2013 Artist Survey: London Grammar

Dan Rothman and the Band on Embarrassing High School Moments, Being Caught Naked, Traveling in the TARDIS, and More

Feb 10, 2014 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar's 11th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the important issues of the last year, as well as some quirkier subjects. Check out our next print issue and digital issue for surveys from My Morning Jacket, Foals, Amanda Palmer, Local Natives, Wild Nothing, These New Puritans, Lanterns on the Lake, Xiu Xiu, and Summer Camp.

Here are answers from Dan Rothman of England's London Grammar (with a little input from his bandmates Hannah Reid and Dominic "Dot" Major). London Grammar's debut album, If You Wait, is out now on Metal & Dust/Columbia.

Top 10 Albums of 2013
 
1. Jon Hopkins: Immunity-An incredible electronic record, by arguably the most innovative producer in years.
2. Laura Mvula: Sing to the Moon-A beautifully original album.
3. Half Moon Run: Dark Eyes-Sounds like a cross between Fleet Foxes and Radiohead at times. Amazing harmonies.
4. The National: Trouble Will Find Me-Dark music at its best.
5. John Wizards: John Wizards-This album is completely bonkers.
6. James Blake: Overgrown-This album is brilliant. But goes in our Top 10 for "Retrograde" alone.
7. Bonobo: North Borders-Another great electronic album. Beautiful strings.
8. HAIM: Days are Gone-We were surprised at just how varied a record this is. Plus almost every song is filled with hooks.
9. Miley Cyrus: Bangerz-Just for being Miley.
10. Moderat: II-Great collaborations and combinations
 
What was the highlight of 2013, either for you personally or for the band?

Playing our first Glastonbury was a definite highlight. Also performing on Jools Holland was a real dream come true for us.

What was the low point of 2013 for you?

The stress before our very first show in March. It felt like we would crumble before it all had even begun.
 
What are your hopes and plans for 2014?

Our plan is to do a lot more touring and traveling. We also hope to spend some time writing and recording. When we are on the road we do very little writing so it's something we are very excited for.

What are your thoughts on the passing of Lou Reed? Did his music influence you at all and in what way?

It's very sad, he is undoubtedly a huge influence on every young artist. Even if you don't like his music directly his influence will have dripped down in another form.

What are your thoughts on music streaming services such as Spotify and Rdio? Are they good or bad for musicians?

This is an interesting debate particularly for us. Our music has not been made available on Spotify in the U.K. for a reason concerning our record company. Some people have argued that the reason our album has sold strong numbers in the U.K. has been because of this reason.... Having said that, Spotify is undoubtedly an amazing way of sharing music, which is never a bad thing. Like it always does, the music industry will evolve around it.

Who was the first person to break your heart? Whose heart did you first break?

Ryan Gosling....and Ryan Gosling.

What was your most embarrassing moment in high school?

I once fell in an open sewer, and smelled of shit for an entire school day.
 
Do bad reviews bother you and which negative review has affected you the most?

They did at first but it's something we have grown to love. Early on we were called a "polite XX." Well, we have met The XX and they are very polite people.
 
What moment in history do you most wish you could've witnessed in person?

The battle of Hastings. As a witness purely!
 
What is your favorite word and why?

"Bos"-our roadie Dougie is from Liverpool. He says it every other sentence.
 
Have you ever been caught naked by someone who you wish hadn't? Who was it?

A photographer's assistant walked in on Hannah changing the other day.

What's the weirdest/grossest thing you've ever eaten?

I don't eat anything weird or gross. I am very picky.
 
What's the biggest scam in the music industry today?

Pay-to-play gigs put on by lazy promoters.
 
What's the weirdest and/or worst place you've slept while on tour?

Anywhere and everywhere. Learning to sleep whenever possible is key on tour. Our tech Dougie regularly takes eight-minute "disco naps."
  
What was your favorite bedtime story as a child?

[Dominic "Dot" Major says] Not Now, Bernard or Goodnight, Moon.
 
With Pixies, David Bowie, Suede, and My Bloody Valentine releasing new music after years away from the studio, what rock icons would you like to see make another album?

It would be amazing for Led Zep to make another classic album. But John Bonham would have to be resurrected.
 
Doctor Who turned 50 in 2013. If you could travel in space and time with The Doctor in the TARDIS, where and when would you like to go?

I think the future is imperative here so it is impossible to think of a specific moment. Let's say 1000 years forward.
 
Who would you most like to sing at your funeral?

Hannah would love to bring Michael Jackson back for this.

www.londongrammar.com



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