It has been quite the year for pop rock outfit Dance, You’re on Fire. They started off by snatching the award for Best Indie at the MK Awards and then added a new band member to their line-up. Recently, the band released their second album, Light Repeating, revealing an edgier, mature sound than that of their debut album, Secret Chiefs. Perdeby caught up with frontman Tom Manners to chat about the new direction which Dance, You’re on Fire’s sound has taken, worrying less about creating radio hits, and hitting the road on tour again.
You’ve just released your second album, Light Repeating. What has the response to it been like so far?
The response has been great so far! We’ve had a lot of people tell us that it’s a little different, but that they definitely prefer it to Secret Chiefs. Overall, we’re just proud to have new material out.
You guys have definitely steered your music in a different direction with the new album. To what do you owe this change?
I think it’s just a natural progression. When writing Light Repeating, we found that we were challenging ourselves a little more and worrying less about what would sound good on the radio. In essence, we made the record we wanted to make – the fact that it sounds a little different from Secret Chiefs can be primarily attributed to time between releases and perhaps growing as musicians over the years.
Which song on Light Repeating best describes the direction you guys are taking Dance, You’re on Fire in and why?
I don’t think there is a single song that can really describe the direction, and that’s really the point of the album as a whole. There’s a lot more variation on Light Repeating when compared to Secret Chiefs – it’s probably what I’m most proud of in this release.
Light Repeating has a pretty great album cover. What was the concept behind it?
The album art was conceptualised by Jacques Kleynhans of Zoology, who suggested we do a very minimalist shoot of a model on whom we were projecting images of light, or images which had something to do with light. We were ridiculously happy with the result.
Jacques du Plessis recently joined the Dance, You’re On Fire line-up. How did the addition of a new band member come about?
We’ve known Jacques for years and he’s played in bands with us before. He wanted to get back into playing music live and we were open to the idea. We weren’t really looking for another member – we just love Jacques so much that we brought him into the fold, and he’s made a massive difference.
How do you think your sound has benefited from having Jacques in the band?
Live, we’ve benefitted hugely. Jacques is an extremely talented musician and he’s really helped us fill out our sound a lot more onstage.
You guys signed with Just Music a few months ago. Has this in any way influenced the music you have made on Light Repeating?
No, it hasn’t because we actually wrote and recorded the album before submitting to Just. We’re over the moon to be with them though – Karl and his team are the hardest working people in the music industry, hands down.
You guys seem to make songs that are perfect for radio, with “Speak To Me” currently doing quite well on the 5FM Top 40. What do you think makes a good radio-friendly tune?
Thanks. I think a good radio-friendly tune depends on two things: melody and a solid structure. If you have those, you’re on your way.
You’ve already brought out a music video for the first single “Speak To Me”. When can fans expect the second music video “Carry You” and are there any other music videos on the way?
We’ve actually just completed the video for “Carry You” and we recently shot a live EPK at SABC studios which we’re really excited about – watch this space.
What’s next for Dance, You’re On Fire?
We’re just looking forward to getting back into touring. We took a six-month break in early 2012 to write and record the album and we’re absolutely itching to hit the road and play some shows again.
Photo: Hanro Havenga