An Interview With… | Dany Laj and the Looks

We’ve been huge fans of Dany Laj and the Looks for years now, and after reviewing their debut album Word On The Street here we are interviewing them! This is certainly a wonderful moment for us, and the interview is easily our favourite too. The amount of enthusiasm and passion that seeps through Dany’s answers is inspirational beyond belief, and yeah, it’s just wonderful. Check them out on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and for music reviews, interviews and general displays of love check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.

Hey Dany Laj and the Looks, how’s it going? In general good, I mean, I could easily start complaining about anything that seems to be challenging to me, but what’s the point of that? I’m sitting in a beautiful little house near the Atlantic Ocean on Canada’s Cape Breton Island enjoying the peace and beauty around me. We just got off the Ferry from Newfoundland and getting some much needed rest before we get back to our rock ‘n roll duties tonight in North Sydney. 

I know you guys are currently touring right now, how’s that going? Pretty good?
Of course, touring isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. However, we have been fortunate through years of touring and met some great people along the way that make it such a wonderful experience.  On this tour we got to experience Newfoundland for the first time, it is a very unique and incredible place to be. The people are very appreciative, kind and absolutely hilarious. We played Stephenville, Deer Lake, Corner Brook and St John’s and it was an absolute riot. The week previous to playing Newfoundland was about as big of a roller coaster you can possibly get on tour. We had a wheel bearing on the van fail and didn’t have time to get it fixed, but thanks to our friend Harry Stam in Moncton, New Brunswick, whom we met a couple years ago, we were able to make our show in Dartmouth in a new van he sold us right then and there, also helping us out with insurance to keep us rolling on the tour. I mean, there must have been a dark cloud hanging over us. The next couple of days we ended smashing the back window of the (new) van in Sydney before hitting the ferry to Newfoundland. After that we only had one small electrical fire in the van due to bad wiring, but that’s ok we put it out, diy fixed and carried on. That’s the thing with touring; it’s easy to get discouraged but if you keep rolling and stay focused things will work out. As easy as it would have been to give up, we decided to stay as positive as we can and simply have a blast. 

by Holly Thomas
Congratulations on getting signed, that must’ve been a pretty cool moment in your career right? Of course, it’s always completely flattering to find like-minded people to work with. It opened up many doors for us. Squirtgun has a hell of a cast that’s been through the label; to be on a label that Hayden, By Divine Right, and Elevator To Hell (to name but a few) have worked with in the past, and with their recent signing of Carol Pope – I mean that’s all cool and extremely flattering in our books. I would highly suggest that everyone pick up the new “Return of Our Stupid Noise” compilation they put out which features Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene) Jose Contreras, Moon Socket, Radioblaster, Head and our song “Take it Away”.

Your debut album Word On The Street is fantastic. What made you decide to put tracks such as Mr. Rebound and I Know You Want Out on there? Thank you. I felt those two tracks deserved more attention in the production side of things, they needed more justice and I think we achieved that this time. They also fit the story we were attempting to tell. To us it’s important that an album flows right in the listeners experience. I feel that if you are putting out a record it has to make sense that way. Listening to a full LP has to be a voyage of some sort. For what it’s worth, those songs, to us, felt like they should be part of the “Word On The Street” adventure.

You guys have been around for years now. Do you still enjoy the live circuit as much as you did when you were just starting out? Yes we do. I don’t think I’d be touring so much if I didn’t. We meet amazing people and our fans are some of nerdiest people we’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with. When we started out, we hadn’t found an audience yet and I guess in that sense it’s the reason we started doing so. I can say that we probably enjoy it more than ever now. We simply just have more people to visit and it feels like we’ve built a nice little family in Canada. We see them, we get off the road and miss them. I mean, my life has been all about travelling. I feel like I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. No matter what happens, I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.   

What’s next for Dany Laj and the Looks? More touring, new singles, new releases? We have some dates booked in the province of Quebec and West Coast Canada tour all coming up in September. The release of the vinyl format of “Word On The Street” will be out then as well. (Look out for a new video for “We Know”!) As far as new singles, we have tracked some new nuggets for two new 45’s we’re hoping to get out in the near future.

Have you been losing your shit over Game Of Thrones as much as we have? We’re more of a Mad Men and Better Call Saul kinda band.

Finally, to bring an end to this interview, if you had to make one elusive little comment, what would it be? There’s beauty to be found everywhere. If you can’t find it, have a peanut butter and banana hot dog. It’s there for sure.
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