Tag Archives: Daft Punk

Interview with Kim Moyes of The Presets

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The Presets are about as big as they come in Australia. The duo of Kim Moyes and Julian Hamilton have won over a dozen awards, including becoming the first ever Electronic act to win an ARIA for “Album of the Year” (2008), followed by an APRA award for “Songwriters of the Year” (2009).

They have released three studio albums, remixed a bevy of artists including Lenny Kravitz and Kings of Leon, and have shared the stage with genre defining artists like Coldplay and Daft Punk.

Starting on Saturday, May 4th they will be kicking off their U.S. Tour (with Dragonette and Classixx) in Washington, DC before cruising into Philadelphia the next night to play a May 5th show at Union Transfer. Before we catch the show on Sunday night, we spoke with Kim Moyes of The Presets to get the dirt on the upcoming tour, life on the road, and a slew of other topics.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name “The Presets”, does it hold any special meaning for you guys, and did you consider any other names?

Kim Moyes: I actually came up with the name The Presets before we even started making music as The Presets. I think it was one of these names that I thought was really great and I kind of had this concept that we would be a band that made music with like old Casio keyboards and just use all the preset sounds and drum machines from them. So it was kind of a funny concept that I was playing with and then Jules and I had been messing around for a while just jamming with synths and drums and we sort of thought we would just start making music in that style and we just thought the name The Presets kind of fit that. We didn’t really consider any other names. I think we were sold on that name from the get go.

IP: Your latest album “Pacifica” has been out for about six months. How has the reaction been so far?

KM: It’s been great. Critically it’s been our most acclaimed record to date. Our fans who always love what we do are still really into it, and really interested in what we’re doing and really like it. A lot of people think it’s the best album we’ve made. I don’t think it’s really satisfied everyone’s expectations, there are people that really miss the super hard, aggressive stuff that we were doing a few years ago, or that we have done in the past. So, you know, a few fans have dropped off along the way but I think we’ve also picked up fans who never really liked that kind of (hard) stuff and appreciate the fact that we’ve kind of developed our sound and matured and continued to progress. The shows have been really great. The new material and the old material seem to work really well together, and we’ve been able to remix some of the older material to kind of keep it up to date and more in line with what we are doing now. I think it’s a great show given the history of our catalog. It sounds really good together and the crowds always seem to have a really good time. All in all the response has been pretty positive.

IP: You guys are going to be touring in the States soon with Dragonette. What went into pairing these groups together for the tour?

KM: Their management (Dragonette) and our management are quite close. They are managed by the same people who manage Cut Copy so they are kind of like extended family members. I’m not overly familiar with Dragonette and I’ve never met them before but I think it’s going to be a good fit, it’s going to be fun. I think they are the right type of band to tour with. We are also touring with Classixx as well and I’ve met those guys a few times and they’re really sweet. So yeah, I’m excited to meet these guys. When you tour you’re like brothers and sisters in arms, so hopefully by the end of May we’re all best friends.

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IP: What is your least favorite part about being out on the road touring?

KM: Being away from my family I find is the most irritating side effect of going out on the road but I try not to focus too much on the negativity of touring. There are so many musicians that we know that struggle to have a career and I always catch myself thinking “Oh God, I have to go away and be on the road for a month and be away from my family and stuff” but the reality is, this is my job and if I wasn’t touring I wouldn’t be earning any money and I wouldn’t be achieving what I think I should be achieving. I’m grateful for the opportunity and that people are still interested in what we do enough to keep coming back to the shows.

IP: There is a crazy amount of buzz in the States about Daft Punk’s new album “Random Access Memories” that is being released in May. You guys had the chance to tour with them in Australia. What was that experience like?

KM: It was great. It was a real honor. We’ve been fans of Daft Punk ever since “Homework”. I remember even when “Da Funk” came out about a year before “Homework” came out and taping it off of a community radio station on a cassette and bringing it into Union and playing it for Julian on headphones and just couldn’t believe how good it was. We never really had any crazy idealistic dreams (at the time) that one day we’d be supporting Daft Punk but luckily enough, we did. Also, aside from support a great legacy act like Daft Punk, that time period that we toured with them was actually really monumental for us in terms of our career because we were in the studio making “Apocalypso” when we toured with them and I think “My People” had just come out onto radio so everybody was starting to get really familiar with it. There were about 50,000 people at the concert in Sydney with Daft Punk. We played all over Australia with them but the Sydney show was one of the biggest ones. With “My People” just coming out on the radio, we had a chance to play that live, and we played “Kicking and Screaming” for the first time live, which no one had ever heard, and I remember the crowd was just really responsive. When we came off stage, all of our friends and everyone there, their jaws just dropped at how good it was and how good the response was. It just felt like that was the beginning of a really special time for us. I definitely think of that Daft Punk time with very fond memories. We also got to meet our lighting guy and our tour manager from that tour as well. It was Daft Punk’s tour manager and Daft Punk’s lighting guy. And you know, those two guys are our guys now. Ego trip aside it was a really amazing experience.

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IP: Between you and Julian, who would win the following battles? The first one is a boxing match…

KM: Julian takes Boxercise, like Fight Club, a couple times a week, so I guess he would. Then again, I don’t know, when you’re in the heat of the moment… are you talking about an actual boxing match like “ding, ding, ding, ding” and all that or like street fighting?

IP: Either one, it could be sanctioned or just a round of spontaneous fisticuffs…

KM: Like backyard brawling with no gloves and stuff or like Ultimate Fighting? If it was a backyard brawl I think maybe I would win because I think I’m maybe a little more psychotic than he (Julian) is. But if it were like boxing with rules and gloves then it would probably be him because he’d probably have a better technique than I do.

IP: Which one of you would win a dance-off?

KM: Julian, hands down.

IP: Who would win a cook-off?

KM? Again, Julian, hands-down.

IP: How about a fashion show, which one of you is a better dresser?

KM: That would be me.

IP: Great! Would you like to give a shout out to your fans in North America that will be coming up to support your upcoming tour?

KM: Yeah, I’d like to say, if you’ve come seen us before and you had a good time, come down and say hello. We’ve friendly and accommodating and  we’ll try to take some photos with you. If you’ve never seen us and you’re curious to check us out you should come down as well and bring some friends. You’re guaranteed to have a good time. It’s straight up shirts-off-and-have-a-good-time.

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IP: In 2009, Julian was quoted in Rolling Stone Australia as saying that you get asked the same six questions over and over again by music journalists and bloggers. So, if you were going to interview yourselves, what would you ask? Are there things that you want fans to know about you that you don’t think they’ve had a chance to learn? 

KM: (Laughs). That is such a deep, hypothetical question. I don’t think anyone should have to answer that question. It’s like a parallel universe within a parallel universe. Julian made that comment when I think we were getting interviewed in the States in L.A. and for about three interviews in a row we kept getting asked “So you guys use auto-tune on your vocals right?” and we were like what the hell is going on? And then one of us, or someone, checked our Wikipedia page and the first comment was “The Presets are a band that use auto-tune”, that was the first thing in our description on Wikipedia. So we thought if it would be funny if we put in “The Presets really hate being asked the same six questions”, you know like “How did you guys meet” and “Where’d you get your name from”. You know, we were just sort of having some fun, and now we get asked about the six questions as much as the six questions.

IP: Uh oh, I guess we asked you that…

KM:  I’m just kidding mate.

IP: Finally, can you tell us something about you guys that would surprise or even shock our readers…

KM: God, I don’t know. What do you think is a shocking thing? Drinking your own urine, is that something that you think is shocking?

IP: That would be shocking if indeed you drink your own urine, yes.

KM: Well I don’t think either of us do that. I think we’re just pretty average dudes, pretty average humans, just getting along in life and doing things to survive. I don’t think there is anything overly shocking or confrontational about what we do. You know, we’re all human.

We can’t wait to catch the show this Sunday night at 830pm! The Presets, Dragonette, and Classixx all know how to light up a stage so the three together promise to be one hell of a good time. You can grab advance tickets to make sure you don’t miss out on an amazing end to the first weekend of May! See you there Philly!

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[Article by David Miller]

We Need Daft Punk in Philly, Even If It’s Just One More Time

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For almost every fan of electronic music, having the chance to see Daft Punk perform live is holding down a top spot on their bucket list. Unfortunately for those who have become fans in the past few years, there hasn’t been any opportunity to see the elusive French duo grace a stage, venue, or festival.

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Daft Punk has been one of my favorite acts, from any genre of music, since I first saw them live at Shampoo Nightclub back in 1997. I was sitting against a speaker box when they dropped their recent (at the time) track “Da Funk”. I was hooked.

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For the next decade I dreamed of seeing them perform again. I bought every one of their album. I scoured through crates and bought unreleased remixes on vinyl in tiny record stores in London, England. I waited, and waited, and waited.

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Finally, in 2007, I was able to see Daft Punk two more times on their “Alive” tour. The shows, at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn and the Vegoose Festival in Las Vegas, are still two of the greatest experiences of my life.

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Since that time there have been many rumors of new albums, new tours, and new appearances. All have proven to be just that, rumors. The most recent report (within the past week) has them signing a new deal with Sony and releasing a new album this Spring.

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In other genres of music, most notably Rock, tribute (or cover) bands are a long standing tradition. Tribute bands for Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and countless others have become so popular that they sell out shows themselves. Some tribute bands go so far as to recreate specific shows of the the original band using the exact same set-list. These bands often so successful because fans aren’t able to see the original band because they have broken up, members have passed away, or they just don’t tour anymore.

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If you think about it, almost every DJ set is a tribute to numerous other producers/DJs as the performer is playing other producers music (often adding their own flavor to it). Being that Daft Punk hasn’t toured in over five years, it isn’t at all surprising that a Daft Punk tribute act, One More Time, has stepped in to fill the void. One More Time replicates the pyramid stage set, chrome helmets, and light up jump-suits from the “Alive” tour.

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On Saturday, January 26th, they headlined a show at the Theater of the Living Arts. The event, presented by Steez Promo, also featured opening DJ sets by Deep C, Speaker For the Dead, and Nysus.

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After all of the openers had thoroughly warmed up the crowd, One More Time hit the stage just  before 12:30am to a roar of cheers. For the next 75 minutes they dropped Daft Punk anthems infused with their own remixes. It might not have been the real deal, but it was damn near close. As a Daft Punk addict I’d been jonesing for this for half a decade and while it might not have been a pure dose, it was certainly enough for a solid fix. The crowd was not as big as I’d anticipated it would be but everyone there was robot rockin’ out hard.

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When the show ended, I hoped they would return one more time, for one more song. Alas, the set was over, and I was forced to return to Daft Punk limbo, praying that this Spring will play host to a new album, and a long awaited tour. In the meantime, I would be happy to see One More Time, several more times.

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You can watch video of the show, and check out additional photos below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Interview with Gaspard Augé of Justice

French House duo Justice needs no introduction. They’ve been nominated for 14 music awards (taking home the hardware 5 times), remixed superstar artists from across the musical spectrum, spawned a documentary, and have created some of our favorite dance tracks of all time.

After releasing their second album “Audio, Video, Disco” in October of 2011, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay have been working tirelessly on a live stage show to support the album. The reviews from overseas indicate we’re in for a treat when Justice descends on Philadelphia to play a sold-out show at the Electric Factory on March 20th.

We wanted to find out a little more about Justice from the men behind the magic so we spoke with Gaspard about the album, the upcoming tour, and what Justice is all about.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name Justice? Does it hold any special meaning?

Gaspard Augé: We wanted to have a name that was the same in French and English with a universal meaning.

IP: You won a Grammy in 2009 for Best Remixed Song (MGMT’s Electric Feel). As well known remix artists, how much did it mean to you to win this award?

GA: For us it was great to get this little golden gramophone on our fireplace, it s still the most prestigious award in music.

photo credit: Paul Heartfield

IP: You have done remixes for everyone from Daft Punk, to Britney Spears, Franz Ferdinand, and N.E.R.D. Who is an artist you’ve never worked on remixes for that you’d love to add to your portfolio?

GA: We don’t have anybody in particular, we were just doing remixes to get our name on records of artists we liked at the time.

IP: What is your favorite remix that someone else has done of a Justice song?

GA: We love Jackson and his computer band remix of “D.A.N.C.E.”, along with the Soulwax remix of “Phantom (Part 2)”, the Video Village remix of “ON N ON”,  and Rick Rubin’s “ON N ON” remix.

IP: Your music incorporates all kinds of rock, funk, disco, and beyond. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

GA: We don’t have special role models but we like romantic pop music mostly, without any consideration of genre, as long as the melody is touching us. We like emotional music over functional music.

photo credit: Adrian Boot

IP: There has been a lot of speculation about the cross symbol that you use. Is it supposed to be religious or does it have an additional meaning?

GA: We say that if Justice was “The Police”, the cross would be Sting and we’d be Stewart Copeland and and Andy Summers.

IP: It’s now been about 6 months since you released “Audio, Video, Disco”, how has the fan response been?

GA: It’s been great, most of the shows are a sold out and people seem to enjoy themselves with blood, sweat, and tears.

IP: What can fans who have never seen you perform live expect from a Justice show?

GA: Love and violence.

IP: Any plans for any new songs in 2012?

GA: We’ll be touring til the end of this year and then maybe work on some new material, but we don’t plan to over the next few months.

IP: What is the craziest thing you’ve seen at one of your live shows?

GA: People with our logo tattooed everywhere.

IP: Tell us something that would surprise, or even shock, our readers…

GA: “Audio, Video, Disco” means “I hear, I See, I Learn” in Latin.

Stay tuned for our coverage of Justice at the Electric Factory on March, 20th. We hope you’ll be joining us at the show.

Lazy Rich Works It at Rumor

A steady downpour fell on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, but inside Rumor nightclub, the rain drops were replaced by bass drops as Art of Electronica presented an evening with Lazy Rich.

The 18+ event, MC’d by AOE’s Dubsef, kicked off with an opening set by DJ Sweekuh.

From there it was time for BHB to take his turn on the decks. Actual Records has been promoting the hell out of this guy (we saw a lot of new BHB t-shirts on fans) with good cause, he’s got all the makings of a great DJ.

Finally, Night Kids took their turn pumping up the crowd with a Skrillex heavy set before the headliner, Lazy Rich, took to the decks around midnight.

The next two hours were comprised of house and electro beats, the insane lighting system of Rumor’s Manhattan room, and a dance floor filled with sweaty bodies.

Up and coming DJ’s, take a cue from Lazy Rich, play some Daft Punk.

For a guy whose moniker infers a sense of general malaise, Lazy Rich, and his track selection, are nothing but high energy. Ironic.

After his set he paused to take some photos with fans, closing out the night with class.

You can view an expanded photo gallery of the evening below:

Interview with Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable were in Philly last month to play day one of Popped Festival. The three piece outfit has taken the music world by storm this year, garnering a cult following across multiple continents. They have toured with The Temper Trap and Passion Pit and this year they opened the main stage at the Reading and Leads festivals, Lollapalooza, and at a secret show for the Foo Fighters. The also released their debut studio album, “The Big Roar”, this year and it peaked in the top 10 on the Billboard US Heat chart. We had some questions for lead singer Ritzy Bryan and thankfully, she had some answers.
Independent Philly: Who came up with the name “The Joy Formidable”? What meaning does it hold for you?

Ritzy Bryan: It came to us during our first writing sessions  back in North Wales. It felt right, don’t ask me how, it just captured a mood, and the spirit of the band that was emerging.  

IP: Is it true that you’re childhood friends? How long have you known each other?

RB:  We went to the same school, but our paths didnt cross very often. We had our own  creative things going on. It wasn’t until a few years later that we really got to know each other.  I suppose you could say we chanced upon each other quite unexpectedly and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

IP: This has been a big year for The Joy Formidable… you released your first studio album “The Big Roar” in January, how has the reaction been to the album?

RB: We’re very proud of the album. Thats the only validation we need. We don’t notice much outside of the music. We have a wonderful fanbase, they’re very loyal and it’s been great seeing more and more people connect with our record and our story.

IP: Passion Pit is one of our favorite bands, you’ve spent a lot of time with them, tell us a funny story from one of your shows together…

RB: We love the guys very much and they’ve really supported us. On one of the first gig nights in Glasgow, we witnessed a full on  fist fight during soundcheck that gave everybody a good giggle. It rang a chord, something about a guitar being too loud!  I’m sure they don’t mind me telling you as they love each other like brothers. It was forgotten as quickly as it erupted, very funny though. Ayad makes the BEST tequila cocktails in the world. That’s a fact! I can’t drink them anymore though.

IP: As music fans, what other bands/acts would you most like to see perform live? What’s getting the most play on your IPOD right now?

RB: Our IPOD changes daily, but today we enjoyed NIN, Explosions in the Sky, Justice, and The Platters. I’m long overdue seeing Bjork live again, hopefully for this album cycle, and I have my fingers and toes crossed that I can see Wilco with Nick Lowe next month.

IP: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at one of your live shows?

RB: Seeing the whole front row of our audience in Cardiff wearing Ritzy, Rhyds, and Matt masks was a little strange. We loved it though. They’re a creative bunch.

IP: Are there any plans for a sophomore album in the works?

RB: Absolutely, we’ll have a second album out next year. Unless one of us loses an arm, if that happens it might take a little longer.

IP: What’s a charity or other cause that you’re really passionate about?

RB: We often have a collection box at the merch stand.  We’re supporting the British Heart Foundation on this next UK run as it’s a charity that’s important to us. We have a whole host of animals that we’ve adopted, the WSPA and GREENPEACE do very important work. You have to try and give something , time, money or very basically, in the way you think about life. Be aware that you cant ignore everything, we have a shared responsibility to try and change things for the better.

IP: What’s the most embarrassing thing you’re willing to admit to?

RB: Im not easily embarrassed. I think I still like toys a little bit too much.

IP: Who would you most like to collaborate with on a future track or tour?   
RB: Daft Punk, Springsteen, and Phillip Glass.