So you’re nearly finished the Laneway tour, what’s been the highlight so far?
Cai: They’ve all been good, this past one we got to do New Zealand, I haven’t been there before, and then probably just playing with Archie; King Krule.
If you had to pick another laneway artist to collaborate with who would it be?
Dom: It would be quite nice to. I’d say out of the artists that we liked and hadn’t heard before it would be Youth Lagoon, they were one of the ones we liked. Whether we would collaborate with them is a completely different matter but yeah probably Youth Lagoon.
You have such an organic sound which I imagine is a reflection of your writing process, how did the addition of King Krule’s vocals fit into that and how did it effect the evolution of the sound?
It was pretty early on, he just had the really early ideas for some things and we got stuck into it from there. He was in it from the beginning rather than coming in at the end and just doing something onto of what we already had done. He was part of the fabric of the record, you know, on those few songs we were writing around him.
Speaking of collaborations, what was the dynamic like when you toured with James Blake? Is it easy to adapt when you add or lose a member for a live performance?
Dom: That was what we started with so it was really adapting without him was the thing we had to do. So when we started out it was me and Cai and him on vocals and keyboard and we just knew we had to go our separate ways cause James was getting really busy with his work and we were getting loads of offers for shows which he couldn’t commit to so the big jump was going from that three piece down to two. Then more recently got a third piece, our drummer Tony, so we’ve again had to adapt, it changes from record to record. It adds another layer to it.
Your live shows are so grand and cinematic, how do you translate those elements to small venues or club shows and DJ sets? Do you feel like anything is lost in translation?
Dom: We don’t DJ that’s the thing, it’s something were looking to do but that’s really been one of the reasons we haven’t done it before I think, more recently I know what we could play and it can be set quite comfortably in. I feel as though were not trying to emulate our peers and play stuff were really passionate about, it’s taken awhile to get to that point and now we feel like we could maybe play a few do sets. It’s always been about the live show.
You seem like really chilled, harmonious dudes and I think that really translates to your music, what other aspects of your lives or characters do you think are reflected in your sound?
Dom: I think were both quite reserved, and you know it was a big jump when we put lyrics on the record using our own voices. That’s kind of a hard question to answer really, I guess the way we go about writing is quite a quiet and isolated approach I suppose. We don’t like working with other people and we lock ourselves away for a bit, I guess that translates into the music, it can be quite held back almost.
Is that why you have been quite selective about the collaborations you’ve worked on?
Dom: Yeah definitely its more form our artistic approach I mean we don’t really just want anyone to come along and sing on our tracks we want it to be, as we were saying with Archie, someone we really respect and really want to get involved in as much of the writing process as possible. It just hasn’t come about until King Krule.
Your album Crooks and Lovers was hailed as near perfection by virtually every credible music publication, in fact Vice gave it 10/10, would you guys say you are perfectionists? At what point do you step back and say okay the final product?
Cai: Yeah I think we definitely had a streak of that but actually we tried to let go a lot of that side of things from that record, it was very persnickety you know like interested in very fine details and everything being just so. We tried to let go of that this record and just go with it a bit more rough, and letting go of control. I think you can hear that. You know some people like it some people don’t.
What is your biggest musical influence?
Cai: It’s hard to say really, I mean its records that make you want to make music, which is very different to records that you’re influenced by. The first band that made me want to make music was Red Hot Chili Peppers, that was a big junction.
The textures and layers give your music a visually emotive element, which kind of carries you away to another place, do you find that with your own music or when you write or you’re developing an idea?
Cai: Writing is a kind of escape for me I think, when it’s good its almost has a quality of meditation, a lot of time can pass and you haven’t really been actively thinking and when you come out its really nice. And then you come back to it and its come together but you’ve been dong it for 6 hours. In the act of making it you kind of escape. Listening to it as a finished thing is a bit different cause you’ve heard it a jillion times then to like get it mixed that by the time its on the record its really hard to hear it in the same way anybody else would. So I think it takes quite a long time to just be able to enjoy listening to it and not be thinking “oh I should have done this or change this.”
Do you find you enjoy it more the more you play it live?
Cai: Playing live is always enjoyable, its one of the best things about doing it for some reason, I think its the immediacy of it and the feeling of the room if its going well, I think that’s the point you can really hear your music as it sounds to everybody else.
Post-dub step is such an ambiguous term that gets thrown around, how do you feel about that label and how would you describe your brand of experimental electronic?
Cai: It was a struggle to try and describe it to other people; I always just come up with more vague terms. I don’t know whether there’s more music like that then there was in the passed but I think we have certainly come from soaking in stuff from all different parts of music and parts of the world. Mainly because of the Internet, you don’t necessarily associate yourself with one group of people or genre or something where you could say “i’m somebody into hip-hop” almost exclusively. I mean we listen to a lot of that and a lot of other stuff, so it’s quite hard to pin down where it sits in the world of music.
As post dub step, were pretty happy being referred to as making that music but its a little bit reductive and the word dubstep has different connotations to what it was when it started out so it doesn’t really refer to the same thing anymore. I don’t really care what people call it.
How have things like Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram changed the way you interact and engage with fans?
Cai: I think it’s great in some ways, especially for smaller bands it’s very much leveled the playing field in terms of the reach of how you communicate with people and the speed you can do that without any money. You have to be careful with it as well because its a shame to lose every little bit of mystery in the record, which is what its about at the end of the day. Sometimes its nice to just have the record and not know where they live and what they eat but I feel obliged to do that more, which is fun but you need a healthy balance of having your private stuff as well, who you really are.
What’s your direction for your next project? Any more collaborations we’ll be hearing soon?
Cai: I don’t know about that to be honest…. We certainly haven’t started making the record yet but when we get back from this trip then well start looking for some to make it.
Dom: We tend to kind of leave it until everything else is out of the way, so once this tour is done we can really zone in on getting a place and starting writing.
Cai: I think well probably work with other people on this record.
Okay, finish these sentences:
My first CD was…
Cai: Blood Sugar Sex Magic- Red Hot Chili Peppers
My guilty music pleasure is…
Dom: Mmm guilty pleasure…
Philippa: Or what’s the most embarrassing thing on your iPod?
Dom: Well Cai doesn’t like Pink Floyd, so Pink Floyd, but I like Pink Floyd.
P: That’s not embarrassing; I think its more embarrassing not liking them.
My favourite family of fruit is…
Cai: Uhhh… Oranges?
Dom: Whatever the kiwis are, or banana, or apple, maybe its seeded fruit.
Cai: I don’t know any families, what are they called? How many can you name?
P: There are berries, and pitted fruits like peaches and nectarines, then there’s seeded fruit…
Cai: Probably seeded.
P: Avocados also a fruit.
Cai: Yeah that puts it over the edge for me.
The worst gift I’ve ever received…
Dom: Head mag light, I don’t know why, it was from my grandma.
P: Good for exploring with a GoPro?
Cai: You could use it in clubs.
The best/ worst prank played on me/ you played…
Dom: Our drummer does it all the time, worst is probably knocking on the door and then him running away.
Cai: That’s the level of prank, he hid my phone for a day in America when I really fucking needed it, and it wasn’t cool or funny at all. Dom left his laptop and went somewhere else so we had the whole day so we turned his page into a shrine to Dr. Who and commented on loads of the fan pages defending Dr Who.
The one question I hate being asked in interviews is…
Dom: “Where is Mount Kimbie?”… “Who is mount and who is Kimbie?” Once we had “why do you play guitar over your DJ set?”… That was pretty bad.
Mount Kimbie Tour Dates:
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival – Friday 7th February, Harts Mil Port Adelaide
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival – Saturday 8th February, Esplande Park & West End, Fremantle