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Interview
!!!

!!!

date
Wednesday 26th January, 2011 11:20AM

In between catching up with old pals in California where !!! are practising before heading our way for Laneway Festival, we caught up with front-man and short-short enthusiast Nic Offer to discuss their latest record, their live show and what makes the band tick.

Where are you guys at the moment?

In California right now, we met up here to practise for a few days to practise before we came over there.

Looking forward to it?

Weíre definitely very excited, weíve been looking forward to it Ė well ever since we first heard about it. The line-up and stuff of Laneway is pretty amazing.

And youíre touring the latest record Strange, Weather Isnít It? Tell me a bit about the new record.

Well we started it a few years ago now in California, Berlin and New York Ėkind of like a third in each of those places. We donít live in the same town anymore so we need to pick a place and it was kind of exciting for us to work in a place like Berlin and go out clubbing and let that vibe kind of soak into the music and you know your record just ends up being what youíre living through for those three years Ė a time capsule from that period. So everything we went through over that time and everything we experienced is on there.

Three years is a long period of time to take to record an album. Is it a struggle logistically to make things happen in !!!

Itís a bit harder when you donít just live in the same town and go to practise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday like normal people but weíve kind of just learned to make do with it, and itís not so bad to go to Berlin and record.

You all come from different bands and different sounds too, and the !!! sound reflects that. How would you describe !!! musically?

Um, I mean if Iím trying to describe it to someone in a gas station in the Mid West and theyíre like Ďwhat do you sound like?í itís very easy to say Ďhey, itís disco punkí you know. For me Iíve just always gravitated towards anything strange and funky so thatís how I see it. Itís also just about finding a new strange kind of music where it feels most different and weird and then itís just about finding the one thing that the whole band can agree on musically and thatís really all weíre trying to do.

So tell me about the progression from Myth Takes to Strange Weather, Isnít It? How did you guys change up the sound for the latest album?

I guess in a way after Myth Takes a friend of mine had complained to me that our songs were too long and jammy and you know, youíre just trying to make records for your friends really. So I felt like we focused on making these songs more concise and a bit hookier and poppier maybe. But I think pop music can be strange you know, some of my favourite artists Ė The Beatles and Prince Ė are all very strange and thatís my favourite kind of pop music. I guess weíre trying to make something like that.

Do you have a favourite part of the latest album?

Um, I donít really because honestly we worked so hard on making every second of the record count. Iíve been asked that question a lot and each time I try to look into my heart and find the answer Ė which bit do I truly love? Ė and I canít find it I really just like the whole thing. I can name you maybe three parts Iím slightly dissatisfied with, but theyíre just like a little bridge or something but on the whole Iím really happy with the whole thing so itís hard for me to answer.

When you guys get together, whatís the process to pen an album?

Um, the basic method we started with was we would just get together and jam and back when we started was when you would record to tape player and then we took the best parts and dubbing tapes together but now we just jam to the computer and edit it through that. Now because we donít live in the same towns people bring something to the table and we kind of all jam on it or maybe a couple of people meet and work on stuff. We try to work as many different ways as possible and I hope that gives us a different sound.

You mentioned that your recording process has changed from when you started to now because of technology. Has technology opened up a lot of doors for !!! musically?

Oh yeah most definitely. I think itís important to be open to anything Ė you should be open to a knock on the door influencing a rhythm Ė so with technology becoming such a big part of our lives you have to let that become a part of it too.

So tell me about the video for your latest single, ĎJamie, my Intentions are Bassí:

Usually when you do a video a bunch of different directors send you a treatment and you go ĎOh god, these are awfulí and you just pick the one thatís the least awful and with this treatment you could just tell there was a lot of ideas that were going to blossom into bigger ideas. When you have a loose set up that allows creativity to happen and I went down and built it and we let the ideas flow from there. It was a real blast doing it.

And it totally gets the vibe of you guys across, yes?

Yeah I think he captured something fun from it for sure.

The live show is a crucial part of !!!, yes?

Yeah for sure. Many people donít even like our records they just like the live show and I understand that thereís something that we can do live that youíre never gonna get from a record. For us itís just fun. This last year several people were saying theyíd never seen us so good so itís a great feeling to be a band for 14 years and be playing gigs better than youíve ever played. It happens really naturally and itís not contrived at all.

Do you think peopleís appreciation for !!! live has anything to do with your dance moves?

Haha, it might, it might. You canít ponder too long on these things Ė you just have to let them happen.

Courtney Sanders

links
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