Melbourne line-up shifting pop collective Architecture In Helsinki are back again, this time headlining the Cargo and Falcona run NYE On The Harbour, returning to what leader Cameron Bird says is one of the band’s favourite nights of the year to play.
Having released their fourth studio album Moment Bends earlier this year, their first on Modular Recordings, the band have been touring heavily all year, already taking slots at Playground Weekender and Homebake amongst the over 130 shows they’ve played in support of the album so far. Cutting their sprawling numbers down to a skeleton crew of five members, the new album and live show is a thoroughly dancier affair that is nevertheless still rooted in the joyous pop of their past.
Their live show honed to a keen edge and the stage set for them to see in the new year under the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, we caught up with Bird to get an idea of what he and his troupe have got in store.
Music Feeds: So are you excited to be playing on New Year’s Eve? This isn’t the first time though?
Cameron Bird: We’ve done a few, but we didn’t do one last year, so we’re getting back into it this year. I love doing it. It feels like a great honour to be the band that gets chosen to bring everyone into the new year.
MF: Are you doing anything special to prepare yourself for the show?
CB: We don’t really have a prep routine or anything, we’re more just kind of going to work on a song that’s going to be a one-off for the show. But yeah, we don’t really have a methodology for shows or anything, they’re all different and special you know.
MF: I saw one of the shows earlier in the year and then I saw you again recently at Homebake, and the show has really tightened up?
CB: Yeah totally, we’ve played like 130 shows this year, so if you’re not feeling confident after that many shows, you’re not doing something right.
MF: Do you try to change things up from set to set or is it a well-oiled machine of a set you’ve got worked out?
CB: We like to vary little things, things that people don’t really notice as much as we do, but we always like to reintroduce old songs from the back catalogue but play them in a way that we’ve never played them before, which keeps it fresh for us. We generally don’t really like to try and recreate our records live. Keeping things fresh and trying new things is very important. It keeps your mind active.
MF: So how have you found playing with the smaller line-up compared to the old ensemble?
CB: It’s been very interesting. It’s a lot tighter and the chemistry is more there because it’s not dissipated across more people. We can focus ourselves on the performance more now and it’s less about how many people we have on stage. As an audience member particularly, I would think it’s more about songs and performance now.
MF: It’s also a much dancier sound than on previous albums I think.
CB: Yeah, I mean we’ve evolved as people and so has our taste. What we listen to now is so different to what we used to listen to. There are so many different things that affect your music you know, and I think that changing is just part of the journey of being a band. It’s always changing you know, when we started out ten years ago we had no idea how it would sound now.
MF: Any idea how it’s going to sound in another ten years?
CB:… I’ve got no idea (laughs). Apparently the thing to do now is to have acoustic guitars, so we might do that. If you have an acoustic guitar in your band, you’re guaranteed to have a Gold Record now in Australia (laughs).
MF: And lush boy girl harmonies. Anyway, have you at all started work on anything new, acoustic guitars or no?
CB: Yeah, we’re still really live focussed, but I think come Febuary we’ll start work on a new record so hopefully have that finished by about September, so the album should out either late next year or early 2013.
MF: Cool, so how does the writing process usually work for you?
CB: It’s really different from song to song so I don’t know how this one is going to work, but it will no doubt involve me running away to a house in the woods somewhere for a couple of months and figuring out what this album is going to be about and how we’re going to do it.
MF: Sounds both stressful and relaxing. Do you have any resolutions for the new year?
CB: Yeah, lose my tour gut.
Architecture In Helsinki play at NYE On The Harbour on New Year’s Eve. Visit the event’s website for more information.