[Exclusive Interview] Flume


Flume | Buy Self Titled

It’s been awhile since we’ve done an interview, because we only do it with artists we truly believe in. Artists that step off the beaten path and create something universal. A sound that anyone with an open mind can appreciate. As you can imagine these artists are few and far between. Harley Streten (AKA Flume) took a minute to catch up with us while in the midst of a tour ping-ponging across the U.S. Check after the jump about his new life as a Platinum selling recording artist.

See everyone at Flume’s SOLD OUT show by IHEARTCOMIX in Los Angeles! WOO!

Flume – Sleepless Feat. Jezzabell Doran

Orna – The Anthem (Flume Remix)

C+A+D: First off, we just want to congratulate you on reaching Platinum status in Australia yesterday on your debut record. Utmost respect for continuing to push your sound.
Harley: Yeah the record’s doing well in Australia, I can’t believe it. Thank you!



C+A+D: So we both just got out of SXSW, had you been there before or was this your first time as well? What did you think of that whole experience?
Harley: No, it was my first time as well. It was really, pretty hectic. A lot of day time drinking. Lots of good acts. Lots of Texas Bar-B-Q.



C+A+D: Yeah haha. It was almost a little too much at times. Like, I got excited everyday and just wanted to get started having fun. By the end of the night, especially towards the end of the week, you’re at your tipping point. How stressful did it get moving around on a strict schedule as an artist?
Harley: Definitely some stressful moments. I had my tour manager with me, which really made it all possible. I did CMJ Music Festival last year on my own, which got a lot trickier. But South By was cool! Doing three gigs a day, lots of press…made it a really busy time. But I got three days off in Miami now.



C+A+D: Ah definitely. That’s the spot to just chill for a little. What was your favorite showcase at SXSW? You seemed to get a pretty good response when I saw you at Hypem’s Hype Hotel.
Harley: Yeah that show was great. Haha, I was pretty hungover in the morning actually. I hadn’t had breakfast when I got there, and they had free Taco Bell. I was all, “Ah yeee free tacos!” And I had three of those Doritos things? First time I’ve ever had those. They’re pretty extreme man…



C+A+D: HA! Dude yeah I was at the same place as you. Thought I’d just cover my breakfast situation at Hype Hotel with some Taco Bell. Bad choice. It was just too much. Stayed away from there after that to not get tempted.
Harley: Yeah man. Absolutely haha! I felt like shit afterwards.



C+A+D: Now that you’re well traveled, what has been your best experience around the world?
Harley: I mean…I really liked Poland. It was a really odd place.



C+A+D: Oh yeah? Random. How so?
Harley: Well the thing is, I flew over from Australia which was a 109°F (43°C) day. I packed all my board shorts and tank tops for the trip. When we got to Poland it was 7°F (-14°C), and I had never been in anything that cold. We played the gig in a big warehouse in the outskirts of town with 500 people as it was snowing outside. And the show just had this unique feeling I’ll never forget.



C+A+D: Yeah something about warehouse parties just leave that kind of mark. Have you had any weird groupie moments yet?
Harley: Well I had this girl follow me around South By which was weird…She had taken these photos of herself in Australia with a Flume sign she made. Like different pictures of herself all around Australia holding this sign. And at the festival, she paid the security guard $50 to give me all the photos. They just said things like “HEY!” “How are you!” I dunno…it was different haha.



C+A+D: Damn yeah I can see things getting interesting once you reach a certain level of fame. But anyway, I’m curious. Did you have certain people who inspired you to move forward with your own sound?
Harley: Yeah! I’ve always wanted to create my own sound. It’s funny I’ve always been writing my own songs in a whole bunch of different genres. It’s kind of a building block of learning how to make music. Learning how to make different genres. Pop music. Hip hop. I’d write a rocky track. A house track. And now that I know how to make all these styles, I pick and choose the best bits from each and combine it to make my own sound. I guess I have a lot more flexibility as a producer.



C+A+D: Totally. I myself have been moving forward with creating, and I just can’t wait to get to the part where I experiment with different sounds and genres to create my own. That’s just really heavy coming from you.
Harley: Every artist that I meet that is successful, I ask what music they listen to. All of them are pretty much the same in that they say they listen to everything. I go through their iPod and it’s just full of music across the board! You have to be super open minded to music. But when it comes to making your own sound, you can’t just make it, it has to kind of…happen. “Sleepless” was the first track I ever wrote with the Flume style. I didn’t know if it was good or bad, because you always think your own shit is the best hahah. So it’s hard to get a perspective. It wasn’t until the Future Classic guys picked me up and signed that EP, that I realized this sound has potential.



C+A+D: I couldn’t agree more man. Liking different music is necessary to do well. The more stuff you know and are open to, the less likely you are to imitate what’s already in the scene. What about when it comes to others? What can you tell us about your collab with Flosstradamus?
Harley: Yeah man we’ve got in the studio and tossed around a few things. I’m working with my friend Chris (Emoh Instead), and we were sitting on this vocal track and melodic breakdown. We passed it over to [Flosstradamus], so hopefully it gets finished haha.



C+A+D: Alright man, well let’s bring this to a close with some random questions our readers wanted to know. First, if you had a time machine what would you do with it?
Harley: Damn. Well, I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men lately, so I’d love to go back then. To the 60s. Smoke in the office. Drink some whiskey.



C+A+D: If you could be a professional at any other thing, what would it be?
Harley: I’ve always been into the idea of entrepreneurship. Creating stuff. Selling it. I dunno, I’ve always been big into the business side of stuff in school. It’s always been of interest. Plus I get to use a lot of what I know now for what I do.



C+A+D: I’m with ya there. I graduated with business as well. I just have to make sure I stay with something in music. I don’t want to waste my life on the search for money. I want my career to feed my lifestyle.
Harley: Totally man. That was the only stuff in school that I liked.



C+A+D: Well thanks a ton for everything Harley. I speak for all of LA when I say we’re looking forward to your gig on our end.
Harley: Seriously! Thank you! I can’t wait as well.