I OH YOU: Hey Devon, how are you mate? Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.
DW: No problems at all! I am – hope it’s not too early there for you.
I OH YOU: All good! Let’s jump right into it. It definitely feels like we’ve caught you at an exciting time for Majical Cloudz with the release of Are You Alone? Have you gotten used to this part yet?
DW: Matt and I are really stoked to have the record out for everyone to hear! There’s a lot that goes along with it. I’m not really sure if you can be ready for it all but it’s a great part of the process.
I OH YOU: The history of this project has always felt wildly intuitive. There are still themes, moods and tongue in cheek humour which have penetrated almost every release. Do you view each release as being completely resolute when you put it out into the world or is it an ever-changing canvas for you?
DW: I think it’s constantly evolving. As people writing songs and with the specific relationship that Matthew and I have with music, it’s always changing. I think that’s a really interesting idea, however we don’t really try to hold any sense of continuity and so each release in our mind is centred around fairly specific themes and time periods.
I OH YOU: Lyrically, I feel that this album has really found a way to cut through and it feels like your most personal release yet. What is it about this album, to you, that differentiates it from your self-titled debut Turns Turns Turns & Impersonator?
DW: For my part I think this record is just more developed. Especially since our first EP, I can hear the experience and a more careful line of work. Beyond that I can’t really say. For me, it feels the same in that sense. There’s the same intention. I think we’ve gotten better at communicating things (laughs). We’re just older and wiser..
I OH YOU: Have you always found it easy to embrace that sense of vulnerability during the writing process?
DW: Yeah I think that’s just what interests us and what attracts us to making music and art in general. It’s being able to speak honestly in a way that you can’t really get away with so easily in many other avenues. Vulnerability is an important thing and it permeates our art, for sure.
I OH YOU: Just how large is the disconnect between your own voice and the feeling that it’s coming from a different character?
DW: I don’t really feel like there is anymore, it’s funny. There was a slight sense of that on Impersonator. That idea of speaking through an exaggerated version of myself was certainly an artistic mechanism to communicate these ideas and feelings. On this album, there wasn’t really much of that going on.
I OH YOU: I’d love to talk about your relationship with pop music. It seems like for whatever reason that there’s been a much heavier crossover between mainstream pop music and those who make music with more left-of-centre sensibilities at heart recently. How much has pop music had an effect on your writing?
DW: It’s a good question. I don’t really know. I listen to music that could be classified as pop music, but I think it’s more about the experience of that moment rather than what’s surrounding it. It definitely feels more natural to me since the internet has become such a mainstay of life and all music is available.. My listening habits aren’t really confined too much but I definitely have a more normalised view on having a much wider listening taste. It’s harder to tell when looking at it that way, but I think it’s a good thing regardless.
I OH YOU: How did you find it collaborating with Grimes on Dream World? Did you actively try to create something different or did the mindset stay the same as with the Majical Cloudz project?
DW: We just used Garageband and an acoustic guitar, basically. The set-up was totally different. I think it was way back in 2009? Dream World was a song that was written before there was any sense of exposure for either of us and so I think it remained unscathed by any expectation or external factors. It was a chicken and the egg situation (laughs).
I OH YOU: Tell me about the recording process on this record. Do you feel the need to change it up with Matthew?
DW: We basically kept it the same. There might be some subtle differences, but we wanted to record in the same place and using the same materials. That continuity has been quite important in the way we look at approaching recording an album, or anything.
I OH YOU: We really appreciate you taking the time, Devon! Looking forward to having you in town for the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival & headline shows!
DW: We’re going to be doing quite a few shows before we come. We should be incredibly well practiced and ready by then! Looking forward to it. Thanks!
Presented by Laneway, I OH YOU & Frontier Touring
with special guests
Mon 8 Feb – Newtown Social Club | Sydney, NSW (18+)
Fri 11 Feb – Toff in Town | Melbourne, VIC (18+)
Majical Cloudz have also been announced on the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival in 2016, appearing at the following dates:
Friday, 5th February
Harts Mill, Adelaide
Saturday, 6th February
Brisbane Showgrounds, Bowen Hills
Sunday, 7th February
Sydney College Of The Arts, Rozelle
Saturday, 13th February
Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne
Sunday, 14th February
Esplanade Reserve and West End, Fremantle