HAND OF MACLEAN Aesthetics are important to Maclean both in his home and his band. He credits everything from 1960s garage bands and Motown groups through to Devo and New Wave as influences on the visual aspects of Django Django, who worked with artist Kim Coleman on the trippy light design that has become a signature of its live show.
CONTROLLED CHAOS Maclean’s love of collecting shows in his London flat, where cool odds and ends add a curio-shop character to the space. Many of his unusual objects are acquired from off-the-beaten-path stops while Django Django is on the road—like the antique glove mold he scored in Columbus, Ohio, after our visit. “My current favorite find,” he gushes.
Musicians at Home | David Maclean
Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
By Penelope Bartlett
Photos by Fiona Garden
Django Django’s infectious blend of synth-pop and psychedelia has earned them widespread acclaim—not just from the masses who dance through the band’s rousing live shows, but from fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, who declared them his favorite band. Scottish-born drummer, producer, and bandleader David Maclean has a distinctive eye for fashion and design himself—he studied at Edinburgh College of Art and designs the band’s album covers and matching T-shirts by hand. Just before heading out on a U.S. tour in support of Django Django’s Mercury Prize-nominated eponymous debut album, Maclean showed us around his home in Seven Sisters, London, which houses his collections of vinyl, poster art, and generally odd objects.
PB: You have a lot of interesting stuff in your home—what do you collect, and why?
David Maclean: It’s a habit that started with comics when I was growing up. I would obsess over organizing them, putting them in alphabetical order, and just the simple joy of collecting something. Comics moved into vinyl, and now that’s my biggest fixation. I love to hang out with my records and clean them and put them in order and just look at them. It’s totally geeky! But I think that goes over into clothes, and shoes... I just love buying stuff. I’m always keeping my eye out for weird objects to buy. I’ve got quite a big poster collection, too. Anything really... cool teapots... I’m going to end up on Hoarders. What you see is probably only 5 percent of my whole collection.
PB: Your home is neat and the collections are well organized, though. Is order important to you as part of your creative process?
DM: Well, I put all the dirty dishes out in the garden when the photographer came over. Really, I think it’s very true that if you keep things organized, your brain is free of clutter as well. But that doesn’t always work for me. I also have two studio spaces in the city which kind of resemble flea markets themselves right now.
PB: What are your favorite places to shop for new additions to your collections?
DM: Glasgow Barrowlands and Dens Road Market in Dundee in Scotland. Uncle Fun in Chicago for stickers and comics. Flea markets in New York and Barcelona, junk shops in Prague and Hamburg. Amoeba Records in L.A. When I find myself back in a city, I usually know exactly where to go. In a new city I love to just wander around and get lost and find strange little places to check out.
PB: How does your background in visual art influence your style?
DM: Both my parents were painters. I grew up in a house full of folk art, art books, and beautiful, unusual objects, and this definitely turned me on to collecting at an early age. After art college, I saw the band as an outlet to continue to make art: We design every part of the band that has a visual aspect. We’ve always performed in matching outfits, whether it was safari suits we found in junk shops, or matching suits or T-shirts we’ve made. We’re not going to get up on stage with any old crap clothes on!