Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers are the Aussie duo best known as Gypsy & The Cat. Over the past several years they've been releasing music to the joy of an ever growing fan base. Their latest album, Virtual Islands, has dropped and is receiving the same admiration their past productions have.

Don't let the genre of "dream pop" fool you. That was a label given to them. It doesn't scratch the surface of the varying degrees of sounds and avenues Virtual Islands takes you down. In an age when 'genre' is a dying breed, Gypsy & The Cat plow forth full steam ahead. They are not concerned with sounding any other way than themselves - whatever that happens to be.

I caught up with Lionel via email to get to know the band a little better. So, read on and find out why they believe classical music should have a larger influence, how they come up with their music, and what has influenced them to become the artists they are today.

Whereabouts did you two grow up in Australia? What is that town/ city like?

Melbourne, Victoria. It is our home, it is one of the most livable cities in the world, with an easy lifestyle, plenty of culture, arts, and wonderful food / bars, etc. We can't complain really.

What music was played around the house when you were growing up? What are some of your earliest memories of music?

Lots of classical music, i.e. Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin. Putting on Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet vinyl at my dad's shop when I was about 4 years old was my earliest memory. Listening to the 7" of Doobie Brothers - 'Listen to the Music' is also an early memory from around the same time.

At what age did you start to form your own musical identity? What music did you gravitate towards?

I think both of our musical identities changed as we went through different stages in life. But for me (Lionel) classical music was the main type of music I was into from maybe 5 years old simply because I surrounded by it. '70s and '80s pop music was next up in my fathers vinyl collection and my uncles Michael Jackson videos used to definitely hold my interest.

What age did you start studying music? What instruments did you pick up first? Ever do voice lessons?

Xavier picked up the drums in High school and was allocated the Flute as his principal study in Primary School I believe, guitar and voice came after high school.

I (Lionel) was predominantly piano from 7 years of age, recorder and violin were also early in the piece.

How/when did you two meet? What music did you two find a common bond over? Any genre, band, or artist in particular?

We met at a nightclub in Melbourne almost 10 years ago. We bonded over a lot of French house music and big beat initially. The French band Air was also a very early artist we both enjoyed.

What were those initial jam sessions like? Has your music been a progression from that or have you stuck to the same general theme?

We started off making French style House music. We moved into songs very quickly but stylistically never really sat in a particular genre. We have never stuck to any general theme besides Xavier's voice that ties everything together.

How did you come up with the name, Gypsy & The Cat? Since you're a duo, does this refer to you two? If so, who is who?

The name comes from a children's book entitled 365 Bedtime Stories - there's a story called 'Gypsy the cat' that grabbed our attention and we decided that would be a great band name if we made it Gypsy & The Cat. It does not refer to us as individuals.

When it came to writing and recording Virtual Islands, did you focus on composition first or lyrics? Or is each song different?

Composition first, lyrics last - this has been the same for all of our writing.

While you have been pegged as "dream pop", there is such a variance of sound when jumping between songs like, 'I Just Wanna be Somebody Else' and 'Life'. 'Somebody Else' has kind of an Animal Collective vibe while 'Life' has a rootsy/ gospel foundation. Is there anything specific you do to take such different sounds and make them uniquely your own?

We don't have a specific formula or genre we reference sounds from. If it sounds good, whether it's a drum sample or vocal glitch, and we think it will fit the vibe of the song then we will use it. The vocals and feel will tie it all together in the end and make it uniquely our own.

'Odyssey of the Streets' may be my favorite track on the album because I have an affinity for harmonies and non-standard chord progressions growing up a choir kid. Do you feel that more modern musicians should look towards "classical" music for inspiration? Do you look to classical music for inspiration?

On this particular track we set out to draw upon our classical influences. Yes, I do think more musicians should look towards classical music for inspiration as it is a dying art amongst the next generations and as popular music is becoming more and more watered down or noise driven, I do hope people start looking at classical music for influencing their sound.

Do you draw inspiration from other mediums of art (paintings, poetry, fiction, film/ theater, etc.)? If so, from what/ whom?

Film and Novels. Novels/poetry more for lyrics. And films just because we love films.

Being a duo, how do you take your recorded material to the stage? Are there any acts you've looked to for inspiration when it comes to live shows?

We have a drummer on stage and the rest we trigger and play ourselves. We don't really have a direct inspiration that we try to emulate, although there are so many acts we love live.

Who are a few musicians/ bands you would love to collaborate with and why?

We would love to collaborate with many. Any of the greats would be amazing. If we had to pick one, then maybe Air would be top of the bunch.

Lastly, what advice would you give to those youngsters just beginning their pursuits of the beast known as the music industry?

Hard work pays off eventually, but don't give up trying, be open to trying new things, try not to get stuck in a rut.