Interview: Kim Moyes of the Presets

The Presets return to Seattle on April 14th for a headlining show at Neumos. I saw them last year on their tour with Cut Copy and was blown away by the power of this band. They’re one of my favorite groups and you should check them out live. I talked with drummer Kim Moyes this week about music, videos and a little bit about massages.

Q: Did you get any type of break between your tour with Cut Copy and this one?

Kim Moyes: We had a bunch of festivals back home for our summer. That was just weekends and stuff and then had the whole month of January off. Then we had to go back into the studio and work on our new live show for this tour. We had enough time off to get fired up again.

Q: How did the rest of your tour with Cut Copy go?

KM: It was really fun. We did our first ever tour in Australia with them as the Presets so it was really fun to kind of come full circle in a way and do it over here. They’re like brothers, it was just hanging out with really great friends and probably having too much fun most of the time.

Q: I was at the Seattle show – it was amazing.

KM: Oh cool, that was actually particularly fun that night.

Q: Is it frustrating for you not to be able to dance as you’re playing your music?

KM: I’m definitely getting my dance vibes expelled through my arms and legs. I’ve just got some different moves.

Kim Moyes @ the Showbox, 2008 – photo by Dagmar

Q: Is it your older brother, Kris Moyes, who has directed some of your videos?

KM: My younger brother – 2 years younger.

Q: What’s it like having him bossing you around? Is it weird?

KM: Yeah, there were a couple of moments in the My People video where his directions were getting a little bit uppity and I was about to turn around say, shut the fuck up. Get him in a headlock and give him a Chinese burn. He’s a lot more talented than I am and has done amazing stuff so I can kind of bite my tongue.

Directed by Kris Moyes

Q: I’ve been listening to your solo work and really enjoying it. Are you going to do more?

KM: I am. It’s more about time than anything else. There are a few different things I am interested in. I’ve been doing this club thing for awhile and I’m not sure what I want to do first. They’re going to be a lot different, a bit more ambient, something to make your day nicer instead of something that you put on to take drugs to. I finished a club track the other week – it should be coming out in the next couple of months.

Q: Do you remember what the first music you bought was?

KM: A seven-inch by an Australian band called the Machinations. Kind of 80s pop. My mom bought me some stuff. My first record on vinyl was Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. I used to take a lot of stuff off my sister, who’s six years older and she had all these great things like the Smiths, Madonna . . . My friends at school had Public Enemy and Run DMC. We used to swap tapes. It wasn’t until I was older, like twelve or thirteen that I really started buying records.

Q: When you were a kid what did you think about doing when you grew up?

KM: I always wanted to be Indiana Jones. I always wanted to be my heroes in movies. I don’t think I had a real firm grip on reality. I got completely entranced by drumming and by the time I got to that age where I was buying music I knew what I wanted to do. I just wanted to play music. I did everything I could from that point on to make it happen.

Q: What kind of drummers did you like listening to?

KM: I just liked the drummers from the bands that I liked. It was always for something that had nothing to do with the drummer. I liked a pair of boots someone was wearing on a record cover or something completely irrational and superficial. I do have a couple drummers I really like. There’s Tony Buck from an Australian band called the Necks. He’s amazing. Do you know Dirty Three? [He mentions their drummer, Jim White too].

Q: I was reading in an interview that you like to make music that punches listeners in the face.

KM: And then caress you gently. Tie you up, whip you and shove your thumb down your throat.

Q: What do you like to do besides making music?

KM: There’s not really anything else I can do besides music. I like to go to the beach, read and cook. I used to surf and skateboard but I don’t have much time for that now. I like to get massages – I always have a knot at the base of my neck from drumming.

Q: What kinds of books do you like to read?

KM: I’m reading about settling Australia and the convicts London didn’t want. It’s a weird history. The truth is very murky. I am 90% sure that both sides of my family were convicts. My mom’s side of the family made it a point of saying they were settlers. They loved the Queen and traditional things. At Christmas it would be boiling hot but they’d make a roast. There’s not much out there on my dad’s side of the family.
Check out more of my photos from their Showbox appearance here & here.