Cut Copy on Interactive Billboards, Unusual Guitars and the Summer of Love
Cut Copy co-headlines Red Rocks with Chromeo this Tuesday, August 5. With Flume and Duke Dumont sharing the bill, the show will represent different facets of an international electronic dance music that isn't directly connected with the EDM phenomenon. Cut Copy first came to the attention of audiences outside its home country of Australia with its debut, 2004's Bright Like Neon Love, an evocation and amalgamation of '80s synth pop and '90s guitar bands like My Bloody Valentine and Lush. A little ahead of the curve on the current neo-wave of synth pop, Cut Copy's star has been on a bit of a rapid ascent since the 2008 release of its sophomore record, In Ghost Colours.
Michael Muller Cut Copy
With its 2011 album Zonoscope, the band cut back on conventional rock guitar and focused on processed sounds through the instrument. The result was a combination of the tonal qualities of an electronic instrument but with the benefit of control that one can exert directly with a guitar.
In preparing material for 2013's Free Your Mind, the band started experimenting with old drum machines, 808s and the like, and rediscovering late '80s and early '90s house music, particularly Chicago house legend Larry Heard and Primal Scream.
"I think Screamadelic by Primal Scream is a good example of a rock band messing around with samplers and drum machines and creating this hybrid house and rock record," say guitarist Tim Hoey.
Another concept that went in to the writing of the album and conceptualizing its presentation were the twin Summers of Love, separated by roughly two decades. The first was in San Francisco in the late '60s, and the second in England in the late '80s, when Acid House and the free flow of MDMA in the clubs largely replaced the LSD that was perceived to fuel the consciousness expansion in the Haight and beyond. But it wasn't necessarily drugs-induced joy that Cut Copy had in mind with the record.
"One of the themes of the record was people coming together in a joyous kind of way," explains Hoey. "We get a lot of that from playing shows and in creating a lot of energy in the crowd and feeding on that. And we wanted to capture that kind of atmosphere on record and create a kind of higher state of consciousness that way. Even though, stylistically, the music of those eras are quite different the message and the theme are kind of the same. We had the idea of continuing that idea in 2014."