Australian electro-pop sensation Cut Copy are back this month with their third studio album Zonoscope. Now a four piece, with the addition of bassist Ben Browning, the band hope to follow up the success of their last album In Ghost and Colours and, judging by the recent reception of the new release, they have little to worry about. More of a dance record than previous albums, Zonoscope sees the band tone down on the rock/indie vibes and focus more on the electronic, with more uplifting synths, layers and percussion. We caught up with Cut Copy to find out a little bit more about the new release.
After the success of In Ghost Colours did you feel any added pressure in writing the new album?
No not really. We were happy with the result of In Ghost Colours and felt it was heading in an exciting direction. So if anything we were really eager to get back to recording and see where things went next. For us recording is always a most exciting process, so we dont think about pressure or expectations, it’s just about exploring different creative avenues.
You have a new member, how has having Ben in Cut Copy affected the creative process?
He comes from a background of classic pop music and has a real handle on musical theory and technique, whereas the rest of us are all self taught. So he’s definitely come in from a different angle. I think it’s been interesting having him play and work with us on the new record. He always seems to bring something unexpected to all our recordings and is super proficient on various instruments.
Who were your influences in writing for ‘Zonoscope’?
I was listening to a lot of Talking Heads, Grace Jones, Konk and late seventies music that was influenced by african music while working on the original demos for the record. I think the emphasis on rhythm was really influential. I also listened to a lot of other stuff; 90’s manchester stuff, chicago house, and a lot of classic pop like the rolling stones, roxy music etc. As always our records seem to be a product of a pretty diverse range of sounds.
Read the rest of the amazing interview after the jump!
Much of your music is very complex in terms of layering and the range of sounds you use, do you find it easy to translate this into your live performances?
It’s always been a challenge, because we never think too much about how we’ll play songs live when we’re writing them. I feel like worrying about that will restrict the creative process when we’re writing. But we’ve added a lot of instrumentation in performing songs from this record, and a percussionist. We’ve also got a bunch of new analog synths to reproduce the sounds of zonoscope. It feels like our instrumentation evolves for each record.
You released a making of video providing a very insightful look into your writing process how did this come about.
The guys who directed the doco are very good friends of ours and in fact have both been our housemates at various times. But they are also incredibly talented film and video-makers. So it made complete sense. There was nobody we’d feel more comfortable in the studio with than those guys. And the end result is probably the most accurate depiction of life in the studio with us, and just us as friends. They did a great job!
You’ve gone back to self producing in this album what made you decide to do this?
I’ve always felt like writing was as much involved in production as it is in writing melodies. Dance music and even a lot of the more guitar based music I like (eg: my bloody valentine) is so rooted in production, I think it’s been natural for me to produce a large part of each of our records. i think this time we just made it official and tried to take on as much of the production and recording as possible. We’ve learned so much from the other records we’ve made with other people that we felt completely comfortable doing it that way.
The new video for ‘Need You Now’ looks like it was very fun to make did you enjoy working with director Keith Schofield?
Yeah - he’s amazing. He’s been one of our favorite directors for a long time and it was just a matter of time before we could work together. We let him have pretty much free reign over the clip and the results were fantastic. I think it’s possibly our favorite Cut Copy clip.
Zonoscope is out now along with their new single Need You Now.
By Paul Joseph