Friday, April 24, 2009

My Dear Disco

Detroit/Ann Arbor band My Dear Disco plays Lansing tonight. Here's a story on the group!

My Dear Disco's mad fusion; Michigan band is an indie music rollercoaster

By Anne Erickson (originally published on

Stick a bagpipe player with an electro-disco rock band and you've got My Dear Disco - one of the most buzzed-about acts in Detroit and Ann Arbor. Genre-bending doesn't do justice to describe the band's sound. It's more like an indie music rollercoaster, fusing pop, techno, funk and rock, with Michelle Chamuel's fuzzed-out vocals. Wherever there's monotony, My Dear Disco will be there to meet it head-on, with a punk-filled new-wave tune or a funk-rave lick. And it's music to make you dance.

Curious? My Dear Disco plays Friday night at Club Rush.

We chatted with Tyler Duncan, 23, who plays the synthesizer, tenor saxophone and Irish bagpipes in the band.

• Anne: How did you get the idea to use bagpipes in My Dear Disco?

• Duncan: I grew up playing bagpipes, and even though I play mostly synthesizers in the band, on some songs it's fun to do something that fits our sound but uses the bagpipe as one of our instruments. So it kind of happens simply because I can play them. I modify them to be electronic, so they plug in like an electric guitar. It's funny, when bagpipes are plugged in, it's a screaming hot signal that sounds really similar to an electric guitar. Sometimes I'll hear a guitar solo blasting out from somebody's car and I'll think I'm hearing bagpipes.

• Anne: You guys call your music "dancethink." How did you come up with that term?

• Duncan: When we were starting out, people would always ask us, "What kind of music do you play?" We could never give them a straight answer, and listing off genres and influences wasn't really helping anybody understand what we play. So we were like, "Let's just think up something to call our music." The term "dancethink" means we're striving to find the balance between music that's as effective on the dance floor as it is in headphones. We strive for groovy, funky, danceable and high-energy stuff, but also music that's as compositionally innovative as classical music or jazz, taking into account harmony and melody.

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