THERE was many a sore head on Monday and Art Vs Science drummer and vocalist Dan Williams was no exception. Having spent the past three days at Splendour, he was surprisingly up-beat as he chatted while he waited to fly out of Brisbane.

“Splendour was great fun, but it will be good to catch the flight home to get some sleep,” Williams says. “We were a little worried because we were up against Florence (and The Machine). I think she pulled quite a few people but it was still good. Everyone was smiling and dancing. Sometimes they'd stop and just smile and then start dancing again so, yeah, it was fun,” Williams says laughing.

Williams and I spoke almost a year ago. Just before hitting the Splendour stage in Byron Bay he told me there'd be dancing penguins. There were no dancing penguins.

“Oh did I lie? I've learnt not to do that now. We had dancing people this time round,” Williams rebuts. “It was quite a surprise really. Earlier in the festival we jumped on stage for Jinja Safari's set. Dan Mac (McNamee) was dressed up as an eagle and we just danced around like idiots, so they repaid the favour for us during Flippers.”

From one Splendour to another, there was still a bit in between for Art Vs Science, having toured in Los Angeles, the United Kingdom and Europe, including what can only be described as an awkward set in France, performing their hit, which came in at Number Two on Triple J's Hottest 100 last year, Parlez Vous Français.

“We couldn't tell if we were really offending people or celebrating their language or what. It was quite confusing. I mean imagine, we're like ‘Hello all you French people, do you speak French?' They're all just looking at each other going, ‘We're French, of course we speak French',” Williams says, putting on his best French accent.

It's been two years since Art Vs Science first gave us a taste of the madness for which they have now become renowned. Their single Flippers saw them catapulted to the Splendour stage in 2008 as winners of Triple J's Unearthed competition. The group were a surprise hit that year, filling the Mix Up tent at an early time slot, and their popularity has only grown since then.

The three guys from Sydney, Dan McNamee (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Jim Finn (keyboards, bass, vocals) and Williams, have done well for a band yet to release a full-length album. Their self-titled EP came out last year, including hit singles Flippers, Parlez Vous Français, Hollywood and Friend in the Field. Next in line is Magic Fountain, which has torn the fan base in two – some love it, some hate it – but all in all the track, and the subsequent EP, gets people dancing and that's all the guys are after.

“As long as it's zany and crazy and fun that's what we're all about,” Williams says. “Whatever sounds good and makes people dance.”

For those who aren't fans of the ‘dark', ‘scary' sound of Magic Fountain, you may be happy to hear the album, set for release in early 2011, doesn't follow the same line.

“The others have more colours, they come from a happier place,” Williams says. “The rest of the album is probably more like Friend in the Field and even a little progy.”

Using the same mixer as previous recordings, Adrian Bushby (known for his work with bands like the Foo Fighters, Muse and Maximo Park), Art Vs Science won't lose any of the live band sound they've achieved both on stage and in the studio, despite being part of the dance genre.

“We like to use band producers so it's still got all the parts,” he says. “You can hear the different elements. You know there's a drummer in there and it's not all made from a calculator.”

The show may be in a smaller venue but Williams says we can still expect a musical extravaganza from Art Vs Science when they hit Byron Bay.

“It'll just be our regular party show – no don't use regular, that makes us sound boring. It will be our usual extravaganza!”

The Northern, Byron Bay, Wednesday, August 11. Tickets $21.50 from www.thenorthern.com.au. Doors open 8.30pm.


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