The Vine interview: Dan Whitford of Cut Copy, February 2011

An interview for The Vine. Excerpt below.

Interview – Cut Copy

Known affectionately these days as just ‘Cutters’, the profile of Melbourne-based electro-pop act Cut Copy has grown considerably since their humble 2001 beginnings.

A career borne from the bedroom of singer and band leader Dan Whitford, who also runs a graphic design business named Alter, the band are now three albums into their career. The group has also expanded to a full-time quartet, including guitarist Tim Hoey, drummer Mitchell Scott and bassist Ben Browning. Cut Copy is at the point where they can headline Australian festivals like Parklife and Laneway, play to big crowds throughout the United States and Europe, and enjoy consistently high ratings from the a raft of online tastemakers. (Including *ahem*, The Vine’s recent‘first listen’ to the record.)

Alongside acts like The Presets and Midnight Juggernauts, the band has been instrumental in paving the way for the wider acceptance of Australian music built around synthesisers, samples, and electronica – electro-pop if you will. The new album’s title is, apparently, an instrument as well as a concept. (“We built it from scratch”, Hoey told The Music Network in November. “Whenever we were working on a track and stuck for ideas, someone would suggest it needed ‘more Zonoscope’. Then the song would truly begin to take shape.”)

On the eve of the band’s first headline appearance at the 2011 Laneway Festival in Brisbane last Thursday – coincidentally, the day before Zonoscope was released across Australia – TheVine connected with Whitford to discuss setting expectations, leaked albums, their record label, and hearty dance moves.

Hey, Dan. We’re talking because Zonoscope is released in Australia tomorrow. What’s on your mind?

That’s probably largely on my mind, the fact that it’s finally out tomorrow. It seemed like such a long way off for quite a long period of time since we finished it late last year, but now it’s less than 24 hours away, so we’re pretty psyched on it. And also, we start on Laneway Festival [today], so it will be the first time I get to perform a lot of these songs as well. So it’s doubly exciting.

I’m always curious about this moment for recording artists, because the four of you have been pouring your heart into this music for a long period of time, and now it’s about to be out there in the wider consciousness for people to make up their own minds about it.

I guess that’s the point of popular music, that people will hear it. All the hard work leads up to a point like this. While we’re not making records necessarily just to please our fans or anything like that; we’re motivated by our own personal goals artistically. But it’s obviously important to us what people think when they hear it, and the experience of people hearing the songs for the first time.

For the full interview, visit The Vine. For more Cut Copy, visit their website. The music video for the song ‘Need You Now‘ is embedded below.

Elsewhere: a ‘first listen’ review of Zonoscope, for The Vine, and a track-by-track interview with guitarist Tim Hoey.

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