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Superfood for Thought

Dom Ganderton of Superfood chats to Hatti Linnell about getting a band together, touring and the stresses that come with making an album.

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Superfood – 2

"I'm going to try and find somewhere quiet. We're in this massive warehouse that's been done up, we're the only band in here at the moment but it just kind of echoes around. It's hard to get somewhere quiet but ... I'm in the toilet."

The man speaking is in fact Dom Ganderton, the frontman of indie band Superfood. Formerly known as Junk, the four-piece is made up of bassist Emily Baker, drummer Carl Griffen and guitarist Ryan Malcolm. As one of the latest in a string of Brummie bands that have become nationally prominent recently, Superfood have been gaining attention at a steady rate, as multiple appearances on bands to watch in 2014 lists have shown.
"We've been a band for about a year and three months now, so I guess for that long we've been trying to be the next big thing. I think those kind of lists are a blessing and curse...if you get on that list there's so much expectation, especially the BBC Sound list and stuff. Looking at the lists gone by and thinking about who's actually made a massive impact, not many of them do. I think with so much hype and stuff it's hard to keep your head down and work it slowly. But it's good if people are saying that."

The band's exciting sound was born from relatively unexciting beginnings, Ganderton tells me: "We all met at various stages in a circle of mates, pretty much just going out and drinking. With Ryan, I knew that we both played music. We said that we were going to get together for ages and every time we saw each other out we'd just be drunk and shouting in each other's ears like 'we've got to get a band together!" He goes on to explain "Then it took about a year and a half for it to finally happen. It was ridiculous. But we had a lot of thinking time so that was good. Emily was one of my mate's girlfriends. We needed a bassist and we were at a party and I saw her playing 'Wonderwall' on a guitar. A lot of people were already taken up in other bands, so we just put a bass around her neck and said, 'you've got to learn how to play this." But from this, the band's sound has evolved to form the basis for their first album.

However, the music-making process in the band is not as simple as it might appear from the finished product. "It doesn't have any themes as such, it's basically about not doing anything, just sitting around, in a crap job, in Birmingham. It's kind of ironic that they're out, and we're actually touring all the time. I don't know if they have that much force...I guess they still do." Are the band excited about the release? "Yeah I can't wait. Because it's such a stress getting it together, getting everything mixed properly and sounding good. But I'm going to be happy when all the mixing's over and it's pressed and we've got the artwork, that's it, bang. Then we can forget about the whole mixing process, and just listen to it as an album. I love recording so much, but it's when you're into it and you care about the way details like snares sound, you end up tearing your hair out. Some bands are cool as fuck and put down one take, mix it, and then you hear it on iTunes. And then you get other people who are really finicky about things, and we're definitely in that camp. I wish I wasn't. But it's so rewarding at the end."

Aside from stress in the studio, the band have been up to plenty of other hijinks. "We've got the album pretty much finished, it's going to be out in June hopefully. It's going to be exciting, then we can start touring properly for a year or so. I really want to go to Japan. I've been there on holiday, and I really want to go back, any excuse. That's the only reason I'm in a band, to go back to Japan. Then on the last day I'm going to hide in one of those pod things...I'm just going to sleep there for three days till they can't find me. Get accidentally stuck in Japan."
He continues "Paris was kind of funny as well because it was Emily's birthday, we didn't have a hotel but we obviously wanted to get drunk, so we kind of just parked up in the middle of Paris, in our tiny little van in the busiest street in the city. I woke up the next morning and got out of the van in my boxers in the middle of the street with a massive hangover. That was pretty awful. But I really hope we get to tour Europe soon, I've done it with a few other bands, I went with Peace when they toured Europe and it was so much fun. I really want to go round again and go to Berlin.'

You can definitely spot the influence of bands like the Clash, Led Zeppelin and the Cribs in Superfood's music, but the band have their own new spin which makes their songs instantly loveable. A personal favourite is 'Melting'; its frustrating lyrics coupled with an addictive riff make it stick inside your head. It's definitely worth a listen and builds excitement for the band's forthcoming debut album.

You can see Superfood on tour across the UK supporting Wolf Mother starting this week.

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