Bursting out of Birmingham at the back end of 2013, Superfood return to their home city this month with a debut album under their belts and an ever-growing fanbase. Frontman Dom Ganderton talks to Tom Clabon about working for cider, a second album on the horizon and their fiery forthcoming show.
“Audience members are advised to wear fire-retardant clothing,” jokes Superfood frontman Dom Ganderton, as he outlines his vision for a “freak show” boasting glitter cannons, balloons, and dreadlocked men breathing fire at this month’s homecoming gig at The Rainbow. “We’re really excited,” he says, “It’s gonna be a big party.”
And you can be sure of party vibes, especially for a band with so much to celebrate, particularly when it comes to the chosen venue. “We wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for The Rainbow. It’s where we all met,” explains the singer. So what better place to celebrate the speed of success they’ve enjoyed since forming in 2013? “It’s good to take a step back and look at the last two years.”
It was almost a sense of frustration – and a penchant for cider and partying – that saw Superfood and their modern take on Britpop with beats form in the first place, as Ganderton reflects. “I was working in venues in Birmingham, y’know, helping other bands out all the time. Recording and going on tour with them and stuff. They’d come off stage high-fiving, ready to go out and drink a thousand beers, and you’re just stood there without having the same adrenaline.”
He had originally planned to be a producer, working out of his bedroom in Digbeth, and helped Peace and Swim Deep record their early demos. “That’s how we all got to know each other, really…People were always ringing me up for favours, buying me K Cider in return for recording their demos. I wasn’t ready to take it as a job, though, I kept not getting mixes back to people because I’d been out the night before or something. So I just started a band, pretty much.”
Within a matter of months of leaving Digbeth’s K Cider economy behind and forming his own band, Superfood headlined the NME New Breed tour (supported by the flawless Honeyblood), were nominated for an NME Award, and released their debut album, Don’t Say That to critical acclaim (“It’s a starting point,” Ganderton modestly says, “It’s not, like, the cream of our brains.”). But in typical Superfood style, work has already begun on the second album. They are a band who don’t stop for breathers.
“How did I describe it the other day? At the moment, it sounds like James Brown’s backing band, recorded into Pro Tools, played through a boom box, being listened to through headphones… by Macaulay Culkin.” Perhaps the next album (which has no official announcements yet but we’re told has “a really great name”) is aimed primarily at former child actors. However, he assures us that future material isn’t going to be anything like Culkin’s disastrous pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band, on account of not wanting bottles of piss thrown at them.
Ganderton sums up his own band as “calculated madness”, with his pyrotechnic visions for the upcoming gig a testament to this. With support from Yak and Black Honey, two bands he enthuses about, it’s sure to be an inimitable homecoming show. Superfood are a band determined to enjoy themselves, and who affably invite you to join them – fire safety regulations permitting. “Just don’t stand too close to the men with dreadlocks,” he adds.
Interview by Tom Clabon
Superfood headline The Rainbow, Birmingham tomorrow, April 8. Their debut album Don’t Say That is out now.