Client Liaison are fascinated by corporate mythologies and iconography. Every part of their debut album ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ is curated and considered, from their office themed stage plot to their logo-based live projections available for purchase as merchandise. Founding members Harvey Miller and Monte Morgan speak fondly of their ongoing ‘Client Liaison narrative’, a world into itself that people can access and become part of. Sitting with them in their top-level Melbourne CBD office, it is very apparent that their corporate fascination has now become a fully realised lifestyle.
What is it about the corporate world that you’re fascinated by?
Monte: The corporate world was always super uncool when we were growing up. We like dressing up and dressing smart. It is an access point for us into our new aesthetic — the idea of corporate music. My father is a businessman. It’s funny how you go in a circle of rejecting your parents and then you end up celebrating them.
Do consider yourselves to be a pop act?
Monte: Yes. Our heroes are Prince and Michael Jackson. We got to play at Mardi Gras which was amazing. The main act Tegan and Sara pulled out so we had a day’s notice. Mardi Gras production had a 3-tiered stage with a scissor lift, lifting us up upon entrance. They had dancers that choreographed to our show, fire, visuals, lighting. It is where we’ve always wanted to be, it was like our dream come true.
You play ‘I Want You’ by Savage Garden in your live sets. Had you always intended to perform covers as part of your show?
Monte: We’ve done covers since our early shows. We started out as a two-piece so I never liked the idea of doing covers without establishing your own sound. Our first cover was for ‘Like A Version’ so it kind of forced us into it, but we realised that’s pretty fun. Harvey reproduces the beat from scratch which is quite a lot of work.
Harvey: We learnt that from the festival circuit. Obviously everyone is into our tunes, which is cool but when you have other DJ’s playing number 1 hits from a back catalogue of about 70 years of pop music, it’s hard to compete. Fatboy Slim’s ‘Crave You’ or Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ one after another are songs that have sold millions of albums so it’s easier for a DJ to rev up a crowd. But if we can slip in 1 or 2 of these monster hits then we can get in on that space.
Monte: Giving it our own flavour as well.
Harvey: Despite being very proud of our own music we’re still yet to write something like INXS’ ‘Need You Tonight’.
Do you want to take the ‘Client Liaison narrative’ overseas this year?
Harvey: Yeah, that’s the plan. When we sing about politics, we’re not just singing about Australian politics but about politics in general. It just so happens to be that we live in Australia. So if we’re going to talk about something like the landscape for example, its because we grew up here. It’s hard not to.
Monte: We’ve been overseas three times and received a great response. We’re going to go again this year. We hope there are universal themes that people can jump on.
Were there times when your act didn’t translate overseas?
Monte: We turned up to San Francisco as this very small gig and there were these hardcore fans dressed up in the same style as our ‘Pretty Lovers’ film clip. They had an afterparty for us and had an ice swan made. Their interpretation was a bit weird to us, it had an American slant on it – but we like that. It’s like how we drink Fosters; but Americans just think we’re drinking regular Australian beer. But we like Foster’s. It’s a good beer, enjoy it.
Harvey: We like transcending the irony. Whether we’re abroad or sitting here at home, we’re always sipping on Foster’s. There’s actually some at arms reach over there if you’d like one.
What’s up next?
Harvey: We have a limousine business. We have a whole online reservation system you can access with a professional driver.
Monte: It will have Foster’s inside and will be Client Liaison themed. You can go on a Client Liaison tour.
Harvey: Or you can just go to your Year 10 or Year 12 formal, or a wedding, or a weekend out with your mates, or even a ride home from work. We’ll pick you up in the limousine.
Do you see yourself competing against Uber?
Monte: It’s a different experience, we’re putting the glamour back into it.
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Client Liaison wears:
- Converse All Star High x Nike Flyknit in White and Indigo available at Hype DC.
- COMME des GARÇONS Homme Plus 2008SS Argyle Suit & 2001SS Tie Dye Checkerboard Suit, 2014SS Plaid Suits, 2005SS Pink Retro Pants, 2004AW Green Stripe Shirt, 2000AW Red Vinyl Pants, 2015SS Star Suit and 2009AW Black Hat, 2015AW Holes Suit and 2014SS Ruffle Accessory and 2013 Oversized Collared Shirt all available from dot COMME.
- Uniqlo White Polo Shirt, Topman Orange T-shirt, Bernhard Willhelm 2011AW Turtleneck and Yohji Yamamoto White Crinkle Shirt.