Who: Sydney, Australia dance-punk duo the Presets, whose second album Apocalypso has proven to have more staying power on the Aussie charts than Madonna and Mariah.
Sounds Like: The Rapture with an army of ’80s synths. On Apocalyspo, the Presets revel in the darker, more cosmic realm of dance music while still having fun and involuntarily getting people in the mood to move. There’s also punk and new wave elements, but just don’t call them “Indietronica.” “I kind of hate that term,” says drummer Kim Moyes.
• The duo got their start performing in an instrumental band called Prop. “Julian and I used to muck around after Prop rehearsals and play the stupidest music we could,” says keyboardist/drummer Moyes. “This new style that we were experimenting with, we got computers eventually and started recording them and put a little demo together.” That demo ended up becoming the Presets’ first EP Blow Up.
• The first song the duo wrote was recorded onto keyboardist Julian Hamilton’s mother’s answering machine when they were nineteen. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that recording will ever appear. “What happened with that answering machine is that a whole ant colony — which is funny, ‘ant-swering’ machine — actually burrowed and lived in there because it was warm, and we had to chuck it,” says Moyes.
• Midway through our interview, Hamilton had to exit to get a Vitamin B shot in his ass. During the band’s recent U.S. tour — they’ve been on the road non-stop the last two-plus years — someone drank “Blackwater,” or the water that flows through the tour bus. “So one person got sick, and being on a bus, everyone’s sleeping on the bus, everyone’s eating on the bus, one person gets sick, air conditioning on all the time… germs,” says Moyes. Thankfully the band’s NYC show that night captured the group in their usual high-powered performance, as evidenced by the above video.
Hear It Now: Apocalypso is in stores and digital music services waiting for you to dance to it. In our exclusive video with the band, check out their performance of “My People.”