Boy is out now!
Image: Ian Laidlaw.
Naarm/Melbourne-based producer and DJ Harvey Sutherland recently shared his debut album, Boy. We caught up with the artist to chat about the release, his national tour and so much more!
Having already taken to the stage in Brisbane, Byron Bay, Hobart and Adelaide, Sutherland is set to perform two sold out shows as part of RISING's 2022 program at Melbourne Recital Centre, before wrapping up the run of shows at Sydney's Oxford Art Factory on June 24. Tickets are on sale now.
Could you tell us a bit about your background in music and what led you to pursuing a career in music?
I played in high school bands a little bit, but started teaching myself keyboards when I left school and joined a bunch of jazz-funk bands, playing covers of Aaron Neville, Dusty Springfield and a bunch of Northern Soul classics. Then started learning how to use Ableton, and got a lot more into DJing and electronic music, making house music & boogie tunes with a local DIY collective. That slowly built into getting a bit of attention overseas, so I started touring a lot more and left my day job…now I’m here!
Your debut album, Boy, has finally arrived! You wrote and recorded the album between Melbourne, London and Los Angeles. How do you think each environment influenced the music you were creating there?
Being in Los Angeles made me undo a lot of my musical habits – unlearning to put a minor ninth on an anticipated one. I love making pop music in LA, getting to the point of a song or a musical idea quickly - no faffing around. London was great for thinking about dance music, the sorts of grooves that old geezers play on a beach in Croatia. And Melbourne has a bunch of great musicians that can improvise without playing too many notes. It also has all my stuff in it.
The body of work brings together a kaleidoscope of sonic influences, dance, pop, funk, psychedelia, cold wave. How did you arrive at the sonic realm the album exists within and what drew you to these genres?
I wasn’t really thinking about genre with any of this stuff. It was just experimentation, pushing and pulling sounds and tempos until it started feeling good in my bones.
Which three songs off the album would you pick to play to someone who had never heard your music, to make them an instant fan and why?
Jouissance, Feeling Of Love and Holding Pattern are probably my favourite tunes off the record – they probably speak the strongest about where my interests lie.
Is there a particular motif, line or lyric from the record you’re most proud of, or one that you return to more often than the rest?
The bassline on Type A is something that happened by accident, that I could probably never replicate. It’s got all the hallmarks of a HS melody – accessible but oddly-shaped. Luke Hodgson plays the version on the record, sitting right in the middle of the tone-zone.
You're about to celebrate the 10th anniversary of your debut EP Nexus. How do you think your approach to creating has evolved over the past decade?
I have definitely tried to improve the sonics of everything since that dusty cassette dub, but the biggest change has probably been in my arranging – I want things to move quicker - less meandering, more direct. No long intros. Just get to the point.
You’re currently in the midst of a national tour. What’s in store for an audience member attending one of your live shows?
An hour and a bit of power funk. Some questionable dance moves. My excellent band.
How important do you think live music is not only for yourself as a musician showcasing their art, but also for the audience members who resonate with your music?
There is something much more immediate about seeing people working their guts out on stage, and it’s always felt like the best way to present what I do. If I’m DJing in a club, I wanna play other people’s stuff.
Rundgren. Prince. Basic Channel.
Rosalia. Sade. Donald Fagen.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Aja (Steely Dan). Voodoo (D’Angelo). Sex (The Necks)
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Funk As Neurosis.
Best song of 2022* so far?
“No Other” Ft. Ragga Twins - Sammy Virij
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
Tokyo, 2016. Sunday afternoon in a Ebisu basement, sweaty boys with their tops off and a Canadian backpacker running around taping everyone’s nipples up with gaffer.
Guilty music pleasure? Steve Reich “Music For 18 Musicians”
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be? Lana Del Rey.
Boy is out now!
HARVEY SUTHERLAND 2022 TOUR
Friday, 3 June - RISING, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne VIC
Saturday, 4 June - RISING, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne VIC
Friday, 24 June - OAF, Sydney NSW