Interview with Cut Copy: Keep Caffeinated

Cut CopyAs Cut Copy makes its way across the States for its third U.S. tour in 12 months, the Australian electro pop outfit’s priority list extends further than simply entertaining fans and rocking out different music venues. Having been on the road in America, Europe and Australia for almost a full year, one of the band members’ most sorely missed creature comforts has proven to be their trusty and reliable morning caffeine hit. So the boys from Down Under are in the midst of creating, and carrying out, an important community service.

“We miss good coffee,” bassist and guitarist Tim Hoey explains. “So whenever we get to a new city, we try to track down the best coffee in the city, and we’re creating this blog that’s going to be ‘The Great Coffee Of The World.’ It’s going to be a tool for other touring bands and people travelling, to try to find the best coffee you can possibly find in whatever city you’re in. It’s a big thing that we do. You always do strange things on tour, and that’s certainly one of them.”

Well, it seems the cafes they’ve discovered and the blends they’ve been buying have been hitting the right spots because the boys have won over such big crowds in the States that their U.S. record sales have topped figures in Australia. After playing two packed shows at Webster Hall just six months ago, Cut Copy are hitting New York yet again, playing one of their final shows in support of their killer 2008 record, In Ghost Colours.

“It’s actually quite fitting that we’re finishing the record cycle in America because it’s now taken over as our biggest market. It’s outgrown Australia, which is really great for us because it’s something we really wanted to achieve on this record,” Hoey says from his lounge room in Sydney. “So much of last year there was such a huge workload and touring schedule that you sometimes just get lost in it, and sleep deprivation has certainly been a big thing for us over the last few years. In Australia, you play a maximum of two, maybe three shows a week—but here (U.S.) you’re playing seven days a week at a time, and you’ve got to make the most of it because a year can go by so quickly. We did so much last year that at times I can’t even remember half of it, and I’m constantly getting reminded of stuff we did. Lucky I take a lot of photos.”

While some memories for the band might be faint, the commitment and dedication shown by their fans is crystal clear. Not only are Cut Copy’s gigs most often sold out, but thousands of people across the globe have grabbed, and held onto, the dreamy and melodic dance tracks that are packed into In Ghost Colours. Filled with ‘60s and ‘70s pop flavors, and drawing on 1980s new wave and post punk influences, the band’s sophomore effort has sold a huge 60,000 records in the States, compared to about 37,000 in Australia. The funky and upbeat album also helped the lads secure Australia’s most prestigious 2008 music award.

But despite their impressive list of achievements, Cut Copy hasn’t become complacent. Hoey says they’re already thinking about how they can make their next delivery even better. “We really want to put another record out as soon as possible. We’re kind of overflowing with ideas and we don’t want to leave it too long. We want to get straight on to writing it and hopefully have everything finished by the end of this year,” he says. “A record is always just a moment in time. The most successful artists, in my eyes, are the ones that push it to the next level on that next record and really challenge themselves. I feel like we did everything we wanted to, both in the songwriting and sonically, on In Ghost Colours, and the next one will be even moreso. We’ll enhance all aspects of the songwriting—we’re always going to be searching for new sounds or new ways to put together a song.”