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Given the momentum generated by In a Million Years, were you initially planning to follow it up as quickly as possible?
Of course. You have no idea how dif­ cult it is. We just don’t have a choice. We can have all the songs, but it doesn’t matter – we can’t decide when we record and stuff like that. We’re very conscious of the fact that we’re on the edge of taking too long. It just kept getting delayed. But I’m hoping this one is good enough to generate interest again and then next album hopefully we can record when we should record.


It certainly doesn’t seem like people have forgotten about you. Wellness’ ­first single ‘Evie’ was an instant success, leading to sold-out national tour in June/July. We were actually just doing a lot of international touring [during the last couple of years]. After exhausting Australian touring, this massive door opened for Asia – and it was awesome. And we went to South Africa as well. We realised there was a whole other side of the world that was very interested in what we were doing. So it was kind of a blessing taking that long, because if we didn’t we probably wouldn’t have realised there was this massive opportunity in Southeast Asia.


From a creative perspective, did you run into any major hurdles writing a second album? Or was that not one of the stalling factors?
There was definitely pressure to try to beat the ­first one. The pressure I put on myself was just to make it cooler. I didn’t care about anything else. I wanted to do something I was proud of – songs that I thought were deeper and artistically better and sonically cooler as well. I got older and I listened to better music and had a better idea of what I thought was cool.


Production-wise, while Wellness sounds like the work of a rock band, it’s clear you guys didn’t just bash it out live. It’s a really tight and brightly produced record. There’s plenty of atmosphere; atmospheric keyboards, guitar effects and electronic drums. Scott Horscroft produced the album. Did you go to him with some ­firm production ideas?
What I respect about Scott’s production style is that he doesn’t get your song, pull it to pieces and be like, “Nah this is no good.” He’s just like, “OK that’s your thing, I get where you’re going, you probably don’t need this little bit here, but let’s record it and I’ll record it in a way to make it better and make it sound how it should sound.” All my demos are very structured and electronic. I program everything – the drums, sometimes bass and guitar – and then I’ll translate it from MIDI to guitars later on. He got that; he made the drums super tight, really quantized and stuff like that. He wanted to keep elements from the demos in the songs. We talked about it and we were like, “That’s perfect.” We didn’t really have any directions to give him.


Building your demos using MIDI – is that something you’ve been doing all along? Or has that approach developed out of convenience?
It’s just easier to do it on MIDI for me. Even though it’s time consuming and I just hit one note then copy and paste and move it all, I’m not the kind of guy to bash it out on guitar. I always like to be ­fiddling with it, because I’m really OCD with that sort of shit. I’ve always programmed drums and most of the time bass and it works well. That song ‘Wellness’ for instance, that’s actually my demo. It’s all stock Pro Tools plug-ins, drums and bass and synth.


That’s one of the de­finite highlights on the record. The dreamier electronic nature of it suggests where Last Dinosaurs could go from here.
That was more [like] the stuff that I listen to. I don’t really listen to the stuff that we play. I’ll probably never listen to our stuff – maybe except for ‘Wellness’ – but for some reason it’s just what I do. ‘Wellness’ is closest to the stuff I really enjoy listening to – more dreamy and a bit deeper and more soundscape-y. I do like guitar music, but I’m more a fan of stuff like that.


Are there any major artists that were on high rotation during the period in which you were writing these songs?
I’ve always listened to Panda Bear. Panda Bear – Person Pitch [2007] would probably have come out 2,500 times now. Mr Twin Sister was a huge influence for me. When I found them I was just like, “Oh my God.” The thing that I admire was that every song of theirs sounds completely different, because it’s supposed to. They take it all the way. That’s what we haven’t really that much. [On] demos I have, but then we peel it back and turn it into pop songs.



Wellness is out now via Dew Process/UMA.