Staring at computer screens, scrolling through the bottomless pit of the internet, and the loneliness and disenchantment of trying to find your place in the world when the entire political climate is stacked up against young people: these are the things that inform Disq’s debut album ‘Collector’ – out today (6 March).
“All of the songs pretty much are about struggles that we all go through in our lives,” the band’s vocalist and lead guitarist Isaac deBroux-Slone agrees.
Disq are based in Madison, Wisconsin: the band’s vocalist and lead guitarist Isaac grew up in the city, while bassist Raina Bock grew up about two hours away “in a really tiny town called Viroqua” surrounded by cornfields. The pair reckon that growing up in the Midwest tore down their sonic boundaries: with no established sound attached to the city, they felt freer. And holding up the electronic tinkery of a track like ‘Fun Song 4’ next to the ‘Daily Routine’s scuffing garage rock, and the plaintive ‘Trash’ and it’s easy to see exactly what they’re getting at.
“Not that there’s not cool music in Madison,” says Isaac, “but there’s much less of a defined sound. Bigger cities have scenes where a lot of the bands have a similar sound. There’s a lot of freedom to do whatever in Madison where there’s not a tonne of influence.”
The band’s two founding members have known each other practically since birth, bearing witness to each other’s awkward phases growing up. “I remember specifically there was about a year where Isaac was often wearing a Cookie Monster snapback,” bassist Raina laughs. “And a mesh crop top phase for me” “That was a big one,” Isaac agrees.
Incidentally Disq also had a major Green Day phase – in the first band they ever played in together, Raina and Isaac took on a cover of ‘Holiday’. “I’m sure we were great,” Raina says disparagingly. Through competing against bitter rivals in a local Battle of the Bands, the duo ended up meeting Shannon Connor, Logan Severson and Brendan Manley – who now complete Disq as a five-piece. “Isaac and I lost,” Raina says, shaking her head. [We did] a John Mayer style performance,” Isaac adds mournfully. “They deserved to win.” Years on, there are no hard feelings.
Disq penned the bare bones of ‘Collector’ at Isaac’s place – before decamping to LA to work with production legend Rob Schnapf (Elliot Smith, Beck, Foo Fighters). “It was wacky,” Isaac summarises.
“He has an adorable dog named Papi,” Raina grins.”Papi has his own Instagram. He’s a great little dog with a lot of personality, and just he stares at you. Rob has recorded songs of Papi barking.” And is he a fan of Disq? “Hopefully,” Raina concludes.
Watch NME’s full interview with Disq above. Their debut album ‘Collector’ is out now.