Words: Dylan Murphy
Words: Dylan Murphy
We got the low-down from the duo on working with FKA Twigs, ditching Christmas songs for otherworldly hits and competing in the UFC.
In a time where our own worlds were forced to shrink to the confines of our living rooms, Josh Greacen and Archie Blagden AKA Sad Night Dynamite worked on engineering a wacky alternate universe of their own.
Growing up in Glastonbury, a town where the world’s escapists gather for an annual pilgrimage, it’s easy to see how otherworldly sounds and fantastical visuals crept into their music. Meeting Josh at 15, Archie tells me they spent their formative years inhaling everything around them and stumbling through the pitfalls of adolescence.
“Think we were about 15 and Josh came from another school and worked his way up the ladder to me”, Archie says, before Josh interjects, “He was the cool guy”.
“But then by the end of school, you were the cool guy”, Archie admits before Josh tags on a reminder,”I’d made Archie the loser [laughs]”.
The duo went their separate ways after School with Josh going to University in Nottingham whilst Archie studied production in London, but it wasn’t long before they joined up again. Since returning, they’ve moved in together and made music from the comfort of their shared gaff. In reality, not much had changed about their workflow since the pandemic started. They’d get up, make a coffee, tidy and get to working on new music.
There are nods to the world-building of Gorillaz and transcendent instrumentation of The Avalanches throughout their debut self-titled mixtape. With the approaches of those groups informing the fabric of SND’s own dark underworld. You just have to look at the dusty limo drives down windy roads to hellish carnival headline slots and twisted portraits of the pair in gruesome landscapes. If you still aren’t getting the picture, imagine Outkast’s absurdity and off-kilter rhythms, reincarnated in a pair from rural England. Throw a tab of acid in the mix and you are halfway into understanding the hip-hop-influenced mysticism of the pair.
Ahead of the video for ‘Krunk’ which drops today we caught up with the duo to break down the essential bits to know about Sad Night Dynamite.
Some of their first studio sessions were with Pa Salieu and FKA Twigs
Josh and Archie hopped in the studio with BBC Sound of 2021 winner Pa Salieu early in their career and even previewed an unreleased track with him on their NTS Radio show.
Josh: “We’re going to get back in with him, we know he wants to work… the thing is we’ve come a long way since we were working with Pa Salieu, that was one of the first sessions we ever did and we were thrown in. It went well actually”.
“But then we were thrown in with FKA Twigs which is obviously a huge learning experience because you are working with one of the best artists around at the moment. It wasn’t necessarily one of the smoothest of our sessions, but now we are at a point, we go into sessions and it feels a lot more like we know what we are doing. We’d love to get back in with Pa Salieu.”
Before Sad Night Dynamite Josh used to make Christmas songs.
Josh: “I used to release Christmas songs every year and that didn’t help me mate I have to be honest. All the platforms, I was worldwide. They got worse and worse and fans would drop off at each release but then Archie saved me”
Josh is obsessed with UFC and wants to hop in the ring and fight.
Josh: “I am obsessed with UFC. I do have plans to compete in the UFC myself, I’ve got no training, I don’t care if I get knocked out that’s fine. I’ll have done it.”
Archie: “You could die. They dont have a division light enough for Josh.”
They’ve already picked the songs they would walk out to.
Archie: “I’d walk out to ‘Love Me Love Me‘ by Cardigan and I’d come out to full choreograph, with dancers, loads of glitter.”
Josh: “Id have to come out to ‘Krunk’ cause that’s my pseudonym.”
Blowing up during lockdown means they are still awaiting their live debut as Sad Night Dynamite.
Archie: “Apart from a new year’s eve performance to friends which was brilliant [we haven’t performed]. We are just starting to put it all together now – this is why we started making music, to play live”.
“Obviously, there are so many layers to the songs, so many voices and characters and all that.”
Josh: “I think the voices and all the changes in voices were all built for live in a way you can all see the tracks and how they were built together. Can’t wait for that.”
If their new mixtape could soundtrack a film it’d probably be Bladerunner.
Josh: “Bladerunner would be pretty mental”
Archie: “A lot of people have said a Tarantino film, which I do hear in parts.”
They’re done attending Glastonbury. Now they are ready to play it.
Archie: “You always imagine yourself playing live at Glastonbury and all these other places to as many people as you can.”
“Sort of done with it [Attending it] now. I’ve done it to death”
Josh: “You not going to do it anymore?!”
Archie: “I’d rather glamp.”
They’ve drawn comparisons to Gorillaz and were even included in Noodle’s Spotify playlist. But they are busy forging their own path.
Josh: “We’re just excited about building this thing that is bigger than just a band and two boys and sort of a pointless music thing. When you imagine our favourite bands, without having to listen to their music, you can kind of define them. Their image and stuff. That’s really where SND wants to go. Meaning something more than music and more than just visuals. Something that paints a whole picture and whole world.”
“The stage we are at with this mixtape is just the start. There’s been videos and things that show our palette, but not things that say anything world building wise. There’s a lot more we want to do”.
Watch the video for ‘Krunk’ below: