Self-Portrait: Vincent Neff of Django Django | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, January 30th, 2023  

Self-Portrait: Vincent Neff of Django Django

In Fashion

Mar 10, 2021 Photography by Vincent Neff Web Exclusive
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For our recurring Self-Portrait feature, we ask musicians to take a self-portrait photo (or paint/draw a self-portrait) and write a list of personal things about themselves, things that their fans might not already know about them. This Self-Portrait is by Vincent Neff, frontman of Django Django.

The British four-piece released their latest album, Glowing in the Dark, last month via Because Music. Glowing in the Dark is the band’s fourth album, the follow-up to 2018’s Marble Skies and Winter’s Beach EP. A press release says Glowing in the Dark “has a running theme of escape: from despair, from constraints, from small town life, and even, in dreams, from the Earth.”

Django Django also features producer/drummer David Maclean, bassist Jimmy Dixon, and synthesizer operator Tommy Grace. The album’s “Waking Up” also features guest vocals from Charlotte Gainsbourg. A remix of the album’s “Spirals” was also done by MGMT and Hot Chip did a remix of title track “Glowing in the Dark.”

Above is Neff’s self-portrait photo. Read on as he writes about a learning disability, a famous fan, and nearly missing an important life event.

1. My hometown of Derry was a really musical city. Schools put pupils in for city-wide singing and poetry competitions almost in a mandatory way every Easter. The reviewers were brutal, even for the kid’s sections. You had to learn to be quite thick-skinned.

2. I was diagnosed with quite bad dyslexia when I was 20. It was both a curse and a gift. I was academically terrible at school. So instead I just played guitar and wrote songs, which I guess kind of leads me to where I am now.

3. Karl Lagerfeld said we were his favorite band at one point. He invited us to play at the Chanel after party during Paris fashion week. Hailing from Derry, Dundee, and Morley we felt like we’d just landed on another planet. The bold and the beautiful all dressed in black. Karl watched on from a little balcony with his customary shades and black leather gloves completely motionless. Even now it feels like it was a strange dream.

4. I nearly missed my kid’s birth whilst playing a show in Newcastle. She was a month premature. After the gig, I had a weird feeling and asked the band to travel through the night to get into London in the early hours. Nobody was super happy about it. We all got in that morning, totally knackered and soon after my partner went into labor.

5. On the first night of a European tour Dave and myself had a half mock/half-real wrestling match on the tour bus. I inadvertently fractured some of his ribs and put the whole tour at risk as we weren’t sure if he could drum. I felt really bad. He bravely kept soldiering on, dosed up on strong painkillers.

6. We played with Africa Express quite a few times over the years. They teamed us up to collaborate with artists from all over Africa. There were some amazing musicians there, many who potentially hadn’t had the opportunities we had, but were way more talented. It was humbling.

www.djangodjango.co.uk

Read our 2018 interview with Django Django on Marble Skies.

Also read our 2012 interview with Django Django and our 2015 interview with the band.

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