The Scientists Of Modern Music emerged from one of the smaller music scenes in Australia back in 2006 when they were selected as one of triple j’s Next Crop. Since then the Hobart duo have toured around the country several times, been to the UK, released an EP and now make plans for the release of their debut album. They’re currently on tour for their new single Because If I Die with the accompanying video quickly climbing the request charts.
Music Feeds: Are you guys still based in Hobart? Would you ever consider moving across to a bigger city like Melbourne?
Cal Young: Yes we still are, we both love it down here. It’s a great place to write music and be ourselves. We’ve considered moving to Melbourne before, but we figured if we did, we’ll just be following the pack and doing what everyone else is doing. We’ve come this far without having to move, and we now have an amazing team of people who keep the TSOMM band wagon rolling, so we don’t have to move.
MF: What are some of the good points/ bad points about coming from a city like Hobart?
CY: In Hobart we’re one of the only electronic bands who play live, so we have this kind of unique spot to fill, which is great; it makes it fun to test out new music and see what works. It’s a quiet city, with an extremely positive vibe, so that makes for a nice combination when writing and becoming inspired. Unfortunately, it’s expensive flying from Hobart, it can’t really be helped so we just roll with it.
MF: What kind of bands did you guys listen to as teenagers; what do you listen to now? How has it changed since then?
CY: Collectively we listened to a lot of AIR, especially when we were supposed to be in class working. Simon and I usually took over the music studio, crank Moon Safari and sing You Make It Easy like massive dickheads, we thought we were comedians. Since then, we vary our musical tastes quite a bit, I usually stick to electronic, but Simon dabbles in a lot of world music and alternative genres that are very far removed from the band, which is a nice change from kick snare kick snare kick snare…
MF: Tell us about the recording of the new album
CY: We spent 2 years writing the album in our home studios in Hobart, jumping backwards and forwards between the two. It was a slow process but at the same time we were learning a lot. We wanted to make this album a mature departure from the EP, so we took our time crafting something new. The process was very fun, and at times demanding but I’m very happy with the way we worked.
MF: The first single off the album was mixed by DNR/The Slips and mastered by Nilish Patel; how did that come about?
CY: Our whole album was done by these guys which was awesome. We wanted to try something different, rather than over using the same engineers in Australia, so we got this great opportunity to work with The Slips over two weeks in their studios. We wanted to find engineers who had a similar flavour to us, and The Slips seemed pretty perfect, so we hopped on a plane and had some fun in the snow. We wanted Nilesh to master the album for a while, we loved his work on all the Daft Punk albums, and after hearing he only lived down the road from The Slips, we had to work with him!
MF: The video clip for Because If I Die is pretty awesome; who came up with concept for that and who directed it?
CY: The story behind Because If I Die was an idea I had one night; I thought it would represent the song in a good light. Simon and I worked the story with our friends Chris, Aaron and Roland from 313RGB who produced and directed the film and Caleb (Solid Orange) was the director of photography. The great thing was that we had met everyone from playing shows in Hobart over the years, so we all had a great working relationship. Then our friend Angus edited the footage and put his creative flavour over the top.
MF: I noticed the new single doesn’t have same vocoder that a lot of your previous songs have; is there much more of that sort of raw vocals on the album?
CY: Yes, we decided to be a lot more accessible to others by having raw vocals over most of the songs. I learnt how to sing over about a year whilst we were writing, it made for an interesting combination. My vocals got better and better as the last batch of songs were created.
MF: How would you describe the general vibe or sound of this album?
CY: Diverse, it’s very hard for us to describe the exact sound, but we have a mixture of all things electronic in there. From indie dance, techno, glam rock to electro pop.
MF: What’s next for TSOMM?
CY: Moar cowbell!
And these shows…
Friday 1st July, MUM @ World Bar Kings Cross, NSW
Saturday 2nd July, CBD Hotel newcastle, NSW
Friday 15th July, New York Hotel Launceston, Tas
Saturday 16th July The Brisbane Hotel Hobart, Tas