INTERVIEW: Canyons

Currently smack bang in the middle of a whirlwind Australian tour, the lads from CANYONS took a bit of time away from their busy schedule to have a chat with us about the recording process for their new record Keep Your Dreams.

Originally hailing from Perth before relocating to Sydney in 2008, the duo have dialed up the pop sensibility on their latest effort, turning their humble bedroom project into a full blown 6-piece live extravaganza. 2012 has seen the band booked for festivals like the unfortunately rained out Playground Weekender and Golden Plains Sixxx as well as gracing the stages of their own headline shows around the country. Stream their entire debut record at the bottom of this article thanks to Modular Australia or purchase now via iTUNES.

For CANYONS tour dates see HERE.

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Purple Sneakers: The new album is sounding very band orientated and poppy while being underpinned by an undeniable club music ethic, was this a conscious decision?

Canyons: We were keen to draw from all of the things we love about music, and our tastes are pretty broad which probably led to it having certain elements that were more club oriented and then also elements that are more ‘band like’ and accessible.

How has the transition from being producers to a 6-piece live act been? Is it more difficult now with so many members in the band?

It was a lot of work setting up the live show and we’ve put a lot of time and energy into rehearsing and figuring out the best way for everything to work but I think in many ways when it comes time to writing new music it will be easier having a band to flesh ideas out.

It seems there’s a lot of instrumentation that went into ‘Keep Your Dreams’, can you walk us through some of the gear you used to create the sounds we’re hearing?

In terms of drums there are live drums we recorded, as well as some sampled drums. We also used some drum machines like the 606, 808 and 909 as well as the Linndrum. We recorded piano, Wurlitzer and some synths like the Juno 6, Sequential Circuits Pro-One and the Korg Polysix. There’s also a lot of guitar and live bass on there. Anything we couldn’t play like the congas and saxophone we recorded session players for.

We understand you perform a lot of DJ sets while touring, what are some of your favourite records to play out? Do you usually play to the crowd or do you prefer to play the kind of music that represents yourselves as an act?

Favourite records is a tough one, we play a lot of old music so there’s nothing in particular at the moment. We try and strike a balance between playing what we want to play but also playing to the crowd – we want people to have a good time!

What’s the music scene like over in WA, are there any local acts that you can say have influenced your sound? Are there a lot of other acts making the kind of stuff you guys make?

To be honest I’m not really sure – we’ve been living in Sydney now for almost 4 years so we’re a bit out of touch with what’s going on in WA.

What 3 artists would you say have had the most profound influence of your music? Do you see yourselves fitting into a particular genre or do you prefer to think of yourselves more freely than that?

The three artists question is a real tough one.. I think it’s always changing, depending on what’s exciting to you at the time.  I guess also because our music is inspired by a lot of different styles it’s difficult to narrow it down to such a definitive answer. I would say Jimi Hendrix’s music is a big influence, or at least something we aspire to, just in terms of his ability to write amazing songs but also get seriously loose on his instrument and make it sound like another instrument entirely. I think LCD Soundsystem has been a big influence in the way that they combine live instrumentation with synthesizers and drum machines. I like to think that our music fits very broadly into the category of dance music but I don’t know that I’d like to categorise it myself. I’m happy for other people to do so though, I’m sure it means different things to different people.

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