“In the electronic space I think we are the alternative.”
In the last decade, Tycho, which was once Scott Hansen’s solo project and is now a full-fledged band, has grown to be a benefactor of the organic system of sound. Employing ambient enclosures to synth notes of symphonic wisdom, Tycho has been one of the leading forces of contemporary nu-wave downtempo. With the band all set to perform in India for the first time for Johnnie Walker The Journey at Mehboob Studios, Bandra on December 12, we got talking to Scott about his debut performance in the country and his musical process.
Hey Scott, really excited to have you in India. Your fans have been itching to see you perform for the longest time! How does it feel to be finally coming to India to perform? Are Zac, Rory and Joe accompanying you as well?
We’re all really excited to be coming to India for the first time, we’ve always wanted to play there. Yes of course, the whole band will be in Mumbai for Johnnie Walker The Journey.
You’ve been a solo performer for a greater majority of your career. How’s the dynamic, now, that you’re touring with a band?
It’s a lot more fun for me and I think the performance becomes a lot more engaging for the audience.
The recording process for your last album, Awake, was hence completely different too. You recorded it live with a band in the studio. In that space, how much of the music is essentially you? Do you encourage inputs from the band?
Awake was made in a way very similar to Dive, in that it was the result of moulding pieces and elements that were recorded live into full arrangements through a process of editing and effecting. But this time I had more elements to draw from during that process as Zac, Rory and I had spent time recording some parts together. I think working with Zac and Rory makes the music more diverse and makes my work during the production phase a lot more fluid.
So is Tycho a band today, or a solo Scott Hansen project?
Tycho is a band.
Your music is visual in nature, incredibly simulating. Your live performances too employ grant backdrops. How essential is it to your performances?
Tycho has always had a very strong visual component and while I feel the music speaks for itself, the imagery serves to fill in gaps that may be left by the music. I think the visuals go a long way to making the performances more engaging.
Would you say your music is an extension of your personality, given how you once said your album Drive came out of a really hard year you’d had?
I think any work an artist does is going to reflect their current state in one way or another. But there is an element of escapism in the music so in that respect it is something outside of myself.
In a space where electronic dance music is ruling the commercial charts, what do you think is the space of ambient, downtempo music such as yours or Bonobo’s?
There will always be pop music and there will always be an alternative to that. In the electronic space I think we are the alternative, a counterpoint with some overlapping elements, but decidedly set apart from popular dance music.
What music are you listening to currently, what does your ideal Ipod playlist look like?
I generally listen to rock / folk stuff. Been liking the most recent Unknown Mortal Orchestra record a lot.
You’ve incorporated folk elements in your music earlier. Would you be open to incorporating quintessential Indian sounds in your music?
Certainly, I’m always looking to expand the sonic palette of Tycho.
What according to you constitutes a dream collaboration?
I’m always looking to work with vocalists whose music I enjoy. I’d like to produce records with vocals in the future.
This would be your first time here, what are you expectations from Johnnie Walker The Journey and what can we expect from your performance?
Yes this is my first time visiting India for Johnnie Walker The Journey, and really looking forward to it. I really don’t know what to expect from the event but we always aim to create an immersive experience with the music and visuals
Tycho will be performing with Explosions in the Sky, Giorgio Moroder and Leo at Johnnie Walker The Journey. Grab your tickets here.