2012 was a massive year for Tame Impala it was be great gaining awards such as the J Award for album of the year?
“It’s not anything we’d considered until it happened, and coming from Triple J it was such a complement. They’ve been really supportive of us all those years ago when we first started.”
Did you ever think in your wildest imagination that you would be travelling the world playing to big crowds each night on tour?
“We never even considered the possibility of leaving Perth and when we played our first gig in Sydney that was a massive deal for us. We still can’t believe it to be honest, and haven’t stopped touring since. In some ways we’re still trying to catch our breath.”
I still remember when you guys toured with You Am I and it looked like you could do with a big meal from the front bar at The Gov. Do you still remember those days?
“Oh yeah! It’s terrifying to see how far we’ve come and how things were back then.”
Do you still feel overwhelmed when people continue to tell you how great the album Lonerism is?
“It’s been incredible and it hasn’t really stopped since it has come out, it’s been insane. We’ve been very happy with how the album has been received.”
The UK press can be savage as well going their hardest on new bands?
“Yeah but at the same time they can be very fickle so any positive comment has to be taken with a grain of salt because you know next week they could say that you’re the worst band in the world. Reading what’s in the press is something you can’t get to carried away with.”
Has touring become a lifestyle given how much time you’ve all spent on the road?
“Absolutely and it feels weird to say that! I feel more at home living on a bus than the town I grew up in. Even when we do get back home there’s no time to adjust as we’re usually back on the road again. Being at home is a chance to recuperate and be healthy for a week and somewhere to store all my stuff which is wrapped in boxes at my parent’s house.”
“I see it more as an evolutionary expansion and I don’t see them as being two separate entities. Innerspeaker was a clear step on the way to Lonerism and I guess it was a bit ambitious in its scope. Everything was a step up sonically and with the song writing and production wise it was taken to that extra level. The process of writing is very much Kevin and he does all the recording himself and the other guys come together when we play it live.”
Has there been many ideas floating around for album number three?
“Only at a very basic conceptual level as far as demos and song writing goes. Things haven’t really happened and we’ve got years of touring ahead of us before we have to worry about putting out the next one. It’s something we’ll start considering in the next few months and I’m sure Kevin will be working away on it soon.”
With all the success the band has had do you reassess your goals and where you want to take things?
“Not really, especially in this industry you can never really look further ahead than a month or two. We’ll look at what is put in front of us and we haven’t an idea where we’ll be a year from now.”
What are some of the shows that stick out the most as being memorable?
“Definitely South America, we played a bunch of shows down there in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Everything about it was just phenomenal, the shows, the response, the actual places themselves. Insane!”
Does the band share similar influences musically?
“It isn’t a clear line anymore. Kevin doesn’t listen to music any more to be honest and it isn’t something we try to strive and keep in touch with what’s popular or what’s breaking. We don’t check Pitchfork to see what’s cool or whatever. Um, we all listen to our own music and what we really enjoy if that makes sense.”
So you don’t take any notice about what Pitchfork or others are saying about Tame Impala?
“It’s not really our job to notice that sort of stuff if that makes sense. Our job is to write the music and play the shows and it’s up the rest of the world to decide how it’s perceived. Obviously we hear about it through our manager but it’s not something we’ll get caught up on.”
How are you approaching the set list and is the tour the best of both albums?
“It’s not really a best of but probably a fifty fifty mix of both albums and now that we have two albums of songs to play we’re in a position to mix it up the set list more than what we used to be able to. The last three years we only had one album and an EP to choose from which is really a set list in itself. It’s been nice having the luxury of changing it up each night.”
Will any surprise covers make it in to the set?
“We try and not play them how they are on the album because no one wants a carbon copy of the songs as they appear on the album as we try and add something extra to the song.”
Do you notice how much life changes when you’re away from your hometown for so long?
“Perth is the sort of place where nothing really changes that but you do lose touch with the people like family and friends, whatever!”
Interview by Rob Lyon
Photos by Sofie Marsden