the AU interview: Kim Moyes of The Presets (Sydney) talks BIGSOUND, Tame Impala and the gentrification of creativity

  • Larry Heath
  • September 1, 2015
  • Comments Off on the AU interview: Kim Moyes of The Presets (Sydney) talks BIGSOUND, Tame Impala and the gentrification of creativity

Next week, Kim Moyes of Sydney electronic duo The Presets will be speaking at the annual Brisbane based music industry conference and festival BIGSOUND. In advance of the event, we spoke to Kim about his time at the Sydney Conservatorium – who have finally introduced a contemporary music program – he gives advice for people looking to enter the industry, reveals his favourite Australian album right now and reveals that he’s working on a new Presets record! He also talks about the challenges facing the music industry. There’s a lot to read, so we’ll leave you to it…

Finish this sentence, I love music because…

…of a deep seated need to be transported somewhere else, and also because of The Cure.

The Sydney Conservatorium has finally introduced a contemporary music program. Would that have come in handy when you were there? What do you hope it offers its new batch of students?

That’s definitely a good step forward. I had an amazing experience attending High School and University at the Conservatorium, totally changed my life.

I did always wish during my time studying that there was more emphasis on creativity as opposed to technique and tradition. The fact that there wasn’t was ok though, because it forced me to start creating my own path. However many of my fellow students left the course ill-equipped to be able to maintain flex-ability as musicians and ended up only being able to teach, (which is very important and necessary but not exactly what you are hoping for) or giving up the idea of being a professional altogether. Hopefully the contemporary program addresses that issue and helps people imagine wider possibilities beyond performance.

If you were teaching your own class, what would you call it?

“Amateur Hour Glass” – focusing on how to conduct yourself like a professional and elevate beyond the bottom levels

What did your time at the Conservatorium offer, however, that perhaps wouldn’t have been available to you elsewhere?

I was able to meet a diverse network of like minded musicians. It also gave me access to a large amount of recorded music and literature that was a great way to explode my imagination. But mainly, as a percussionist whose instrument is vast and varied, it gave me access to the Percussion room.

What’s your best piece of advice for someone looking to enter the industry and/or what’s a piece of advice you wish someone and told YOU before you entered the industry?

If you are not doing it, you are not doing it. Stop being an amateur and think like a pro.

Where is your favourite place to tour outside of Australia and why?

Touring Japan is great because it’s Japan, and Shinkansen is the most civilised way to travel.

What are you working on at the moment?

New Presets album. We are neck deep in album four!

What’s the biggest challenge facing the music industry today?

Gentrification and the democratisation of creativity and the accessibility of music making has really broken down the concept of the precious developmental time an artist needs to truly nurture themselves in relative obscurity. To develop sounds and scenes outside of readily available content and the internet. Mystery is gone, quality is harder to obtain, we are drowning in average quantity.

And is there a solution?

As an artist or a producer, take your time. Develop. Don’t feel the pressure to release every little half baked idea you might have. Add a twist. Don’t follow the trends. Be an individual. Trust the creative process. Be real.

What’s one track or album everyone should be listening to right now?

Tame Impala – Currents. Modern Australian masterpiece.


BIGSOUND 2015 takes place in Brisbane from the 9th to the 11th of September. For tickets and more details, head to:

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.