Exploring The Current State of Electronic Music With Flume
We talked to Flume in anticipation of his ongoing North American tour, including a sold out stop in Vancouver Saturday August 31st at the Vogue Theatre.
Whilst helping pioneering the sound of ‘future bass’, his self-titled debut studio album, Flume, was released to positive reviews, topping the ARIA Albums Chart and reaching double-platinum in Australia.
Following this impressive 2012 debut, his following grew rapidly with each remix released of diverse artists such as Lorde, Sam Smith, Arcade Fire, Hermitude and Disclosure.
His second studio album, ‘Skin‘, was released again to positive reviews and topped international recognition with the album’s first single, “Never Be like You feat. Kai”. Flume’s 2016 World Tour sold over 300,000 headline tickets.
Read below as Flume gives us an update on the state of house music, teases an upcoming Saxophone sample, and describes the status of his side project What So Not.
You just played Splendour In The Grass. You opened the mix tent last year, and this summer you closed it. How does that make you feel?
That was the festival to cap it all off. I’m not playing another festival for a while now in Australia. It’s a super nice feeling as a little guy then to finish up as a big guy, I’m really happy. I feel like now it’s really time to expand, to start America and Europe, the world is such a big place we want to bring the Flume to the world.
You took a serious light show with you on the Infinity Prism Tour, do you have plans on bringing the light show to North America?
Yeah we’ll have a serious light show in North America too, we’re bringing that thing around with us wherever we go. We’ll be pushing each venue, we’ve had power outages at venues regularly because we do try and push it to the max.
Your remix of Disclosure’s ‘You And Me’ has been very well accepted and is closing in on one and a half million views on Youtube and three million plays on SoundCloud. How did that come together?
I think it’s pretty good, it’s decent, but I’m super surprised about how many hits it has got. I’m really stoked it has reached that many people and I think Disclosure are doing a really cool thing at the moment. It’s cool to see the power of my Soundcloud and Facebook at the moment, it’s nuts.
How important is Social Media and the internet to your brand?
I do try and keep up with social media as much as possible. I am a product, and the internet is what got me to this place. It’s really why I’ve got to come to America, and I feel like it’s really important to feed that, all the social medias and things that got me here. Connecting with the fans, as cheesy as it is to say, is super important, and they really do like it. Even if you’re just posting mundane shit, they like seeing into the life, you know?
You’ve been on record stating that house music was “raped” over the last decade, how do you feel the genre has been doing lately?
Great, man. Duke Dumont, Disclosure, the UK seems to really be coming back. Even the deep house movement is really cool. I feel like there’s some really fresh stuff coming through and I’m excited about it. Eats Everything, Justin Martin, there’s lots of stuff coming through right now.
Who knows. I had just planned to do it with Flume but it might creep its way into a What So Not track. Time will tell.
Your musical interests are so diverse, from the Saxophone, to Freddie Gibbs, to Bon Iver. Do you have a favourite musical genre, or does the producer inside simply look for quality?
I go through phases. All my life my main music has always been dance music. Then when it became EDM it started to lose creativity, certainly in the last few years, so I looked for something else. What I stumbled across was all the Brainfeeder stuff and all the LA stuff, and all the left-field electronic experimental stuff, hip-hop stuff. That’s what I’ve had going on for a while. Essentially my roots are in house and dance music.
You had the May EP release with What So Not, and then the tour ran from early May to early July, were you able to play many of the What So Not shows in Australia?
I play the ones that are in my hometown (Sydney) but other than that I’ve just got back from a European tour, so I haven’t been able to attend many What So Not shows.
The two projects seem to be competing directly for your time these days, how do you balance the two?
It’s exhausting. Flume has definitely got the bulk of my time lately, but the thing is with Chris being the other half of What So Not he can go off and do the gigs and the press, which means I can go off and do my shows. It’s a lot of work man, I try and balance it out as much as possible.
You’ve mentioned Flume is more serious than What So Not, how so?
I don’t take either project very seriously, but I think Flume is a little less mainstream. I’d be happy to do remixes with more mainstream acts with What So Not but with Flume I like to keep it a little more under the radar, I guess you could say.
It depends, for example when the TNGHT EP was released and trap music was just coming onto my radar I was really excited about it, and I was way more into writing the What So Not stuff. Right now I’m at a bit of a crossroads, I haven’t heard anything good from that genre in ages, kind of waiting for something new. And right now I’m really enjoying writing the Flume stuff.
Have you been able to meet up with EHMO lately for those Thursday writing and surfing sessions?
Unfortunately no, the Thursday sessions have become a rarity these days. It would be nice to get back into the studio soon, but yeah it’s been a hectic time. EHMO will remain the touring DJ for now, unless our paths cross. What we’re going to try and do is try and tee up Flume tours with What So Not ones so a bunch of shows that will be able to cross paths and meet up.
Fan Questions Via Facebook:
How do you like your steak cooked?
Medium-rare. More rare than medium.
If you were a tree, what tree would you be?
I would be a Succulent. I don’t know why, I’ve always just loved the plants. My mom is a horticulturist, so she knows a little about these things, and she has a bunch of little succulents in front of the house.
Great man, since that photo was taken I’ve added a bottle of Hendricks Gin, got some Sailor Jerry’s, and also from my European adventures I brought home a few bottles of Grey Goose so its very healthy.
We’ll have to find you some good Canadian liquor when you’re over here.
Words by Kevin Vanstone – Keep up with Flume by following him on Instagram.