• Interview: Flume •

February 19th, 2013 |  by  |  filed under Interviews, Music  |  1 Comment


Flume’s debut album famously beat out One Direction for the number one spot in his native Australia, and the very nice folks at Mom + Pop had me speak with Harley for today’s North American release.

How did the Flume project come about?

I’ve been writing music since I was like eleven years old – it’s always been a hobby. I was initially focused on writing electro/house music under the name HEDS, but about two years ago Future Classic was running a song competition and I decided to send in a song called “Sleepless”. The tune was from a side project project I was working on under the name Flume and actually ended up winning. After that competition, I sent sent over the entire Sleepless EP – which they really liked – and gave me a record deal out of that. That was when I realized that this side project could actually be something that people were going to dig, and started writing heaps of Flume originals and remixes.

Did you first start seeing attention in print or online?

It seemed to be a real organic kind of blog thing at first. I got spread around and put in the right hands and did a whole bunch of touring around Australia once it started popping off. Then the radio stations out eventually started to get behind the project and yeah, now it’s in a very different place than where I was a year ago. That’s for sure.

What artists influenced your sound?

My biggest inspirations are old school trance music. I moved on to house and electro – the whole French electro thing was massive, but basically my roots are in dance music. But it wasn’t until like three or four years ago when I felt like dance music was getting really stale and heard things like Jai Paul, Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, and Flylo that I realized it was my new thing.

How long did it take you to make the LP?

It took me about a year. As soon as I got signed to Future Classic and realized the project had something special I was stoked. I just constantly wrote for like a year and yeah, here we are today.

How did the collaborations work on your album? Were they all based in a studio or did you send the stems to each artists individually?

It was different for each one. For “Left Alone” with Chet Faker, I backpacking around Europe at the time when I wrote it and felt that it needed something more. I really wanted to work with Nick – we had met up in Sydney and talked about working together on something, and when I wrote that beat I thought it could work really well. I shot it off to him and he did his thing and literally the first take he did was like perfect. So yeah, the collaborations were a variation of meeting and working in the studio alone or together.

What software are you using to make your music?

Ableton Live 8. It’s good stuff.

What are your favorite songs on the LP?

My favorites are “More Than You Thought” and the last track, “Star Eyes”. I’m honestly kind of sick of the other ones because I’m playing the same tracks every single night.

So with your live shows, are you mixing your material into other songs or strictly DJing your own work?

I try to stick to playing my own tunes so I can play them all out. I’ve been dabbling in hip hop a capellas and love to do variations of my tracks, so I try to use like an original a capella and link it with the next track. I’ve also got a live version of “Sleepless” that I love to mix in with its remixes.

Are you using an APC to mesh everything together?

Yeah. I’ve got an APC40 to work all of the verses and choruses. I’ve also got a Launch Pad that I’ve kind of learned to play like a piano.

How will your live show be evolving for future tours?

We’re going to make the Flume project more of a performance/band thing than a DJ act. We’re not going to be doing many club shows, more actual events with more of a band type of vibe. It’s going to be a little like SBTRKT, and we’re thinking of expanding the show with a couple of people on drums and working like that.

We’ve also got a really cool light show that we’re working on. I’ve just poured fuckloads of money into this thing that’s like a massive hexagon-eye/infinity mirror. I saw the first glimpse of it yesterday – it’s got like six plasma screens and looks like an intense vortex. It’s basically just an expensive optical illusion that I’m going to carry around and freak kids out.

You’re going to be touring a lot of North America in the forthcoming months. Is there a particular city or gig that you’re looking forward to the most?

You know, I don’t really know America so much. I’m looking forward to just hanging out and seeing what happens. It should be really cool.

So then what else do you have planned for the year?

I’m just constantly touring – I don’t have a weekend off in like four months. My other project, What So Not, will be touring Australia before I go off to America and then it’s back to Australia for another album tour. That brings me to May, which is when I’m going to start working on my second album and integrating the light show and making it more of a spectacle than just a “laptop and a dude”.

Do you already have some ideas for that second album? What artists are you hoping to collaborate with?

I’ve got a little list, yeah. Yukimi from Little Dragon and Oliver from the xx are two artists that I’m really hoping to work with, I love their voices. But, you know, that’s just the wishlist. We’ll see what happens.

You can stream two remixes by Bobby Tank and Shlohmo below while you grab that album today.

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About the author

Chief learned a lot about art and recording in the Green Mountains and is currently working on an album in Minneapolis.

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Keith Alvarez on 03.25.13 at 3:57 am

Rad interview. I hope to catch him live soon

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