Tycho is the musical brainchild of Scott Hansen, in collaboration with bassist Zac Brown and drummer Rory O’Connor. The San Francisco-based artist and musician creates sparse, dreamy landscapes filled with warm colors in both his musical and visual design. He paints a melancholic image of a California Coastline that’s caught in time, at once both a sentimental past and a pastel future. A beach where the colors are muted, the sun is setting, and the waves are slowly sparkling against the shore.
As a Bay Area kid who’s been making music and art my whole life and constantly pulled between the two, it’s fascinating to see him express this nostalgia dually, showing both the medium’s individual representation of the intangible and their relation to one another. He uses live instrumentation and organic, atmospheric synths in conjunction with his own visuals to create a synesthetically stimulating experience with recurring themes of longing, childhood, and daydreaming. You can view his artwork here.
What was the process of producing Awake like?
Zac and I wrote a lot of it together. We sat down in a cabin up in Tahoe and hashed out ideas over a couple weeks. I took them back to the studio as the sample base and built of that. Those were the seeds of Awake. Then we recorded Rory on drums in Santa Cruz.
Can you talk about the evolution of your music from The Science of Patterns to Dive to Awake?
I think it was an evolutionary step but I was focused on design during those years. Music was on the back burner. This was the first album where I dropped everything and focused on music. Once we were touring with the band and I realized how visceral it was playing off of other people I wanted that to play a big role in the album.
Your sound is very different than most of what's found at music festivals. How is it playing to people who have been mostly dancing to harder, dancier stuff?
I always wonder if they’re thinking ‘What the fuck is this chilled-out shit?’ but I feel like it’s a nice little counterpoint and a nice little break. We got some uptempo one’s in there at the end.
Your sound is very rooted in the sound of Northern California beaches, why has your home transferred so strongly into your music?
Growing up in Northern California that’s just your life, 100 degree summers and the river and the ocean. I’m not consciously trying to make that the ethos but obviously that has informed everything at some point.
Are you working with any Bay Area artists?
Yea, man! Christopher Willets is one of my best friends. We live pretty close to eachother in the city and we like to bounce ideas off eachother. As far as a wider scene, I know it exists but I’ve been kind of guilty of not getting out enough and hitting up all the nightlies. I know Blackbird Blackbird, he’s amazing. I feel like I need to connect a little more with that scene.
How do you want your shows to evolve?
It’s gonna be more of a band thing with more intensity. An evolution but a logical one, not a complete tangent.
Can you name a couple artists that aren't very well known that we should check out?
Napolean and Airbird. They did that track “In the Zone.” I love that stuff. Com Truise is one of my favorite producers.
Any artists you would like to collaborate with?
We just had out heads down on this album but there’s a lot of vocalists I would love to work with in a side-project kind of way. I’m working with a few of them right now.
Am I gonna see you out on the playa this year?
Yea of course!
Interview and Article by Jesse Wheaton
You can check out some of his artwork below: