For our new SPEX series artists give an insight into their personal playlists. Today: Dan Bejar – with nine inspirational songs that shaped the sound of the new Destroyer album Ken.

First thing Dan Bejar told SPEX: “I don’t watch videos.” To him, they’re just a visual complement to a song – no more, no less. Let’s face it: Dan Bejar is old enough to cling to this idea. Luckily, our playlists work perfectly fine with songs only, too. SPEX had a chat with the nostalgic naysayer about the tracks that inspired him while working on the new Destroyer album Ken which is about to be released tomorrow.


The House Of Love
“Loneliness Is A Gun”

I was listening to this song right before making my new record. To me, that song – and that group – are in this camp of British bands from the ’80s. That song is not typical for them, but there’s something messed up about it, which makes it a really beautiful song.


The Church
“To Be In Your Eyes”

The Church was a group I remember from my youth liking, but not really thinking it was cool to take them very seriously for some reason. It took me till my forties to come around listening to them a lot. There is a simplicity to that song, but it’s still filled with trippy little sounds in the details. Kind of a sad poetry combined with a cool talk-singing style, which I always fall for. That was sort of a template for what we were doing on Ken. Listening to The Church seemed like something I might be able to do, too, so I started playing the guitar again after I had taken a ten-year-break from it. In the end, it didn’t sound like The Church at all. In my case, there is always this giant gap between what I want to do and what I actually end up doing.


Siouxsie And The Banshees
“Dear Prudence”

I always really liked that version of that song. It might actually be the version I heard first before hearing the White Album version. I really just love the Beatles, and I love the idea of a song being as good as a Beatles song. In this case it becomes a pretty goth production from the ’80s. There is just a cool floating as well as a mechanical quality to that cover. And she’s really good at singing. But I got into Souxie And The Banshees really late. Like really. Like – last year?! (laughs) I mean, I always kinda knew their hits, but I never really checked them out.


Ian McCulloch
“Flickering Wall”

He’s the lead singer of a group called Echo And The Bunnymen. I was really, really into them. That song is off of his first solo record. Even tough he wasn’t even in his thirties, this album was sold as his mature record. I remember thinking it was okay when it first came out, but for some reason listening to it last year it had really struck a chord in me. He is always very pansy and would talk about Leonard Cohen a lot and poetry. I guess I liked that. He’s kinda obnoxious, but in an entertaining way, with a mysterious, poetic quality to it.


Echo And The Bunnymen
“Bring On The Dancing Horses”

That song was a big deal for me as a fifteen-year-old kid. I was into that group a lot, and it was just the era where I was consuming music very passionately. Not that I don’t do that now, but, you know, when you’re sixteen, it’s different. I always loved the vibe of that song. It’s poppy but industrial at the same time. And the words are really fucked, but in a cool way. The production is less tin-sounding, but still a cool blend of sequencers and effected guitars as well as live drums mixed with fake drums.