WORDS: OTTO BALFOUR
Fresh from signing a deal with the legendary Parlophone Records, Dinosaur Pile Up have just released their highly anticipated fourth studio album, Celebrity Mansions. Following the release of 2015’s critically acclaimed 11:11, Discovered spoke with Matt Bigland (guitar, vocals), to gain an in depth peek behind the curtain into the world of Dinosaur Pile Up.
After a decade of relentless touring, writing and recording, DPU are one of the most dedicated and deserving bands to be offered the illustrious backing of such a revered label. Matt nodded to the “validation” of such an opportunity, he continued “from the outsider’s perspective, it’s a huge label, a great opportunity. You know, we’ve put our efforts into this band for a really long time, so on a personal level it’s like WHOA!”
“I wanted to embrace where we were and have a good time with it.”
To say that things are already looking on the up for DPU is an understatement. Having just supported Muse at their recent arena shows in Budapest and Vienna alongside gearing up to play the main stage at Download Festival, the skywards trajectory of the trio is undeniable.
“Where do we want this album to take us? Well, the same place we’ve wanted all our other records to take us!” Matt joked, “We want this album to allow us to keep on taking us further up our progression, I guess… and I have no doubt it will! We all absolutely love it, we’re all super proud of it, and if anything this record was really hard to make. We were really grinding to make this happen!” He digressed, “Touring our arses off everywhere for three/four solid years after 11:11, really going for it. Then towards the end of that, spending a year taking those ideas and turning them into this record. I think this is going to propel us to putting even more energy into taking this around the world and making it all worthwhile.”
The elation and passion about Celebrity Mansions is obvious in the tone of Matt’s voice. “It’s got everything we want from a record in terms of, you know, fun and heaviness, it’s all there but, maybe someone who wasn’t a Dinosaur fan could hear it and go, ‘OH SHIT that’s cool!” Matt shrugged, “If it was the last album we made, I didn’t want it to be depressing… I wanted to embrace where we were and have a good time with it.”
“wouldn’t it be sick if we threw something fucking weird in here.”
Contrasting DPU’s career with the rise of Instagram influencers and “bands that start after us, eclipse us immediately and then often end because they all fall out or whatever, it’s like WHAT THE FUCK?! Meanwhile we’re still going in the background” He commented “You’re always doing all this stuff, but it feels like you’re taking two steps forward, but three steps back. You’re never getting where you’re meant to be going.” He continued “There was just this feeling, while we were killing ourselves touring the US, that maybe this wasn’t going to happen, and I’m not saying we’ve made it or whatever, but we weren’t sure this record was even going to be made.”
Matt brushed upon their time in the studio with legendary producer and songwriter Larry Hibbett. “I’ve known him for ten years now, and we’ve always worked on little bits together all over the place.” He continued, “I got into the routine of, whenever I stumbled across a song I thought was great, the stuff I was excited about, I’d take it to Larry and we’d demo it. That’s how we came to do the album with him.” He chuckled, “The demos were just so fucking sick and we had such a good time doing it, so we thought, should we just carry on and do the record?” He continued, “The whole thing was fucking cool actually, it was just really organic in how it came about, and I think you can hear that. We kept that energy of having a laugh throughout the entire record. We were just getting… um, being…” Matt laughed, choosing his words carefully, “stupid… you know trying out stupid shit,” he continued through his chuckling “The songs were pretty much completely written when we got into recording them, so often we thought ‘wouldn’t it be sick if we threw something fucking weird in here.’ We’d try it just to see what happened, and most of that made it onto the record which is super cool!”
“I mean, if no-one connects with this one, we’re probably fucked!”
Thrash Metal Cassette, the first single and opening track to the album premiered on Daniel P Carter’s Radio 1 Rock Show, Matt recalls “I was so used to being in a band that isn’t in the mainstream and not having that sort of luck. So us getting played on Radio 1 to start with is a fucking mindblower!” Matt adds, “It’s the kind of song you want to put on at a house party, crush fifteen beers and mosh in the living room to… That’s how we felt when we all listened to the demo!”
Giving an insight into the last twelve months of his life, Matt mentioned “I wrote so much for this record. You know, I was stood in my flat in my boxers writing tunes for days on end. I just wanted to give us the best shot of people connecting with the songs.” On a light hearted note, Matt concluded by joking “I mean, if no-one connects with this one, we’re probably fucked!”
Celebrity Mansions is out now via Parlophone Records.