Client Liaison are creating quite a reputation for sleek fashion sense and substantial performances. Off the back of synth powered ballad Feeling and the amazingly Australian End of the Earth, Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller are reviving the spirit and fashion of the late ‘80s early ‘90s with a style all of their own. They’ve just dropped Free of Fear which is accompanied of course by an exceptional film clip rich in Australian pop culture references, and singer Monte was good enough to have a chat with Cameron Warner a few days out from his sold out Oxford Art Factory gig.
In your own words what can people expect from a client Liaison show?
I guess it’s all about getting people moving, breaking it down and making people feel comfortable. We throw in a couple of slow numbers, get all sentimental and stuff but then it gets pretty dancey towards the end.
I’ve heard you don’t mind getting your gear off on stage?
I take my top off, just to kinda let loose. I think it makes people feel more comfortable to see me smile while I do something a little unexpected, it breaks down a barrier.
In terms of theatrics and stage presence who do you take inspiration from?
I really like Prince he’s an amazing performer, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, David Bowie. I just like Performers, someone who can come onstage and break it down and make everybody feel comfortable. And when I’m onstage I try to have as much fun as I can, so people aren’t nervous for me. Don’t be nervous for me because I’m not nervous. I just want everybody to let go and have fun.
You describe your music as multi sensory, what exactly do you mean by that?
Well I guess the aesthetic that go along with the music are really important to us, the visuals. If you were to hear End of the Earth, a lot of people probably wouldn’t know it’s about Australia, most people have come across it through our video clip.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more Australian video clip than End of the Earth
Thank you, well there you go it adds another layer to it because the song is a sort of criticism of Australian culture but the video clip is a celebration of it. And the video clip is just adding another layer of meaning through visuals to our sound.
So aesthetics are obviously pretty important to you, do they ever draw attention away from the music?
The music always comes first, the music kind of comes from this kind of deep feeling that’s hyper emotional and hyper real. But when you perform it and put a video clip to it and take photos it becomes something else, it becomes fun.
And I think it’s important because people digest music visually these days.
It’s pretty hard to talk Client Liaison without bringing up the 80’s, do you get sick of talking about shoulder pads and leg warmers?
I don’t really get sick of it. There are a few concepts we try to explore like national identity. People ask us about our sound, for us that was just the sound we like.
Do you think there could be an 80’s fashion resurgence in the near future? And could you inspire it?
I’m really not that up to date with fashion, I think musically ‘80s is on the way out and ‘90s is on the way in. But in terms of clothes I think it’s been so long that sweat bands and tight chrome pants are kind of novel. The whole idea of the ‘80s is kind of removed. It’s the same when you think of the ‘70s like flairs and afros, all the intricacies are lost and it becomes novel after time. And I cant really see myself perpetuating ‘80s fashion, I wouldn’t really describe my style as ‘80s
How would you describe it?
Um, I guess I like the feminine male, androgyny which was big in the ‘80s. It just makes you think twice about a persons character. There’s also an element of Client Liaison that is the well travelled business man, we like to perpetuate the slick high rolling, business tycoon kind of vibe.
Is that how the band name came about? It sounds very Wall Street.
Well yeah it’s just one of those empty business terms, what is a client liaison? Anyone who deals with customers is technically a client liaison. It’s redundant. Harvey came up with the name, he gets a bit more into the philosophical side of Client Liaison. He goes to art school.
Ok we’d better call it quits before it gets too deep, last question, who are you listening to a lot of at the moment?
Oh wow there’s a lot. Jai Paul, a british producer who’s album got leaked on the internet. It’s incredible even unfinished. Blood Orange, Cut Copy, Prefab Sprout, I’ve been listening to a lot more contemporary music now that I’m making it.