With a new album in the works, TEED decided that his last show in his current incarnation had to have a proper send-off. He packed up his gear, bandied his crew together, and flew out to this years Unknown festival in Croatia. Close friend and photographer Dan Wilton came along too, and documented a week of sweat, tears and laughter for a brand new fanzine.
To mark the occasion, we sat down with TEED and Dan to talk about the week-long party, the photographs they chose, and they even gave us some exclusive out-takes that you won't see anywhere else.
THUMP: Why did you decide to make this fanzine, and what about it speaks to you both you [Orlando] as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and you [Dan] as a photographer?
TEED: I can't remember who the idea for the fanzine forward first. I think it was maybe Dan, because he had done a previous zine called The Box. He said he wanted to do something with me as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and I was like "Well, we're going to Croatia for the last live show, let's make it happen then." It was at Unknown festival and the last live show of, however long of touring, and it had taken me about a year to stop this shit from moving on. It felt like making an event out of the show, festival and fanzine was a way to bring it to an end, y'know? A festival show, headlining one of the nights, then with DJ sets on a boat party, it seemed like a killer idea. So I booked a villa for the whole crew and the dancers, and we just made a week of it.
Dan Wilton: We know each other well and, importantly, he knows me as The One Who Takes Pictures, so there was nothing really staged about the whole week. It was all shot on the fly.
TEED: For me it was a goodbye trip, really. I'd been touring with those girls - the dancers and Louisa - for like four or five years and that week was kind of It. The next album will be different and the next show will be different, so I can't put them on a retainer whilst I write a new record. We'd always had pretty intense time on tour, so having five days dedicated to having a laugh as well as doing a great show was pretty fun. In terms of the overall project, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs started a long time ago. It all came from the first idea of doing a project that was fun, and free from cool. I didn't want to go through the underground approval system in any way. I wanted to feel that I had a bit of immunity from all that shit. It can be so stifling. I wanted to put together a really fun project that was slightly tongue in cheek, but serious about the music. I think people may have looked at everything - the name, the show, the project - from a distance and been like "What then hell....?" but that's fine. As far as I know most of the people who've come to the show have had a nice time. It's my sincerity about the project that matters.
Dan Wilton: I absolutely love this shot. I was hiding behind him on the stage, and then he turned round and it was just, a perfect moment really.
TEED: I had to be very careful in this costume because of the fringing on the cloak; it wasn't separate strands, they were more like massive loops of thread so if something got caught, which happened all the time to be honest, I would basically get caught on the corner of my gear and be kinda fucked! I'd get snagged and end up trying to sing whilst yanking stuff all over the place. It was also a good game though: Can I Do The Show And Not Get Fucked By My Own Costume? When you've done this show so many times, it was actually one of the more fun things.
Dan Wilton: Didn't you have costume tech?
TEED: Yeah well, Angus kind of did that. There's a bunch of shit going on with the costume. I used to have quite carefully put-together outfits made by one person each time, and when it got to the end of the tour I was picking different bits from each one and shoving them back on. This was a collection of different outfits in this shot. You can't see, but there's an Alexander McQueen shirt under there somewhere and this Vera, nylon, shiny blue thing that everyone loves, and then the cape. I would sweat a lot. That's another fun thing performing. I quite like sweating. I didn't want to come off stage and be dry.
Dan Wilton: So the main thing about the gig was getting snagged on things, and getting sweaty.
TEED: Drama is important! My own personal drama, as well as the drama of the show. I really like that photo, I was actually just trying to get off stage without snagging myself. It was a bit emotional. It was just after I'd said thank you to the girls, and the crowd were so great too. You'd have a nightmare if the live show that you did on a huge run was at a festival and it wasn't a great turnout, but it was a perfect ending for me.
Dan Wilton: That's your manager David, right?
TEED: Yeah, this was right after I came offstage from the last show. Look at his face! What a dick, ha.
THUMP: This one's an outtake, right? It's lovely, such emotion.
TEED: This isn't currently anywhere, is it? Thing is, I just thought it would be funny to have dancers at first. Then I thought, "Actually, this would be a good way of breaking down the kind of "hoods and caps, backs to the wall" crew mentality of shows. I didn't want to promote that. It was always an idea that if there were people on stage, it would be in a non-scary way of getting down. In a friendly, not too regimented, quite loose way. Then, it might make people feel a little bit more relaxed. A spectacle, and some fun.
They were always in costume; two, three, even four costume changes during the show. In this show I was never really a frontman. I was behind a big rack of shit. It was like an electronic show with live visuals, live vocals and all the rest, but I'm terrible at hyping. I can't do that shit, at all. Everytime they came on there would be a big crowd lift. They were close friends, too. Partners in crime. This was taken right after the last show. It was such a moment. I did have a little cry about it all the other day, but I don't really cry that often. They all cried at the time actually! I didn't, and I still feel a little bit weird about it.
Dan Wilton: Don't worry, Nick had just poured a bottle of water over you, you looked the part at least.
TEED: Obviously you spend a lot of time with each other on these tours' not having much sleep, not even partying, just, traipsing around horrible hotels playing to whoever. You get weirdly close to your crew, and there's much love and hate as you can have with people I think. They would be perfectly happy with that description. If they were sat here, it would all be stories about me being a dick.
TEED: That's at the end of the boat party I DJed on. It was the day after the live show, and getting on a boat party on a hangover is brutal. Horrific, even. Basically, we went straight through from the live show to the boat. I passed out in a restaurant after that. This one's just all the people from the boat party who wanted to be in a photo, I don't know any of these people! I think my No. 1 fan is in here somewhere. She was really sweet; she threw up and was feeling really rubbish just before we met. Ah, I can't find her in this shot! This hand thing that everyone is doing is one of Dan's weird injokes with himself.
Dan Wilton: It's not a weird in-joke with myself! I can't really explain it. It just comes from Ghostbusters and sort of heavy metal. You just say "Zuul!" and for some reason when I shout at people, they seem to do it en masse. It's spelt "Z-U-U-L".
TEED: Lower case?
Dan Wilton: Oh no, upper case. Needs to be.
TEED: That was after we went to the beach and I threw sticks at people, when we were running back a massive storm hit. We had a pool at our villa and Dan was like, "Can you swim in the pool when there's lightning?" We thought that pools got struck by lightning. It hit the house that night! I was standing on the patio and it went "BOOF!" The whole house switched off.
Dan Wilton: I basically made everyone jump in the pool outside the villa during that crazy thunderstorm. Probably a bit dumb running about in it but, it made swimming really intense. I love the way the water looks in this shot.
TEED: Dan's way of thinking is this: "If there was one photo of me looking handsome, and one photo of me looking weird, then he picks the weird one".
Dan Wilton: Definitely.
TEED: Dan puts the book together, but at the end I had to say, "Can you put a few more of me in it looking alright?"
Dan Wilton: I think you only vetoed one photo, the one where you got set up with goggles on?
TEED: I got rid of the goggles one, didn't I? I think I've come around to some of their weirder shots. I get more into his ideas with character than my ideas of feeling sexy. That's from the last night, when we went down to the beach with bottles of wine.
Dan Wilton: There was a massive storm. Three different thunderstorms, lightning everywhere. Right after that shot it started pissing it down and we had to run back to the villa. I think we were just arseing around on the beach and found a stick, and then I encouraged Orlando to run around and threaten to hit me with it.
TEED: I well up for it as well. There was a rage element to that touring party for sure.
Dan Wilton: Well, I made a selection, and then Orlando said he wanted there to be more of him in it! But really, it's just about building a narrative through the pictures and how they fit together. I think there's a good balance of the intensity of the live show, and then the weird or chilled elements of the rest of the holiday. Is this one right after your show?
TEED: No, I think this is the day after the boat party. We had a hot tub in the basement of our villa. I'm pretty sure it had UV lights in to too, but they weren't on at that point. The hot tub was a weird one actually; the whole week we were in Croatia there were storms and insane rainfall, so it made bathing really intense and weird.
Dan Wilton: God yeah, the storms were crazy; here was a massive storm and torrential rain during the boat parties too. Some even had to hide in coves!
TEED: Anyway, this was coming back from that crazy boat party and just needing to chill. I look pretty mad though. Maybe Dan was interrupting me during a, eh, private moment, ha.
Dan Wilton: Okay, so this is an outtake from that other shot of Orlando and one of the dancers with their heads in the mirrored cube. The festival has put this box randomly in the middle of the festival at night. So weird; no signs for it or anything, it was just a random thing. You've got no idea what it is from the outside. You just have to stick your head in there. The mirrors were a cool surprise.
TEED: We just walked about getting drunk for a week, so photo opps just seemed to materialise.
TEED: Do you know him? That's "The Dancing Misanthrope". He's called Alan. You've definitely raved with him. Any Boiler Room, or anything like that, he will be the weirdest guy dancing. He goes to every rave he can go to. He dances on his own at the front and he just loves music and getting down. He's got his own completely unique way of dancing.
Dan Wilton: Does he drink?
TEED: Yeah, I think he does. He's been a fan - or I don't know if you can count him as a fan, to be honest. He just loves music. He's been at a lot of my shows and has tweeted at me and stuff; just one of those people from the party scene that isn't a DJ. It's nice having a proper personality around. People love him. He just came and stood in the dressing room as we were getting changed too, ha.
Dan Wilton: I've been chatting to him actually, I'm going to do a little project. There's a little film about him.
TEED: He's the London guy, then there's a guy from Bristol. I've forgotten his name now, but he's got curly blonde hair and he's a little bit autistic maybe. He's been to every single one of my shows there. Everyone who plays in Bristol has seen him. There's even a mural of him in Bristol now! He doesn't have any money but he's just automatically on the guestlist for every show. Hang on, he's called Jeff! That's his name. He's amazing.
Dan Wilton: We went for a walk down the beach because I really wanted to hire some jet-skis and take pictures of Orlando cruising about, but we couldn't find any jet-skis and just took a portrait instead.
TEED: That was my first time going to one of these Croatian festivals. It's kind of funny seeing the English raver sprawled out on the rocks in the daytime like that; hanging around all these kids getting sunburnt and doing ket, falling to pieces at lunchtime. I have to say though, Unknown hadn't crossed over into the Essex lads vibe like others have. It was a really lovely crowd - no disrespect to the people of Essex - but you know what I mean. It hadn't reached perhaps what Hideout is now by all accounts. It's a great festival.
TEED: This one doesn't really need an explanation, does it?
Dan Wilton: I remember the show; it was backstage, and you were holding a tiny little dinosaur. But I can't remember how many years ago it was. Been a while, pal.
TEED: True love, man.