Following is an email Q&A with singer/guitarist Ory Hodis (pictured in an Adam Jerugim photo). --Jesse Hughey
I read where you said the last album, 8 Bit Monk, relied too heavily on the computer and that Designer Codes was more of a full band effort. Were you not happy with the way 8 Bit Monk sounded?
It's not that we were not happy with the way 8 Monk sounded, as a band we are always expanding and changing our writing process. With 8 bit monk there was a lot of backward learning to prepare for our live shows. We would create a song on the computer and have to learn the parts. It's a really strange process, almost feels like your learning someone elses songs. With Designer Codes we were striving for a more balanced approach, less machine.
Did you try to make the new record sound more organic from the beginning?
The album and songs write themselves according to our experiences in life, and then we derive meaning from it.
Why such a long delay between the two records?
Life happened. Babies were born, people close to us died, and we also left Interscope. What it did though was bring us closer as friends and also provide the inspirational backdrop for Designer Codes.
Was Designer Codes just a really difficult album to record, or were you all working on other projects during those five years?
We each have other projects, but this did not delay the making of the album. After leaving Interscope we decided that we were going to complete the whole album independently. we found ourselves able to focus more on our process and take the time needed to refine out art.
You've performed with an interesting variety of acts, from They Might Be Giants to Raekwon. Obviously, the audience for Raekwon would be very different from a They Might Be Giants crowd. Does your live show change much depending on the audience?
Because we have never fit into any genre, I think we are not limited to who we are playing with or in front of. Our live show changes in the sets we choose to perform and we also improv so spontaneously we never know what's going to happen.
When did you perform with Raekwon, and what was that like? Did you get to hang out with him?
We performed with him at a ski resort. Unfortunately I do not remember the name. We never got a chance to hang out with him because we had to rush off to play another show.
You've done interesting remixes of TV on the Radio and Mars Volta songs ["Televators" and "Staring At The Sun," both available on the band's MySpace page]. How did those come about?
Tour can get really hectic so certain songs give us solace and inspiration. We will play them over and over again. After we get home remixing the songs allows us to give thanks for the inspiration these amazing bands have given us.