Since Pnau’s mastermind duo of Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes went into high gear with their self-titled LP in 2007 we’ve been lucky to have them at home in Australia for very long with the call of opportunities abroad leading the Pnau twosome overseas for the last couple of years. While we haven’t seen a lot of them in that time we have certainly heard enough about their exploits with frequent internet whispers talking up the duo’s close relationship with Elton John and a fanciful side-project with Cirque du Soleil. While some of that talk has been hard to swallow, when Littlemore picks up inthemix’s phone call to chat about Pnau’s return to Australia this month and their brand new studio LP, Soft Universe, he confirms with a gleeful cackle that “it’s all true”.
Hey Nick, you’re in London right?
“Yeah, I flew in a couple of days ago and we’re rehearsing madly at the moment. For some stupid reason we come here to rehearse and I haven’t been back here for a year.”
Right, so where have you been if not in London?
“I’ve been living in New York, actually. I moved there recently and before that I had a little place in Paris. And then of course I was in Montreal with the circus for seven months.”
I see. You know, you read all this stuff on the internet about you gallivanting off with Cirque du Soleil and you’re not really sure what to believe.
“It’s all true! I’ve been living out of a suitcase for a year and a half with the production of the circus. I was going to say it’s nice to be home but here I am talking to you from a shitty hotel in London so it’s not quite the same.”
I suppose that’s kind of the artist’s transient lifestyle, right? Always on the move.
“Nah, I don’t want that anymore! I don’t want to move, I want to stay still for a while. I met a girl, we’ve got a place in New York with a little garden and I just want to stay in New York and never move again. But it doesn’t work like that! I’ll be moving for the next two months straight and then again at the end of the year when we come back for the summer festivals.”
What is it about New York that makes you feel that way?
“I find it very peaceful, really. It can be very chaotic when you want it to be but you can walk in and out of it. I’ve met some great people there – I did a production on a song I wrote with Elton and an old producer by the name of Phil Ramone. Phil’s about 73 and he’s done loads of amazing stuff like the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack, he did Graceland with Paul Simon, he worked with Barbra Streisand and he scored James Bond. I had worked with Sonic Youth in their studio before when I was doing the Teenager stuff but I was still pretty green at that time so this was a great introduction into working in the city for me and I’ve since teamed up with a really good engineer here.”