After performing in Austin for South By Southwest, New Zealand synth-pop band The Naked and Famous return to Austin on their first U.S. tour. If their live performance evokes anything like their video for “Young Blood,” you’ll leave pining for those carefree, summer adventures — and maybe lament the bittersweet days of teenage angst.
Earlier this week The Daily Texan had the opportunity interview band member Aaron Short.
The Daily Texan: Where did the album title Passive Me, Aggressive You come from?
Aaron Short: It felt like a very fitting way of representing all the contrasting themes that reveal themselves throughout the album. Things such as the male and female duet vocals, and the colliding of rock band production with electronic production are a good example.
DT: When listening to the album, I get this youthful feeling from it, but at the same time, there’s a bit of an edge. Like a certain tension in some of the songs, lyrically.
AS: There are times where the music itself may be giving off one emotion, but the lyrics may be telling an entirely different story. One may say get up and dance and be happy, and the other may be pointing you to a dark corner of a room with a tissue box. There could be reasons to this, or we may just love confusing people.
DT: What was the first song or album that really changed your life? How so?
AS: I remember being really young, somewhere between five to 10, and waking up in the middle of the night in complete darkness to the sound of my neighbors playing an album by Sinead O’Connor called I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. There was something so haunting about hearing an acoustic guitar and her amazing voice echo across our back lawn and in through the window. It may not have changed my life, but I don’t think I’d felt emotion from music like that before — except for the uncontrollable desire to dance to Michael Jackson that every child goes through at some point.
DT: If you could perform with anyone, anytime who and when would it be?
AS: Well, we got to support Nine Inch Nails when they played in New Zealand in 2009. They’ve always been a huge inspiration to us, and we almost considered retiring from music after playing that show. Our life goal was complete.
DT: What’s some cool New Zealand slang you could teach us Texans here?
AS: None of New Zealand’s slang is cool, I don’t think. One of the worst could be us saying “Yeah, nah.” As in, “Did you have a good surf today?” ”Yeah, nah. it was pretty rough out there.” Confusing, right?