Together Dande and the Lion have cultivated Twilight Highway, a track, that combines a bold arrangement of expansive electro-pop synths, a catchy chorus, energetic hook, off centre guitar riffs, all-encompassing percussion, andis as instantly infectious as their last making it the ultimate road trip track of the year. This super cool single follows their first single "Stardust" released back in March.
Listen to "Twilight Highway" here.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Tass: I guess, indie rock-pop… sometimes layered with deep thought and sometimes not.
Chris: Big sounds and lots of energy.
Question: What inspired the track Twilight Highway?
Tass: Nick shotgunned the lyrics to this one and was massively influenced by the 80s and 90s. If Back to the Future and Thelma and Louise had a baby, it would have been Twilight Highway.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Nick: I love performing live and feeding off the energy the crowd gives. It's always special when the crowd reciprocates, dancing and having a good time. That said, I enjoy experimenting with sounds in the recording stage.
Abbey: I think performing gives us all a massive buzz. Although we do love to get down our tracks in the studio, nothing beats jamming our tunes on stage together to a loving audience.
Tass: We absolutely love playing together live and interacting with the crowd. We have so much fun together and to share that with others is so insanely rewarding. There's something so special and vulnerable about a live performance that nothing else compares to it.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Dande and the Lion: Nick<: Higher Places because of its different parts and layering, and probably my favourite bass line to play.
Abbey: It would definitely be our newest single Twilight Highway for me. We have a little clapping sequence to get the audience involved, and it's always so fun to have the crowd interact and dance with us.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Tass: Tass: Karen O.
Nick: My folks.
Question: What is the story behind the band name?
Tass: I've always been intrigued by Dandelions, we used to have so many out in the fields where I grew up in the West Country of the UK. They deceptively appear delicate and fragile, yet they are so resilient. When they seem damaged they're actually surviving by spreading their seeds and I think that's so cool. The way that they are constantly changing form and just flow with where the journey takes them. When you separate out the two words, it just makes total sense to me 'Dande' or 'Dandy' to mean groovy or exceptional and then 'Lion' which for me embodies, power, resilience and grace. I think our music and the band's personality really reflects that.
Question: How did the band come together?
Nick: Tass and I responded to each other's' ad of wanting to form a band. Bianca who was already performing was sweet talked into joining them. The three then connected with Abbey who was also performing and looking for a band, and finally, the four auditioned Chris who rounded out the group perfectly.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Abbey: Trying to communicate a feeling or message people can relate to. Whether the lyrics are literal and blunt, or more poetic, my goal is so that people can say "yeah, I've felt that too".
Tass: mostly feeling and connection for me or if I feel passionate about something and just want to get all my feels down on paper (laughs). It's a good form of release and a good way for me to connect with others and let them know they're not alone.
Nick: The exploration of an idea; twisting, stretching, squeezing, and warping it and allowing it to manifest into something. That, and anything to calm the voices inside my head.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Dande and the Lion: Tass: Lately I've been giving a few spins to Alabama Shakes, Sylvan Esso, Middle Kids, Holy Holy, Naked and Famous
Nick: Stonefield, Fangz and Totty.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Tass: My stepdad, mum and brother for sure.
Nick: Radio, music festivals, and bands.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Tass: Tass: Karen O, Patti Smith or Florence Welch.
Nick: Dave Johnstone, Kevin Griffin, Patrick Harrowsmith and Dave Pirner.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Nick: The biggest challenge is remaining undeterred and focused on that self-belief. It's very easy to get caught up in the negative.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Nick: Like any loving, slightly dysfunctional family.
Tass: It can be pretty crazy, we are self-managed so there is so much to do. Outside of the music, recording and performing live, we are constantly looking at how we can grow and become better musicians. Then there's the whole business side to it, if we don't focus on that then we won't be heard so we know it's really important.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Nick: The band and the liberation it brings.
Abbey: Collaborating with the band is an amazing thing as a musician/songwriter. To have a simple idea be expanded on in ways I could never think of, is a beautiful thing to be a part of.
Tass: The feeling of having my lyrics and music come to life, the people we get to meet and work with - it's just so much fun and so rewarding.
Question: Can you share your socials?
Dande and the Lion: Spotify
Triple J Unearthed
Interview by Brooke Hunter