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Interview: Client Liaison

Nostalgia for the ‘80s and an appreciation of Aussie culture— Client Liaison evoke a corporate narrative, to the point where I can’t tell if they’re being ironic or not.

Client Liaison evoke a corporate narrative. Of long lunch breaks between meetings at the office and trips to the business class lounge at the airport. Of men who shake hands in expensive business suits, and head to Friday night drinks at the cocktail bar round the corner.

But ‘client liaison’ doesn’t really mean much. It’s corporate jargon. A funky phrase that business people tend to use, but don’t really understand.

The band seems to take this narrative very seriously, to the point where I can no longer tell if they’re being ironic.

I chatted to the duo over the phone, and turns out they’re just your regular larrikins, with a strong appreciation for Aussie humour, and a nostalgia for the ‘80s.

“Well that’s the era that informs our music,” Harvey Miller explains.

Harvey is responsible for producing the tunes, and Monte Morgan provides the vocals. The pair met in primary school, and though they have been making music for a long time, they only released their first single ‘End of the Earth’ two years ago.

“We felt like Australia had this self-awareness back then,” Harvey continues. “We like to think that in the ‘80s—when we were born—Australia was on a morale high. We were drunk on our own morale.”

Though the duo acknowledge that this doesn’t address an indigenous history, cosmopolitan hedonism and a life of leisure by the beach inspires their image.

“We should note not to confuse that with being nationalistic. Patriotism, not nationalism.”

Their latest single, ‘Queen’, harks back to this era, with the music video recorded on a mid-80s JVC VHS camcorder.

“We collect them, it’s a hobby of ours,” Harvey adds.

Inspired by Womack and Womack’s music video for ‘Teardrops’, the music video references a time when artists were commissioned by Hollywood film producers to create a track for a movie. With cutaways to a fictional film, from shots in the music studio, Client Liaison have fabricated yet another narrative that we want to laugh at, but simultaneously get lost in.

“It’s about letting go of your woes and imagining yourself as something fantastic. Imagining yourself beyond birth and death and being happy,” Harvey says.

“’When I was queen.’ That sums up that emotion to me. They’re quite emotive lyrics. Very sentimental,” Monte explains.

Client Liaison are gearing up for the release of their debut self-titled EP, which includes a generous dose of ‘80s inspired synth dance tracks, and a few early ‘90s house numbers.

Their live gigs are a treat. It’s probably due to Monte’s ability to hypnotise with his dance moves, but I have a feeling their genuine understanding of the so-called Australian identity helps to win over crowds. They can enjoy Australia, and make fun of it at the same time.

“We like the Victorian high country. Mount Buller. That’s a place we both like and have spent lots of time in. The Victorian coastline, that’s another place we love,” Harvey says.

“If you could each choose an Australian totem that best represents you, what would you choose?” I ask.

“Cassowary. It’s a bird from Tropical North Queensland,” Monte answers.

“A tie between the boomerang and the wattle,” Harvey muses.

Aussie trivia aside, Client Liaison are currently in the midst of their national EP tour. If you like to boogie and appreciate eccentricity, you should probably try to get your hands on a ticket.

“We’re going to indulge ourselves a bit on the musical side, and hit it out with some choreography. We like to entertain. Use every element available to us,” Harvey says.

“Every trick in the book,” Monte adds.

“If we could have those things that Janet Jackson has? Where you pop out of the stage? The hydraulics! Yeah, maybe next time,” Harvey laughs.

As I wrap up the interview, Harvey interjects with a suggestion.

 “We would encourage you to put us on the cover of your magazine,” he starts, until Monte’s laughter breaks the act.

“Like an exclusive photoshoot? Would you do a cover shoot and a big editorial to go with that?” I play along.

“We’d love to do that.”

Hopefully Fashion Journal will let me put that on the company card.

 

Client Liaison released their debut self-titled EP on September 5 via Dot Dash / Remote Control Records. Head to their website to purchase tickets to their national EP tour throughout September.
clientliaison.com

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