Cut Copy knows how to drop a beat. Their live sets are spotted with moments when the bass fades and the drums become a light tap, leaving a melodic synth riff and a textured guitar that can’t quite overtake it. As lead singer Dan Whitford raises a hand in the air and points it to the sky, the other on the keys, the crowd—adrenaline rising—knows what comes next. The band so seamlessly brings a house vibe into their rock sound, it defies expectation and even explanation. While critics try to define the Cut Copy sound, the lads from Down Under just let it be. Their uncanny melding of dance and rock music comes naturally, they say. They just play the music they like.
BLACKBOOK: Did it surprise you how many people were singing along to your lyrics at the New York shows?
DAN WHITFORD: It’s always a sign of a good show, when people are singing and dancing. It doesn’t happen every show, but we haven’t toured the States in two years, so I think people are excited to see us.
BB: Your music is being described as everything from electro-pop, to dance-rock, to sounding like INXS and Daft Punk being trapped in an elevator together. How would you put it?
DW: Um, I would describe it as sounding like a bunch of guys who can’t play their instruments properly.
BB: But you really have nailed the perfect balance between dance music and rock music.
DW: It’s kind of like a shifting thing, I guess. It’s a hard thing to define. We like both kinds of music, but so often when they’re combined together it can be kind of terrible, so we hope it doesn’t sound like that.
BB: Do you set out to make your songs ridiculously catchy?
DW: We just really like catchy music. It isn’t our goal to write pop music, that’s just what ends up happening. We’re actually into some fairly obscure stuff, Krautrock stuff, or the Animal Collective, things that aren’t as straightforward.
BB: With this record, you said that you had achieved the sound you had been aiming for. Is this the pinnacle, or can you take it any further?
DW: I think it would be weird to ever think you’ve reached the pinnacle of anything.
BB: When you listen to the record again, are you satisfied with it?
DW: I don’t think I’d change it. If there are any flaws in the tracks, then they reflect the way you made the album. Eventually, you have to say, “This is it,” otherwise you’ll never finish the record.
BB: Before your album was released, all of its tracks were posted on your MySpace page.
DW: That was our label’s idea, and if they’re up for it, then so are we. We just want people to hear our music. We don’t care about record sales. If someone buys our record for 10 bucks, we don’t see any of that money. Of course it’s important that our label does well, but we just want people to hear our music.