The Naked and Famous' recent sophomore LP, In Rolling Waves saw the New Zealand quintet tone down their synthpop sensibilities in favour of a more mature rock sound.

We were pretty pleased with the record here at The 405 - here's a brief snippet from our review of the record (which can be read in full, here: "In Rolling Waves doesn't have the same grab-you-by-the-lapels instant gratification nature as Passive Me, Aggressive You. It's not bubbly gung-ho pop centred on youthful anxieties and romantic foibles. It's a more world-weary anthology, quite content to take all the time in the world to make a statement - and don't be fooled by the meandering, because boy do they get there... for thodr willing to explore and be led on tangents, this will be a perfect record to be absorbed by. There's a great many treasures to discover by just sitting and listening. Don't dismiss them as 'that band off Skins', as they've grown into so much more."

No bones about it, the tantalising teenage-angst electro hooks are still there, waiting to be gobbled up by those wanting a transient sugar-pop fix, but for there's a far meatier main course on offer for the more discerning gourmand. It's gone down a treat, and the change in tone hasn't persuaded any fans to abandon the N&F-wagon, or halted them from flocking to the 'Young Blood' penners' world tour, starting in the US, which has recently got underway.

When we speak to lead singer Alisa Xayalith, she's just woken up, woozy from the previous night's show. "We've done five dates so far. It's been really great. During the first show in San Diego, our gear just died and we had to walk off three times to get it fixed... but most people still stuck around and enjoyed it. It was shaky to start with but we found our groove again!" Her voice picks up, energised despite the tiredness. "Things have pretty much picked up exactly where they left off. It's like nothing's changed, and just stayed the same, and it's great. People have been supportive and connected with the album."

For many, a highlight of the global sojourn will be their recent gargantuan stomper, 'Hearts Like Ours', which has captured attention in a similar way to their oft-compared-to-MGMT cut, 'Young Blood'. "'Hearts Like Ours' is anxiety-fuelled. It is about the desire to move from somewhere familiar and mundane to an exciting place, even though motion of leaving the comfortable to go to the unknown is frightening. I often feel like that... it's a song about being brave," explains Xayalith candidly. The tour head to Europe and, more locally, the UK in the coming weeks; Xayalith teases a bit of what we and our continental neighbours can expect, after they've settled back in to tour life and ironed out the creases. "A live production is something we were wanting to evolve. We've got a lovely new lights set-up to show off! We're picking up where we left off, with a mixture of old and new songs. This current US tour is just the beginning of a massive world tour, so hopefully things can evolve along the way."

To make In Rolling Waves, The Naked and Famous relocated to LA. "I realise how changing environments affects you, but in regards to the music, it all comes out of my head and isn't directly influenced by my environment... It's an internal thing... It's a consequence. LA wasn't a direct influence though. Passive Me, Aggressive You doesn't really sound like my bedroom, and In Rolling Waves doesn't sound like LA." So, if the immediate surroundings and lifestyle changes weren't a source of inspiration, what was? "A lot of the lyrical content is from a really visceral place. I'm an emotional person and that indicative in the songs I write - everything has to start from somewhere personal. I make different drafts that start just as words and streams of consciousness, that get built on and changed around to become pop songs. The most special track for me on the album is 'I Kill Giants'. It's about the comic book of the same name, which I feel sort of parallels my life. It's a reconstructed journey of how I lost my mother at a young age, how it affected me and everything surrounding that. It's a sad moment on the record," Xayalith briefly pauses, before adding: "...but I feel complete now it's written."

Other influences have pervaded their sound too. "I think at the time we were listening to lots of Apparat, Suuns... lots of bands with less layers and production. Things get to breathe in their sounds, and there's something to be sad for simplicity in music, where the structure andlyrics have moments to shine. I feel like that was what we really tried to do. We toned things back. We intentionally shaped the album around that style." It's a tone change that definitely shows itself on the LP, and indeed, many efforts are more slimline than those on the predecessor. Xayalith goes on to break down their unique work ethic. "I think we're not much of a band that sits and jams for hours, that process just doesn't work for us cause songs don't form. For us its pointless. Generally what happens is that Thom writes something on a laptop and sends it to me, and I'll do something and send it to Aaron and so on... we do a pass the parcel with it! We'd just pass it between us, colouring pieces here and there, and we would never know who would put down what part. Sometimes it would sound completely me andyou can tell, 'cause I like writing on guitar and piano 'cause working in software distracts me with all the different things you can do with the production... it really depends what song comes from who, and we build around it. We rehearse the tracks playing every part and making sure everything can be played, and if there's too much in the music we go back to the drawing board. It works for us."

When the band got to the recording stage, they roped in some old friends and brought a couple of new ones down too. "We recorded it at Sunset Sound Recorders, Billy Bush (Garbage) who mixed Passive Me, Aggressive You, engineered it... all our correspondence on that record with him was via Dropbox and Skype and email, so it was great to finally meet him this time round cause he just gets us. He is a great, a great person, a great bassist... he actually produced a few tracks with Thom. We'd always spoken about working with a proper producer but it was also difficult opening ourselves up, however, working with Justin (Meldal-Johnson) was great, he assimilated in andbecome like a band member. We had Alan Moulder mix it, which was incredible cause he's a legend."

Given the powerhouse trinity of Meldal-Johnson, Moulder and Bush, it's no wonder In Rolling Waves turned out so spectacularly. But how about that "toning things back" Xayalith spoke of? That had to be down to the band. "We're blessed to work with someone so smart - Aaron. We use Ableton and everything we do he triggers from that... essentially when we change songs it comes from him. He's the brain. It's just incredible. Everything you hear is played by a human. Everything. It's a lot of fun. It's incredible live. I'm just glad we were able to do it that way, because it's really important to us."

The Naked and Famous aren't the only major act that have emanated from from Kiwi shores. "Lorde is incredible. I'm a fan, I love her sound. People are really responding to her." Normally, New Zealand artists are pretty uncommon, but now we have two contenders for the pop crown harking from the island nation. Maybe Xayalith can shed some light on why. "I have no idea!" Maybe not. "I don't know the secret. Maybe its just the right moment and the right time for us both. Perhaps New Zealand is more on the map now, and we're becoming more internationally renowned because of the Internet? I have no idea... I haven't been back for two years. It seems so distant now. It has a rich culture there, lots of great bands, but I haven't been in years. The biggest thing is Lorde, and that's all I'm ever hearing! It's always busy and lots going on."

The band aren't out of creative gas yet, despite the recent release - though any composing is put on the backburner for now. "We're all just nervous at the moment 'cause we want shows to go smoothly. Everyone is still getting the tour rhythm back. On the first days we were so exhausted, we forgot how it much energy it takes out of you. The first week back is always the hardest; we find the kinks go away quickly though," and when they do, the band swiftly delve into cobbling together noisy fragments and disjointed refrains. "There's so much time to be creative on tour, especially at night. We're able to write at our own pace, and usually when we have a week off somewhere we book time in a studio and muck around. We've still got loads of material from In Rolling Waves though. There's always something to be doing, and we've learned that discipline to carry on now. That's how a lot of the material for In Rolling Waves was created: on the road. Then when we got to the studio to actually record it, we weren't freaking out about starting from scratch."

So what's on the horizon for the fivesome? With all that material just going unused, can we expect another release just around the corner? "Honestly? We're just touring like a mad band. My life is in a suitcase now, and it's all I'm gonna know for the next year or so. I'm gonna be a gypsy." Make no mistake though, Xayalith is practically giggling with glee, anticipating the upcoming jaunt across the planet, doing what she and her bandmates love doing best. She delivers one final caveat amongst sleep-deprived laughter. "Its pretty damn exciting!"

Head here to visit The Naked and Famous. In Rolling Waves is out now.