Meet: Doomshakalaka aka Paul Rafferty ahead of his album release

One of our favourite tracks of the year here on Backseat Mafia has been ex-Hot Club De Paris bassist / singer Paul Rafferty’s tracks One Last Saturday Night in his new guise – Doomshakalaka. Its a gorgeous slice of life affirming indie rock, and with his album out next week (June 5th) via Moshi Moshi, we decided to track down Paul and find out a little more.

Following the break up of Hot Club De Paris, what have you been up to?

I’ve been touring with other people, did a punk band for a while (called Bad Meds), have been composing music for film and TV, tinkering with the Doomshakalaka record in between bouts of existential dread brought on by the onslaught of late capitalism

What is the genesis of Doomshakalaka as a band/moniker and a concept?

When Hot Club De Paris ceased I just wanted to make a record where I was in control of all the aspects of being in a band. I didn’t want to write to please a label, I didn’t want to have to compromise on ideas, I wanted full control over the production aesthetic, and so on. It wasn’t necessarily a response to being in HCdP as being in that band was a total blast for a long time, I just wanted to make music for the sake of doing something fun and good. I soon realised however that the best thing about being in a band is you get to share all of those aspects and that compromise is a very valuable asset in the writing process, especially in terms of getting stuff done quickly. I also realised it’s quite hard to have fun on your own , so I was instantly burdened with this sense of responsibility towards a record only I cared about. The name Doomshakalaka Probably describes this process quite well; a fun word changed to describe a tough time.

Was there a reluctance to branch out on your own?

Not really. It becomes quite difficult to do bands with your friends when you hit your 30s because everyone’s responsibilities change quite suddenly. Being in a band (at least in my experience) is to enthusiastically pour all of your money down the drain and convince yourself that doing so is worthwhile. That outlook isn’t particularly compatible with real life. You could say I’m branching out on my own because my friends are less stupid than I am.

You have gone back to a lot of old material, and this album focuses on memory – is there a tinge of regret in not releasing this music sooner or this the right time?

No regrets. The album was ready when it was ready so there’s no point wishing it was any different. I learned a lot making it and I feel I’ve developed a good stamina for all the processes involved in making a record. I’ve nearly written a new record already, so perhaps I’m catching up all that time I spent on procrastination.

You are from Liverpool? Was it either football or music for you?

I’ve lived in Liverpool for twenty years but I grew up in a small town in Cheshire. I stopped liking football in about 1992 when I discovered Guns n’ Roses so I guess it was a kind of binary choice for me. A lot of my music friends love football too, though.

What have you learnt about yourself in producing this record?

That I hate the sound of my own voice and that Instagram is the enemy of all progress.

What expectations do you have for the album?

I’m not sure I have any! I’d be happy if some people liked it but it’s not a requirement. The important thing for me was to make it as good as I could at the time so everything here on in is just sort of admin.

How have you coped with the Covid-19 Crisis? And where do you see the music industry going?

I still have access to my studio so I’ve just continued to make music alone, which is what I do in my life day to day anyway. I’m not too sure where the industry is going other than continuing to shave off more percentage points for the actual people who make the product, but that was happening anyway. I’m probably not helping by self-financing my own record and happily proceeding in the knowledge that I’ll make no money, but that’s the reality of the indie labels and bands.

What’s next for you?


Doomshakalaka is out from Moshi Moshi Records on June 5th on all formats.

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