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Cut Copy (sometimes stylised as Cut/Copy) are an Australian new wave music band formed in 2001 by DJ Dan Whitford (vocals, keyboards and guitar). Initially a home-recording project, the band now includes Tim Hoey (guitars), Ben Browning (bass guitar) and Mitchell Scott (drums).[1] So far they have released five studio albums, an EP, and a number of singles and remixes. They achieved breakthrough success in 2008 with their second album, In Ghost Colours. Some of their most well-known singles include "Lights & Music", "Hearts on Fire" and "Take Me Over".

Cut Copy
Cut Copy (45668059095).jpg
Cut Copy performing at Falls Festival in Byron Bay, 2018.
Background information
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active2001–present
  • Dan Whitford
  • Tim Hoey
  • Mitchell Scott
  • Ben Browning
  • Kevin Young
Past members



Cut Copy was established in 2001 in Melbourne, Australia as the solo project of Dan Whitford, a DJ and graphic designer. Whitford was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne and studied graphic design at Monash University. During his studies he became interested in dance music and began DJing while hosting a radio-show. Around this time he bought a sampler and keyboards to experiment with. Musically he was "inspired by indie low-fi stuff as much as dance".[2] Upon graduating Whitford co-founded the design-agency Alter,[3] who continue to produce all of the graphical material for the band.[4] Whitford began producing music at his home-studio and submitted a demo-tape to Modular Recordings, who subsequently signed him sometime in the first half of 2001. He enlisted the help of veteran guitarist Harry Howard to record the debut single "1981", which was released on vinyl only.[5][6]

According to Whitford, the band's name was a random choice: "I was in the edit menu [of my computer] and I moved down in the document to the few words that didn't make sense together, and at that particular day and time the words 'cut' and 'copy' really stood out to me. At the time it felt like a fairly abstract choice but now it feels very tied in with what we do".[7] The name is often displayed as one word with a forward slash in between: Cut/Copy.

With Howard filling in on guitar, Whitford asked his childhood friend Bennett Foddy to join on bass with the view to release an EP.[8] The band was assisted by Robbie Chater of The Avalanches who produced the seven largely instrumental tracks that were leaning heavily on samples.[9] I Thought of Numbers was released in September 2001 and spurred a number of remixes on vinyl. The following year saw Whitford remould the band with a view to take to the stage. Their live debut at the 2003 Livid festival was described by Foddy as "our first show was in front of 5,000 people at a festival, which was sort of terrifying".[8]

In 2003, Howard was replaced by Tim Hoey, a student at the Victoria College of Art after he and Whitford began exchanging demo tapes.[2] Drummer Mitchell Scott joined shortly after, explaining that "we were just in the same circle of friends, and Tim was sort of roped in because he could play guitar and Dan's sampler had actually broken down, which kind of brought on the need to find a new way of thinking about a live show".[10] Prior to Hoey and Scott joining, a Cut Copy performance was essentially Whitford together with Joel McKenzie doing a DJ set that included sampling their own material. Throughout their career, the band has continued to do DJ sets and remixes for others.[6][11]

2003–06: Bright Like Neon LoveEdit

Cut Copy performing at Point Éphémère in Paris on 29 February 2008

Whitford began working on the band's debut album in early 2003 and had written half a dozen songs when during a DJ gig, one of their samplers broke down. Together with Hoey, Scott and Foddy he began reinterpreting the material. Later in the year Whitford gathered all the recordings and travelled to Paris to mix the album with Phillippe Zdar and his team and found that he had "two different versions of the recordings, so I started taking parts from both of those, and putting them together".[12] In April 2004, Cut Copy released their debut LP, Bright Like Neon Love to moderate success and supported by the singles "Saturdays" and "Future". The four-piece began rehearsing for a tour and began to play 'a garage band version' of the material.[2] At this stage Foddy left the group to study for his Ph.D, and the band continued as a three-piece.[8]

In 2005, the trio toured internationally for the first time, as support to international acts such as Franz Ferdinand, The Presets, Junior Senior, Bloc Party and Mylo while also playing a number of European festivals.[13] By playing a large number of shows their fan-base grew and three members became more proficient in their instruments. In contrast to previous occasions, Whitford began songwriting with the others in the band.[14] A third single, "Going Nowhere", was released in January 2006. In the first half of 2006, Whitford was asked to produce a mix for the Fabric label, which included a number of Cut Copy mixes. It was released in August 2006 as FabricLive.29 and described as "collection of indie, hip-hop, electroclash and straight up rock".[15] He did the same for the American clothing company Triple 5 Soul in the same year, which Modular later released as a podcast.[16] In December 2007, the group toured Australia with Daft Punk on the Nevereverland tour, the Sydney leg of which attracted a crowd of almost 50,000 people.

2007–09: In Ghost ColoursEdit

For much of 2006, Whitford had been working on the second album using the three-piece template that had been touring the world. Towards the end of September, he had much of the album complete in demo form.[15] These recordings were sent to Tim Goldsworthy who agreed to produce the new record. In early 2007 the band travelled to New York where the new album was completed in a six-week period.[17] Whitford commented on Goldsworthy's contribution that "he was almost like an extra member of the band and gave us feedback on things that were working and things that he thought we could change. On top of that he has an incredible wealth of experience with what he's done with other records and brought some of those recording techniques to our music".[18] After some mixing in Los Angeles, the album was finalised at the band's homebase in Melbourne.[19]

In May 2007, the band decided to play a small Australian tour while Modular Recordings released the single "Hearts on Fire" digitally and on vinyl.[20] In September, the band had announced the completion of their second album, In Ghost Colours, but its Australian release was delayed until 22 March 2008 to co-ordinate with its international release. The rest of the year was spent doing a number of remixes, playing a number of local festivals and supporting Daft Punk on their Australian dates. The promo-only single "So Haunted" was made available for airplay while Whitford was putting together another compilation of mixes.[21]

As a prelude to their second album, the band released the So Cosmic mix in February 2008, showing the disco/new wave inspiration behind In Ghost Colours.[22] The album debuted on the ARIA Albums Chart at number one.[23][24] Cut Copy's next single, "Lights & Music" was used in video game FIFA 09.[25] "Far Away", album's third and final single, was played on Nip/Tuck, a United States TV series, on one of its final episodes, in a club scene.

2010–12: ZonoscopeEdit

Cut Copy performing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in August 2010

In July 2010, radio station Triple J broadcast the teaser track "Where I'm Going", ahead of Cut Copy's third album, Zonoscope, which drew inspirations from the early 1980s.[26] It was largely recorded in a Melbourne warehouse with only the band and an engineer working on it.[10] The band confirmed they had officially become a four-piece with the addition of bass guitarist Ben Browning.[27] "Where I'm Going" became the theme song of RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook's sneak-preview video, which was released in September 2010.

The band premiered the album's first official single, "Take Me Over", in November 2010 on Triple J's breakfast show with Tom & Alex. In an interview with The Music Network, guitarist Tim Hoey described it as "certainly one of the more pop moments on the album."[28] Zonoscope peaked at number three in Australia in February 2011.[23] In March 2011, the group performed on the Saturday of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, US.[29] In June 2011, the band played at Indie Fest in Puerto Rico[30] and later that year at the Zappa Club and the Barby Club, in Tel Aviv.[31] In July 2011, the band performed to an audience of 25,000 people at the Camp Bisco Ten festival in Mariaville, New York. On 10 September 2011, Cut Copy played the Virgin Mobile FreeFest in Columbia, Maryland, US.[32]

In March 2012, Cut Copy bassist Ben Browning released his debut solo EP Lover Motion. It was preceded by the single "I Can't Stay".

2013–14: Free Your MindEdit

Tim Hoey performing with Cut Copy at Paaspop 2014 in Schijndel, Netherlands

In early September 2013, the full version of the title track to their fourth album Free Your Mind debuted at six specific locations worldwide. Fans were informed that they could visit selected billboards in Mexico, Chile, Australia, two locations in the US (Detroit, and California) and one in the UK at Blaneau Gwent in South Wales. When fans were standing near the billboard, they could open an app which would allow them to stream the track through their smartphones.[33] The track quickly appeared on Triple J's hitlist getting regular airplay. The music video for "Free Your Mind", directed by Christopher Hill and released in October 2013, stars Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård as a cult leader.[10]

The album Free Your Mind was released on 1 November 2013 to considerable success. After rehearsals in Nashville, Cut Copy embarked on a world tour of North and South America through to Europe and Russia.[10] The music video for "We Are Explorers" premiered in February 2014, followed by the release of the vinyl single "In These Arms of Love" for Record Store Day. The latter was later included in the deluxe re-release of Free Your Mind. In November, the band released a well-received mix album Oceans Apart.

2015–present: Haiku from ZeroEdit

The band spent most of the 2015 working on the follow up to Free Your Mind. Another mix album, Forest Through the Trees, was released in June and was followed by a DJ tour. In September 2016, they released January Tape, a 44-minute ambient instrumental piece recorded during those sessions available as a limited cassette run of 400 copies.[34] According to Dan Whitford, the new album was about three quarters complete as of October 2016.[35]

In July 2017, "Airborne" was released as the lead single from the new album. Next month, the band announced that the record would be called Haiku from Zero and simultaneously released the second single, "Standing in the Middle of the Field".[36][37] The album was released on 22 September 2017 to mostly positive reviews. Despite this, it is Cut Copy's least commercially successful album since their debut Bright Like Neon Love, peaking outside the top 50 in Australia and failing to chart elsewhere.

On 2 November 2018, a single "Ocean Blue" was released, it was recorded during Haiku from Zero sessions.[38]

Band membersEdit

Current members

  • Dan Whitford – vocals, keyboard, guitar (2001–present)
  • Tim Hoey – guitar, sampler (2003–present)
  • Mitchell Scott – drums (2003–present)
  • Ben Browning – bass guitar (2010–present)

Former members



Year Ceremony Category Work Result
2004 ARIA Music Awards Best Dance Release[39] "Future" Nominated
2008 Best Dance Release[40] In Ghost Colours Nominated
J Award Album of the Year[41] Nominated
2011 ARIA Awards Album of the Year[42] Zonoscope Nominated
Best Dance Release[42] Won
Best Cover Art[42] Won
2012 Grammy Award Best Dance/Electronica Album[43] Nominated


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  2. ^ a b c Andrew Murfett (3 February 2011). "Cut Copy move on from the "Modular sound"". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Alter — Design Studio Melbourne". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Alter". 26 November 2008. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  5. ^ Julie Finley (19 June 2012). "Harry Howard & the Near Death Experience, Near Death Experience". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  6. ^ a b Dylan Behan (24 February 2002). "RA: Cut Copy Interview". Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  7. ^ David Marchese (4 January 2011). "Why They're Called... Cut Copy". Spin. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Jonathan Beilin (25 May 2011). "Profile: Bennett Foddy". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Cut Copy". 8 February 2011. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
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  12. ^ "CUT COPY'S DAN WHITFORD". May 2004. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Cut Copy Gigography, Tour History". Songkick. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Quite a journey for Cut Copy founder Dan Whitford". Herald Sun. 16 March 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ a b "Interview: Dan Whitford of Cut Copy for FabricLive". 21 September 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
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  17. ^ "Cut Copy: Interview". Tiny Mix Tapes. June 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  18. ^ Ron Slomowicz (26 August 2008). "Cut Copy Interview - Interview with Cut Copy". Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  19. ^ Jason Treuen (4 May 2008). "Rolling Stone: Cut Copy (director's cut)". Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  20. ^ "cut/copy: HEARTS ON FIRE tour 2007!". 3 May 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  21. ^ "cut/copy: Rumours". 26 November 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Cut Copy - So Cosmic (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Discography Cut Copy". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  24. ^ Paul Cashmere (1 April 2008). "Number One For Cut Copy Is A Bittersweet Victory". Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
  25. ^ Steve Noah (14 August 2008). "EA Sports FIFA 09 Soundtrack Score on International Music Goals". Retrieved 20 December 2014.
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  27. ^ Jason Treuen. "Cut Copy to premiere Where I'm Going this Friday". The Music Network. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  28. ^ "Cut Copy discuss new single ahead of Tuesday premiere". The Music Network. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  29. ^ Jose D. Duran (24 March 2011). "Set Times For Ultra Music Festival 2011". Miami New Times. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  30. ^ "Coors Light Indie Fest 2011". My Destination. 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  31. ^ "cut copy on Twitter". Twitter. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  32. ^ "Virgin Mobile Freefest 2013 - Home". 21 September 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  33. ^ "Cut Copy announce new album". NME. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  34. ^ Kevin Lozano (30 September 2016). "Cut Copy Release 44-Minute Ambient Instrumental January Tape". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  35. ^ Claire Lobenfeld (30 October 2016). "Cut Copy's Dan Whitford on the new age influence behind January Tape and what to expect from their next album". Fact. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  36. ^ Braudie Blais-Billie (10 August 2017). "Cut Copy Announce New Album Haiku From Zero, Share New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  37. ^ Mike Schiller (26 October 2017). "Cut Copy: Haiku from Zero". PopMatters. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  38. ^ "STREAM: CUT COPY RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'OCEAN BLUE'". Indie88. 2 November 2018.
  39. ^ "ARIA Awards - Winners By Year - 2004". Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  40. ^ "ARIA Awards - Winners By Year - 2008". Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  41. ^ "triple j : j awards". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  42. ^ a b c "ARIA Awards - Winners By Year - 2011". Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  43. ^ "Cut Copy's Zonoscope Nominated for Best Dance/Electronica Album GRAMMY". Grateful Web. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2014.

External linksEdit