I feel that your success has made you an accidental spokesman for electronic music. Other large figures in the genre avoid interviews, media attention, etc. Is that role comfortable for you?
Oh I’m a loudmouth, I like talking to people. It was strange being seen as an electronic dance artist, because as much as I like electronic dance music it’s a fairly small part of what I do, especially because my background is playing in punk rock bands. The idea that I have when I make records is to try and not focus too much on the ways in which the record is being made, but rather just focus on how the music affects me once its finished. There are some songs that have very conventional instrumentation and have no electronic elements and there are other songs that have lots of electronic elements and I try not to focus too much on the individual variables and just on the end result.
You’re going out with this as a full band, yes? Are you in rehearsal now?
We did three months of touring in Europe, but unfortunately the Immigration and Naturalization service has prevented my European band from coming over, so I’m auditioning people in the States now. But yeah, playing it live, some of the songs can’t be played, some of the songs sound very similar to what’s on the record, some of the songs are completely dissimilar to what’s on the record.
Are there a lot of considerations? How much retooling do you have to do for each song?
It depends. One of the things that makes touring interesting for me is having that element of spontaneity in every show. Sometimes you play the same song the exact same way a hundred times, but then other times a song can have completely different permutations every time you play it, and pretty radical permutations. A song can go from big and loud and crazy to understated and quiet. I guess it’s one of the nice things about being a solo musician is its sort of, when it comes to playing live, it’s a benign autocracy. So if for one performance I decide that everyone in the band shouldn’t play on a certain song, I can politely ask them not to.
It’s not a democracy.
No (laughs). I mean, everybody has a voice. It seems to work better when everybody can contribute but there’s one person who sort of decides at the end of the day how things are going to be. A lot of my friends who are in bands who have a lot of members, they almost have fistfights when it comes to everybody wanting to be heard.