The Presets: Centre stage again

The success of Apocalypso speaks for itself. First, there was the anthemic lead track My People, which with a whopping 75 week run became the longest ARIA charting Australian single ever. Then there were the four subsequent giant singles the album spawned: This Boy’s In Love, Talk Like That, Yippiyo-Ay and If I Know You. Then Apocalypso went triple platinum, swept the ARIA awards and worked its way onto countless best-of lists (including our own). Of course, the act behind Apocalypso are The Presets. Now, four years after the colossal success of their second LP, duo Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes are three days out from releasing their next album Pacifica. The term “long-awaited” might be bandied around a lot when it comes to talk of an imminent release, but – bar The Avalanches – you’d struggle to find an Australian dance record there’s ever been more anticipation for. In the lead-up to the big release, inthemix caught up with Julian Hamilton.

So of course, I’m talking to you about the new album. I know that the number one question whenever you did interviews the previous four years was always “when is the new album coming?” Did you feel there was a lot of pressure for you to come back with something really big?

No, there wasn’t really pressure on us really to do anything. I guess the only pressure that we had on ourselves was to make something real, if that makes any sense.

I guess I can tell you what we didn’t want to do. We didn’t want to make Apocalypso again, and we didn’t want to copy what anyone else is doing. I mean Apocalypso was really, thankfully for us, really successful and all we tried to do with that record was make something cool that we liked. And thankfully, everyone else liked it too and it was a really magical wonderful time. So this time around we thought, “Look our golden rule is, let’s just make an album that we really love. And let’s not worry about styles, trends or our history or past successes. Let’s just make an album that we really want to hear right now”. So that was really the only pressure, and thankfully we’ve managed to do that. We’re really, really proud of the album that we’ve made.

Youth In Trouble is quite a different sounding song to Ghosts. Is it difficult to decide what single to lead with when there’s obviously going to be so much attention on the first single, and the inevitable assumption that it reveals the sound of the whole album?

Umm…not really. It wasn’t that difficult. Choosing a single for us is, on our list of things that are important, right down the bottom. When we make music we want to make the best songs that we can make. Then we want to make an album that really fits well, where all the songs fit well together as a strong body of work. They’re the most important things for us.

Then of course the time comes where the record company gets involved and we have to choose singles, do videos, do press shots and all that sort of stuff. That’s more the business side of stuff, which doesn’t really matter all that much to us I guess. That being said, I’m happy that Ghosts is one of the earlier songs to go out and be heard by the general public because it’s a song we’re really proud of. I don’t know if any one song really indicates what the whole album is about, the same as with Apocalypso, I don’t know if any one song on that record was the album sound. It’s the same this time I think; again it’s quite a mixed bag of material. I think people will get a clearer picture of what the album is about when they hear the new album.

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