Harvey Miller and Monty Morgan are the inscrutable pair. They season their act with wild showmanship and their videos with extreme sports. Client Liaison evades any attempt at classification. We caught up with them in during their recent stint in New York to discuss politics, fun in music, and the what it’s like beneath the bright lights on stage.
What have you two been up to lately?
We’ve held off on content for a few months. Last year, we were releasing things every three months so it’s been nice to spend some time writing and working on a more ambitious project. I like the term ambitious. It’s kind of like, like why not? Why not play with an orchestra? Why not have us skiing or driving a car off a cliff?
Speaking of skiing and driving cars off cliffs…your music videos are pretty far out? Where does the inspiration come from?
Our videos just start with a location or the idea of bicycling or rollerblading. Or remembering something from a past life. Just having fun.
Do you go for the same vibe in your live shows? Or something different?
When everything falls in place-when you’re vibing off it, and they’re vibing off you-when the stars align, playing a show can be transcendental.
Fill in the blank. If Client Liaison were a drug…
It would be a placebo. Definitely. The packaging of the drug would be, maybe, like a nicotine patch. That’s how we would dispense it, but it would be nothing. We should do aspirin as merchandise…
Are you two politically savvy?
Not particularly. We try to remain impartial in Client Liaison. Personally yes, but client liaison is impartial.
So the song “Canberra Won’t be Calling Tonight?,” is that about being impartial?
No, no no. It’s a song about being a diplomat and getting away with spending a taxpayers dollars, which is indicative of political climate. Whenever we play a show that’s government run, we like to thank the Australian taxpayer for having us and remind the listeners that the show is being billed strait to the taxpayer.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
We like to describe it as absurdity, just having fun. we’ve got a little short form manifest: ’Think nothing. Feel everything. Pleasure is good.”
Fun has been coming up a bit. What is fun to you guys, in music?
What is fun? Story, narrative, the visual, the sonic. Every element that makes up a multisensory experience.
What do you think about New York?
It’s a place for young people, and it’s very social. There’s no point staying in your small apartment. Someone will come up to us on the street and be like “You look like a band, I want to come to your show put me on the door.” and they’ll start selling themselves.
Tell us about your creative process, from music, to video.
During the actual process of making music we spend so long on every little detail. In the beginning when a beat or a song is in its infancy, I’ll play with it as if it’s a new favorite song O just found on a blog. I’ll smash it and then, like any other song, I’ll get sick of it. So it it is standardized, it is universalized, I think. You enjoy something, then it peters off, then it has a resurgence.
Does that process ever get annoying, or tiresome?
By the time a song’s been written and recorded and produced and mixed it’s like, ‘Oh I’ll never listen to that song again.’ Then it’s like ‘no, we have to do a video clip.’ Then you have to listen to it over and over again. Then you’ think ‘Finally, i’ll never have to play that song again,’ Then you have to play it live, and that’s a whole other experience.
Elaborate on the experience of playing live.
It’s a bit like having a meal together. There’s a nice relationship between the audience and the performer. It can be hard to look into the audience’s eyes-that can reveal so much.
What does it take to get ready for the show?
Rehearsal, routine…you need a certain nervous energy to create a good performance. You need to embrace that in a good way. It’s nice to put your hand out to the crowd and be shaking a little. They see your vulnerability. The moment you walk onstage, you do enter another world.