The Presets — an Australian duo comprised of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes — just kicked off their North American Tour with dates all across the country, including one at LA’s Club Nokia and one at Hollywood’s Vanguard at the end of the month. I caught up with Julian and Kim before their main stage performance at Treasure Island Music Festival.
Where did your name The Presets come from?
Julian: When we first started up, Kim came up with the name The Presets, and we thought it was apt because we wanted to make music that was really kind of dumb and easy and just use preset sounds on a synthesizer, kind of like preset stations on a car radio. And then 5 minutes later, we started tweaking sounds and changing sounds and making new sounds.
Kim: Yeah the concept didn’t really stick.
Fort Romeau recently remixed your track “Ghosts” — how did you guys start collaborating?
Julian: Generally we make these songs, and then we send out the sounds out to a bunch of people that we like and admire. We ask them if they’d like to remix us. Sometimes they say no, and sometimes they say yes, and he said yes.
Your latest album release, Pacifica, is a lofty departure from your previous two releases. Was there a difference in the creative process while making this album? *
Kim: Yeah, a little bit. We had a bit more time to make this record. The other two records –- well maybe not Beams but definitely Apocalypso – were made very fast. This time around, we had infinite time to make it, and we also had new studios.
Julian: Also it’s funny because a lot of people have said the album sounds quite different, but for us it sounds like the next step. We’ve always had songs that are more mellow, softer songs and other harder songs, and this time around, we didn’t want to repeat anything we’ve done in the past. We wanted to bevel off the edges a bit more to a more unique Presets sound.
Julian, how has fatherhood affected or shaped your music? *
Julian: That’s a hard question to answer as I don’t know what it’s like to make music not as a dad anymore. But having children, for everyone, it changes people’s lives completely. I still think that what we do in the studio and the music we make, it’s the time to be you. It’s not like we’re making Sesame Street music.
Who would you say are your musical influences?
Kim: Julian Hamilton.
Julian: Yeah, Kim is mine. [LAUGHS] There are so many bands that we love from the past, and a lot of them you can hear their influence in our music. There are bands that we like — we like dub music, we like Marconi soundtracks, and even Public Enemy changed our worlds when we were like 12 years old — but you wouldn’t necessarily hear any of that sound in our music, whereas bands like Depeche Mode, who people often times mention us sounding like, I like some of their songs, but I didn’t listen to them as much. I listened to Public Enemy.
The Presets US Tour Dates:
10/19 – New York, NY – Terminal 5 with YACHT and Strange Talk
10/20 – Boston, MA – House of Blues with YACHT
10/21 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre with YACHT
10/23 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall with YACHT
10/25 – Chicago, IL – Metro with YACHT and American Royalty
10/26 – Hollywood, CA – Vanguard (Collaborative Media’s 7th Annual Halloween Costume Party)
10/27 – Los Angeles, CA – Club Nokia with Flight Facilities, Oliver and Yusek
* Question by LAmb writer Lesley Park.
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