Leeds Music Scene had a brief catch up with Angus McDonald, otherwise known as Black Angus, the chief songwriter of Sneaky Sound System.
Hello Black Angus from Sneaky Sound System. Where are you currently?
At home in sunny Sydney. Although right now it's more soggy Sydney.
How's the start of 2009 going thus far?
Pretty epic. The album in Oz is doing well, we're touring lots and the singles here that have been hemorrhaging incredible remixes and we're about to release our record around the world. So the year has been very UP... so far.
Did you know that one of you looks like Justin Lee Collins? Brilliant!
Haha! I'm sure Daimon will be thrilled. Personally I think he looks more like the Paddle Pop Lion. Do you have Paddle Pops in the UK? Please forgive my ignorance.
I have no idea what you are on about. Anyway, you hold the record for the longest running single in chart history back in Australia. How cool is that!?
Pretty damn cool, although I think Justin Timberlake broke our record last week so there goes that bragging story.
That pesky JT! Are you pleased with the singles success though?
Of course, why wouldn't we be? I Love It was the first song we ever recorded together so it has that special 'first time' feeling attached to it, if you know what I mean. Especially pleased that we snared a Fred Falke remix, and also big fans of the Bag Raiders and Beni remixes. Very pleased.
How's taking on the UK going? Do you think you will have similar success the other side of the world?
The crowds at our shows have been going bonkers and radio has been very generous, so I guess things are heading in the right direction. We were totally paranoid at first but the more time we've spent here the more relaxed we have become. You never know if your music will translate but so far it appears we're on the right track.
If Sneaky Sound System was a Jelly Bean, what colour and flavour would it be and why?
It would be orange in colour and orange in flavour because what you see is what you get... oh, and we have tang!
If people don't know what you and your music are about, how would you describe yourselves?
It's not for a bunch of dudes stroking their beards in the corner - this is no sausage party. It's music that has one foot in the club and one foot in the radio - yep it's music with two feet; and both those feet, they are moving. We're one part nostalgia to two parts future. One part electronica to two parts pop. I could go on...
Please do...? No...? Ok. Where did the name of the band come from?
Eight years ago there wasn't much happening on Sunday nights in Sydney so Double D and Black Angus decided to put on a night and we called it Sneaky Sundays. You can see the logic at work there. Angus was on the decks and Double D was the hype-man so Sneaky Sound System seemed like a reasonably apt name.
How did the band come together?
Well from that point, Double D and Angus did stuff together until one day they chanced upon Miss Connie singing in a park with a friend. Somehow Connie wasn't weirded out by two dodgy guys approaching her and she agreed to come to their studio, so here we are now.
Who would you love to perform or record with, past or present?
Prince, would be at the top of the list. I know Connie would choose Phil Collins in a heartbeat. I would be great to write a song with Robert Smith. I think I could come up with a list of 1000 people actually, from obscure to obvious. Should we do that some time?
We should. We could mould a second interview around that question I feel. I'll be in touch! Who are the best bands you've toured with so far and why?
Hot Chip - amazing and different every time. The Presets - because Kim is our speed. Robbie Williams - sheer scale. Scissor Sisters - they are lovely people.
Best venue you've played?
From stage, Koko in London is amazing but I don't think you can beat an outdoor festival stage about 1 hour before sunset.
What are you currently listening to on your mp3 player?
Don't use one anymore - I always end up giving them away but the last 5 songs I listened to on iTunes were: Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill, Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses (Beyond the Wizard Sleeve Mix), Todd Terje - Eurodans, Shuggie Otis - Strawberry Letter 23 and Metronomy - A Thing For Me (Breakbot Remix).
Where do you find your influences?
Everywhere - past/future/present. We grew up on The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Human League, New Order, ELO, The Cars etc and have moved through Italo disco, French house, German techno, Brit pop, American soul, you name it! Somehow all of that runs through our musical veins and we come up with something else.
What do you miss the most when you're on the road?
That's easy - decent food.
Are you looking forward to your dates playing the UK in March?
Can't wait. The UK has always treated us very well and each tour has been better than the last. It has become our home away from home, so we're starting to feel quite comfortable now - we hope you don't mind.
Not at all. Move in all you want. Some quick fire questions: Tea or coffee?
English Breakfast Tea.
Summer or winter?
Angus/Double D go for summer. Connie is Winter.
Superman or Batman?
Badman - that's what I used to call him when I was a little boy.
Possibly the most important question now, Reading or Leeds?
Nice - a trick question! Leeds. Much better football team, better looking birds and The Who.
And finally, what's next on the agenda for Sneaky Sound System?
We finally release our record in your part of the world then tour, tour, tour. So far we've booked the UK, US, Australia, Spain, Germany... basically everywhere. We'll be doing lots of shows so come and find us.
Thank you for your time Angus! And good luck!