The Presets, supporting Cut Copy on their North American Tour are an electro-dance duo hailing from Sydney, Australia. Chicago was the third stop on the tour following Kansas City and Minneapolis. The show was September 17th at the Metro and was sold out. You can check out Joe’s review of the show here.
The Presets: Julian (left) and Kim (right)
I had a chance to talk with lead singer and keyboardist Julian Hamilton. He shares his thoughts on the show at the Metro and leaves Chicago fans with some exciting words of encouragement! Here goes…
Andy Keil: So your MySpace page tells a sad story about how you and Kim originally met at Luigis Linguini and Pasta. That can’t really be true, is it?
Julian: You’re right, it’s absolutely not true. But, you’d be surprised just how many journalists come to us thinking that story is true. We wanted to have a little fun with our story; the real one is quite boring.
Andy: Can you give me an abbreviated timeline of your career so far? Where did you start and what are some of the important events that have happened along the way?
Julian: We met in the mid-90s studying music in Sydney. We both liked the same type of music and started making music together. About 4-5 years ago we started playing in clubs and touring. It’s really been sort of a gradual climb to where we are now. Nothing really big stands out. Oh, one memorable moment was when we started getting our own hotel rooms, which was a couple of years ago.
Andy: You’re currently on tour around the states with Cut Copy, how long have you been in the freedom land so far?
Julian: We’ve only been here about a week so far. This is the second or third time we’ve toured the U.S. in the past year, we’re almost here more than we’re back home.
Andy: Since you’re in the U.S. so often, does it feel like a home away from home?
Julian: No way, my suitcase would be the only thing close to a home away from home; it’s the only thing that stays the same from day to day. I open it up and the same stupid clothes every time. Being on your with Cut Copy is kind of like a home away from home though. We’ve been friends for so long and we’re able to share the homesick feeling with them while on tour.
Andy: How long is this tour going to last?
Julian: About a month, so we’re ¼ the way through it so far. Then we get to go home to our studio. That’s where we’re truly at home. We’re happiest when we just get to be nerds in the studio.
Andy: Speaking of your studio, do you have any plans for the next record?
Julian: I mean not really. We aren’t planning to start recording anything before January, I know that.
Andy: Apocalypso has a completely different groove than Beams, what influenced the change in sound?
Julian: Beams was a mish-mash of a ton of different themes, it was all material we had lying around. We toured that record for 3 years. With Apocalypso, we started with a clean slate. Maybe that’s why there’s such a difference in sound. We hardly played any live shows before Beams so all that live energy we saw on tour was poured into making Apocalypso.
Andy: You played the NeverEverLand festival over in Sydney last December, how did that affect you guys?
Julian: “My People” had just come out and NeverEverLand was our first big Australian show after being away for a long time. It’s like all our hard work finally came to an apex at that show and the other we opened for Daft Punk. Most of the people that were there to see Daft Punk already knew about us and they were singing along to “My People.” That was a great feeling.
Andy: What’s your favorite track to play live?
Julian: Probably “My People” or “Kicking & Screaming” because it’s the climax of the show. Actually, I like playing the whole show; it’s a lot of fun.
Andy: What type of shows are you more comfortable playing? Houses, clubs, theaters, arenas?
Julian: Wherever we are, we try and make the situation our own. Whether we’re playing in a small club in front of 40 fans or at a festival in front of 40,000 fans, we put the Presets stamp on it.
Andy: You guys remix a fair amount of songs, how do you go about picking a track to remix?
Julian: We’ve chilled out on doing the remixes. If we’re going to spend 4 days working on a song, we’d rather it be our own track instead of someone else’s. But, the tracks we worked on were just because people asked us.
Andy: You played a sold out show at the Metro in Chicago, what did you think about the show?
Julian: Our first 3 shows on this tour were Kansas City, Minneapolis and Chicago. They’ve all been great shows so far, a lot of fun.
Andy: I was at the Chicago show and I was kind of disappointed in the crowd. I mean it was a sold out show but no one seemed to be dancing.
Julian: Oh, great, so you were at the show. Yeah, I really did too but they seemed to lose it for Cut Copy so that was good.
Andy: I guess you could say you lubed them up…
Andy: Anyways, I noticed quite a few gay people in the crowd, is that your target audience or are they just more accepting of your sound?
Julian: I think they’re more accepting of our sound. The first shows we played were at gay clubs or parties. It seems like every place we go there are quite a few gay people in the crowd. San Francisco, Berlin, even Chicago. The rowdiest part of the crowd is normally centered around a few buff dudes in tight pants and tank tops, we love that.
Andy: I have to admit, the people I ended up dancing around during your set were most definitely gay. Without them, I don’t know if I would’ve enjoyed the show as much as I did. I wish there were more gay crowds.
Andy: How do you feel in the digital age of music about piracy? I mean as long as fans hear your music, do you care how they get it from?
Julian: If a fan downloads our song off the net, they’ll probably come to see our show and we can still sell t-shirts. I’d appreciate them buying our CD; we are trying to do this as a living.
Andy: You guys always have great closing remarks so I’m going to open the doors for another one, any words of wisdom that you’d like to leave your fans from Chicago?
Julian: Kim and I sort of play off each other in those interviews, sometimes we can be total pricks. So uh, I don’t know, keep dancin’ Chicago?