Pre-Show Q&A: !!!

!!! are gonna dance this mess around, after they put on some clothes
  • !!! are gonna dance this mess around, after they put on some clothes

Few rock bands create great dance music — funky club-floor anthems that mix disco, house, dub, and electro atmospherics — played onstage by a six-piece combo made up of guitars, drums, keys, horns, and dueling male and female vocals. It’s the distinct glam magnetism of the dance-rock collective !!!, usually just pronounced Chk Chk Chk. The funky punk purveyors have been transforming rock halls into raves spots since 1996, led by curly haired crooner Nic Offer, who has some of the sweetest dance moves you’ll ever see onstage. !!! are currently touring behind their fourth album, the recently released Strange Weather, Isn’t It?, and transporting listeners to a fog-filled club floor for mass ass boogie, using electro R&B (“Steady As the Sidewalk Cracks”), synth goth (“Jump Back”), and psychedelic pop (“Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass”). Offer talked with us about the big tour, the dark energy that pulsates through the band's new album, and about doing an entire tour without showering. —Keith Gribbins

!!! has been touring throughout September, hitting hot spots all over North America before going to Europe and Asia. How’s the tour? It looks like you have almost more European dates than American. Is the band’s dance rock sound more popular at European clubs?
The tour’s going well. We’re all having a good time and the shows lately have been some of the best we’ve played in years. I wouldn’t say the dance rock sound was more popular necessarily, but dance music in general is more popular. We kinda hit over there right at a stale moment for dance music and it seemed like the raw punk/indie energy was exactly what they needed to freshen up. Let’s just say we spent the first half of our career teaching American indie rockers how to dance and we never had to teach them how to do anything in Europe.

Speaking of Euro club vibes, a good portion of your new record, 2010’s Strange Weather, Isn’t It?, was recorded in Berlin — Europe’s seedy club capital. Did the album find inspirations in that city’s distinct discothèque sounds?
Absolutely. Not necessarily in a superficial way. Well, maybe, I guess that’s not for me to say, but playing dance music all day, then going to clubs and dancing to music all night changes how you approach dance music when you come back to play it the next day.

You talk about a dark energy that emits from this album — nine voodoo grooves that transport listeners with strange and hypnotic rhythms — sounding like Bauhaus to LCD Soundsystem to the Stone Roses. Perhaps you can expand on this “dark energy” that courses through Strange Weather, Isn’t It?
I wish I knew why the attraction to it. It’s just where we seem to end up. I remember reading someone say that people are attracted to the dark energy because it doesn’t provide answers. It’s questioning what’s there. I’d like to think we’re still questioning.

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