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Interview: Harts


How did you first get into creating music?
I first got into creating music through mutual friends who were really into music at the time, just at school and things like that. They started playing and making me go into it but I wasn’t really interested until I had the choice at school as a kind of elective to either do like cooking or textiles and I thought “ah, I’ll do music ‘cause it seems like the only cool one to do”. But anyway, I loved it so I played drums and I started playing more guitar and stuff like that and I got into it so it was cool, actually.

Awesome! So, would you say that your friends influenced your music style at all?
Uh no, not really. They kind of pushed me into music because they were all kind of playing at the time but they didn’t influence my style, no.

I saw your Tram Session video that you did and really enjoyed it. How would you say that was as an experience for you?
It was pretty actually exciting because they showed me a video they’d done previously so I was pretty excited to see what would happen but then I got there and I was really nervous. It was just weird because people didn’t know what to expect. They were sort of like “oh, is this guy busking or what’s going on. Why is there cameras everywhere?”  It was nerve racking at the time. The audience didn’t really know what was going on. It started out with people going “what is going on?” But it was fine after that and fun, yeah.

I see that you worked with Lars Stalfors from The Mars Volta on your new EP. How was that for you and do you prefer to work alone or with others when creating your music?
I do prefer to work alone. I just think that if I can kind of create on my own I can just rely on myself to do everything instead of relying on other people because I think it gets the message across and also my intentions across quicker if I do it all myself instead of relying on other people to play it the way I want them to play it.

As a younger musician, do you find it harder to break into the music scene, even within Melbourne?
Yeah, definitely. It’s really tough because there’s not much support for the upcoming musicians apart from triple j type stuff and even triple j is picky and choosy with who they support so it’s really hard for a band, or artists, that don’t  fit a particular scene to create an audience from scratch because that’s basically what you’re having to do. Because if you’re a new different artist you don’t have an audience so you have to work doubly as hard to actually build an audience from scratch as opposed to just joining indie rock or some other already kind of trendy scene. It’s a lot harder for artists like me.

With that being said, how would you best describe your music?

It’s a blend of electronic funk, soul, rock and pop. That’s kind of how I describe it but I wouldn’t have an idea of how to explain it to someone. I’ve left it really broad. It can cover everything that I want to cover. If I wanted to do a straight out funk song I could do that and it wouldn’t sound like it was out of my style or if I were to do a straight out rock song, it wouldn’t sound out of my style or if I were to do a dance remix it wouldn’t sound out of my style. So, I think I’ve created a really broad spectrum to what my sound incorporates and it’s really hard to put a name on that at the moment. But I hope that a cool name is come up with to describe it.

Well you’ve definitely done a good job in broadening your genre spectrum there and allowing lots of space for you with creating. Have you played any shows yet?
Yeah, thank you!
Yeah, I’ve been playing a bunch of shows and I’ve recently started my first tour for my first EP that I just released. I’ve played in Adelaide. I’ve done a show in Melbourne and I’m playing in Sydney tomorrow. I have a couple more in Brisbane and Melbourne and another Sydney show and that’s a tour kind of thing.

So this is your first kind of tour?
Exactly right, it’s going pretty good. It’s funny because the crowd fluctuates ridiculously. Like, I played here in Melbourne last week in my kind of hometown and we packed out the joint. But I played Adelaide and there were about fifteen people or so. Especially when there are people in other states that don’t really know about your music. You just don’t know where your fans are and that’s the thing.

I can see how that could kind of be a problem, actually.
Yeah, it’s kind of odd because my music is going a hell of a lot better in the UK and the US than it is here. So it’s kind of hard to do shows here when my market is kind of over here which is weird.

What kind of energy do you receive from the audience at your shows and sort of hope for when you’re going in to play a show?
It changes a lot depending on where you play. I like playing clubs but it’s different because sometimes I play clubs and sometimes I play rock clubs. But, clubs are cool because people are dancing and stuff like that and it’s more about cool music and people are having a good time. The more kind of rock shows are funny because people come to kind of see me go crazy or play guitar or play behind my head or stuff like that. I’m a natural performer and it’s funny because they just stand there and watch like it’s a spectacle and it kind of is. That’s the kind of performance in those places but when you’re playing dance halls and stuff nobody cares about the performance and it’s all the music.

Do you find it nerve racking at all?
I used to but because I’ve been preforming since I was about 15 in pubs and stuff like that, because I used to play drums with other bands so I got the nerves out quickly and now it just sort of feels natural. I’m not nervous at all when I preform.

It’s pretty impressive that you’ve built up that ability to not be nervous when you go onto a stage and preform in front of that many people.
Yeah, it’s funny. I still do get nervous; more anxious than nervous. I suppose you get that you feel like you just want to go on now when people are like “10 minutes and you’re on” and I’m just sort of like “ah, I just want to go on now”. I think I feel that more than the actual nerves and me being too scared to play. I don’t know that anxious is the right word but you do get that you just want to go on and play now. That’s what I get and not really nervous.

What are four bands/albums that you have on repeat at the moment?
Oh, that’s tough.
The first one would probably be PNAU’s vs Elton John. They released an album last year that is basically all Elton John remixes which was a pretty damn good album, I would say and I really got into that one.
(recording/phone has cut out here and I didn’t get the second album which Harts said was the ‘king of all albums’ and is always on repeat.)
I’m not really an albums guy, I’m more a songs guy.
Probably Gorillaz- Plastic Beach.

As CoolTry is a website that is music based we were wondering if you could give us three or four musicians that we should keep an eye out for, besides yourself, in the not-too-distant future.
There’s a lovely lady from Melbourne called Dune and she’s making some pretty good late 70’s-80’s inspired. She’s one to keep an eye out for.
Another one is actually a band that I have worked with and they’re called Sunk Junk and they’re an indie rock kind of experimental Radiohead type of band and they’re really good.
I can’t really think of anything else off the top of my head besides those two that have really stood out.
Those two are completely different so your readers can definitely check out both of those two.

I think that was about everything for today. Was there anything else you’d like to add?
Not really, I think we pretty much covered everything there.

Well, thank you for that interview and good luck!
Thank you!

Interviewed by Mia Parkes

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