The Presets: Comeback Kids

They’ve won multiple ARIA awards, taken a break from fame and become fathers for the first time, and now The Presets are finally getting ready to release one of the most anticipated Aussie albums of the year.

This month fans can finally get their hands on Pacifica, the latest Presets instalment which delves into some new music territories that fans will love – four long years since the electronica duo’s last album, Apocalypso.

Singer, songwriter and keyboardist Julian Hamilton says that he and drummer Kim Moyes spent quite a long time making the record in contrast to 2008’s Apocalypso and 2005 debut Beams.

“The nice thing about this record is that we could have a bit of a break and just start making music again for no reason, make music that’s not necessarily gonna be on an album, just experiment and jam. We hadn’t really had a chance to screw around in a studio and make music since we were 19 or 20 years old.”

“We spent a long time – probably a good couple of years – writing music, and then decided to choose the songs we really liked and finish them,” Julian says. "As you finish them one by one the album starts to take shape in front of your eyes.”

The album cover artwork of Pacifica, created by the band’s designer, is also interesting in itself, featuring Julian and Kim handcuffed together on a remote lake surrounded by infinite space.

“I must admit, looking at it now – the whole handcuffed together thing – I guess it’s kind of apt!” Julian laughs. “Kim and I have kind of been 'handcuffed' together for 17 years or so now.”

With songs such as 'Ghosts' and 'Youth In Trouble' already hitting the Triple J airwaves, Julian is incredibly modest when asked if he is expecting a similar response to Apocalypso’s 'My People', which spent a lengthy 75 weeks on the ARIAS Top 100 Chart.

“We didn’t expect that kind of success back then with that song, and it was a really nice surprise when that happened, but I’d be very, very surprised if the world of The Presets and the commercial world, the world of success, ever crosses over in that way again,” he says.

And if a new album wasn’t enough to get you excited, The Presets have also been confirmed to appear at this year’s Parklife festival. “We’re putting a whole new show together for it and it’s coming together nicely!” Julian says. “You’ve got all these new songs, all these new toys to play with...it’s really interesting putting it all together, [and] seeing strange relationships between old songs and new songs that you hadn’t really thought about.”

Having met each other at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music nearly two decades ago, Julian says that he and Kim worked hard to make a name for themselves as professional musicians.

“We’re so lucky that we have been very successful about what we do. Kim and I were working musos; I had to work in a pizza shop three nights a week to try and subsidise my music, and then I was teaching piano. And then after a while, you can just make music! You don’t have to work that shitty night time or day time job to subsidise the music, and that’s the dream.”


Pacifica comes out on September 7 through Modular Records.

Photo: Beau Greely
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