It’s been quite a year for NZ five-piece The Naked and Famous. We spoke to them ahead of their appearance at Big Day Out…
Did The Naked and Famous have a lucky break? How did you get started?
Firstly, yes. We’re on our ‘lucky break’ right now. ‘Young Blood’ has made it’s way all around the world. We’ve only just signed a record deal with Fiction (from England) and we’re already YouTube partners, ha ha. The album will be out early next year and then we’ll be touring, touring, touring… and touring. Secondly, we got started by starting. Aaron, Alisa and I met up a few years back and began writing and recording demos that would become our first two EPs, This Machine and No Light. In 2009, David and Jesse came on board and we began writing Passive Me, Aggressive You, which we recorded and produced ourselves. Special Problems have done all our videos and artwork… did I miss anything?
‘Punching In a Dream’ was featured in The Vampire Diaries, how important is mainstream exposure?
Well, large-scale mainstream exposure usually helps grow your profile which in turn, but often not right away, equals financial and commercial success. It’s pretty basic – the more people that hear your music, the better. Being a working full time artist is a bit of a dream job for me. In saying that, we’re not doing this to get syncs or mainstream success. We love music – the end. Everything else is a bonus.
Do you watch the show?
The only vampire show we watch is True Blood.
What TV show would you love to appear on?
Trailer Park Boys.
Who are your influences?
Mainly just Trailer Park Boys.
Passive Me, Aggressive You is a great title. What’s the most passive aggressive thing you’ve done?
Thanks! It’s a lyric in the opening track ‘All Of This’. Been a smart ass in an interview but still kept answering the interview questions.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
I don’t think there’s one singular band. Every band, group, artist works differently. We have so many treasured albums. I think there’s a whole bunch of ‘90s artists we’d love to work with. Ones we grew up listening to, but I think the idea of working with new artists seems a bit more vital.
The video for ‘Young Blood’ is quite beautiful, can you tell us about it?
Probably better to ask Special Problems that question. They have created all our artwork and videos since day one. The narratives are never literal interpretations of the lyrics or anything like that. They’re more like visual interpretations of the music. We mostly just approach them with a “What do you guys wanna do?”
Well it looks like we’ll be touring and promoting Passive Me, Aggressive You for the next year or so. We’re always demoing and working on new material so we’ll be inadvertently creating album 2. Maybe a few remixes.