Walt Disco are a band whose influences derive not from just music itself, but much more so from love, glamour, and androgyny. Crooning vocals, angular guitars, dark shimmering synths – their music is a gateway to a space of lust, loss, and everything in-between.
Performing recently online at SXSW’21 via the ‘British Music Embassy Presents’ showcase, Walt Disco came on like a perk-me-up, with frontman James Potter dressed in a slip dress and the band giving off this infectious energy to the start of ‘Hey Boy (You’re One Of Us)’, and this continued through their set taken off their ‘Young Hard And Handsome’ EP. Popwire spoke with Walt Disco’s frontman, James Potter.
Congratulations on your performance at SXSW’21. Thanks for doing this interview with us. For those who don’t know Walt Disco, tell us a bit about how did the band meet and how Walt Disco was formed.
Lewis and David were friends from their hometown, they later met myself in Glasgow and over the past few years we’ve added Charlie, Jack and Finlay who we knew from their other bands.
Describe your music in 5 words.
A bit over the top!
We find it exhilarating that your music leans towards various 80s acts such as Talking Heads, Joy Division, Madness, The Associates, and even a bit of David Bowie. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but you guys are likely either too young to remember them or maybe not even born at all. What exactly of the music back then appeals to you?
We definitely weren’t born in the ’80s!! I think we’re attracted to the theatrics and drama that was such a big part of the songwriting, visual aspects, and production these artists you mentioned strived for. Bands generally tend not to be very camp anymore, which may be started from since the start of the ’90s up until now.
You’ve been known for your androgynous, tongue-in-cheek attire and flamboyant live shows. Has it always been like this since day one? And if not, what made you shift towards that aspect of aesthetics?
I think there’s always been a desire to dress and present in that way, not just in the band but in my daily life. The band definitely helped me realise some things about myself quicker.
You started releasing music in 2018, then compared to now as a band, what has changed?
I suppose since then I’ve kind of became obsessed with pop songwriting, and the pop structure really allows us to experiment with sounds and rhythms and instrumentation in a way that we may not have done before.
With the lack of music activities due to the Covid pandemic, tell us what have you been up to this past year before SXSW.
We’ve been writing and recording music in our home studio for the entire year! We obviously are upset that we haven’t been able to play shows, but we are really proud of the music we’ve created in this past year.
You released the EP ‘Young Hard and Handsome’ last year (which we really love!), as well as a version of remixes this year. Could you tell us about the songs that made up the EP?
‘Hey Boy (You’re One Of Us)’ was our live set opener for a long time and is very glam influenced, but incorporates elements of modern production. ‘I’m What You Want‘ sits in a similar world and definitely echoes that Glam era. ‘Cut Your Hair‘ is a really fun song musically and lyrically, and features the most ridiculous guitar solo of the EP. ‘Heather‘ has became our favourite song as a band. We just really love the chords, melody and sentiment of that song.
What music are you currently listening to at this time?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Scott Walker, Christine and the Queens and My Bloody Valentine.
Lastly, what can we expect from Walt Disco in the months ahead?
We can’t say too much, but we’re looking forward to everyone hearing what we’ve been working on over the last year and returning to playing live shows!
For updates on Walt Disco, you can follow them at: