Congratulations on a massive 2012, do you feel like pinching yourself as to how well it continues to keep going for The Presets?
“I guess, I do, it’s wonderful and nice that people still remember us and like us. It has been quite a while since we’ve been around and it is certainly nice to be remembered.”
With music lovers having a short attention span do you worry about whether or not people will still remember the band when you disappear to work on a new album?
“They do, I must admit taken a little for granted that very fact. I look at some bands and they never seem to go away as they always have a new record or single and I thought let’s not do that and take a break and come back with something special. These days a million bands come and go in that time, people grow up and move on but we’re lucky we have a loyal fan base who dig what we do and are prepared to wait for it.”
Is that something that is really difficult by not covering the same ground again?
“It’s not terribly hard and one of the goals we had for this record was not to make an Apocalypso II and we felt we did that. There are a couple of songs on the new record that sounded a bit like the old stuff which didn’t feel fresh or fun to us anymore. When we wrote songs like My People we felt like we nailed it and did it so there was no need to do it again. If anything the main rule for this record was to try and do stuff that felt fresh for us right now and that’s what we did particularly with songs such as Promises and Ghosts. This is the stuff we really dig at the moment and thankfully our fans are getting in to it to.”
Does that make it hard to plan what to do next or where music will go in say twelve months time?
“Our aim will always be to make music that makes us feel good at the time which is what we did when we wrote My People. It ended up being a huge hit so we thought let’s not copy that but do something that feels good now and hopefully it will be as successful as our one. The worst thing you can do is to try and predict what fans want or predict what the new style is going to be or write a song that’s going to get you in a video game or headline a festival, you know what I mean. That’s a really bad way of thinking about making music and we certainly avoid that at all costs. We owe it to ourselves and our fans to really dig what we do to make shit that we love. They can smell a fake a mile off and if we tried to copy My People again it would just stink.”
How does the creative process work for The Presets?
“We are influenced a bit by other bands mainly dance and techno which we try and put in to our music. Most of the time when we are writing we usually spend on our own. Kim usually comes over to my place and we just noodle around, making a few beats and sounds and then show them to each other and if we dig it we keep working on it and if we don’t it ends up on the scrap heap. After a while we build up a collection of ideas, choose a bunch that you like and then work on finishing those. Hopefully an album materialises!”
Do old ideas get revisited at all?
“With Apocalypso we wrote twelve songs, ten went on the record, one went as a b-side and one got chucked away. It was a very lean record and there was no fat. This time there was heaps of fat as we had thirty or forty ideas that we liked. We choose our favourites and then made an album from that but certainly there are lots of bits and pieces floating around that might make the next record or end up in a remix or might get used when I’m co-writing with others. So, they do often find a home somewhere else.”
Is there anybody that you’re looking forward to partnering up with to write some new material?
“Um, I spend a lot of time co-writing with a lot of different people and it is a lot of fun. It is good writing with other people especially a girl from Perth called Georgi Kay who is really great and I’m also writing with Megan Washington who is fun and super talented. There are lots of different bits and pieces that are happening which is keeping me busy aside from the band.”
Do you set your goals higher for 2013 after a stellar 2012?
“In a roundabout way you do, the goal is an album then the record company get involved who have goals about selling shit loads of them, or putting on a show and we try and put on the coolest show we’re ever going to make then the promoter steps in wanting to sell as many tickets as they can. Our personal artistic musical goals and the business goals outside of that are a little bit different. Artistically and musically Pacifica has surpassed all goals we set for ourselves musically and we’ll keep making new music and putting on shows and keep doing stuff that excites us.”
Do you think the band will rethink how it will deliver its music given the current state of play in the industry?
“To be brutally honest I’m still floating around in it or more like getting washed down the river with it. It’s really hard to grasp what’s going on with things like illegal downloading and Spotify coming along. Some artists would say that they are happy to have their music out there for free because they never really made any money from it anyway because the record company was the one making the money. At least kids can still come along to the show, buy a ticket and go home with a t-shirt. A lot of artists feel differently about it and I’m not sure what it all means but it is interesting times. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time for younger bands to get their stuff heard as when we first started out it was really important to get a record deal. Most young bands and producers don’t care about a record deal and just their music on Sound Cloud and all that kind of stuff. It is a very different playing field compared to when we first started that’s for sure. There’s no room for patience or slow burn records anymore as it has to sound great the first time on Spotify. Most reviewers say it takes four or five listens to get in to our album – who would do that these days?”
The Presets play at HQ on Tuesday February 5th. Buy tickets here