- 7 December 2009
- From the section Music
Theo Hutchcraft, one half Manchester noir-pop duo Hurts, has just walked out of the school gates.
Not that he's still attending class, he's looking for a children's choir to potentially include on the pair's debut album.
"I haven't been in an assembly for a long time," he laughs. "We've got to work out how ergonomic it is to use them."
It's a small taste of the band's sky-high ambition - the band Hutchcraft formed alongside friend Adam Anderson.
The neatly turned-out twosome, have now been making music together for 6 months after dismantling their previous project. They brew their slick racket in a basement in Manchester city centre.
"It's underneath a street-dance studio," says Hutchcraft, walking through Manchester's windy backstreets. "We spend most of our time listening to muffled RnB music and crashing and banging upstairs.
"It's got basement windows on the floor in the street, all you can see is the underside of peoples' shoes. Quite an apt arena to make our music, if it was too happy and sunny it wouldn't work."
The two friends aren't the only people getting excited by the sounds leaking from the doors of the sub-surface studio, the pair were reportedly snapped up for a hefty sum when they were signed by Sony earlier this year.
"In many ways I can kind of understand it," he says confidently of the media hubbub that's ensued. "At the end of the day we're only music fans me and Adam, we only really make the music we make to fill a hole that's in our musical world.
"It makes sense that other people think it's missing as well."
Technically they're not newcomers though; they've both been in this position before as part of previous outfit Daggers. An experience which left their guards raised.
"The music industry is one of false promises," he recalls. "There are a lot of carrot and sticks. It's quite tragic in a way because you become quite void of excitement and void of emotion.
"Once you've given your heart way once you never want to give it away again."
But they are ready to give their hearts again albeit with a new dynamic.
"I'm the white to Adam's black in many respects. Over the years we've become grey. It works.
"A lot of it is banging heads but we've arrived at this middle ground for our friendship and our personalities. Adam's the brains behind the electronics. I guess my world is one of instant pleasure.
"If we can distil that into three minutes then that's the ultimate aim.
"To me all the best songs are sad songs you can dance to. They make you rejoice in how you're feeling."
That's exactly what they've done on debut single Wonderful Life, an immediate, sombre pop hook, which rigidly entrenches itself in your head - much like Empire Of The Sun did this time last year.
Even with all these grand plans Hurts have yet to play a single gig. They'll play a clutch of dates in Salford, London, Berlin and Koln in February.
In the meantime they're focusing on the strategy going forward.
"I like to make people hopeful and make people not feel stupid. We like space and we like emptiness in production. Not to be devalued by an artist and made to feel clever and important because most people are," he says.
It's the number one aim they have in mind whilst they work on their debut album due out in 2010.
"It's just going to be a case of when we let ourselves stop. We're close," he concludes.
"The first record is like an opus you've got to say everything you want, everything you believe in and show people where you want to go. That's a constant internal battle which you go through every day. We're our own worst bosses."