Last year, Aussie band The Cairos released their debut album Dream of Reason via Island Records. Flash forward to 2015, when the indie trio amicably split from their label, but are excited to have more control over their music.
The band is now back with their highly anticipated self-released single, “Love Don’t Feel Right.” In support the guys are heading out on a tour supported by Rolling Stone in January 2016.
We had the opportunity to catch up with The Cairos and received some insight into their new musical journey, their new single, and what’s next for the band. Read what they had to say below.
You’ve recently parted ways with your previous label and are now self-releasing your own music. Are you able to give us some insight about what brought on this decision?
We were fairly young when we signed to Island Records and I think a little misguided, too.
At first it was great to have records paid for and releases planned for you, but the disconnect between how we envisioned our music and releases began to grow and grow. I guess as you get older you learn a lot more about yourself and how you want to represent yourself creatively.
You’ve emphasized the fact that you have creative control; can you tell us what that means to you?
You don’t really know what creative control is until you lose it. Having freedom to express yourself is tremendously important. It becomes more than money or how many records you can sell. I felt like we were pushed to think way too much commercially or to a certain way of thinking, which really sucked a lot of joy out of the creative process. Those moments of expression and euphoria as an artist would be moulded away until the point that you’re releasing something that doesn’t resemble what you dreamed. A lot of this was definitely our fault for not believing in ourselves enough.
What new things have you been experimenting with? What is it like self-producing your music?
For me it’s the best part of music. The moments when you’re writing, experimenting. When it goes right, you can really just be out of this world and saying things you didn’t think you’d say, or learning new sounds you didn’t think yourself capable of. Self-producing means you capture a lot more of that original magic. I have a tendency to fall in love with demos and not the final product, so this way it’s like you’re really hearing what was dreamed up.
What inspired your video for “Love Don’t Feel Right“?
Backstreet Boys, acid trip, original sin. I think we just like visually stimulating narratives or the bizarre. Originally it was a way more expansive narrative with chase scenes, rituals, and a little devouring, but our technical deficiencies (lack of funds) left us really making a lot of it up on the run. I like that it’s us just having fun.
Who would you say are your musical influences, especially in your new endeavors into pop?
There really are so many great artists doing fantastic things at the moment, lots of young people really embracing melody and a sense of the etherial. We were kids when ’90s sugar pop was king so I’m sure it’s definitely subconsciously infiltrated us. I love the new Hazel English. Her song “Fix” made me pull over the car and stop and just listen and connect. People who self-produce, write are massive influences. I think what Kevin Parker has done recently has really raised the bar as far as self creating goes and that’s definitely been a massive influence.
How was your CMJ experience this year? Any highlights?
New York is a hell of a town. I think the melting pot of so many bands chasing their dreams and doing what they believe in is a huge buzz which makes you go home as pumped as ever. The entire week feels like a dream until it’s over and you have the greatest withdrawals of all.
Being from Australia, have you found it difficult to break into the American market? How do the two differ?
They are totally different. I think the similarities with both markets are that you really have to be there and spend time in the territories. Having the Internet to spread your word helps, but then translating that to actually being in America is really important. We’re coming back soon in 2016 and we’re hoping that the time we’ve spent there in the past will really help us for the future. Also everyone in the world wants to “crack” the American market. So going back to being a very small fish in a massive pond is a big change.
Supporting the release of “Love Don’t Feel Right,” you have a small tour in January 2016 presented by Rolling Stone. What’s next for you in 2016?
The grand plan will be to release our second album and continue playing live shows and heading overseas again. As well as America we have plans in Asia and Europe and then I imagine we’ll do more of the same! Over the past two years we’ve been building a recording studio as well which is almost finished. So the grand plan would be world domination and then heading back to our finished studio and creating album number three.