Death In Vegas are planning one of the weirdest tours in the history of rock next year when they set out to play a series of shows in Indian temples.
The intention is to play four gigs in Bangalore, Delhi, Bombay and Chennai next March with a full Indian orchestra. The band will be joined on these dates by violinist Dr L Subramaniam, a renowned Indian musician who also played a major role in the recording and sound of the new Death In Vegas album, ‘Scorpio Rising’.
Speaking to NME.COM, Richard Fearless explained why, following 1999’s dark ‘The Contino Sessions’, the band’s music has taken an Indian orientation:
“I was brought up in Africa and there’s a part of me that misses that chaotic and mad side to life. As an artist, India’s such an inspiring place – both visually and aurally. You go through forests and there are these tiny villages and in every palm tree, there are these tannoy speakers with music blasting out. You get these frequencies that are totally different to anything you’d hear at home.”
Death In Vegas enlisted Subramaniam after hearing one of his albums playing in a cafe while they were on holiday there a couple of years ago. A massive star in his own country, he’d toured America and Europe in the mid-’70s with Ravi Shankar and George Harrison, but had previously only recorded with one western musician, jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. He scored the strings for three songs on the album (‘So You Say You Lost Your Baby’, a Gene Clark cover featuring Paul Weller on vocals, ‘Killing Smile’ and ‘Help Yourself’) as well as handpicking the musicians who played on them. He also contributed violin parts to a couple of other songs.
“He was totally amazing to work with,” added Fearless. “He’s extremely religious, so when he was here (in the band’s London recording studio) recording a solo, he’d open up his violin case, which was covered in pictures of his deities and family, and bless them before he played. It was like working with a genius and that, for me, was the biggest achievement of working on this album.”
‘Scorpio Rising’, which is described by the band as a series of “psychedelic love songs” and “much more up” than anything they’ve recorded before, is set for release in September. It’s proceeded by a double vinyl 12″ on July 22 featuring two album tracks (‘Leather Girls’ and ‘Natja’) one new track (‘XXX’) and a handful of alternative mixes. ‘Leather Girls’ features vocals from Susan Dillane from Woodbine.
There will be another single (‘Hands Around My Throat’, featuring Nicola Kuperus from Detroit techno outfit Adult.) in August, and the band will play their first dates in two years this October, calling at:
Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall (October 9) Dublin Ambassador (10) Belfast venue TBC (11) Glasgow QMU (12) Manchester University (14) Leeds University (15) Bristol Academy (16) Brighton Concorde (17) London Hackney Ocean (19)
For tickets, ring the NME 24 Hour Ticketline on 0870 1 663663. Calls are charged at national standard rate.