Superfood are back, but they’re not the same band they were on their debut. Signed to Dirty Hit, their second album ‘Bambino’ is ready to cause a stir.
Published: 8:58 am, September 07, 2017
“There was a time when we were recording, and we had a moment where we just didn’t know if we were going to finish it,” recalls Superfood frontman Dom Ganderton. “We were standing on our balcony listening to Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’, and because we were such a mess at that moment, we just listened to the whole song in silence. Just a minute ago, we were chatting about that - and how it feels so good to see an actual tracklisting together up and people can actually pre-order the thing.”
‘Ol Blue Eyes himself sums up the spirit of Superfood far better than any motion picture could. There was doubt, they ate it up and spit it out, and now they have one of the most stunning reinventions of the past few years written under their own banner. The story of Superfood’s road to ‘Bambino’ is one paved with detours, late-nights in North London and an unfiltered dive into the unknown - a record that could very easily have ended up in the trash files on their computers and remained a mystery to the world. At its heart above all else, is the relationship between Dom and partner-in-crime Ryan Malcolm, a connection that radiates from the pair from the moment they start chatting. It’s more than simply music; it’s a bond that serves as the lifeblood of what Superfood is and the endless potential of what they can be.
Harking back to all-nighters and ‘dirty warehouse raves in Birmingham’, Dom and Ryan can remember those early days like the back of their hands. “You know he was a professional football player before?!” bursts Dom, turning to Ryan. “I just find that so mad that you had this whole life of training, being the sports guy and then it was like you heard The Strokes and went *click*.”
“I mean, semi-pro,” points out Ryan. “I remember listening to The Strokes and thinking, ‘Oh my god, this is sick’.”
“The leather jacket came on straight away,” laughs Dom. “But yeah, when we were living in Birmingham there were like 50 kids all going out to the same two bars every weekend, and everyone was in bands, and everyone was doing stuff. Me and Ryan would see each other, and every time at like two in the morning we’d be saying, ‘Mate, we need to get together man and do this!’ And that just went on for months. Then one night, I went back to his flat after a night out and just started jamming, and no exaggeration we jammed for like eight hours - until like 2pm the next day.”
“Everyone in my flat would be poking their heads in to see if we were alright,” jumps in Ryan, “but we were still playing away.”
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Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett / Dork[/caption]
They both erupt into laughter, and it’s in that emotion that Superfood in 2017 find themselves. Two best mates enjoying the music and good times, clinking glasses and running through memories at the drop of a dime with an album they’ve been itching to make from the moment they met. Throwing away the shackles of restraint that coated itself around their self-titled debut album, it’s a marked difference in style and attitude that sees the pair finally making the music they’ve always wanted to make, a natural opening to a world of unabashed freedom and genre-blending euphoria that hits from the very first taste. It’s a new beginning, one that sits as a debut album in its own right in all but name.
“Musically, we just naturally did what we wanted and weren’t being held down,” details Dom, “but in our own heads we were battling with that thought of, ‘Have we lost the plot here?’ Because when we’d show it to people right at the start, some didn’t know how to take it in. From now on with us two, we’ve proven that we can do something different and kinda broken out of that mould around us. Now it’s like, right, if you stick to what you’re doing and be weird and be yourself it just comes across as so much better.”
“That’s something I’m really happy about as well,” continues Ryan, “It’s all so natural, nothing is forced or pushed in there, and I think that’s really important.”
Looking back to that mould that they found themselves in with their debut, it’s a time that both Dom and Ryan see as a rushed burst from the gate. ‘Superfood’ was a whirlwind that took them on a manic run around the country with loud flurries of Britpop chimes - and the lessons learnt from that time meant that their next step needed to be bold and distant, embracing the aspects that both Dom and Ryan needed to incorporate. That feeling of unrestricted unison that came with their jamming sessions in each other's flats in Birmingham during those early days, and one undeniably of their own.
“It was very of its time,” pinpoints Dom, summarising those early years. “It was of that moment. It was going just so fast, and we were playing all of these gigs. It was just the way things were, and we didn’t really think it out from the get-go, just rushed really. I think I’m kinda glad it happened like that because if it didn’t happen, we probably wouldn’t have the people and fans we have now, but it was definitely a learning curve.
“It’s just annoying that we sat for three of four years with a debut album that we didn’t really fully back, and it got to the point where it all just ran out of steam. Our hearts weren’t really in what we were doing, and I think we made it difficult for ourselves in a way because we could have just carried on and hammered out another album that would have been quite similar.”
After touring subsided, Dom and Ryan found themselves in a situation where they had no idea where things were heading for Superfood. Left to their own devices and with no clear end goal in sight, they retreated to what they knew best. Building on Dom’s years of bedroom producing (“I became known as that guy at Uni who could come and produce demos and all that”), they began playing around in the shared flat they lived in, blending strange ideas and sounds into the music that they wanted to make. It wasn’t about time; it wasn’t about fitting into any sort of bracket - it was about Superfood simply creating.
“It was just trial and error the whole thing,” notes Dom. “When we started recording again, it was firstly for ourselves, and we agreed to just take our time on things. We were living together so we’d be working on songs till like six in the morning and then wake up after that at about two in the afternoon, get breakfast and jump right back in. We ended up recording drums in an old button factory in Stoke Newington, and it didn't have a toilet, just a compost version that you had to fill with hay, so it was hard to force ourselves out of our place and spend hours there.”
“There was no end goal to it too; we had no idea if we were ever going to finish these songs or where they’d end up or if they would ever be released.”
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