Looking forward to the shows in New Zealand this month?

Yeah. Strangely, we haven’t actually toured New Zealand yet [for last year’s Death Rattle Boogie – their last nationwide NZ tour was in 2009]. We’ve toured Europe and Australia, but have only done two shows in New Zealand. So it is about time we went down there and did a proper tour. It’s always nice to get back there because I live in the UK now.


In Crystal Palace [south London]. We’ve been here for a few years. Dorf is in Stockholm, and Ben and Phil live in New Zealand. I usually get over there once a year, to see my family and friends, and play some rock ‘n’ roll. 

And you’re heading to Japan?

We haven’t been there for a few years – we’ve played there five times and it was great. The crowds are always enthusiastic. 

How so?

They’re just totally up for it, like ‘Beatlemania enthusiastic’. And they also know a lot more about music than people from other countries. They do a lot of research and find out facts about the band and us as individuals as well – they’d make good detectives! Their attention to detail about you and the music is impressive. 

What are they like during the show?

They go mental during the song and then they’re quiet at the end. They want to hear everything you say, so they’ll be quiet between songs so they don’t miss anything. 

That must be weird?

Usually the end of a song is when everyone goes mental but over there it’s the opposite. And the shows are on at 6.30pm, a weird time for a gig. So you go and do the show then go out for dinner afterwards. It’s very different.

How did having the band spread out across the world influence the writing of Death Rattle Boogie?

Thankfully it is in internet age, so we can communicate globally now. 

Did it impact on your writing process?

It worked quite well. Having lived together and toured together for so many years, it’s nice that everyone has their own space. Everyone could go and work on their own ideas, and then we could work on them when we all got together.It helped give us all a new perspective. And we’re always super-focused as there is only a limited amount of time that we’re together. 

Half the album was recorded in New Zealand and half in Stockholm…

Dolf has a studio in Stockholm – and it’s cheaper to use a studio owned by one of the band! We did half there, and then as the other two [Ben and Phil] were in New Zealand we did the other half of it there at Neil Finn’s studio [Roundhead Studios in Auckland]. 

How did that affect the finished record?

The Swedish sessions were co-produced by Nicke Andersson, who used to be in a band called The Hellacopters, and is now in a group called Imperial State Electric with Dolf. Apart from the second record [2004’s Outta Sight/ Outta Mind] which John Paul Jones produced, we have always done it ourselves. So to have Nicke was really nice. We like him and have similar tastes, and he brought a few different ideas to the project. He’s very keen on percussion, so there was a lot more of that on the last record. There’s also a lot more tambourine and shaker as he’s a big fan of those. So on every song, he was like: “Let’s put more on.” 

Why the name Death Rattle Boogie?

We were thinking of names for the album, and then Dolf said: “I’ve already decided, it’s going to be Death Rattle Boogie.“ It wasn’t a democratic process, it was like: “I have already decided, it’s done. I have already told people”. I don’t even know how he came up with it. 

What has been your proudest achievement in the band?

Probably the fact that we have been around for so long and are still doing it. We’ve overcome geographical odds and changes in the music business with downloading, but we’re still managing to put out records and tour. 

The Datsuns tour New Zealand
Aug 29-Sep 14