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Having A Ball With Art Vs Science

Having A Ball With Art Vs Science

Certain artists have dominated the 2012 festival circuit, and Art vs Science is one of those bands. These Aussie boys are expanding their US fan base one show at a time, capturing audiences with a dance party of awesome electronic beats, as well as an upbeat and uniquely genuine attitude about music. If you haven’t seen them live yet, add these fellows to your musical to-do list, ASAP.

Melodysiac caught Art vs Science at this past weekend’s Governors Ball in NYC, and afterward, the band chatted with us about their new album, their take on American music festivals and why they prefer to stay up all night.

Certain artists have dominated the 2012 festival circuit, and Art vs  Science is one of those bands. These Aussie boys are expanding their US fan base one show at a time, capturing audiences with a dance party of awesome electronic beats, as well as an upbeat and uniquely genuine attitude about music. If you haven’t seen them live yet, add these fellows to your musical to-do list, ASAP.

Melodysiac caught Art vs Science at this past weekend’s Governors Ball in NYC, and afterward, the band chatted with us about their new album, their take on American music festivals and why they prefer to stay up all night.

Melodysiac: You guys played this year’s Bonnaroo and now Governors Ball. How do you like the American festival circuit?
Dan W.: We’re liking it very much. We played three gigs in 24 hours at Bonnaroo, and it was amazing. We also played BFD festival in Mountain View California and NXNE in Toronto with the Flaming Lips. Totally awesome. We’ve toured the U.S. a few times before, but these are our first major festival spots and we love them.

Australian music festivals versus American. Go!  
And they’re off! Australia’s festivals are ahead by a little but not by much and who’s that? It’s American festivals coming from behind with way more people and bands, but Australia is holding on with good weather and a relaxed atmosphere, but America’s festivals have been doing it that way before the Aussies, but now it’s neck-and-neck and, oh, Australian festivals just ran out of money and aren’t running anymore. Damn. But seriously, Bonnaroo and Burning Man are the two major American festivals we have visited, and both have blown our minds out via our earholes. Falls Festival and Splendor in the Grass in Australia are the business (among others), but unfortunately, a lot of our great festivals in Australia are experiencing some major money problems and are disappearing. A new age is coming.

I have read that much of your music was created while staying up all night brought on by ADD. Do you think that creative people have a natural leaning to insomnia?
I think that once you’re on a roll, there’s no way of stopping it. In a studio environment, lazy musicians turn up at about midday, mill around talking about microphones and other people’s albums, then they have lunch, then there’s an afternoon siesta where one of the band sits by the piano and thinks about some stuff, then everyone has heaps of coffee about 6 p.m. and all of sudden everyone is crazy and wants to record forever! Then, there’s some wine, and some more coffee, and suddenly its 7 a.m., and you’ve recorded an impenetrable techno jam that scoots past the five-hour mark with relative ease.

You have said that your favorite songs are just “jammed” and not as formulated or written. Is this a new technique, or one you have always adhered to?
Most of the first EP was jammed, or someone would bring in one small idea, like a hook or riff, and then we’d write around that. The collaborative thing has always existed, that’s why we only have three people in the band. There can be a majority vote in any given discussion and we don’t need to buy as many lunches.

Tell me about your self-titled album.
It’s basically an American-only release that best represents what we do in our live show today. It’s essentially a combination of our first Australian EP and debut album. It’s a “Greatest Hits,” really. I mean, we’ve been ‘round for almost four years, and done one-and-a-half albums, so we thought it was about time to do a “Greatest Hits.”

Dan Mac, you are quoted as saying “I don’t know what we sound like, and we’re not trying to figure it out either. We just play it, and if we like it, then that’s what it sounds like.” So, then how would you describe your type of music?
We often just say “dance music played live”. We’ve given up saying “electro mixed with rock,” mainly because it is an ugly and dangerous phrase, but also, I don’t really know what it means. Some clever person once said talking about music is like dancing about architecture – not very helpful. You just gotta listen, man!

Very few electronic groups perform all of their instruments live. Do you feel that this is an important part of who you are as a group?
Most definitely. We started out not playing to tracks, because we basically didn’t know how to do it. But now, it is essential to us to play live. We recently saw Little Dragon play at Bonnaroo, and before that, Metronomy, and they use very, very little, if no backing tracks, and it was so much better feeling, and so much better to watch. Some bands use tracks well, others not at all, it really depends on the band. For us, it is definitely not appropriate, and it is much more enjoyable for us – and for the crowd we think – to play without them.

It sounds like you guys have a lot of fun doing what you do. What happens when you start taking things too seriously?
Everyone stares at each other with fierce expressions, hands fixed by their sides, bodies poised in aggressive posture, eyes darting back and forth, and then everyone laughs hysterically. That’s usually what happens.

I like that.

Photos courtesy of Art vs Science and Cybele Malinowski

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victor

June 26th, 2012

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