Does It Offend You, Yeah? member Dan Coop talks about giving the middle finger to the major labels and moving on.
Dan Coop is, by his own admission, a little drunk when he gets on the phone with me, post-gig in Leeds. They showcased songs from their new record Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You to rapturous response, including a few audience members sporting nosebleeds. Yet the record’s imminent release is somewhat dampened by recent revelations.
“Annoyingly the album got leaked a couple of days ago,” says Coop. “It’s been nice to see people picking it up on the blogs and going ‘Oh I thought this album was gonna be shit but its pretty good.’ That’s good for my heart, I can do a vanity search, type into Google ‘Does It Offend You’ and there’s not a hundred people saying it’s shit, there’s quite a few people saying it’s good. I can rest easy at night.”
Coop and his bandmates have had their share of sleepless nights recently. It’s been three years between albums and not for lack of trying; constant battles with their record label on creative direction lead to them parting ways.
“Basically we did finish our album a good year ago, and we were signed to two major record labels, one in America and one for the rest of Europe,” explains Coop. “They heard our record and said, ‘This isn’t very commercial, can you write some pop tracks to put on there?’ and we were like, ‘You know what? Go fuck yourself.’”
“We didn’t want to be told what sort of band we should be, so we told ‘em to fuck off…we’re in a band, we make the music, we have to play in it every night. If you want to be in a band, get yourself signed to your own fucking label, because I really don’t give a shit. So we just dragged our feet for a year and a bit til we managed to get lawyers involved and managed to get ourselves off the major record labels we were on and onto some indies that really liked the record we already made.”
It’s soured the experience of making the record, Coop recalling it as a fairly difficult period for the Reading electro band.
“It was very hard and I wish it was a lot easier but it wasn’t. It was fun at points, but there was just too much heartbreak involved in it,” admits Coop. “It was like, ‘why don’t you get the sort of band that we are, not the band you want us to be?’”
Yet they trusted their instincts and the band owe it to their fans Down Under for reinstalling their faith in making their unique brand of music.
“On our last tour of Australia, we basically roadtested songs, because as far as we were concerned the record was done, but the record label said, ‘Can you put more of these pop songs in?’” tells Coop. “We thought maybe they might be right so we’ll put a few of them in our set to see how they go down. All the pop songs we played were just shit, there was no crowd reaction. But all the other stuff we were writing was really good crowd reaction [sic]. We used the Australian people as a barometer, all the ones they liked ended up on the album.”
So is it our fault if the album doesn’t do well?
“Yeah, it’s all you guys’ fault!” laughs Coop. “You’ve got to put a smiley face in there, I’m saying that sarcastically!”
Regardless of label struggles and the long road to this record, Coop is feeling optimistic about DIOYY’s future.
“We’re in this game just to have a laugh, go on tour, write what we think is good music and play sold out shows and then hopefully people come to see us. We’re not a very commercial band I would say, we’re in it for just ourselves really.”