It’s hard to believe that Cut/Copy once only existed as an idea in the Melbourne bedroom of frontman Dan Whitford, who was at the time running a very successful local design studio and immersing himself in club culture by night, both in front of and behind the decks. Whitford’s early blend of samples and newly learned instruments has since evolved into a full-fledged band with guitarist Tim Hoey, drummer Mitchell Scott, and bass player Ben Browning, with each member handling a multitude of instruments.
In the past decade, Cut/Copy has truly become an international act. Touring across the world, headlining massive sold-out shows, and slated on prime slots of prestigious festivals worldwide such as Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, and Lollapalooza in the US; Primavera in Spain, Pitchfork in Paris; Summer Sonic in Japan; and Big Day Out in Australia. They’ve released four critically praised albums and accumulated more than a thousand tour dates in the process, the great majority of which have been to sold out audiences.
Cut/Copy’s high-energy live show is matched only by the beautiful complexity of their songs. They layer large swaths of melody, sections with dissonance, nods to many genres, and package them into coherent pop songs. The result can make large groups of people gather together and explode with joy. There is a Cut/Copy song for everyone, and their songs tend to be ageless — suitable for both teenage angst and cocktail parties.
Each of their four records have garnered great critical acclaim, and Cut/Copy’s catalog has won or been nominated for such prestigious awards as the GRAMMYs and the ARIAs, in addition to underground Awards such as the Webbies or the J Awards. Cut/Copy’s diversity has also landed their songs into movies like 30 Minutes or Less and Savages, television shows such as Nip/Tuck and So You Think You Can Dance, video games including FIFA 12 and Madden, and ads for PlayStation, Blackberry, Levi’s and Orange.
DJing and mixes have also been a big part of Cut/Copy’s identity. From their famed Fabric mix, Fabriclive.29, to the release of 2014 Melbourne dance compilation Oceans Apart, Cut/Copy mixes are highly anticipated, often duplicated, and profoundly inimitable. Whitford and Hoey also perform as Cut/Copy DJs, and embarked on their first DJ tour in the summer of 2015. You’ll still hear the Cut/Copy sound within the songs they include in their DJ sets, but they’re known to include the best of underground dance music and perhaps-forgotten classics.
Cut/Copy is constantly full of surprises. With each album they’ve grown stronger as songwriters, performers, experimenters, and curators. As those who have been lucky enough to witness the ride can attest, it has been an amazing evolution for this Melbourne band and the journey is far from over.