Supergrass’ Danny Goffey tells us about his new album and book ‘Bryan Moone’s DiscoPunk’
Danny Goffey has announced details of his third solo album ‘Bryan Moone’s DiscoPunk’ and an accompanying limited edition book. Check out the first single from the record ‘Everybody’s On Drugs’ below, alongside our chat with the Supergrass drummer and indie star.
‘Bryan Moone’s DiscoPunk’ follows Goffey’s 2018 album ‘Schtick’ and was recorded after the end of the first coronavirus-enforced lockdown in 2020, with contributions from Goffey’s Supergrass bandmate Gaz Coombes, as well as Ed Harcourt and Louis Eliot.
“Me and Simon [Byrt, producer], who I’ve worked with on my other two albums, we were really gagging for it,” Goffey said. “After that lockdown, you could start working quite quickly so we just cracked on with it really fast and then over the next year added a few more tracks here and there.”
‘Everybody’s On Drugs’ introduces the record in a blast of punk energy, with the musician declaring over battering ram drums and staccato guitar chugs: “In the portaloos, the beer gardens and the bingo halls / Everybody’s on drugs / In the libraries, the Houses of Parliament and the places of worship / Everybody’s on drugs.”
“I was with someone at the pub and there was someone across the street,” Goffey said of the inspiration behind the song. “Someone said, ‘It looks like he’s on drugs’ and then I remember someone else went: ‘Everybody’s on drugs’. It’s more a look at the worldwide pharmaceutical thing and the amount of pills prescribed over the counter that you can get, vaccines, vapes, alcohol, cigarettes – all that kind of thing.
“[The song] just says, ‘It’s easy to point your long boney finger at a kid who’s taking illegal drugs, but most of you are all on them anyway’.”
Musically, the track evolved from “almost Sleaford Mods-type beats” to “choppy guitars” reminiscent of Queens Of The Stone Age. As for his theatrical vocal delivery, Goffey said: “It’s like a deranged newsreader telling people the world’s on drugs.”
The newsreader character appears in the accompanying video for the single – coming next week – played by a friend of Goffey’s and employee at his record label. “I had this idea that it should have some found footage of ordinary stuff, which can be seen as quite funny or kind of mundane, of people going about their business but probably off their heads in some way,” the musician explained. “Then I spoke to my brother about it, and he had a little desk set up with a green screen and we got my friend Paul to basically shout the lyrics out.”
The rest of the record features tracks that were inspired by lockdown life and memories from Goffey’s past. ‘All Dressed Up (With Nowhere To Go)’ sits in the former category and, according to Goffey, “is about you and your partner gradually slipping into a trippy world of madness in the house”. It sounds at odds with much of the reflective and introspective work that has come out of the COVID era so far.
“I’ve always had this annoying thing about me where I write stuff that’s maybe a bit more uplifting,” he said. “That song isn’t really autobiographical – it’s probably more about a pair of younger people locked up in a flat and it’s about having a mad time when you’re in confined space, but you’re working out how to make each other laugh or do interesting things.”
In the latter camp, ‘I Lost My Girlfriend To A Fairground Worker’ details an incident in Goffey’s youth. “You know those travelling fairs that used to go around villages and towns? That song is a memory of a bloke who worked on the waltzer and how he stole my girlfriend because he was tougher than me, had a moustache and a Burton’s jumper and was quite hardcore,” he recalled. “I went home clutching a teddy bear that I’d won her and was quite miserable. The album’s full of weird shit like that, but also fairly eclectic.”
As well as the album, coming in October, a limited edition book will also be released, which captures a day in the life of Goffey’s titular alter-ego Bryan Moone. Although the musician said the character is a figment of his imagination, he noted that he did have similarities to him. “He’s an ageing has-been rockstar who’s bumbling around Somerset, trying to work out what he’s doing with his life,” he said. “He keeps getting pushed around mentally and physically by his family and different kinds of people. It’s a bit like Bryan Moone crossed with Bridget Jones.”
The book goes through one day minute-by-minute, from seven AM to seven PM. Goffey wrote the book on his iPhone and said it included “stuff that goes on in your mind – anxieties and idiosyncrasies of life”: “It’s like a little journey in real-time, but then there’s this throwback to memories and anecdotes and self-analysis.
The book features illustrations from Goffey’s son Frank, who shares his drawings on his Instagram page, @letsbefrankofficial. “He’s been expressing himself through drawings that [touch on] cultural stuff, mental health, bullying,” Goffey said. “He does it in a really funny way and it’s quite surreal and eclectic. He did a really weird drawing of me once and since then I just thought, ‘Wow, that could really work’. Also, I just needed him to get off his arse a bit and something he might get paid for, so it worked out.”
Aside from preparing the release of ‘Bryan Moone’s DiscoPunk’, Goffey has been busy touring with Supergrass, who reunited in 2019 for live performances. At the time, they said they wouldn’t be working on new material, which their drummer confirms is still the case.
“No, I think we’re just really pleased to get to the end [of the tour],” he said. “We were supposed to do a six month tour in 2020 and we managed to do the British tour and then the pandemic hit.
“But I think Gaz is gonna do something himself and I’ve got this thing coming up, so we’ll give it a rest for six months and then we’ll see. But we’ve really enjoyed this tour actually – I think we’re playing better than we’ve ever played as a band and we’re having a really good laugh and it’s been really, really good fun.”
‘Bryan Moone’s DiscoPunk’ will be released on October 21 via Distiller.