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Divine Fits dream up colorful post-punk grooves
BY GARY CHUN / firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t call Divine Fits a “supergroup,” despite their highly regarded art-rock pedigree. The guys in the band think, however, that their music is pretty super.
Where: The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
When: 8 p.m. Monday
Info: 855-235-2867 or flavorus.com
Dispose of any preconceptions of how you think Divine Fits would sound, too — as the new music made by the four-man band is not directly like anything made by its members before.
Frontmen Britt Daniel of indie-rock favorite Spoon and Dan Boeckner — formerly of synth-adopting, indie-rocking Canadian band Wolf Parade and the duo Handsome Furs — bring an appealing sonic palette of classic 1980s synth textures with a cool, but not cold, minimalist touch.
The group is rounded out by drummer Sam Brown, formerly of New Bomb Turks, and keyboardist Alex Fischel.
Even the band’s name is meant to have an abstract feel. “It’s a combination of different words we like,” said Daniel by phone last month from Los Angeles before the band’s departure east for a Pacific Rim tour. “It’s the same approach the guys in Spoon and I got the album title ‘Gimme Fiction.’ We knew we wanted the word ‘gimme.’ What I liked about that title and this band’s name is that they both sound good and look good on paper.”
Daniel and Boeckner formed the band early last year after meeting at a Handsome Furs show.
Handsome Furs were a well-traveled duo from Montreal made up of Boeckner and his wife, partial to synths and glammed-up, dramatic music videos (which have included noirish, naked sex scenes).
Boeckner’s other previous band, Wolf Parade, had been signed to Seattle label Sub Pop, earned a 2006 Polaris Prize nomination for debut album “Apologies to the Queen Mary,” and had a song recorded by Canada’s Victoria Symphony.
“I liked Dan’s presence, based on seeing him as part of Handsome Furs. He really goes for it,” Daniel said. “When I invited him to sing with Spoon at our Radio City Music Hall concert in New York City, I loved to see him beaming onstage. That was kind of cool, plus I love his records and that he’s a really great songwriter.
“We became buddies, so it all added up,” Daniel said. “It’s great to know a guy who still knows how to rock and roll.”
The buzz surrounding the L.A.-recorded debut album “A Thing Called Divine Fits” has been positive, including the band’s enthusiastically received TV network debut on “Late Show with David Letterman” in mid-November, playing the lean and muscular “Baby Get Worse,” which features both Daniel and Boeckner on vocals.
The album, on Merge Records, was produced by Nick Launay, who’s worked on notable post-punk projects by groups ranging from Killing Joke and Birthday Party to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire and Grinderman.
“Initially, we didn’t have any idea what our sound would be like,” Daniel said. “It was just taking me, Dan and Sam — three people who have made a lot of records on their own — and bringing us together and see what we could do that was uniquely our own. And for the music to be as good as can be.
“In Spoon, I’m the guy who sings and writes all the songs, so doing Divine Fits appealed to me.
“The band has two different writers and two different points of view, so that affects the sound of the band,” Daniel said. “Dan and I first bought these Tempest analog drum machines, so we wrote a lot of songs on those machines. The basic sound had a synth bass groove, surrounded by ‘colors’ with a New Wave-y feel.”
Daniel said the band had been doing about a week’s worth of work on new songs before hitting the road, and that “we will be playing some of them on the Australian dates of this tour, and then heading to Hawaii.”
Once back on the mainland, Divine Fits has two gigs set for April 12 and 19 at the sold-out Coachella festival in California.
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