Dance Electronic Interview Q & A Showstopper

Q&A: Flume at St. Jerome’s Laneway Music Fest 2013

If you were at the first edition of St. Jerome’s Laneway Fest in September, you probably wouldn’t have easily been able to pick out Harley Streten aka Australian producer Flume. The rising musician graced the Meadowbrook Music Festival grounds with a sly smile, quiet manner and hoodie that understated his global success. With a number one album, huge singles, remix work and festival appearances, Flume is making international waves all at barely 21. Read below for my interview with the humble, but ambitious Flume as we discuss samples, EDM, Laneway and hopes of producing for Katy Perry.

  • JayeL Audio: How has the US tour been going so far?
  • Flume: It’s been really solid. We had a bus for most of it. We’ve left it the last 3 days and this is my last festival and last date here. Tomorrow we head back home.
  • JA: What’s been your favorite part of the tour?
  • Flume: We had a lot of good gigs. Montreal was great and Seattle was solid. I think the whole bus ride experience…I’ve have never had a tour bus before. I’ve done a bunch of tours and they’ve all been flying, but having a bus is so nice. I’ve been getting heaps of sleeps and drinks on the bus (laughs).
  • JA: Do you have a preference of theater shows vs. festivals?
  • Flume: They are both good in their own right. I do like fests because it is way less pressure. I’m way less nervous than if it was my own show. There, I’m the one they’ve come and paid money to see. I’m the one that has to go out there and make it worth it. At a festival, all you are is 1 in 50 people on a line-up. At the same time, at your own show, the production is how you want it. Using your own lights, tables and when its dark, it looks amazing. Whereas today, you’ll have the sun up while you are still on stage.
  • JA: I’ve read a lot of articles that define you as “EDM”, but that seems too easy of a classification. How do you describe your sound?
  • Flume: I feel like I am more of an electronica artist. I really hate the EDM tag. A lot of my influence is dance music. In the last 3 years, people have said “Oh, I don’t know what to call you, your EDM.” At the same time, its been nice to be called EDM. I used to really get into the French electronic scene and Crookers. In ’09, I really liked Brainfeeder. That’s were I really got started.
  • JA: I see your song remixes often on Hype Machine. Do you pay attention when you remix your music? Do you have any favorites?
  • Flume: There are a lot of remixes I like. Probably my favorite is the Ta-ku remix of “Left Alone”. I play that it my sets sometimes.
  • JA: You’ve remixed Disclosure yourself before. Is there anyone you’d like to remix?
  • Flume: It’s not so much about the artist, its more about the track. I’m really picky when it comes to remixing. I’m not going to try and work on something that’s already amazing. If I can’t make it better, why bother? There’s a sweet spot there and I really have to like the track.

  • JA: “Holdin’ On’ is one of my favorites off the album. You sampled Anthony White’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose”. How did you come about that sample?
  • Flume: My friend Mike (aka Touch Sensitive) was just on tour with me actually. He lives in Sydney too and he gave me a bunch of samples one night. He gave me a CD full of soul acapellas and it was awesome.

  • JA: It just grabbed you from the start?
  • Flume: Yeah. I found that one and was like “damn” and we started mucking around with it. It’s funny, that track almost didn’t make it on the record because we couldn’t get it cleared for 9 months. That is the only sample I used on the record. We printed 2000 copies of the record without it and had to recall all these copies because we knew it was a big track. Luckily it made it on, otherwise, we probably wouldn’t be playing some of these festivals.
  • JA: What’s next? An EP? New album?
  • Flume: I’ve got an EP with Chet Faker coming in a few months with 3 tracks. Also a deluxe version of the record coming out. It’s going to have a lot of collaborations with friends, rappers and singers. It’s a new thing form me. Another cd from the tours I’ve been doing. The last cd is an idea to get kids writing and producing music. I’ve given away the stems to a bunch of tracks to see how it works. Some people don’t know what production is or understand it. They think DJing is production. This is trying to demystify what I’m doing and hopefully get kids to make beats.
  • JA: Being a producer, are there any artists you’d like to produce?
  • Flume: Totally. I want to do it now and write for heaps of acts. I’d write movies scores. I want to write a big, massive pop song, like a Katy Perry hit. There are all different challenges. I want to sit down and write film music or write a pop hit. Things that make me get out of my comfort zone. I’m not doing that for the time being because I want to make sure the Flume brand is going strong. Maybe 2-3 albums from now, I’ll start writing for other people.
  • JA: Laneway is a huge festival brand is Australia. Have you been to any other Laneways as a fan?
  • Flume: I actually worked backstage at a Laneway. I was doing artist riders and helping set up for a ticket. I was delivering bottles or something and this band I had never heard of called the xx was playing. I heard the first song and I was like “holy crap, what is this?” I just sat in the back, by myself and watched the whole set. That was one of the best performances to me, ever. I had no idea who these guys were and it was nuts.
  • JA: Do you feel like you’d like to be someone like Jamie xx and tour with a band?
  • Flume: I guess Jamie’s got his band and his side projects, whereas mine is my own thing. I’m in the early days though, so you never know.
  • JA: A friend of mine in Australia had a question: You got your start making beats in your mom’s basement. Do you think you’ll go back there for your next record?
  • Flume: It was actually my bedroom at my parents house. Every Flume song ever recorded was written there. I just moved out and got a house and studio though. I’m excited to get back and see the studio and get started in the new studio.

Pick up Flume Deluxe Edition at iTunes or Amazon.

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By jayelaudio!/jayelaudio