Well if ever there was a surreal interview, this was it. I’ve grown up listening to The Presets. They really were a part of my late teens/early 20’s musical exploration, especially when I was at dance school. Getting to chat to Kim Moyes was nothing short of amazing. He is insightful, a doting dad, very good friends with The Avalanches and bringing us some new bangers very soon!
I know you do a lot of work with the contemporary dance scene. How does it make you feel working so closely with dance companies like this, and seeing your music have movement bring it to life?
It doesn’t feel too different from what we do normally. The music we make is dance music and it’s designed to make you move. I remember before The Presets I was in another band and we’d play shows and everyone was just sitting down and it was fine. But fast forward 20 years to doing what we do now and having people sit on the floor for the whole set, it’d be quite disheartening. For us, our music it’s very much linked to movement and the body.
Electronic music is really strong right now. What are your thoughts on the progression of it all?
I think the first time I ever fell in love with electronic music was with a track called ‘Sweetness and Light’ by Itch-E & Scratch-E. It’s one of the greatest Australian techno tracks from the early 90s. That was the first time I ever really appreciated electronic music and we’ve come such a long way since then. At that moment it was very niche and there was very much a wall between dance and rock n’ roll music. We kind of made it okay for people who liked rock music to like dance music back when we had our moment. Now, it’s just the norm, people don’t even blink. I know people who love King Gizzard and Flume equally. It’s great. There’s more people making electronic music, it’s much easier to make it and for people to get their music out there.
I’d love to touch on Flume considering you share many ARIA award victories. Do you think he has put electronic music on the map internationally?
I think he may well have. I think you really need to pay credit to The Avalanches though. In 2000 they really came out of nowhere and made a seminal record that kind of really brought what we do, and the bands that we grew up with, to life. Flume has been able to build on that much later and in a much greater sense. I think from where I stand, The Avalanches are the real ground breaking Australian electronic act, and that’s not to discredit Flume. He’s a lovely guy and he’s an amazing talent, but that was a complete pearl.
Did you happen to catch The Avalanches at Splendour in the Grass this year?
I didn’t but they’re really good friends of mine so I was texting Tony. It was their first live show in 10 years and they were so glad to have pulled it off. It’s a very lucky moment for everyone who went to share it.
Are The Presets going to be releasing some new music any time soon?
Yeah definitely. I don’t know when but we’re working on an album; we’ve been working on it for a while and we’re finishing tracks now. As soon as It’s ready it’ll be out. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
You’ve got two kids. Have they got any musical talents that are starting to blossom?
One is 18 months old and the other is seven. The seven year old likes music and the 18-month-old really responds to it and very inquisitive. She’s always coming into my studio and messing with my dials.
That to me already reads intuition.
Yeah as soon as I put on a track she starts dancing.
Maybe she’ll be a dancer!?
Does your son understand what you do?
Yeah he does and he’s a big fan. For instance, I had The Avalanches record a couple of years before it came out so I was playing it a lot and then the opportunity came for my other act 0% to remix a track from the album. He was like, “are you working with The Avalanches? That’s so awesome.” He’s also a big fan of Daft Punk and Black Sabbath.
The Keep Sydney Movement is a big part of the music industry right now. What are your thoughts on it all?
I think it’s really important for us to keep sending the message to the NSW Government that we need nightlife. They’ve just decreased the lockouts by half an hour, but even if they got rid of the lockout laws, the damage has been done. I know a lot of my friends who’ve moved away from Sydney. I think about when I grew up and got to play at all sorts of venues that are now gone, those opportunities aren’t there anymore. It doesn’t affect me personally anymore, I don’t go out as much as I used to plus we’ve reached a level where we’re not so dependent on the smaller venues, but I do feel for the younger kids and the people who want to go out, experience it all and make music. Those opportunities are very few and far between. I think it’s great the Keep Sydney Open guys are doing what they’re doing. I totally support them; I’m always at their rallies.
2017 is around the corner. Have you got any New Year’s resolutions?
Oh god! Try to focus on the now.
author: Kara Bertoncini
photos by: Corey Harrison