As most of you know, Tycho is on tour right now. He passed through Gainesville for the first time with his band members last week and we were lucky enough to have a little chat with Scott Hansen via telephone.
Currently in the middle of your tour, how has it been so far? Is this your first time in Florida?
It’s been great. It’s our first proper tour in the US, or anywhere really. We have been able to work out bugs and figure out what we want the show to look like. I’ve done laptop sets in the past with the band in Tampa and Orlando, but this is the first time I’ve played both in St. Augustine and Gainesville.
What music did you grow up listening to? Any records your parents played around the house? How do your childhood music roots tie in to your music as Tycho?
I was turned on to music like The Doors and Led Zeppelin. In high school, I was into metal, like Black Sabbath. College was where I finally got introduced to electronic music along with drum and bass, etc. There is a rock, folk aesthetic that overlays the music. Definitely Boards of Canada define what I thought electronic should be and it was my favorite avenue of electronic music.
Tell us a bit about Command Collective and the role you played in it.
Oh wow! We did years and years of shows of electronic music with an affiliated group of friends. There was nothing going on in Sacramento having to do with the electronic genre. The first shows [I played] were a great introduction to the world of live performances and I realized I wanted visuals and production to be part of the live show. I’m still friends with some of them. Dusty Brown, who was the core of the group [Command Collective] and cousin of Zach Brown, will be collaborating and performing on the next album.
Some of your long time fans have been confused on how to describe your music. How would you describe it?
It’s hard to be objective. I don’t know how much value there is in anything. To people who have never heard my music, I would say it’s ambient, psychedelic, very intricate and layered.
How do you connect your music to the audience on a personal level?
In a live context, I worked hard at laptop and visual sets. It is hard to engage people with no visual angle to tie what they’re hearing. We put more people up there [the stage] and had more of a traditional archetype of what a band is; drummer, bass, guitarist. Next, we figured out what do they [the audience] take away from the songs with the deep layering. It’s impossible to perform 100% of the songs, so we pick and choose what parts of songs they remember. What they’ll be humming in their head the next day. We started with rhythm and bass, something to feel that’s in your chest. Then we added the intricate melodies and guitar.
What is the connection between your music and your visuals? Any images you are trying to achieve?
I see visuals and design as the same thing as music. They express a singular vision. The visuals role is to fill in the blanks and be the backdrop for the music. I feel like I’m scoring the visuals at the same time.
Do you intend for your visuals and graphic designs to provide your audience imagery for your music?
I envision these spaces while creating song and hearing them later puts visions to it. There are not lyrics so there’s something to tie everything together. The visuals I create define the space. Melodies are voices and lyrics are represented by visuals
What do you think is the key to producing music?
Uhh for me it’s, I’m really detailed. Spending the time to go through and truly understand the music gives it texture. You have to be careful with not conflicting with the music. It’s about understanding it, then producing it. It comes with time. A lot, a lot of time.
How did you meet the bass player and drummer for the recent tour? why not tour solo?
I’ve been working with Zach for quite awhile. He played in the last album on guitar and bass. We started working with the drummer more recently, He’s been great and we’ve really liked what he had to offer. We are going to try to mold as more of a band for the next album.
After finishing your most recent album, Dive, which you considered an end to a chapter in your life, what are your plans for 2012? What should your fans and fans-to-be expect from you in the future?
Right now, I’m focusing on redoing the visuals with director, Charles Bergquist. I plan on doing some new shooting and sequencing. That’s what I’m most focused on now. Hopefully, I can get an EP done, if not, an album.
As you can see, Hansen has a very insightful view on electronic music. He is smart, well-articulated and passionate about what he is doing via music and graphic design. There are still more tour dates to come. Check out his website for more information.
via Bionic Beatlab