Australian indie act Architecture in Helsinki toured the United States during the fall of 2007 to support their album, Places Like This. 20 Watts caught up with lead singer Cameron Bird at a tour stop in Buffalo. Part of this interview was printed in the March, 2008 issue of 20 Watts. Here’s the rest of the interview:
20 Watts: What’s your favorite city to play in the states, and which is your favorite city to play in Australia?
Cameron Bird: In the states? That’s too hard. I always love playing in New York, just because I love New York so much, and you know we always have really great shows there. I love playing anywhere on the West Coast. There’s nowhere I hate playing in America, really. I love playing in Austin. There are no real standouts to me, the vibe across the whole country, people get into stuff as much everywhere.
Bird: In Australia I like playing in Sydney the most… I’m from Melbourne and everyone there hates me. It’s a town full of haters…. It’s a very hard place to be appreciated, people have very high standards. It’s a strange place. But it’s a really amazing experience to live.
20W: What have you been listening to lately? What music do you like?
Bird: At the moment I listen a lot to the Animal Collective, pretty much anything that they’ve done and all their side projects. And as a live band they’re a huge inspiration. I also listen to a lot of, there’s a producer from London called Adrian Sherwood, who actually produced a lot of really amazing dub and reggae from the early-’80s that’s really kinda crazy and out there, and then he started producing stuff for like the Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode, so he’s kind of an interesting character, I really like his stuff. I don’t know what else, that’s always a hard question.
Bird: I love a band from Nottingham in the UK called Late of the Pier, they’re probably my favorite live band going. They’re probably my favorite band at the moment, like as a young live band, they’re like 19 years old and touring insane and amazing.
20W: I want to talk about your “Heart It Races” video. Who came up with those costumes and did you make them yourselves?
Bird: There’s a fashion label from Sydney called Romance was Born and they kind of do really out there, amazing … that’s not something from their clothes line. They kinda got this rough concept from the director and they kind of created those. They’re totally amazing people and they did a great job.
20W: That was a great video.
Bird: Yeah it was a lot of fun. It was like we made it in a really intense, short period of time. We did it in like two days, for the amount of different stuff in it.. We were up at 5 a.m. … driving around Mexico City and none of us had ever been there, it was so surreal. We shot it in Mexico, yeah. There’s some shots in it that you can’t really see, where we were on top of a pyramid, yeah it was pretty insane.
20W: Have you done anything cool in Buffalo today?
Bird: Well, this is our second time in Buffalo. Last time we came was the first time we’ve ever come to America.
20W: Your first city in America was Buffalo?
Bird: No, no. The first city we ever came to in America was Minneapolis… The first time we came was in 2004, to Buffalo. We played a tour with Death Cab for Cutie, and they had heard us on the radio in Australia and liked us and asked us to come and play with them, and we didn’t really know their music. And they asked us to play on this tour and we’re like ‘yeah yeah sure that’ll be great,’ thinking there would be good tour pay for the first week of places. And we’d been playing all these tiny little shows in like shops and stuff, and then all of a sudden we’re playing this big show with Death Cab for Cutie. And one of the first one of which was here, and it was the first time any of us had ever been in the city when it was snowing. We had chicken wings last time.
– Alison Baitz, Kalee Rinehart and Caroline Barrett