“Voice of his generation” Declan McKenna has finally delivered his debut album, What Do You Think About The Car? It’s wall-to-wall with socially conscious jangly guitar tunes that take in everything from FIFA corruption to the media’s misunderstood reporting of transgender teens and the trauma they face. It’s really good stuff. We sent the 18-year-old Brit some essential questions – here are his answers…
What’s your worst habit?
Me just now: “what’s my worst habit?”
Neil, my tour manager: “Being a dick.”
Tell us about a recent dream you’ve had…
Can’t think of one of my own although a friend mentioned a dream where I tried to poison people with pizza.
Do you believe in magic?
If ABBAs 1981 final album The Visitors counts then yes.
Who is the most famous person in your phonebook/dm’s?
In my phone I guess Rostam?
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I regularly try to poison people with pizza.
What are you scared of?
Me: “what am I scared of”
Gabi, my drummer: “commitment.”
Is punk dead?
As a scene, yeah, I think it had its moment and still influences us, but there’s no new punk, we can happily move on because it happened.
If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
I’d go to 2005 and release Cher Lloyds smash hit ‘Swagger Jagger’ before it was written and flip the music industry on its head.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Wash your hands after you use the bathroom.”
What’s your greatest regret?
Never making a Harlem Shake meme while it was still spicy.
What’s your biggest fail?
miss the stage three times and hypothetically eat shit while playing a show in Leeds.
How was high school?
It was good, can’t say I was a massive fan but came out with decent grades and some good pals.
Is sex important to you?
Wtf is that haha? Lol.
What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
“Stop being such a terrible human Declan why do you take pleasure in making others lives miserable?”
What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
I jumped from a balcony in Boston and didn’t get caught. Had a painful bum for a while.
Have you ever broken the law?
Does Church wine count?
When and why did you last cry?
Laughing at the bit in Hot Fuzz where he goes, “a great big bushy beard.”
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Depends how much water is in the cup.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Anything by Talking Heads.
What’s the biggest problem facing humans as a species?
Is celebrity culture going to destroy us all?
Not before climate change does.
Who or what is the biggest threat to the music industry?
Probably climate change/indie pop.
What’s your writing process?
Generally just listen to some AC/DC and flip the words around.
What do your family think of your music?
They normally just smile politely and say well done when they hear it.
How would you describe your sound?
What would your biography be titled?
“Wasn’t that a waste of time and effort.”
What’s for dinner?
Beck’s original lager™.