You were named NME’s best new band of the year in February. At the time, you called it a victory for pop music. Care to elaborate?
Theo: For us, we believe in pop music. It’s what we do and it’s the music that has changed our lives – the music we believed in for so long. Yet the power of it is often derided, often cheapened, for something else. We try to make music in our terms and show that pop music its not just something that’s controlled by the people at the top and by a machine. Anybody can make pop music.
Have you had any time to see the city during your visit?
Theo: I stood outside for five seconds and had a panic attack. It was so hot! We went to the Burj Khalifa, which is incredible – an unbelievable feat of human endeavour, not only to build it in this heat but just to build it in itself. It’s a fascinating place that we never expected we’d get the chance to visit.
Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
Adam: I didn’t really listen to music very much while I was growing up – I wasn’t exposed to it. It was only when I was 19 or 20 that I got into music. At first I listened to bands like Radiohead, then later on I got into Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears.
Theo: I think bands like Radiohead, Oasis and The Strokes were very important to us growing up, and made us want to be in bands.
In an interview in 2009, Theo said that the best songs are ‘sad songs you can dance to’. Is that how you’d define your sound?
Theo: Maybe. I think that’s the essence of hopeful music. I care about that because that’s what life is like – I don’t think life is ever as happy or as constantly happy as some music makes it out to be. If you don’t feel very good, it’s nice for someone to pat you on the back and say “it’s going to be okay’, as opposed to “cheer up”, which is a horrible thing to say. And I like sad music because it makes me feel happier.
Who’s on your playlist now?
Theo: A band called The Weekend from Canada. Very good.
Adam: I like Niki & The Dove. They’re a Swedish band.
Theo: We have this great opportunity now to listen to music. When we made the album we didn’t listen to anything, because we panicked and thought that if we listened to any other music we’d just feel inadequate.
If you could be any musical instrument, which one would it be?
Theo: I’d be a harp, because beautiful girls usually play the harp.
Adam: That’s a really hard question. Hold on… [Thinks for a while]
Theo: A triangle would be pretty good for you.
Theo: No pressure. There’d be no pressure.
Adam: Mmmm... I’d be a piano, because I’m quite a black-and-white person.
Hurts’ debut album, Happiness, is available in stores now.