Together with The Presets, Cut Copy are leading the charge for Australian label Modular Recordings in the US. The group worked with DFA mastermind Tim Goldsworthy to construct their latest CD In Ghost Colours, a blend of guitars and electronic beats with a new wave feel inspired as much by My Bloody Valentine as ELO. Debuting at number one in Australia and spawning the hit singles "Hearts on Fire" and "Lights and Music" the CD In Ghost Colours simply has not left my CD player all summer.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: How did you hook up with Tim Goldsworthy and the DFA crew to
work on this album?
Dan Whitford of Cut Copy: I guess we'd been on the radar with those guys for a little while, as long as three years ago. The first time we ever did anything with them was when we played a CMJ showcase with them, Hot Chip, and The Juan MacLean. Having done that, I sort of met a few of the guys and then ended up touring Australia with James Murphy, doing a festival at home called Big Day Out. Having had introductions with those things, we thought when we were working on the record to send demos to Tim and see if he was interested in working on it from a production standpoint.
RS: What role did he actually play in creating the album?
Dan Whitford of Cut Copy: He was a bit of a muse for a lot of the stuff, at least initially. We'd of spent a long time working on tracks at home, writing when we were in Australia and working out demos. A lot of the songs were fairly fleshed out in terms of sort of a writing standpoint. When he came in, he was almost like an extra member of the band and gave us feedback on things that were working and things that he thought we could change. On top of that he has an incredible wealth of experience with what he's done with other records and brought some of those recording techniques to our music. Going to the DFA studio, he wanted to record the live instruments again to give it a consistent sound of a live band rather than the sound that we had from recording demos. The key thing he did for us was giving us a sound with the record that's pretty close to the way we sound live.
RS: Was recording the album in New York a challenge since you
were outside your home country?
Dan Whitford of Cut Copy: Not really, I mean if anything it was kind of a good thing. We were shut off from all of the regular distractions and buried ourselves in the studio for six or eight weeks. It was kind of funny, I've got a bunch of friends in New York as well, but none of them really saw us while we were there. It was kind of weird because it was almost like we were living at the DFA studio and sort of unable to escape. We stayed there ten or twelve hours a day and just lived and breathed the music we were making.
RS: Did it ever get confusing having two guys named Tim in the
room at the same time?
Dan Whitford of Cut Copy: Yes, there was certainly occasions, but I think we just started calling him Goldsworthy, like after the first week, so that cleared it up.
RS: There's definitely a different sound between the first album
and the new album. Was that a conscious move or what was you logic in
Dan Whitford of Cut Copy: I don't even know if there was like a preconceived sort of reason for it. We were developing and sort of changing outlook and musical tastes and what we were interested in. In one sense because it had been four years since the first record, so obviously things are going to change and you're probably going to be interested different things. So I think that's part of the reason why it sounds different but I guess as far as working in the DFA studio, I think a lot of people would be a little bit surprised as far as which tracks we changed the most and what we worked on the most back at home. There's probably tracks in there that people might sort of think sound more like DFA tracks, the funky DFA sound and the ones that we actually worked on more in the studio were perhaps more sort of guitar-based songs.