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Dan Bejar also plays with New Pornographers.
Dan Bejar also plays with New Pornographers.
Fabio Lacarranza

Destroyer Runs a Hurry-Up Offense on America

Destroyer plays Club Dada on Tuesday.

For Dan Bejar and his fellow Destroyers, touring is managed like a two-minute offense. Consider the North American tour that kicks off this week to promote ken, the band's 12th studio album: They play 14 consecutive nights before taking a one-day breather. Another stretch is nine nights, and yet another is eight nights.

Bejar's plan is to “burn through the continent, covering as many places as possible quickly," he tells the Observer in a phone interview. Clearly, he's a man with a penchant for efficiency, or perhaps his pets are just being boarded.

“Well, kind of both, you might say,” Bejar says. “Eight-plus people piled onto a bus is a strange way to live. Days off feel more like strange limbos where you lose your bearings, leaving you more exhausted.”

It works in his favor that many of the players have been touring with him since 2002; it's not like they don’t know what they're in for.

We asked Bejar how he goes about crafting a set list, particularly when the performances start to blur together.
Normally, bands play a core set of songs meant to promote their latest releases, a few old favorites and a few trick plays.

“You’ll have to ask the person that writes the set list,” he says. “There are other people in the band that have much more flair with that task than I do." Bejar cops to having a “laissez-faire attitude as a band leader."

Like days off on the road, Bejar’s music can instill the sensation of being in limbo. Each album is markedly different from the last, but there are certainly constants, mainly the lyrics' abstract poetry and and musical references to the '80s.

In the case of ken (the title refers to the Suede ballad "The Wild Ones"), the sonics conjure New Order and the Cure. Like 2011's Kaputt, a throwback to Roxy Music, ken also found a home on a number of year-end best lists.

“I was 13 when I first really got into defining myself by music, so that was like ’85 and the golden age of John Hughes movies, and that is what the heart of ken is wrapped up in. Maybe with some mid-'70s English glam rock throw in," Bejar says.

Bejar is also the parent to an an adolescent daughter. How does he relate to his daughter's taste in music?

“Well, I’ve done my best to wage war on society’s tastes in music and played my music in my household,” he says. “She’s starting to bring her own things in from school and friends, things we will no doubt be arguing about, but hopefully in a good way."

Destroyer, with Mega Bog, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $20.

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