When it came time to work on their third album, the members of Melbourne, Australia’s Cut Copy got a little uncomfortable. Quite literally. “We all wore suits that where a size too small for us in the studio, so we never felt comfortable and were unable to sit still,” multi-instrumentalist Tim Hoey tells Life + Times. The impressive, focused result is Zonoscope, 11 massive, lively and nostalgic tracks that nod to Men at Work and XTC, while clearly carving Cut Copy its own definitive dance-rock niche. Here, Hoey takes our quick questionnaire and reveals his soft spot for Finding Nemo.
Life+Times: What’s the first album you ever bought?
Tim Hoey: INXS’s Kick. I remember seeing the film clip for “Devil Inside,” and they had someone skateboarding in it. I was really into skateboarding at the time, so I bought the album.
L+T: What can you recall of your earliest musical memory?
TH: My mum singing old gospel songs to me while I was in the womb.
L+T: What music do you first remember meaning something significant in your life?
TH: Definitely hearing Sonic Youth for the first time. A friend of mine made a mixtape with Dirty on one side and Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet on the other. Until then I’d been listening to Guns N’ Roses and Bell Biv Devoe.
L+T: What is the sweetest sound you can think of?
TH: The sound of my girlfriend’s voice in the morning, buzzing around the house while I try to sleep.
L+T: What movie always makes you cry?
TH: Finding Nemo…when they can’t find Nemo.
L+T: When you started working on Zonoscope, how was the direction and focus different than your previous one, In Ghost Colours?
TH: I guess we just found new things to inspire us—whether it was percussion, the Fairlight CMI [a digital sampling synthesizer] or Werner Herzog.
L+T: What are some of Zonoscope‘s non-musical influences and how did they play a role in the making of this record?
TH: The Herzog film Fitzcarraldo. We were interested in capturing the rhythm and sensuousness of the Amazon. We even composed music to some of the scenes in the film that appeared as interludes on the record
L+T: Have you ever been in love?
TH: I am right now. The hardest thing about touring is being away from the person you love, but it’s also the only thing that gets you through these long exhausting days.
L+T: In the Cut Copy biopic, who plays each band member?
TH: Dan Whitford: The bad guy in Karate Kid with the blonde hair.
Ben Browning: Larry David.
Mitchell Scott: One of the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park.
Me: Kid from Kid ‘n Play.
L+T: Complete the following sentence: “Being from Melbourne means I can always…”
TH: Have good coffee.
L+T: It’s a rock & roll dinner party. You can invite three rock stars, alive or dead. Who do you invite?
TH: Robert Pollard, Whitney Houston and Warren Ellis.
L+T: What song do you wish you’d written?
TH: MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” I wouldn’t have to work another day in my life.
L+T: What’s the last lie you told?
TH: That Mitchell has a foot fetish.
L+T: Tell me a secret.
TH: Dan steals the alarm clocks from the hotels we stay in.