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By David Knight
The Presets second album Apocalypso is set to make the Sydney electro thud duo one of the biggest bands in Australia. Already known as one of this country’s most energetic and best live acts, after interstate reports they attracted bigger crowds at the V Festival than the Smashing Pumpkins, Apocalypso will take The Presets juggernaut to another level in this country and abroad. Rip It Up speaks to Kim Moyes from the Modular-backed duo.
To start the recording process of Apocalypso, The Presets went to a farm around Byron Bay.
“We started writing up on the farm but that was more to get out of Sydney, away from friends and make a start on the record,” starts Moyes. “We were there for two weeks, but the majority of the record was done between our home studios from August to January.”
They had no songs planned or any idea what the album would sound like before they hit the farm and Moyes said this prospect was not daunting.
“We just trust ourselves that we’re able to come up with something good without really knowing what it’s going to be. It’s all about having some personal confidence or whatever. We just trust each other. We produce all the stuff ourselves, so we produce as we’re writing. So, I think both of them are mutually exclusive to help us finishing the songs.”
The album that The Presets have recorded doesn’t stray too much from the formula that has seen them become one of Modular’s most popular acts and seen them support the likes of The Rapture in the US. If anything, it has taken on more of a Depeche Mode flavour, but songs like the first single My People is The Presets we all know and love, utilising big sounds that work on both the dancefloor and the radio. Apart from this initial single, The Presets vocalist Julian has lessened the shouting, as heard on the singles from their first album Beams - Down Down Down and Are You The One.
“I think Julian personally wanted to get more melodies onto the record - more things for people to sing along to. He certainly has a style that is quite loud and abrasive… I certainly feel it’s [Apocalypso] a sharper take on what we do and it is more refined –there’s definitely nothing too hard basket about it.”
Despite building up momentum across the globe with constant touring, Moyes says there was no second album syndrome with Apocalypso.
“Not really. We had a tight timeframe to work towards, we wanted to keep the ball rolling so to speak and just keep the momentum going. I guess we knew when we had to have it finished by and there was no real stopping to doubt it, no second album syndrome from our point of view because we weren’t hyped up on the first album - we just did that and there was no massive expectations to live up to, not in our minds.”
Apart from The Presets, Moyes has been releasing more dancefloor orientated tunes in solo mode, such as Wet ‘N’ Wild on the Bang Gang 12 Inches label, which he says is very different to The Presets stuff.
“When I do [the solo] stuff there is a little bit more scope to how the songs are arranged because they’re not pop songs. So, I can just pretty much do what I want and every song is always like a different angle where The Presets is very much pop music with a certain structure.”
The Presets new single This Boy’s In Love joins earlier track Steamworks as one of the strongest Presets tunes and features a pretty homo-erotic clip with two guys fighting in a kind of Ancient Greek style of wrestling. It also features the two The Presets boys covered in mud and ash, as if they were from Hell.
But The Presets are definitely not in Hell. At the moment, like their label Modular, they are set to take on the world.
The Presets play HQ on Fri Jun 20.Apocalypso is out through Modular.