Q and A with Voltaire Twins
Still early on in their musical career, Voltaire Twins are firmly representing Australian talent internationally, taking their addictive pop to the states and slowly but surely winning everyone over. One of the twins, Jaymes, shares his thoughts on the duo’s latest movements.
A Has Been: Tell me about your recent North American trip. Has it broadened your musical perspective?
Jaymes: The North American tour was amazing. It was especially cool to play with so many other bands that we love and see how other bands approach touring. The Aussie BBQ showcases were really fun, and we were in great company with a lot of truly awesome bands.
AHB: What was SXSW like?
Jaymes: SXSW was a 24 hour street party. There were more live music venues on one street corner than in the whole of Perth so we kind of felt like kids in a candy store really. The audiences were awesome, people were so friendly and came up and chatted after shows a lot, so it was great to meet Austin locals and talk about their music scene. We were really surprised and excited at how many people came to our shows and sang along.
AHB: What can we expect from the upcoming EP?
Jaymes: The songs on this EP are quite different from our last. We had a real focus on honesty when we wrote/recorded it. When we write, we often over-analyse every idea, so this time we tried to go with what felt good in the moment and didn’t worry too much about what other people would think. That kind of self-consciousness has undermined us a bit in the past and we wanted to leave it behind. We talked a lot about memories and stories from growing up and tried to capture those feelings/thoughts we had at certain times. As a result we think it sounds a lot more natural and a lot more interesting than our last EP.
AHB: What was it like working with Lars Stalfors?
Jaymes: Lars is mixing the EP at the moment and so far it’s been awesome. When we met up with him in LA last month we all got on really well, so we’ve been so excited to hear each track as it comes back. When we met up with him he told us one of the things that made him take an interest in us in the first place was the fact that he could hear that we were using real analog synths – not vst or software synths. We liked that – the man knows his synths and shares our obsession for vintage instruments. It’s nice to work with someone you can geek out with over gear, who appreciates some of the little details that others might not hear.
AHB: Do you think Australian dance/electronic music has changed much in recent years?
Jaymes: Dance music everywhere has changed a lot over the last few years. The initial wave of electro that came off the back of electroclash has given way to much more disco, funky house and cosmic beats stuff. It’s really interesting to watch how all the different genres creep into each other and how old disco and italo is informing so many new producers and bands. There’s this new wave of indie hip hop coming through alongside all this soulful disco and house – it’s like a really fertile period at the moment for interesting dance music. A lot of what we play isn’t straight up dance – it’s more indie pop than electronic dance, but we take a lot of influence from old italo and disco in our productions.
AHB: What artists are you listening to lately?
Jaymes: Lots of really different stuff – Ssion, Hercules and Love Affair, Alpine, The Swiss, Canyons, Sally Shapiro, Princess Chelsea, Miracles Club, Tiger & Woods, Purity Ring – It’s a rich tapestry!
AHB: You’ve mentioned that Perth can be somewhat isolating. With that in mind, do you think growing up in Perth has shaped your style of music?
Jaymes: Perth is very ‘rock’, and we are not, so Perth has shaped our sound in that we wanted to make music that was different to what other people in Perth are making. In truth though, even though we play up the ‘small country town’ side to Perth, it’s pretty much the same as anywhere else in terms of music.