasons behind it.
“I think it’s fun. It’s just to give it a sense of occasion.”
Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam may be getting heavy rotation on Triple J, but Dan isn’t getting his hopes up for a Hottest 100 spot.
“You know it’s funny I’ve just never had any luck with that. Drunk on Election Night (From his previous album Drowning in the Fountain of Youth) I thought I might have had a chance with.”
“People know who I am, but I’ve just never been particularly popular.” He laughs.
Dan Kelly’s Dream is out now and the band will be coming back later in the year to tour the full album. Make Dan happy and vote for Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam in this year’s Triple J Hottest 100 when voting opens.
Favourite Album “I’ve got a million, you know.”
“Plastic Ono Band.”
“Liar by The Jesus Lizard.”
“Veedon Fleece by Van Morrison.”
“Any Pavement album, but probably Slanted and Enchanted just because it was the first one.
Most Embarrassing Album “I had a massive Dire Straights period as a kid.”
Dan Recommends The Fall, Michael Rother, Lil Wayne, The Good the Bad and the Queen and music from the blog Awesome Tapes From Africa (Google it).