Being located where it is geographically, Madison, Wisconsin more often than not gets looked over in the art division. With that being said, bands like the five-piece ensemble Disq harnesses the ability to effortlessly work on their craft with the knowledge that others around them are doing the same.
DISQ’s debut, Collector (Saddle Creek), thrusts power pop, psych-folk warmth, indie rock, and post-punk in each of the tracks. Produced by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith, Kurt Vile), the album centers itself perfectly representing moments in time in the view of best friends growing up. There’s an urgency within the lyrical content, yet you will discover it’s the amount of tongue-in-cheekiness that is utterly brilliant.
We caught up with Raina Bock and Isaac deBroux and asked a few questions.
You two have known each other since the beginning of time. Growing up together, what was some of the music that got you hooked?
Isaac: I think the biggest ones for me were The Beatles (who Raina’s dad introduced me to) and Stevie Wonder. Also, Paul McCartney and Wings. Wings and The Beatles were effectively equals in my mind for much of my young life.
Raina: A few albums that were really influential to me when I was elementary school-aged are Madonna by Madonna, Traffic and Weather by Fountains of Wayne, and Talkie Walkie by Air. All stuff that’s still in heavy rotation honestly.
When was the moment where the band collectively discovered that something special was present?
Raina: We did a week-long practice retreat last year at my parent’s warehouse, where we were just practicing our 30 minute SXSW set over and over again all day long. I think our first gig after that intensive was when things really clicked into place. Being in Disq and working on music together has always been the most important thing in my life since the moment we started, though, so in that sense, it’s always felt like something special. God, I’m so corny.
Isaac: I feel like it all came together when we drove out to LA to play the single release show Saddle Creek had booked for us. I know that was a big turning point in them wanting to sign us, and I think something clicked with everyone right around that time.What can you say is the state of the music scene in Madison?
Raina: There’s a pretty good music scene in Madison, especially for loud guitar music. It’s small enough that there’s a strong sense of community and big enough that there are a lot of venues and DIY spaces and bars hosting music most days of the week. There are, however, very outdated and totally absurd restrictions on rap/hip-hop shows in Madison, which are based on nothing other than blatant racism.
The music that encompasses Collector were primarily demos that the band had amassed over the years. What was it about those works that made it feel it was the way to go rather than start from scratch?
Isaac: A lot of the recordings started as demos, but over time we put a lot of effort into them. Gradually they became more fleshed out and HiFi sounding to the point where we felt like they sounded good enough to be on the record.
How does the band go about writing the lyrics? Is it a group effort?
Isaac: Usually whoever the principal writer of the song will be the main lyricist, but we definitely go to each other for ideas and help when we’re writing lyrics