California artist Scott Hansen creates visual designs that are rooted in the same place as the tunes he produces as Tycho. The feeling of nostalgia and the beauty of the natural world allow those who enjoy his work to feel like they’ve somehow shared his childhood. During his busy Asian tour, Tycho answered a few questions from Metropolis.
Tell us about your background and how you came up with the name Tycho.
I was reading a lot about physics and cosmology when I was starting out in music, and Tycho Brahe’s name came up a lot. He was a Danish astronomer and there’s a crater named for him on the moon. It’s somewhat arbitrary, but I like the sound of the name and felt it was fitting for the type of music I was making.
Have you ever performed in Japan? What did you find unique about Japanese audiences?
Yes, we performed at the Taico Club festival last year. We were overwhelmed by the energy of the crowd and are excited to see how more intimate shows at clubs will be.
You run a well-known design blog: certain colors and typography, and retro futuristic themes are distinctive to your designs. Are these aspects key to your music making?
The music and the design are both coming from the same place; they are both sides of the same coin and are meant to paint a bigger picture. I think there are a lot of parallels between my visual and musical work as I use a similar process and methodology for both.
Do you have more passion for design or music?
I don’t see any real separation between the two. I’m a multimedia artist; design and music are two ways I’ve found to express a singular vision.
Is analog input with real instruments and old synthesizers important to creating electronic sounds?
I don’t think it’s necessarily important, I just personally prefer working with guitars and hardware synthesizers. But I’ve heard great music composed entirely with a computer; it’s all about what inspires an artist.
Can you talk about your creative process of making music? Are the members of your band part of that?
I generally start with a simple melodic element and then build out from there. Once I have something I feel is solid, I’ll treat it from a sort of remixing perspective and it will often change significantly or take on an entirely new form. For Awake, Zac and I started out by jamming together on some ideas and we later had Rory come in and play drums.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I generally listen to rock. Atoms for Peace are one of my favorite bands recently.
What’s the next step for Tycho?
We’re planning on touring throughout most of 2015, then in the fall I’d like to start work on a new record.