By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With four studio albums released in the last decade, a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Release, Australian electronic quartet, Cut Copy, returns to Rio on Saturday, June 7th to play at Usina, one of Rio’s hottest up-and-coming nightclubs.
“I’m really excited to come back to Rio,” Cut Copy founder Dan Whitford told The Rio Times. “It’s such an amazing city and when we played last time we had a great crowd. So I’m hoping this time will be even better.”
Cut Copy, also written Cut/Copy, was last in Brazil in 2011 and played in both Rio and São Paulo. They return on Saturday with the help of 294 fans who participated in the campaign put on by Rio-based crowd sourcing platform, Queremos, which connects venues, performers and fans to make shows happen in cities and venues sometimes overlooked on tour schedules. Digital music service, Spotify also contributed support in the campaign to help to bring the group to Usina.
Located in the neighborhood of Saúde, in the Port Zone of Rio near Pedra do Sal, the Usina nightclub opened earlier this year in the space formerly occupied by popular Rio club, The Week. With its spacious yet intimate atmosphere, the venue has already hosted several editions of the highly acclaimed Rio party events known as Wobble.
“I don’t have a preference I just like playing to people in a variety of locations,” said Whitford when asked if he liked to play festivals and bigger venues, or smaller intimate ones and clubs. “Festivals can be really big crowds which is really exciting and it’s fun to perform in unique outdoor locations. But we started out playing smaller clubs and club shows can be an electric atmosphere. So I think it’s fun to have the opportunity to play both.”
It was Whitford who started Cut Copy in 2001. What is now a quartet, began as a solo project, when Whitford, while studying graphic design in Melbourne, Australia, became increasingly interested in electronic music and started producing his own works in his home-studio.
The name, Cut/Copy was chosen while Whitford was at work on his compositions at his computer. Guitarist Tim Hoey, bassist Ben Browning and drummer Mitchell Scott would later join him to complete the band’s current lineup and round out their sound.
Throughout their decade-long career the band has been called everything from new wave, to synth-pop, to pop/rock, to nu-Madchester, to electronic. When asked what he calls their sound Whitford replied; “I don’t really think about how we should be classified. We make music that we like and it’s never been based on a particular genre.”
“I’ve always liked a broad range of stuff so I think our music reflects that,” he continued. “There’s elements of guitar based pop, but also house and dance music, and even more experimental stuff too. I suppose it also reflects our personal tastes so I guess over our period as a band our sound has evolved and changed from record to record as well.”
The group, with then bassist Bennett Foddy, released their debut album entitled, Bright Like Neon Love, during the first half of 2004. The release featured the singles “Saturdays” and “Going Nowhere”. Cut Copy toured as a trio, after Foddy left, playing festivals and touring in support of big names at that time and now including, Daft Punk, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party and fellow Australians, The Presets.
In early 2008, the trio released their sophomore album, In Ghost Colours with its singles “Hearts on Fire“, and “Lights & Music“, Cut Copy’s highest charting single (in Australia) to date. The album, Zonoscope followed in 2010 and it was then that bassist Ben Browning officially joined the group.
Cut Copy’s most recent album, the one they come to Brazil touring in support of, is Free Your Mind, It was released last November, preceded by the single release of the title track. After Cut Copy, Usina will host the Nas Internas party, with DJs Tucho and Nepal, and DJs from the Putzbrilha events spinning to keep the party going well into the night.