Photo Credit: @nathansamlong
If there is one thing you can say about Imperial Daze is that they are far from stagnant. When push came to shove, they made major moves to record their latest release, Surfaces Sensibles, out now. Yup, they converted an old commercial freezer into a studio and did that damn thing. Now we’re talking to Imperial Daze about the album, customs, and more.
Kendra: You’re sitting around one day and someone is not only like, let’s build a studio but let’s do it in this old commercial freezer. Who said that and was there any hesitation on anyone’s part to take on that endeavor?
Imperial Daze: At the time we were sharing a studio called Kite Yard with our friend Sam Frankl and wiz kid engineer Rob Brinkman but they had a different vision for the space that unfortunately didn’t include us. Within 20 minutes of being told we were going to have to leave we had conjured up this vague idea of building a studio in this huge freezer that was being left by The Doodle Bar, a bar where Felix and I (Alex) work the weekend wars.
We had built a studio previously so we were not too daunted by the labor involved. That being said, as with most things, it did take us twice as long as we thought it would. You can follow some of our efforts on our Instagram. From a financial point of view, we reached out and managed to crowdfund part of the building costs from over 100 kind altruistic souls. We feel very humbled by that experience as this kind of support is so important for young bands these days.
Kendra: What about recording Surfaces Sensibles felt different than Solid Fair as far as where you were not only physically but mentally as well?
Imperial Daze: Surfaces Sensibles is our first effort with Tom on drums, which is very meaningful for us as it’s only since he has joined that we’ve really felt like a band. Sam Doyle (ex-Maccabees) played drums on Solid Fair, and although he did a fantastic job it doesn’t feel like the Imperial Daze of today. That being said there are parts of Surfaces Sensibles that were recorded two months ago and some bits that are actually from songs made before we were even a band, all the way back in 2016! We’re very much looking forward to recording our next batch of songs in a more time relevant way.
Kendra: When it comes to “Minding the Haze” and the visual you wanted to present, was there ever any other route you wanted to go other than live?
Imperial Daze: We see music videos as a really satisfying artistic endeavor but equally as a completely frivolous expense for a band at our stage. The Live From Electric Eel Studio videos are a relatively inexpensive way for us to tell our story and people seem to respond well to that. If money was no object, I think it would be great to be literal with a music video to “Minding The Haze.” The group of friends, teenage summer romance, singing karaoke in empty bars by the seaside, the mirador, the heat, and the pines.
Kendra: Being a band consisting of various nationalities, are there any cultural customs you each had to well, become accustomed too that the other does either musically or just when you’re hanging out?
Imperial Daze: We all speak French except Tom so sometimes that can be strange for him. That being said I think he tunes out if we go off on one. Brave lad. With regards to different customs, Facundo, being Argentinian, does also drink a lot of mates so there’s always dried mate in the studio. It’s delightfully invigorating
Kendra: You guys are hot on the festival circuit this year. Do you ever get to chance to be a fan at those or is it all about work?
Imperial Daze: It’s still early days for us so we have a youthful joy when playing festivals. We feel very grateful to be paid to play to people in the sun. It’s good for the soul so yes we’re always fans, even when we’re working.
Kendra: Other than the setlist being a bit longer, what do you guys have planned for the headline show on June 26th at The Victoria?
Imperial Daze: We’re working with a sound-engineer on this one so we’ll hopefully achieve the tailored sound we’re always striving for. There might also be a cover and a bit of a psychedelic light show but I don’t want to let this particular cat out of the bag.
Kendra: What’s on the books in the coming months?
Imperial Daze: We’re playing a few more shows and then recording our next EP. We’re very much looking forward to trying different approaches and generally trying to push ourselves to do something new. On top of that, we’re also involved in the opening of a new 250 cap South London music venue called TESTBED 1 with The Doodle Bar and CLUB.THE.MAMMOTH. Look out for that one.