INTERVIEW: Tycho “Australia Feels So Familiar Yet Foreign…”
People are without a doubt very excited about TYCHO returning to Australia over the new year period for Falls Festival, Southbound, Field Day and a couple of headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne.
His live performances have a euphoric feel to them and really showcase an audio visual experience like no other. Ahead of the tour we had a chat to Scott Hansen, the ambient music mastermind known as TYCHO.
What have been the highlights of your ‘Awake World Tour’ so far?
There have been so many highlights so far but I’d have to say the best moment for me was coming home to the Bay Area and playing the Fox Theater in Oakland. We debuted a new production and just being there with all our friends and family after such a long year was really special.
Can you tell us what your favourite song from the album has been to perform live?
‘Awake’ is always a special moment in the set. We try to position it so that it feels like the high point of the evening.
I have always thought your track ‘Past Is Prologue’ sounds like it was inspired by drum and bass music. Did you listen to much of this genre before you produced it?
I started out making drum n bass music and have always been a big fan. Hearing LTJ Bukem and Photek and all those guys is what made me want to make music in the first place. I always try to find a way to work some drum n bass type stuff into each album; on ‘Awake’ there is a moment in the song ‘Spectre’ where it gets into that space.
Up until your 2011 album release ‘Dive’, you worked purely as a solo musician. What encouraged you to recruit a full band together?
I’ve always wanted to work with other artists but I guess I just hadn’t met the right people. When I met Zac Brown we instantly clicked and then when we found Rory it all kind of just came together.
What challenges have you faced since you’ve been touring as a band?
The more moving parts you have in an organization the more you’re going to have to manage things and the more resources it’s going to take to make the show happen each night. It’s a challenge but for me the performances are much more rewarding because of it.
When I last saw you play in Sydney for an event called Land Of The Giants, I was really blown away by not only your performance, but the visuals. Can you please describe to us the process of compiling your visuals?
I usually try to take the aesthetic I’ve developed for the cover art and posters and translate that into something with motion. I’ve worked with a couple of cinematographers to capture video content which I then compose with animated graphic elements.
I’ve been streaming your Burning Man DJ set and I can’t even imagine how spectacular that would have sounded in such an incredible setting as the sun was slowly beginning to rise. Can you please fill us in on the whole experience?
There’s nothing I could say here that could really relate the experience of being there. It’s not something you can capture with words or a picture or a DJ set. I’ll just say that it’s a uniquely powerful space that exists for a brief time each year and I would recommend that everyone with the opportunity at least try and experience it once in their lives.
Your music would certainly be well suited for a film. Have you ever considered composing a soundtrack?
Certainly, that’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
Out of all the movies you’ve seen, which one do you think would be the most compatible with your music?
That’s really hard to say, it’s mostly a scene here or a scene there that I feel would be fitting. But then again I don’t watch too many movies so I don’t have many great reference points.
Apart from playing shows here, what are you most looking forward to about returning to Australia?
Aside from the weather I just really enjoy the culture and people; something about it feels so familiar yet foreign in this really interesting way.
Words by Tony Kingston