Quickie Interview: Japandroids' David Prowse

Quickie Interview: Japandroids' David Prowse

Finish this sentence: "In June 2009, I was...."

Well, if you're one of the two members of the Vancouver-based rock duo Japandroids, you've been on tour since then. In anticipation of their full-length Post-Nothing, Japandroids guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse hit the road in support of their upcoming debut. Now, nearly sixteen months later they're still on the road, having played nearly 250 shows in more than 20 different countries.

With a show this coming Sunday at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa (playing alongside PS I Love You and Makeout Videotape) the fellas are spreading the word of their upcoming 7". Available November 16th on Polyvinyl Records, the single features an A-side of the single "Heavenward Grand Prix" and a B-side cover of PJ Harvey's "Shame."

Heard Mentality caught up with drummer David Prowse while on the road for a Quickie.
OC Weekly (Justin Shady): You've been on the road with a pretty hectic schedule for over a year now. Has touring lost a bit of its luster since June 2009, or do you still prefer the road to the studio?

David Prowse: Touring is still awesome. There are times when you get tired and need a break, but being in a touring band is pretty great. We both love travelling and we both love playing shows, so life is good on the road. It's still as enjoyable now as it was last year; in fact, I think we might be having more fun now than we were then.

You only have one full-length to your credit so far, but you've had a lot of success with smaller releases, most notably your EPs and 7" singles. Why did you decide to release music in this way rather than head back to the studio and concentrate on a full-length sophomore release?

The single series was our way of releasing music while still touring like crazy. We didn't want to turn down any of the shows we were being offered, so we just decided to record a little bit every time we came home. It's been busy, but it's great to have some new songs to play and still get to travel all over the place.

With that series of 7" singles, do you have a catalog of music you choose from for your A-sides? Or did you record "Heavenward Grand Prix" knowing it would be a 7" release?
I actually didn't hear "Heavenward Grand Prix" until about a week before we went in to record it. We were planning on having a different song be our third single, and then decided to try and record this song as well. Then we ended up finishing this song and being really happy with it, so we shelved the other song for the time being. Recording is weird that way: You'll go in with a plan, but then something totally unexpected will happen. Somehow things still seem to work out.

For the single's B-side you covered PJ Harvey's "Shame." What is it about Harvey's original track that interested you in covering it? 

That was a fun one to do because it has the same basic elements as our band--guitar, drums and vocals--but the atmosphere and mood of the song is so different from any of our songs. It was a fun one to try and make our own, and I think it turned out pretty well. It's such a great song, so it would take a lot for us to fuck it up.

The buzz of Japandroids has been growing steadily over the past few years, but the last year has been very good to guys. Do you still have those moments of "Holy shit... we get paid to do this"?
I just had one of those "holy shit" moments a couple of days ago when we played the Filmore in San Francsico. It was just an utterly beautiful room with such a rich history. It was pretty surreal to get on that stage and play where so many amazing musicians have played.

You're winding down 2010 with this tour and your new 7". What can fans expect from you in 2011? 
A new record.

Initially, you contemplated making Japandroids a trio, but eventually settled on keeping the band a duo. Is adding to the lineup still something you still might consider down the line, or do you prefer keeping it just the two of you?
Yeah, neither of us can sing particularly well, but eventually we just got impatient trying to find someone to sing. We've gotten very comfortable playing as a two-piece, but it could be fun to have people contribute to songs sometime down the road. I wouldn't expect us to start touring as a three-piece any time soon though.

What can fans expect on this tour that they might not have seen/heard from you before?
We finally got a sound guy on tour with us so we can be as loud as we want!

Who: Japandroids w/ PS I Love You and Makeout Videotape
Where: Detroit Bar
Cost: $12

Visit DetroitBar.com for more info.


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