Flume: An interview with Australia’s rapid success
J Award nominee, remix king and festival essential Flume (aka Harley Streten) is almost certainly Australia’s man of the moment. Going from playing small shows as a relatively unknown artist to playing festivals like Splendour In The Grass and Falls, it’s definitely been a whirlwind year for Streten.
LAEM: Your album has just been released. Tell me a bit about it.
H: It’s a fifteen track album and it’s the first album I’ve ever done. I tried to really not pigeonhole the sounds on the album so it’s got a wide range of stuff on it; everything from hip hop to deep electronic music. There’s even a song that’s kind of dubstepy.
LAEM: Can you tell me a little bit about the collaborations on the album?
H: The first one that came about was with Chet Faker. I had no idea who he was until my friend showed me a bunch of his tunes and it just blew me away. I thought to myself “I have to get this guy on one of my tracks”. I did a bit of research and found out that he was based in Melbourne, which isn’t too far away, so it’s good. I figured he might have been American or something… I had a gig in Melbourne a couple of weeks after so we met up and got along really well and we decided to write a tune together. I actually wrote the beat for that song in a cafe in Barcelona when I was travelling with a friend, so it was all done via email.
LAEM: Are we going to see you and Chet jump on stage together at Laneway?
H: Yeah definitely. We’re going to try and work something out…
LAEM: You’ve had a whirlwind year becoming big here in Australia. How have you been handling it?
H: It’s been pretty full on with people starting to recognise me and stuff but I think I’m doing alright. I’ve got a lot of good friends and I’ve told them to slap me if I ever become a douche (laughs).
LAEM: You played Splendour and Parklife earlier in the year and you’re set to play Falls and Laneway, how are you finding playing festivals?
H: It’s really big, especially Splendour. I was on really early and I didn’t expect much so when the tent packed out it was nuts. Everything was so surreal and it made me realise how big things are actually getting. You see statistics online but it smacks you in the face when you actually see people dancing to your tunes and knowing them. Shit’s getting real.
LAEM: How was playing Triple J’s House Party with Nina Las Vegas?
H: That was pretty wild actually! It was my first real tour and it was really exciting and super loose to be honest (laughs)! Nina was just digging my stuff and yeah we got together. Lot’s of drinking and lots of partying. It was great.
LAEM: I heard you might have given up crowd surfing after a particular incident at a TEED show…?
H: Ah yeah I quit! That was fucked. I’d been supporting TEED and was pretty loose during the last song when my mates decided to lift me up in the crowd. People started to realize who I was which led to them crowd surfing me onto the stage. When I went to get off the stage two security guards grabbed me and one managed to throw me into a steel column. I ended up with a concussion and pulled my shoulder out. Maybe I’ll get back into it during the album tour… (laughs).