• Elaine Genest

A Chat With: Declan Mckenna

We had the chance to sit down and chat with Declan Mckenna about his debut album What Do You Think About The Car? just before his Toronto show, and got some cool insights on his career at such young age. This United-Kingdom sweetheart unveils his thoughts and opinions about touring, meaning behind the lyrics and definitely some quirky UK expressions.

How has the tour been so far? How do you keep all of this energy going?

It's been cool you know, I mean this is a relatively short tour though. Its on the back of a lot of promo and stuff and the back of the album, touring around the earth, so it’s been good! It obviously does get tiring and you kinda get to a point where you're just like constantly somewhat "jaded" but yeah you just power through it and it’s been really enjoyable and smooth and it hasn't been too rough as these things can be.

Can you tell us you most crazy tour story?

Am I allowed to tell you the most crazy story? Haha, the other week was kind of crazy, it was kind of just an act of nature but like at Lollapalooza it was the maddest thing I’ve ever seen! I’d never seen a festival have everyone completely evacuated, that was kind of wild. We were jut chilling and we were standing under these tents, just hanging out with a bunch of other bands who were there, and then they were trying to evacuate us and we were thinking ‘what the hell, its just raining, theres nothing to it’ and suddenly there was a massive storm and they took Muse off stage and basically got evacuated, and we ended up sat in the back of this buggy waiting while its pissing rain! Me and Ryan, the keyboard player, ended up on the back getting pelted on by the rain and having to strain all the water out of my clothes, but that was kinda wild. I don't think I’ve ever seen so much rain in my life, it was unreal.

Can you tell us a moment in your career where you felt “humongous?”

Maybe when I was 16 and signing into Colombia Records, it was a pretty, pretty big deal for me at the time, and yeah I think that was at the time just a massive thing I didn't really see coming.

How did it feel to finally put out your first album and release it to the world?

Good! It’s very relieving you know? I think so much prep had gone into it and some of these songs I’ve had for a long time so it was nice to let go of all of them and release everything into the world and play the songs wherever, and you know, not worrying about people not knowing them. Its just, yeah its cool! It’s everything I’ve been working on for the past like 2 years so its wicked.

Going back to the older songs you’ve done, theres a couple songs that have been released for a long time like Isombard has been out there for almost a year as well as Brazil almost a year and a half, why did you decide to include them into your album?

I think because the fans already knew them, I think they're good songs! Even though they've been recorded earlier, I just feel like it made sense for them, recording wise, to go into the album because now Ive written a bunch of other songs but I couldn't spend another year or two making another album now, but i can just release the songs that i have now and put out whatever i make next, “next”. I think it felt like a mistake to leave them out. Especially having songs that people are already familiar with on the album is a good thing, you know, if I had a favourite song of an artist and it didn't end up in their album I’d probably be quite disappointed and as a debut album I think it makes sense for people.

Which songs from What Do You Think About The Car are you the most proud of having written?

I think Humongous is probably my proudest one. Well it’s the most recent one I wrote for it so it’s, I guess you can say more developed. I’ve learnt more about song writing, I feel like it’s you know, one of my best efforts in terms of songwriting. I like that one, I think its more expanded and more, I don't know, developed than any of the other songs I wrote before.

How much personal experience went into this album?