Hair die

Ridding Your Mind

We wanted to play on the inextricable and historical link between military and media, and how this could be a metaphor to the internal battle between the strength of your body and your psyche.

Hair Die

Hi and thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Musicology. Firstly, congratulations on your new single Backburning.

HD: Thank you.

What is remarkable about the track is its beautiful fusion of not just electronic and punk aesthetics but the way in which it transverses genres. Musically what constraints did either electronic music or punk rock place on your creativity that pushes you towards combining elements of multiple styles?

HD: We didn’t find these genres to be constraints but resources we could use to try and create something new. Each of these genres can easily lose their edge when combined, we feel the regimented nature of electronic music works best in repetition, progressing, and building slowly which is kind of the antithesis to the way a lot of punk things work. We just tried to see where they could cross over without standing out too much.

One brilliant masterstroke in the track is it’s unashamedly Australiana flare. In particular Cal’s lyrical delivery of an underrated considerate attitude….” Say something nice to the person standing next to you….make someone feel decent for a couple of minutes…. It’s the least you can do for being a fuckwit for the rest of the time”. Was pairing Alys vocals with Cal’s always on the cards or was it an unintentional evolution in the tracks construction?

HD: Exactly, the latter. It was quite an unexpected surprise that came about during recording. We (Cal and Alys) have worked together writing for many years and the method is very much a product of each particular song. With Backburning, we spent time working together on Alys’ opening vocal melody and lyrics, whilst Cal’s spoken word came to him in the first take.

The accompanying video is a visual feast with twisted iconography, vast desert scenes, and TV set destruction. Storyboarding this concept must have been a blast but what underlying messages were you trying to drive home in this clip?

HD: Yeah that initial part of the conceptualising and storyboarding was pretty fun! The song itself is about ridding your mind of anxious ideas that are restrictive and making space for new thoughts so we carried the notion through to the video. We were interested in the idea of scaling up the different aspects of the psyche to a country/national scale, having the aspects of military, media and religion representing the different ways of dealing with challenges and crisis. The majority of the video takes place in our dilapidated TV station and demonstrates an element of propaganda and media, being both what is broadcast and what goes on behind the scenes. The tank represented the strength and might of the military as a destructive force. We wanted to play on the inextricable and historical link between military and media, and how this could be a metaphor to the internal battle between the strength of your body and your psyche. Cal has always been interested in military iconography and thought it would be interesting to combine that with the role of the media and how this can translate down to a personal level. We added in a dose of religion as well but this is relatively comedic.

You will commencing a month long residency at Oxford Art Factory next month, will you be mixing up each set so no two shows are the same?

We are curating and performing at a monthly residency and will make sure each show is with different bands and visuals. On the first date, the 11th of August, we will be playing with Bura Bura, Spike Vincent and Orion. Obviously the bands we play with will be different each month but we are working with different artists and video artists each month to make the space and experience immersive and different each time.

It is still early days in the life of Hair Die but already you have been gaining some impressive reviews for your live performances. What factors have you taken from attending gigs as punters to playing live and delivering something that you weren’t seeing performed by other outfits?

Alys and Cal were living in London for a few years until recently and loved the performative aspects of artists like Arca and Dean Blunt. We loved how immersive these shows were, with elements of performance art and a different kind of set design and we’re trying to do our own take on this.

What does the rest of 2017 have install for Hair Die?

Aside from the residency, we will be touring with The Preatures in September. We also have shows coming up for Dinosaur City Records and will be playing with These New South Whales. Our first EP will be out in a couple of months and the rest remains to be seen.