Over the years, we’ve continually fallen deeper and deeper in love with Tycho’s seamless blending of two of our favorite artistic expressions: design and music. With that in mind, it was obviously an incredible experience to sit down with Scott before his show at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colorado, to chat about spirituality, what his favorite cartoons are, and what his last meal would be. Check out the conversation in full below.
TMN: Thank you so much for sitting down with us today before your show at the Summit Music Hall here in Denver. First up, let’s talk about how the tour is going so far.
Tycho: Yeah, we played Santa Cruz and San Francisco to start the tour off, and then we headed to Europe for about six days. We’re basically kicking off the US tour again here (in Denver).
TMN: Alright, you’re obviously on tour promoting your latest album, Awake, which just released a few weeks back. Tell us how this album translates into your live performances.
Tycho: I think it’s impetuous for the change in sound and the way we went about writing this record. The record was made for the live show originally, so touring with these guys… just the way the songs were interpreted for the live context, some of the older songs really had some changes and more drive. That’s what this record is really about. Now, it’s kind of like a one to one thing. It’s more of a traditional instrumentation.
TMN: Let’s touch on that album a bit more. We noticed that it leans a little more on the guitar side than previous albums. Was there any particular reason behind that?
Tycho: With Dive, a lot of those songs like “Daydream,” were me learning guitar. I came to guitar pretty late as a musician. I had played keyboard for years and then came to guitar. It’s always been an interesting instrument to me because I feel like I’m more creative with it. I feel like I’m not stuck in ruts with it, like I am with keyboard.
I wrote this record with Zach, and he’s a guitarist, so that just kind of came to the forefront. I wanted Awake to be more of a balance between the synths and the guitar. I really appreciate guitar-centric music.
TMN: Nonetheless, it’s a great body of work. With this being your fourth full album, has the process gotten any easier for you?
Tycho: It’s the third full album. The other was a half release where I just added a couple of songs. The other ones…I wouldn’t really call them albums. I don’t look at them in the same way because they weren’t concentrated efforts. They were more of a collection of ideas and things that I had been working on for years.
This is the first time we sat down, from start to finish, wrote and recorded an album. I think this is more of an album, in the sense that it’s more cohesive, and it’s a slice of a point in time. That being said, it’s hard to compare this to the other ones, but it definitely went faster and flowed a lot better. I think that was from working with more people and having more perspectives.
TMN: Let’s change gears a bit. Some people might not know that you’re also known as ISO50 in a completely different artistic community. Talk to us about that side of your creativity.
Tycho: I don’t see it as that divided anymore. With Tycho, I’m trying to bring those two together. I was always getting the same ideas with the music and the design, but I never really found a comfortable middle ground to bring them together and that’s what the live show has been. It’s the perfect combination of music and design. There’s this movement and energy to it that you don’t have with static design. It kind of echoes what music can do.
I look at Tycho as an audio visual project now, so everything that I do goes towards Tycho. I see it as a singular thing. I don’t see them as two different organisms.