DYD: Everyone in the band seems to have had previous musical endeavors before Booklub, how did the band actually come together?
Nic: Myself and Simon [Lee] started emailing each other bits of songs we were working on and then Ian and I were going to a Grimes cover band and Mike and I a thrasher band and eventually we realized that was all just a bit ridiculous and bands were for losers and so we started a book club instead. None of us could read really well and so music became the alternative. Simon is Simon’s best friend and he then joined so we could play our first song “ii” [also known by fans as “Pompeii”] live and soon became ours.
Ian: I can read. I just wanted to be able to sing like Grimes and Inge Beckmann and other amazing female vocalists and Nic was like, “YEAH.” So, I went to his house and we started singing like we didn’t have broken voices. Then, yeah, Simon and Mike were there and they are amazing.
DYD: Your vocals are somewhat concealed in the mix of your tracks—is this an attribute you want to keep in future recordings?
Nic: Yes I think so. I don’t know if anybody’s sure.
Ian: I know I am sure. The dreamy falsetto harmonies that we make are so much fun. But there’s always time for clarity too, I guess.
DYD: Booklub’s music has been described as “Dream Pop”. Under what genre would you categorize your music?
Nic: Light satanic pop.
Ian: It’s pop. It’s kinda interesting pop though, I think. I think Dream Pop is probably a good one. Maybe “Dream Texture Pop”? Is that pretentious?
DYD: What is the song Western Hours about?
Nic: A girl who used to live in Paraguay – a very different time zone to me.
Ian: It’s about feelz for me. I honestly don’t even know all the lyrics, but the feel of it is like a journey from calm to riot. It makes me feel all the feelz.
DYD: Who are your biggest influences for the bands sound?
Nic: I’m not sure. We used to often talk about WU LYF though.
Ian: I think Foals is a big one, especially for Simon Lee. Mine are; Grimes, M83, Frank Ocean, Blood Orange, Twin Shadow, Beyoncé, Fleet Foxes, James Blake, shit. Sorry, that’s a long list. And a lot of those probs don’t even influence Booklub.
Simon L: WU LYF, DIIV.
DYD: Would you say that living in the Cape plays a big part in the bands sound?
Nic: I don’t know. Cape Town is the most wonderful place on earth so I should probably think about it more. I also think our sound is pretty European. With concern to the subject matter, Pompeii is all about Pompeii and Western Hours is about all things western. Which is gross. It might do the others. I’m sure the next songs will probably.
Ian: Our sound is pretty European, but not completely. There’s definitely some part of Cape Town in the music. But I think that music doesn’t need to be defined by place anymore. As long as you’re not bullshitting people or yourself and you’re sincere about the music you’re making, then it doesn’t matter what sound comes out.
DYD: Who’s the main songwriter for the group?
Ian: Simon for song ideas, Nic for vocals, the rest of us just throw sweets and shit on the cake.
Simon L: More recently we’ve been writing songs together from scratch and I think those are the ones that turn out (or will turn out, rather) the best.
DYD: The use of saxophone adds a beautiful sonic element to the band’s sound. How did that come about?
Nic: Ian plays Sax and we all love it. Its easy the best sounding instrument in the band.
Ian: NIC! Thanks. I didn’t actually want to play sax in the band cuz I played sax in my old band and I wanted to have a bit more freedom on stage and just sing and play keys and dance like Miley, but then it just worked and I was excited.
DYD: What’s next for the band? Any releases? Shows? Collaborations?
Nic: No idea. Hopefully.
Ian: Yus, we need to write a lot, so we can make a vibe happen.
Simon L: Yeah we just need to write a lot.
DYD: Many people have called Michael the “Yoko Ono of the band”, what’s your take on this?
Nic: No one really knows Michael. He doesn’t like to admit he’s in the band or has a sister.
Ian: Adrian! I was joking. Mike is kak rude sometimes, but that’s just Mike and he doesn’t mean it. Also, Mike’s a bit better at singing than Yoko.
DYD: Quick fire questions: R Kelly or Beyoncé?
Ian: Oh wow, obvz B. R Kelly is a gross dirty ew.
Simon L: Beyoncé.
DYD: Tumblr or Twitter?
Ian: Ummm. Yeah, okay agreed. But Tumblr’s also SO great.
Simon L: Twitter.
DYD: Sneakers or Snapbacks?
Simon L: Sneakers.
DYD: Beach or Braai?
Ian: I hate sand and I love food.
Simon L: Beach braai. Why not both?
DYD: Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z?
Ian: Yeah, obvz. (http://soundcloud.com/desert_he-d/pokemon–theme-song-desert_head?in=desert_he-d/sets/desert_head-reemikses)
Simon L: POKÉMON.
DYD: Are there any pre/post performance rituals that you engage in?
Ian: What’s ELE? I pee like 6 times before. Then we huddle like a sports team.
Nic: Everybody Love Everybody. I thought this was a well-known thing, maybe just Tom [Tom Kotze from Al Bairre] then.
DYD: Great, that’s a wrap. Any last words for your fans and the readers?
Nic: You are my fire, my one desire. Believe me when I say, “I want it that way”.
Ian: Everyone, let’s be nice to each other. And stop using Hotmail and always click ‘Reply All’.
Simon L: I use Hotmail.
This interview was conducted by Adrian Martens. We have featured him before under his music alias, Phosphene.