It is always nice to see a big band do things a bit differently. Operators is a band with a lot of hype behind it on account of Dan Boeckner’s cemented status as an indie rock god, though his work in Wolf Parade, Handosme Furs, and Divine Fits. Other bands with this level of talent, and hype, might fall pray to a self important marketing campaign, or any number of things that we’ve all see in the past. Operators, however, decided to put the music first. Operators played several shows before they had any music out, and before they did any press. Those first few live shows were the formal introduction to what has now become a widely liked band, and album. Operators (Dan Boeckner, Sam Brown, and Devojka) have done a sort of reverse engineering of synth based pop music. Their live shows feature no digital equipment. No laptops. No nothing. Instead, analog synths, sampling pads, and drum triggers populate the stage.
The hook heavy dance-pop that the band has given us is fantastic. It is what you want from ‘good time’ music and they do it so well. We caught up with Devojka to ask a few questions. Fun fact: “Devojka” means ‘girl’ in Serbian / Macedonian.
Q – How’s the tour going? Where are you guys right now?
I am in a van and we are currently driving to Cleveland. The tour has been great. We spent some time playing with Future Islands and that was just amazing. They are the most amazing, nicest guys.
Q – Congrats on your EP being so well received. It made a bunch of ‘best of 2014’ list. How does it feel to work on something that is so well liked?
That is kind of news to me. Thank you. It is definitely nice to hear. That’s the best a musician can hope for – to make something that is like and something that speaks to people. We took a bit of an unorthodox approach to making this album and I’m happy that everyone got it. We played several shows first and just released a bit of music at a time. It’s nice to know that people were willing to take a chance on us. You never really know with these things, and it can be hard to see the fruits of your labour.
Q – Can you tell us about performing electronic music and translating it to a live show?
Our approach to this is a little unconventional. We’re not up there pressing buttons, you know? We use all analog instruments, no laptops, or anything digital. This approach has been Dan’s brainchild and it makes for a cool live show. Dan figured out the programming and the writing aspect of our music and its manifested into this insane live show. It’s great. I love our analog shows because it feels good to be able to improvise and actually play all of the notes. It’s great also to play to an audience and play off their energy, and to feel alive. I can fuck up and its all a risk. But, there is no point in playing a live show if you can’t engage your audience and really entertain.
Q – Are you working on releasing any solo albums?
I don’t have any concrete dates yet but I am working on something. Maybe in six months? I’m hoping to have songs that are more than iPhone memos haha. I’d really like to formally release something.
Q – You are Macedonian, right? I am Serbian and I love meeting others from the Balkans, especially musicians. This doesn’t happen everyday.
Yes, I am Macedonian! That’s cool, I thought your name sounded somewhat familiar. I love the Balkans. Actually, Dan loves the Balkans and is obsessed with the history and everything. He knows a lot more than I do. Kajmak, Rakija, he knows about everything. We will have to do a shot at our show.
Q – What are you currently listening to?
I’m not too good at this because I’m the type of person that could listen to the same 3 albums forever. I like Glass Candy – Johnny Jewel .That’s a good one that you should check out.