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I think that it is a transition that required a lot of thought because we are definitely an in-the-studio, electronic-music-based band and when we are writing the music we are so focused on the music that you aren't necessarily thinking of how you are going to translate it live. When I come up with a music part, I'm not worried about how I am going to perform it because I am just trying to do the best thing for a song.
Then when you are finished you really have to step back and say, OK, how do we perform this? And I think for electronic musicians it's really important to consider how you are going to perform it live because there is no way to really re-create your sound live the way a drummer or a guitar player would in a different band. You can't 100 percent re-create, so if you want to remain semi-true to that experience you have to find an interesting way to go about the live performance. The biggest thing for us is making it a visual experience and I think it's really important for an electronic act to have a strong visual identity because when music is made on a laptop, it's not always exciting to see it performed on that same laptop.
And you have made a really interesting instrument to address those concerns. Can you tell me about the kit you use to perform live?
Wednesday, January 23, at the Granada Theater
The bottom line is really that we wanted to be able to create a mood, or multiple moods on stage and give each song its own visual identity live through the use of lighting or smoke, or anything visual, really. We built this instrument to perform the songs on, and the principle is that you see us hit it and it responds by lighting up and then playing what you hear. The idea is similar to the experience of seeing someone playing the drum, you see their arm move and then you hear the sounds.
I think that is something missing from a lot of electronic music, actually. You hear these sounds but you don't necessarily know where those sounds are coming from. I haven't really thought of it that way — this visual piece gives the music some new foundation, right?
Yeah, that way it doesn't come out of thin air. It gives the audience something they can interact with.
Much has been said of your production skills, can we look forward to you creating tracks or producing for other artists?
Yeah, I really hope so. That is something I am very interested in doing. I mostly listen to very mainstream hip-hop, pop and R&B, so I'd really like to work with any artists that fall into that camp.
And what about the next chapter for Purity Ring? The last year has been a landmark one, what is next?
We are still touring quite a bit and will be traveling through summer. I will be working on new music when I get the time. Once we complete the Shrines tour, we will go back into full gear working on new music. Whether that is singles or a full length album, we don't really know yet. We want to take what we have done before and build on it to make it interesting. So that people who like the music we have made, will like what we make again but with some added elements, so that we can make a fresh thing.