The Sydney Duo Talks Post-Apocalypso
Following up on Gold and Triple Platinum albums isn’t easy, leaving Australian living legends The Presets to wonder just what is in store for their third LP, Pacifica. But having borne ample moneyfruit from the dark, vocal-heavy electro house on previous works Beams and Apocalypso, the duo is willing to take the chance on tracks they really just like to f*cking produce.
The duo’s — Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes — latest single “Youth in Trouble,” is an eerie surrealist disco track; an ominous, bootyshaking foreshadowing of what’s to come on September 14. Meanwhile we talked to the duo about the album, having kids, their biggest fears, dubstep, and smuggling dairy products.
What inspired “Youth in Trouble?”
The way the media portrays today’s youth. We are constantly being told we should be frightened of kids (because they are wearing a hoodie and are going to stab us, or are going to key our cars, or steal our wallets) and we should be frightened for them (because they text nude pictures to each other, wear short skirts and take drugs). I’m not sure whether any of these fears are well justified or not – but with every generation there always seems to be so much negative hype around our youth.
Why should people listen to Pacifica?
Because they like good music!…Everyone should listen to Pacifica. They will be happy they did.
How have you guys changed since Apocalypso? New riders? Better drugs? Violent-er arguments?
Thankfully the arguments have never gotten violent. The drugs were always good quality, even when we were super poor. The riders – certainly better – we even have yogurt and honey on our rider now. The only other change is that we are both dads, so there are less drugs, and we smuggle the yogurt home on flights.
How about musically?
I’m not sure. Hopefully we are always getting better at making music. I don’t know if we have really changed beyond that. We still like the same things I think.
No progressive house or dubstep? What gives?
Those styles are great, but we’ve never really been that interested in making music in the style of whatever is popular at the moment. I don’t read blogs, and I deliberately try to avoid listening to the radio whilst working on our own music. If anything we are more fans on traditional techno, and pop music. But deep down, we try to make Presets music sound like The Presets and nothing else.
Why do you think Apocalypso was so successful? What’s your game plan this time?
We don’t really have a game plan. I mean, the label has one, our manager has one, our publicist has one – they, like us, want to sell a shitload of records . But when we make an album, when we are writing music – we have no game plan – we just make music that feels good to us at the time. That is why Apocalypso was successful I think – it was just honest music that we really wanted to hear at the time, and thankfully other people felt the same way.
Internationally, is it hard for people to understand why you guys don’t sound like Cut Copy or Van She or Men at Work?
I don’t know – is it hard for them? I haven’t heard that. We are friends with all those guys – I’ve been lucky enough to sit with Men and Work’s Colin Hay and his wife a couple of times at awards nights and they are super cool and nice. I don’t think all Australian bands sound the same – they never have.
Does Australia still feel like your biggest fanbase? Any other regions catch you by surprise?
Australia feels like our biggest fan base and it IS our biggest fan base. I must admit – the USA caught us by surprise. When we first started out, we always thought that the US wouldn’t get it, but we’d be big in the UK. We were totally wrong. The UK has never really happened for us – but the fans in the US have always shown us the maddest love – right from the very beginning. We really enjoy playing there.
What are you afraid of?
Having to sit through another episode of The Big Bang Theory on a plane.
What is your most controversial belief? (Aliens? Deforestation? Kenny Rogers?)
Certain bad driving habits tend to be over-represented by specific cultural groups. For example, driving on a freeway, if there is an aggressive driver tailgating you, it is more likely to be a white, middle-aged male.
What is next for the Presets?
Much touring. We’ll see you in the US in October. And beyond that, hopefully heaps more music in the future.