For Cut Copy, 2015 is the year of doing everything differently.
In the dozen years since Cut Copy grew from the solo home-recording project of Dan Whitford into a four-man group, the Australian dance-rock band has steadily gained fans around the world, carving out a recognizable niche. But as the band wrapped up a New Year's Eve show in San Francisco, the goal was to strike out in new directions. From embarking on a full DJ tour for the first time to revamping the songwriting process to intentionally working at a slower pace, 2015 has been filled with experiments designed to yield fresh ideas for a new record.
"That process has consciously been taking a lot longer," says guitarist Tim Hoey. "We took time out at the start of the year and kind of just get re-energized by music again. We stepped away from it for a few months."
The changes have reinvigorated Cut Copy. While Hoey says it's too early in the process to describe the band's in-progress fifth full-length album, Whitford, bassist Benjamin Browning and drummer Mitchell Scott are all brimming with ideas and sharing them more eagerly than ever.
"Usually when we start a record, everyone is locked away on his own before we get together and work together as a band," Hoey says. "We've switched things up now and are playing each other ideas at a lot earlier stage, when things are really still kind of loose. It feels very abstract at the moment, but we're taking a few weeks now to knuckle down and work out a clearer idea of what we're doing."
Never a band to spend much time reflecting ("We want to keep moving forward and it'd be counterproductive," Hoey says), the members of Cut Copy have nonetheless found themselves looking back on their legacy as a band.
"A lot of bands don't even last 10 years. Some of my favorite bands made one record and were never heard of again," Hoey says. "We feel quite lucky that we've been able to maintain a kind of career and felt like it's grown with each record and each tour. It's felt like a very organic kind of growth ... we're all in our mid 30s now and the stakes are higher, due to no pressure other than what we put on ourselves.
"At the start of the year we were all thinking about things a lot. Did we still have something to contribute? As the months have gone on, it really feels like we've reconnected again musically and we're excited about records ... and excited just to be in the studio and to be doing shows again ... Just being able to be in the same room and have conversations about music was really invigorating."
So as the band ramps up work on the follow-up to 2013's Free Your Mind, all the changes 2015 brought have them focused on what matters the most.
"If you make a really honest record, I think you'll find an audience no matter how long you've been around," Hoey says. "You just need to maintain that kind of honesty in what you're doing and it will resonate."