We talk to December Streets about their new musical direction and the two new music videos for their latest single Stay By Me.
DYD: We’ve been listening to you for years and it’s been interesting watching your sound evolve. Can you talk us through your latest sound? What influenced the change and where do you think it is heading?
December Streets: In my opinion, the music you create is a product of a great many things, largely the person you are at the time and the space you are in. Over the years we have grown as musicians and individuals, experiencing many things. Some great, some terrible, and I think that has shaped us and the music we enjoy creating. The new sound we are exploring has a much more dynamic and powerful sound to it vs. the typical college funk we are known for. We won’t ever move away from that catchy sound, but we have pushed it naturally into a bigger, more insightful direction.
DYD: How have fans responded to the change?
December Streets: I think we were naturally a little nervous to introduce our listeners to our new direction, but definitely more excited! There has been such an awesome response, and you know it’s good when it is getting attention overseas too haha.
DYD: We’ve always wanted to know where you got your name from. Care to explain?
December Streets: It began with the tale of 3 wolves, abandoned by their pack, who were forced to migrate out of the Magaliesburg Mountains and find refuge in the suburbs of Pretoria. As a way to not scare people and form a disguise, they started a band called The December Streets. (They had chosen the December holidays to migrate in, as the streets would be empty and they could sneak in unnoticed). Thus, the name was born. They then watched the Facebook movie The Social Network one Sunday afternoon, and drawing inspiration from JT decided to drop the The, leaving us with the current name December Streets.
DYD: Stay By Me sounds like such a happy and catchy song but the lyrics paint a different picture. Was there a thought process that created the difference?
December Streets: That’s very well picked up. When I write lyrics, I try to leave them open to interpretation, which is why Stay By Me can be interpreted as a happy love song. But for those like yourselves with a keen ear will notice that the words are a bit darker. It revolves around the loneliness of meaningless encounters during a heartbreak. Life in general feeling a little meaningless at the time.
DYD: You had a very interesting open music video shoot concept for Stay By Me. What was it like working with Run Jump Fly and the public to create the videos for Part 1 and Part 2 of the song?
December Streets: It was really an incredible experience. The guys from Run Jump Fly really knew what they were doing (or seemed to haha). In Part 1 there was such a creative high energy on the set, everyone ready to create something awesome! It was so cool to see how many people pitched up to be part of the video. Two of the beautiful people that arrived on the evening are the two dancers in Part 2. We decided to shoot a separate video for them, and on that set we just sat with our mouths on the floor in awe.
DYD: Can you tell us about your favourite performance to date?
December Streets: There have been so many incredible shows, but the ultimate will have to be opening for The Kooks in Cape Town for the 5 Gum experience. Thinking back it’s still such an excitement blur! Five thousand people going mad, getting to meet the band and being in Cape Town. It was ridiculous actually.
DYD: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
December Streets: We are going on tour baby! Heading down the Western Cape with our friends Al Bairre and the Plastics who will be joining us at some shows. Soviet is sponsoring an amazing tour where we will head to places like Cape Town, Hermanus, St. Francis, Jbay, Pretoria and more!