Architecture in Helsinki live at Golden Plains 2011 Image Source
UPDATE: Here’s the Architecture in Helsinki version of Cut Copy’s Need You Now linkity link.
Well that’s not entirely true, the correct title should read, An Interview with the Best Looking Member of Architecture in Helsinki: Kellie Sutherland but we’re not so sure our titles can be that long! Comeback Kid first met Kellie on the streets of Fitzroy when we made her coffee and she made us laugh. After wooing Kellie via a year of intense mind control and manipulation she agreed to be part of one of our interviews where we probe into the darkest depths of the Architecture in Helsinki psyche. It goes without saying that they’re one of our favourite bands; let’s learn more about them together (and yes, silly questions to ensue):
Kellie from Architecture in Helsinki, thanks for taking the time out to answer our (often silly) questions. Let’s get straight into it, have you been to Helsinki and if so, can you describe the architecture? Or in other words… where’s your name from?
Cameron cut out some words that sounded good from a newspaper in a desperate attempt at finding a band name. He re-arranged them on the table and Architecture in Helsinki stood out.
Moment Bends, your new album, is due to be released in April (woop woop!) what can we expect from this release? Aside of course from awesome music that makes us smile/dance/clap…
We recorded the album over the last 2 1/2 years at our studio in East Brunswick. We called it (the studio) Buckingham Palace after the 3x3m mural of Lindsey Buckingham (from Fleetwood Mac) was installed on the wall. I guess because we had our own studio space, we were able to take our time with it. Y’know? Like every detail was checked and changed and reinvented over and over until we were happy with how it was sitting.
At first we were anxious to get new material out and keep the ball rolling but what ended up happening was that we stopped and listened to what was around us and allowed enough space for the songs to tell us what was right and what was wrong. Sometimes they take a little more work, other times it’s like it writes itself.
The result is similarly sounding AIH, but with the richness, depth and romance we’ve always been were hoping for.
The video clip for Contact High, the first single from Moment Bends has just been released and features a pretty tasty looking Martini. If Architecture in Helsinki was a cocktail what would the ingredients be?
Here’s a little something i just whipped up:
1 part PepperBerry Vodka;
3 parts Hepburn Mineral Water;
Pour over ice in a tall glass; and
Serve with the inside of a finger lime.
Strong, tall, dry, delicious!
The guys at Modular have been interested in the band for a while and it’s exciting to finally be able to work with them. Nowadays, the sharing of music and downloading without paying is the norm so record labels have to be super creative and onnit in order to get the message out to people that there’s something new worth listening to. This is why were excited to work with Modular, they’ve got a really creative way of working which is inspiring.
You’re about to hit the road and go on tour to launch the new album. What’s tour life like?
If you had asked me 3 years ago about going on tour you would have had a very annoyed and negative girl bee-atching about how much it sux. It can get really hard not putting any roots down or constantly feeling at the mercy of 1000s of peoples emotions.
But now, I’m really looking forward to it. It’s almost like a reward for me. Studio working is so extreme and minute and focussed, tour is all broad strokes and big flavours, high energy and you get to play shows… 100s of shows.
The first tour we’ve got coming up is through Europe. We’ll be in a tour bus driving over night and playing the next day. The busses are totally rad. Having done many tours in a splitter van, or van with trailer, the novelty of the bus is still pretty new. You each get a little bunk bed; pretty much the only personal space you have for months so you’ve got to personalise it and make it your own. I always make a hanging display and pin up some calming images (dolphins riding waves, mountain views) and have a designated clean undies bag which sounds really anal, but honestly its crucial.
It can be heartbreaking having to leave a city that you’ve just arrived in. Thankfully, the clubs we play are usually in a part of town that will have a good coffee shop and a bookstore or some local made goods. We get really into looking up the day before where to eat and find the best health food stores. You’re health declines rapidly on tour, so the search for broccoli and Echinacea is common.
We saw you at a Laneway Festival a couple of years ago and from memory you did a cover of Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder. Do you often do covers live and if so, what’s your favourite song to do?
Ha! Yes we did play “Break My Stride”. We love that song, have you seen this? Hilarious costumes! It’s pretty much what sold the song to me when we were deciding what cover to do back then.
We love playing a cover or two. We always choose songs that we feel we have an emotional connection to and hope that we can do it justice. It’s great as an exercise for us in re-inventing a song to sound more like AIH. It’s good for the audience too because they get to engage with us on another level. We’re fully aware that when we’re playing a festival, or a support slot, the crowd is not necessarily there to see us. Playing covers lets us reach those people too.
Yeah, we’ve always had a couple of covers in the set list on rotation. Love is the Drug, Thriller, Beef in a Box, Break My Stride and currently we’re playing I’ve been Thinking About You by Londonbeat.
You’re were on the bill for Golden Plains last weekend, do you prefer festival shows or more intimate gigs?
We’ve loved playing festival shows over the last couple of years. It’s a very different thing to playing club shows: everything is just BIGGER. Bigger dance moves/lighting/stage/crowds etc. but that said, we are all really really looking forward to playing club shows again. The set lists are longer and not just constant party and most importantly for me, it’s easier to connect with the audience on a more personal level.
Architecture In Helsinki are a pretty darn fashionable band, what are some of your favourite local fashion labels?
My favourite Melbourne labels are Kuwaii and Limedrop. Kuwaii’s clothes are so intricate and the detailing is superb. The fabric choices and the twists, pleats and knots and finishings are amazing. You know as soon as you put a piece on it’s high class. I have some shoes on order from Kuwaii and I cannot wait until they come in!
I also love wearing clothes made by Limedrop. Their pieces are seemingly simple but have surprises all the time. There is an effortlessness and lightness to the way they hang. I love how on the rack they look really odd but on the body they are transformed. What I love about both Kuwaii and Limedrop and is something I think is really important to encourage and support is that these label produce onshore… even the Kuwaii shoes!
Favourite Melbourne hangout? We promise we wont stalk you… can’t promise on behalf of our readers though!
We’ve moved out of our studio this week, sadly and so I’m feeling very sentimental about East Brunswick. We’ve been there almost everyday for the last 2 years, so we know that neighbourhood inside-out and back-to-front. I love all the local characters around there and special places like Methven Park, Mankoushe for all the menu, Smith & Maloney for juice and health, Small Block for coffee and a chat, Sugardough for soup and salad and sweet smiles, the beekeeper at the hardware store, Savers on an afternoon off, dropping by to see Kristy at Kuwaii.
Can you reveal any remixes that you’ve got coming up? Either AIH remixing someone or someone remixing you?
We’ve got some Contact High remixes coming…I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. I don’t want to kill you. Don’t make me.
It’s not a “remix” but we did a version of the fabulous Cut Copy track Need You Now. We changed the arrangements and instrumentation and the whole style of the song is very different to the original. The romance is still there along with the intensely powerful vocal performance by Dan of Cut Copy. I look forward to people hearing it but I don’t know any details of it’s release just yet…
And lastly, do you have any favourite new local bands you’ve been listening too? Local new music is the best kind of music!
Well, thanks to you Comeback Kid Pat , I have been LOVING Oscar + Martin and have had Recognise on repeat for the last 3 weeks. I’m very much looking forward to hearing their new album. And they are supporting us at our Melbourne show! May 26th at the Hi Fi in Melbourne. Woop woop!
Thanks again Kellie for taking part in this Comeback Kid interview!
Moment Bends is out this April through Modular Recordings.