CLIENT LI­AI­SON

THE MEL­BOURNE DUO TALKS AUSSIE ICONS, CUL­TURAL CRINGE, AND WHY THEY’VE JUST LAUNCHED A NEW FASHION COL­LEC­TION.

GQ (Australia) - - THE SOURCE -

“If you do any­thing with con­vic­tion, it ren­ders it se­ri­ous,” one half of Mel­bourne band Client Li­ai­son, Har­vey Miller, replies when asked if it’s hard for the duo to be taken se­ri­ously. “That’s the motto we live by. There may be el­e­ments of hu­mour and ab­sur­dity, but what we’re do­ing isn’t slap­stick.” We should point out they’re cur­rently styled like ’80s busi­ness­men – com­plete with abra­sive suit­ing and phones the size of house bricks. Any­one who knows Client Li­ai­son al­ready was prob­a­bly in­tro­duced to them by the vi­ral video for 2012 sin­gle ‘End of the Earth’. A col­lage-like cel­e­bra­tion of Aus­tralia’s “cringe cul­ture” icons, it fea­tured John Farn­ham, Ansett Air­lines, Big Kev, John Howard’s fu­ri­ous pow­er­walk­ing, XXXX Gold and Bob Hawke’s epic con­sump­tion thereof. Hi­lar­i­ous, sure. But it also ce­mented Client Li­ai­son’s pin­point cul­tural com­men­tary that, cou­pled with well-crafted dance-pop songs with an ’80s-twinge, sin­gle­hand­edly opened the eyes of a gen­er­a­tion un­fa­mil­iar with Big Kev or how ex­cited he truly was. Talk­ing to GQ from a Collins St head­quar­ters (where else?), Miller and Monte Mor­gan are sur­rounded by props from their in­fa­mous live shows: vin­tage broad­cast cam­eras, fake plants and a wardrobe fit for the Din­ers Club gen­tle­man. It’s not sur­pris­ing to learn that they have an art school back­ground. “Mu­sic is the pri­or­ity, but we wanted to cre­ate a multi-sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Miller. With a tagline of ‘In­ter­na­tional in flavour, cos­mopoli­tan in style’ the duo’s crafted a mythol­ogy of sorts, with an Aus­tralia-circa-theBi­cen­te­nary flavour. “We were both born at the end of that era,” says Miller. “We’ve al­ways liked that so­phis­ti­cated, syn­the­sised sound, and that extends to fashion and de­sign,” he continues. “It’s not like we try to make things ‘Aus­tralian’ – we’re re­spond­ing to our en­vi­ron­ment. It’s not as cal­cu­lated as one would think.” Mor­gan agrees. “We grew up in the cul­tural cringe, where Amer­ica was cool and Aus­tralia was un­cool,” he ex­plains. “We’re just look­ing around go­ing, ‘Ac­tu­ally, there’s some­thing amazing to cel­e­brate here.’ So hope­fully we’re part of the nar­ra­tive that has got­ten past that now.” De­spite the name, Client Li­ai­son’s de­but al­bum, Diplo­matic Im­mu­nity, is not meant as a po­lit­i­cal state­ment. “We don’t want to lit­ter our art with pol­i­tics – that’s al­ready forced down our throats ev­ery day,” ex­plains Mor­gan. “Our ap­proach to mu­sic is just try­ing to do some­thing dif­fer­ent, make peo­ple dance and feel sen­ti­men­tal at the same time.” Diplo­matic Im­mu­nity is out now; Client Li­ai­son play the Falls Fes­ti­val, Dec 28-31; falls­fes­ti­val.com

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