Championed by many a music tastemaker, including BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne, Warriors of the Distotheque are an alternative-indie band with a unique sound. Their list of influences is exhaustive, all playing a part in creating a real cocktail of styles. You ca hear it below, and get to know what makes them tick thanks to our interview with band member Jonny Mac.
- Where and when did you first discover your interest in music?
Being around my cousins in Northern Ireland when I was about 7 or 8 so the early 80’s, I was exposed to lots of good music as a kid like The Specials ,SLF, The Jam and loads of good punk and Ska. From that my first ever single was The Specials – Ghost Town, which I gotta say I’m quite proud of cause some guys I know have the worst imaginable introduction to music.
Around this time I was attending the local youth club and at that young age I had such a passion for music that I went on to be the DJ at all their discos. As a result I then had access to so much music of that time. As the years went by I began to expand my musical pallet and got into the sounds of Depeche Mode The Smiths, New Order & then by the late 80”s Acid House and The Happy Mondays & Stone Roses . By 95 I’d been massively into Indie Industrial & Electronica like PWEI, EMF, Carter USM, NIN, Ministry, Therapy?, Helmet ,The Prodigy, Sheep on Drugs and Orbital, but it was when I discovered Portishead & The Chemical Brothers that I bought some decks and never looked back, I have spent the last 15 years DJ’n alongside many of the world’s top artists.
- What are your main ambitions in the industry?
We really just want to keep on enjoying writing the music we love and experimenting, hopefully a few tours and festivals as well as some WotD DJ gigs, but ultimately making people happy and what will be will be I guess.
- When did you start writing your own songs/music?
When I was 14 I bought a bass guitar and my good friend Maxi bought a Roland U20 synth and a sequencer, from then we spent years writing all sorts from Indie metal and Industrial. Actually, we formed a band with another mate Billy Kerr called Apathy International back in the early 90’s and we sent a demo off to Future Music Magazine, we were the 1st band to appear on the free CD they gave away, actually it was the first CD they ever gave away. Incubus was the track, looking back we were full of teenage angst!!
- What would you say is your music career highlight to date?
As a band we haven’t even all met with us being an internet project! We’ve got Mike & Nick in New York, Sean between Coventry & France & myself in Ireland so we’ve not even rehearsed as a band and do everything online by uploading stems to a folder and adding to them from there. But as a DJ I Jonny Mac have spent 15 years on the DJ scene all across the globe. 2000 & 2001 V-Festival 2001 to 2003 worldwide DJ tour alongside Leeroy Thornhill (Prodigy) with residencies in several Ibiza venues during the summer of 03, also that year I did 12 weeks as support DJ alongside Shaun Ryder & Bez (Happy Mondays) Groove Harder / Get Loaded Tour, from 2003 to 2006 I did worldwide DJ tours with Phil Hartnoll (Orbital). I also I ran my Breaks night Frequency in Coventry, Birmingham and Leicester between 2000-06 which saw pretty much every major breaks act make a visit or two, with fellow band member Sean as a resident. The Rufolo’s perform as The Brothers Nylon and regularly play alongside the legendary Shawn Lee & AM and Sean DJ’s around the UK and in Coventry.
- Who will we hear in your songs? What are your influences?
Portishead, Massive Attack, Death In Vegas, Andrew Weatherall, Chemical Brothers, PWEI, LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Ennio Morricone, Lalo Schifrin, The Cramps, Link Wary, Unkle, Com Truise, Aphex Twin, Shawn Lee & Frank Zappa. If it’s deep, dark, dirty, experimental or lo-fi, then it’s probably influenced us. We like to take risks and do what we want. We also take a lot of influence from film, The Warriors, obviously, and other dystopia films like Mad Max, Bronx Warriors or 2019: After the Fall of New York. The band name came from the play on words “Dystopia” and “Discotheque” (or Bad/Wrong Library if you read it literally), with “Warriors” making it sound more like a film belonging to this era.
- What’s the most important thing you’d want to tell people about your current release?
‘Return to Coney’ Feat Ella Joy is a reference to the now cult ‘The Warriors’ movie, tracking back to the final scene where the protagonists make it back to Coney Island. “We actually wrote and named this song back in March 2015, but at the back end of last year the Warriors (original cast) actually returned to Coney after 36 years (Talk about good omens!)” The B-side, Escape from Coney, is a different take on the same base track. Think Ennio Morricone, a nod towards OST (Original Soundtrack), a re-telling of the journey in a musical form, which complements the original radio release. ‘Return to Coney’ comes with a select package of remixes. The first from rising star Miaoux Miaoux who delivers a straight up acidic party remix, filtering and raising into the perfect climax, perfect for any warehouse or club dance floor. Midland based industrial duo Attrition deliver a distorted intense yet ambient techno workout, a fitting nod to a dystopian background. Candi Bianca takes it all back to the house as she drops a stripped down tech groover that will rock any floor from sunrise to sunset… ‘Return to Coney’ on Tigre Fair records is the second release from the exciting ‘Warriors of the Dystotheque’. A delightful offering pay homage to the Cult Movie Classic ‘The Warriors’ And is available across all digital platforms from Friday March 4th and will also have a very limited run on 7” transparent vinyl. ‘Warriors come out to play’
- Who else can you recommend from your genre or local area for people to have a listen to?
Thats really hard cause we really don’t know what genre we are, but music that’s making us smile at the moment is from; Rationale, Hanami, Synkro, Maribou State Royal Blood & Jane Weaver.
- Any gigs coming up?
At this moment no and with the logistics involved it’s not something that can happen overnight but after this release and if the interest is there we will get together and make it happen for sure.
- Where can we find/follow you online?