How do you make an album for the iPod generation? If your Dragonette's Dan Kurtz, you don't. You just pick the sounds and melodies that move you, hit the studio, and when you come out with a dozen of songs, you're done. It's this spontaneous spirit that's helped propel Dragonette from local Canadian sensation to global dance-rock superstars in little more than five years. The band's latest album, Fixin' To Thrill, combines singer Martina Sorbara's brash and sexy pipes with catchy riffs and rock drums that should make Dragonette's gig Friday at the Glass House a particularly explosive one. (After all, Kurtz and Sorbara are married.) In this interview, Kurtz talks about his love for Abbey Road, working with Cyndi Lauper, and how Dragonette amp up their live sound to go head and shoulders above other synth-pop soundalikes.
OC Weekly (Rich Thomas): You've picked some interesting songs to feature on your Myspace. Fixin' To Thrill has these aggressive, Justice-like synth patterns, but there's an electric banjo jamboree thing going on in “Gone Too Far.”
Dan Kurtz: I do read people's comments about us being all over the map, sometimes in a positive way and sometimes in a negative way. I think the only reason we do it the way we do it is because we're not strategic enough songwriters to go, “This is the range inside which we work.” I listened to a Deadmau5 record the other day and I was like, “Wow, this is so consistently him from track to track,” and that's really amazing. I wouldn't be able to do that. I wouldn't know what sound palette to pick for 12 songs, and to have confidence that I could keep people's interests for that long. Clearly lots of people can, and maybe that's something we'll arrive at, but at the moment it's, “Throw it at the wall, see what sticks, and when we make 12 of those you have a record.” That's the strategy. It's hard to not accept the fact that the album is dead. I'd love to write an Abbey Road, but I don't think many people have the patience to even listen to records that long anymore. And so, in a way, you don't really run the risk of creating something that's so disjointed from track to track.
Dragonette performs with headliner Little Bootsand Class Actress at the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us. Fri., 7 p.m. (doors). $15. All ages.