Yolk of the Golden Egg promo shot by John Londono
Okay, so it isn’t just the Frenchies that are making noise in the music scene today. Things have certainly been kicking off on the northern parts of North America! Former Vancouverites, now Montreal based DANDI WIND, have recently finished up a successful few months of touring overseas with The Horrors. They are now stateside making the rounds on their ‘Do and Die’ tour. There is much to say about Dandi Wind – I came to know of them through SLUM – Summer Lovers Unlimited Music, a superb label and home to many impressive musicians that I absolutely love – The Teenagers, Duchess Says, Crystal Castles, My! Gay! Husband! Stop Die Resuscitate, and more.
It has been months that I’ve wanted to explore this intriguing group, get to the heart of their matter per-say, but time was limited and my brain was perplexed and overloaded – Reason being is that Dandi Wind is not your typical artist(s), rather avant-garde in their approach to all things – a web of intricacy. So typical just won’t do!
Prior to the birth of Dandi Wind in 2003, high school friends, Dandilion Wind Opaine and Szam Findlay, explored their passion for the arts combining sculpture, design, video, animation, and music. They adored their projects and hoped to gain notoriety for their unique and complex work. Deluded by little recognition, they set forth to create what many are coming to know as one of the most innovative, extravagant and captivating performance acts at this very moment in time!
Dandi is a petite, adorable looking thing – yet larger than life and venomous, with an extraordinary stage presence – unveiling a whirlwind of movements that are spastic, fearless, jarring, inexhaustible – Refined chaos. A pianist since childhood, Szam creates a mixture of beautifully layered, unpredictable, punk, synth heavy, dark, industrial music and beats. Together, a powerful pairing!
Inspired by the likes of Skinny Puppy (known for their theatrics), Kate Bush (with her ever changing characters), Bowie and Prince – Dandi Wind is all over the map. For those unfamiliar, I felt the need for the cliché question, “How would you describe what you guys do?” be asked. Like most musicians that do not want to be defined, Dandi replied with, “Ah, the dreaded question every musician hates. We do dramatic electronic music which we call DEATHWAVE sometimes, as on our first album things are more high energy and angry and on our 2nd album things are darker, slower and more lyrical. Also we’ve always had a big pop/glam influence and so there are shades of early 70s uk glam in there too.”
Apotemnophilia – The overwhelming desire to amputate one or more healthy limbs or other parts of the body. Image created by Brian – an amazing photographer with true talent!! Thx for letting me use this Brian!
Their lyrics run deep – taken from personal experiences and the world around them –sometimes political, staying clear of the barrens of electronic music. This needs to be sung to the number one jackass, el presidente ‘Bush,’ as it’s dead on.
“The spoils of war. A goal of a fool.
Unsure if you’re wrong so you try and stay cool.
Cuz you’re a cowboy study and studied Marlboro ads.
Lassoing contracts for friends of your dad.
You do what’s whispered in your ear piece.
Hide the facts you can’t grasp with a clear blank face.
But don’t forget to talk in a monotone.
So you resolute like a kidney stone.”
To date, Dandi Wind has put out 4 unique EP’s and singles, (which include their interesting videos) as well as their debut full-length, Concrete Igloo in 2006 – a lavish 14 song/10 video EP. I am eagerly anticipating their second album, ‘Yolk of the Golden Egg,’ due any moment now, on Alt:Delete/Because/SLUM, as well as their Chicago visit at Funky Buddha on July 31 for Outdanced! – Can’t wait!!!!
Read on as Dandi reveals a bit more about their influences, touring, roid rage, functional clothing, and ‘Yolk of the Golden Egg. Lastly, have a listen to their track ‘Adolescent,’ remixed by Stop Die Resuscitate (another Toronto favorite!) and ‘Apotemnophilia’ (see above description + bloody image of Dandi), which we are extremely grateful for, and make sure to catch them as they thrash around the states on tour!!!!!
Dandi tour dates // Dandi Wind My Space
Dandi Wind – Adolescent – Stop Die Remix
Lovestar: What has been a major influence or inspired you in the performance art world, if anything, to have created the sort of stage presence that goes into a Dandi Wind show?
Dandi: Japanese Butoh, African tribal dancing, Native American dancing, bullfighting and Prince/Kate Bush.
Lovestar: Your performances seem to be a mad rush of energy. Where does this all come from? Is it any of it choreographed?
Dandi: Nothing is choreographed – it’s just a response to the tempo and sound of the music. Also interaction with the audience. Due to roid rage I have more energy than the average human.
Lovestar: You recently finished up a few months of touring overseas. What were the highlights of your time away?
Dandi: I had one of the best times I’ve ever had touring with The Horrors in Europe – there were lots of highlights – seeing lots of European countries I could never afford to see and also getting treated like mini rockstars as the horrors are quite huge. And we’re good friends now so that’s nice.
Lovestar: Fashion seems to be an important part of your performance. How would you describe your style?
Dandi: Onstage I always wear suits designed for movement/dancing. The reason why I always wear leotards/spandex is just for safety, comfort and flexibility. So basically functional.
Lovestar: I read somewhere that you covet boots? Are there any brands that you seek out? (interesting tidbit for those in awe of her wardrobe – Dandi sells items for auction on e-bay!)
Dandi: I don’t care about brands just the style of clothing/boots. But yeah I like looking for vintage clothing and taxidermy when we tour through the bowels of America.
Lovestar: If Dandi wind had carte blanche and didn’t have to worry about gaining appeal or making money, would your performances be the same?
Dandi: No – it would be completely different. If we had the funds to support it we would greatly expand the visual element of the show with multiple video screens, elaborate sets and lighting. Thus far we’ve been so bereft of funds doing something elaborate hasn’t been possible to tour with.
Lovestar: Talk about something that no one has ever discussed with you before
Dandi: Well – I guess I can describe the theme of our 2nd album YOLK OF THE GOLDEN EGG which is coming out sometime in the future. Basically, since nobody ever asks me about my lyrics (or very rarely) I’ll say that our 2nd album has the lyrics I’m most proud of; the album is a document of all the horrible business shaftings we’ve received after our first ep and first album. It’s far darker and slower than than Concrete Igloo as it was recorded in the Siberian conditions of Verdun, Quebec as opposed to Vancouver. Essentially it’s a series of stories about all the corrupt and evil people we’ve encountered in Toronto (partially from those peoples perspectives)and it’s also about the nightmares that have plagued me since this dark time.