We recently headed to sunny Spain for Mad Cool, spending a few days in Madrid for the third edition of the festival, which included a stellar line-up of artists both new and old on the bill. Jack White and Arctic Monkeys played on one night, Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails on another, and we also got the chance to see sets from Tame Impala, Kasabian, Slaves, MGMT, Wolf Alice, FIDLAR and loads more. It was quite a nice time really then, we’d say.
Whilst there, we also got the chance to catch up with Perfume Genius in the latest edition of the DIY podcast about a new dance project he’s working on as well as an update on the follow-up to his 2017 album ‘No Shape’.
“I’m in the very beginning part of working on a dance thing, hopefully writing music for it and also being in the show,” he told us of the new project. “I can’t tour right now with a huge production, but with this project it could be a way of having a more cinematic, full-on, light show spirit. If I can do that in tandem with writing music for the record too, maybe the first performance for the record could be in that show somehow. We’re gonna do something but we don’t know what we’re gonna do yet….”
Though still in the early stages of the currently unnamed project, Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas explained that the sometimes gruelling nature of his live shows prepared him for the process of making the dance piece.
“What I like about playing the shows sometimes is I’m so exhausted afterwards. There’s something really punishing about the shows and I want the dancing to be like that somehow, so intense and so ecstatic and so a ‘body war’ kind of thing. It’s disgusting and pretty and everything all at once, I think that could be really satisfying.”
He also added that, although not officially working on the follow-up to last year’s album ‘No Shape’ yet, he does have a few ideas about how it could sound.
“I want to do something more jamm-y in a way that’s not excruciating for other people,” he said. “With the last record, I wrote the songs and had the chords and the harmonies and the lyrics and all that but the actual sound was made in the studio. In some ways, I watched it happen and kind of curated it and helped it but other times when I was in the middle of it. It was very in the moment and there’s times on stage when I want it to feel more like that… But finding a way to make it more ecstatic and crazy without it being indulgent. I think that would be a fun balance to try to find.”
He also discussed the difficulty of trying to write about the current political situation in the US, and the presidency of Donald Trump. “It’s very confusing to me because I don’t know if I want to confront it or be even further away from it now. The daily life is the same: sometimes I’m just manically reading everything in a spiral and sometimes I pretend like nothing’s happening.
“I don’t think the stuff I make will ever not be political in some way, but I don’t know if it’ll be direct. I don’t know if I’m getting old or what’s happening, but I like the music being the utopian place where I can go…”
Listen to the rest on the interview on the whole podcast from Mad Cool, which also features interviews with Wolf Alice, Slaves, Kasabian, Marmozets and more.