Liaising with Client Liaison

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With Ansett-clad duo Client Liaison set to whip a synthy storm at Falls Festival in January, Monty Molburn found some time to talk with Lost on their latest foray in fashion, their album and a love for Tina Arena and Australian politics.

What have you guys been up to the past year?

Things happen in cycles for us, we try not to do any more than two things at once. But we usually do three. We spend a lot of time on the live shows last year and then we started digging deep into the studio which involved bringing out some old songs and creating some new ones.

A lot of collaborations which was quite new to us, tried to collaborate with as many friends as possible – see their work flow and their process and then we put together an album, mixed an album.

We went to Bali, got a lot of clothing made for ourselves, which should see us through to the next six months. We put lots of outfits together with our stylists which we designed there and got them tailored. They are still coming in, also during this time we put together a designer range, we bought a limousine, we did like three film clips.

How have your fashion stores been holding up?

We just closed our Melbourne store over the weekend, the reception was amazing. We had a soft-launch on the Thursday night; we had food and a bar out the back. The Friday night was the public one, there were queues out at the front and we arrived out of our limo and had a party and did a DJ set and had a few drinks and it was great. We were open all over the weekend, people were coming through and buying stuff, it was really nice.

Does the style of your fashion line follow your musical style?

I think our interests linked them together, as a musician you encapsulate your sound visually or I like to. You walk your sound with what you wear. When it came to getting five hundred units of a certain item, you want it to resonate with your audience; a lot of the pieces we came to design came from existing pieces we would wear ourselves.

What era would you say your style derives from?

We like the 80s and the 90s.

Does nostalgia play into it?

Nostalgia pops its head up for everyone I think, every now and then and permeates through. You look around and think everyone is into hippy wear and everyone is into sixties festival fashion, the girls are wearing flower dresses and the guys are wearing hats and open shirts. Then there is this crowd in the club scene which is very late 90s rave look, but in ten years’ time you’ll look back and say “wow remember when people were wearing the 2010s look.” It is its own thing, we are constantly re-appropriating things. Thinking you are stealing but you’re not, because you can’t copy the past, you never will. It’s not why you are doing it, you’re doing it to put it into a new life.

Would it possible you’ll be re-appropriating today’s fashion in ten years?

I think people have a particular time in their life when they really connect with music and fashion and film. For me it was in my early 20s, and it usually is for people. It’s when you develop your own sense of yourself and that will never leave you. Its very generational, the generation above me were the hipster fashion, so things constantly evolve because I love new things and I love seeing things in a new light. But there are certain items and certain ways of wearing clothes that will never leave me.

Do you find that appealing about music, constantly chucking up old ideas anew?

Yes! The best thing about it for me is about the mood. It brightens your day or channels your bitterness, badness, anger, everything you know. It distills the world, it makes it palatable, makes it exciting.

Any fashion advice for those attending your set at Falls Festival?

You got to feel comfortable in your own skin, but have fun, get wild it’s a festival. Don’t wear all black, whatever you do.

Is black a no no?

Yes, there is too much black in this world already. Have some colour, have some fun and slip slop slap because the Australian sun is fierce.

What is all the talk about the Ansett brand?

We came across this website where you could buy all Ansett merchandise and we grew up with Ansett so we love it. Then we went to the warehouse where this guy had all this leftover stock and we just started stocking up on it.

There are certain brands that bring back memories and things you have forgotten about like Ansett or diners club. The things that are redundant now that we get excited by, and it’s the redundancy that makes them exciting.

You are set to play at Falls Downtown, have you ever been to Fremantle before?

I believe so, I am not familiar with it but I have been there.

What are you saying you are looking forward to most about Falls?

That one in particular is the last festival show of our festival run, we pretty much have a festival in every state but over summer, every New Years. So that should be fun since it’s the last one. In the last one you have always refined the show. It’s at some kind of state where we can be happy. We meet other bands, we travel together with them across the country and we see them in different spots. It’s really nice because the festival is catered for you really well, you get to eat nice food, meet nice people and see bands. Like the calibre of festival bands, it’s just amazing today.

Is the final show considered a great finisher?

Every show is different, that’s with live music. You really don’t know what you will get. There is so many variables involved. It’s actually very rare as a performer to be one hundred percent happy with what you are doing. But the main thing is to give people a good time.

What do you think punters can expect from your falls set? Are they in for a wild one?

I would like to say we call ourselves a party band. We want people to let go, to free their inhibitions – to basically have fun.

What has the reception been for your latest album Diplomatic Immunity?

Incredible, it’s a weird feeling because you have a put a lot of year’s work into something and suddenly you read what other people think about it. We couldn’t have asked for anything better, but at the same time it’s like you already want to be on to the next thing. Its kind of hard to be in the present moment, even on release day. You want to be getting into the next thing. I do anyway.

So are you always looking forward?

I know it’s most healthy to be in the present, but it’s more fun to look forward than back.

Is this hinting at smashing into the next big thing?

Yes, having a music practice where you write and rehearse and play is extremely fulfilling and rewarding. Once you finish the project you need to automatically start planting seeds for the next one.

Do you have any idea where Client Liaison will go next?

This is the period of reflection, rest as well. Basically in my space right now, I am really excited with creating the next shows and also by just rhythm – even if it sounds a bit stupid and broad.

I don’t want to change Client Liaison or anything, it’s a great concept, but I think the fundamentals, the sonics and the philosophies are great. It’s more just exploring more things, I don’t know what they are yet.

Was album something which took a long time to make?

There are some really old songs there and some really new ones. We feel like they are the strongest of all the songs we wrote over that time. Also they work together and have a loose theme tying them together. We did a lot of touring during that time, so there are a lot of lyrics about touring, travelling and being a diplomat.

We had the concept before the EP was finished. We had some of the songs already. If we didn’t have that deadline this year we would still be working on it.

Where is the diplomatic angle come from?

Harvey has always had a fascination with politics, Australian politics. Not like choosing a side, more just the theatre of politics. Because we spent so much time together, our interests just intertwined. I’ve always been into Australia and Harvey always loves the plutocrats, the Alan Bonds of the world, escaping the country.

Because the first song we released End of the Earth was about Australia, we went around the world three times, we played around the world three times and played Europe once. The idea of being a diplomat is real when you are a musician.

Is politics intertwined in your music?

The theatre of politics, we remain apolitical – which can require some effort. Everyone has got a viewpoint up there.

The track _____ features Tina Arena, how did you get her on board?

It was pretty simple really, it was just a dream. She really suited the song – she is a childhood hero of Harvey’s. There was a lyric referencing her, kiss on the beach of Sorrento. When we wrote the chorus it was out of my register so our manager called her manager and made it happen.

Did you briber her with a lot of Ansett merch?

No, I don’t think that would have worked. Luckily she liked the song, she gives so much to upcoming musicians. She is really active in the scene; she is so much bigger than us. For her to sing on our album it was a real privilege. She’s incredible.

Was much of the album recorded in your studio in Melbourne?

We had two studios in the course of this album, but we have also recorded in hotel rooms, friends’ houses and other places – every imaginable place.

I read somewhere you should never have an excuse not to be creative. You should be able to do it anywhere.

Do you guys get creative on the road?

I’ll often write a lot of lyrics on airplanes, the internet is switched off and you read your book for a bit. If you sit still for long enough, ideas will come to your head, it’s like the way people write books in prison.

Maybe you should go to prison and make an album?

We will get busted by the ATO.

Do you guys listen to Vaporwave?

Haven’t heard of it.

Diplomatic Immunity is available to download and stream right now.

Joe Wilson

Joe prides himself on being the only person to consider sparklers in a total fire ban to be a good idea and surviving the 20 minute odyssey from the festival to his campsite at Southbound. He is a regular punter at Perth gigs and has recently picked up the grand title of Master of Reviews at Grok. He also suffers from alcohol-induced multiple personality disorder and has two known alter-egos; Late Night Joe and Chuck.

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