The Kite String Tangle’s Splendour set gave him ‘Warm Fuzzies’
THE KITE STRING TANGLE is ready to take on the world. After performing at this year’s Splendour In The Grass in his own afternoon slot as well as with PEKING DUK, producer Danny Harley still has his highly anticipated EP Vessels to release and another headline tour to kick off.
With so much going on it’s hard to think that the Brisbane native has any downtime at all, but luckily we were able to be squeezed in to his busy schedule and ask him about the whirlwind of events that have skyrocketed THE KITE STRING TANGLE.
Your new EP, Vessels, is set for release this month and it was an interesting idea to have a Listening Party for it in Brisbane, why did you choose to preview it that way?
Well I don’t know, this is the first time we’ve ever really done one so, we’re kind of making it up as we go. I think it would be cool to have a party to show something I’ve been working on for ages, I know a lot of my family and friends want to hear it so I thought it would be good to open it up to the mailing list as well and just hire a venue, get some of my friends to DJ and have a cool night! I just think it will be – not a show or anything – it’ll be an exclusive listen to the music and the rest of the main music will be curated by various producers and artists, which is pretty cool.
The preview you released on SoundCloud of Vessels has got a lot of people excited about the new tracks, was there a particular writing process you fell into whilst recording?
Kind of, it’s not always the same – not like clockwork or anything- but I usually start with some beats and things on my laptop, and I generally do melodies and lyrics and all that stuff last. On the EP, I actually noticed this today which is kind of interesting, one of them I wrote for a friend’s short film and it was never intended to be a Kite String song and another I wrote on a piano, which I’d never do because I don’t have one [laughs]. So a lot of the ones that did end up on the EP all have varied writing techniques and processes, so I don’t know what that says [laughs] I don’t know if I should be aiming to have one successful one or what, but I’m learning and I think you’re always still learning.
Learning is one of the greater joys in life..
It’s particularly true in the creative industries I think, because I think once you’re satisfied with whatever you’re creating that’s where you get stale. You know when you have a band release another album and it sounds like their first album? Not that that’s bad, I think it should just definitely be an ongoing process.
For Vessels you’re venturing on your second headline tour of 2014. You’re last tour had a very spectacular stage set up with lightbulbs on stands, will there be a similar set up on this next tour?
Yeah we’re still in the process of doing it. It’s not going to be the lightbulbs, [laughs] oh man, you have no idea how difficult it is to travel lightbulbs with various stands [laughs]. It was good fun to work it all out but we won’t be doing it again. It was all running off the same leads on my laptop where I’m running a lot of the musical instruments, so it’s quite gruelling on my laptop as well. But we’re definitely checking out production, it’s going to be a different lighting show but there will still definitely be a light show.
Because you’re beginning to tour a lot, are you getting used to not being at home in Brisbane and living out of your van?
I don’t have a van, which is lucky because if I did I probably would live out of it and that would be bad. I did live out of my bag for quite a while, the last few months I have been back in Brisbane a fair bit which has been nice, but pretty much as soon as I go on this tour and that ends I go on a US tour and through the UK; then I come back and it all still kind of rolls on because there’s heaps of stuff after that. So it is going to start going back to that nomad style again, but I don’t mind that. I kind of like it.
Performing at Splendour In The Grass is always a big deal for any musician, how did you react when you were told you were playing?
It was quite a while ago that I found out and so much was going on at that time. We kept getting these crazy festival offers, shows were selling out and it was kind of just another thing that was happening. I just couldn’t believe anything that was going on, it was completely surreal and I was just floored. [Splendour]’s so good, such a great festival and so well run. I had a 3pm slot on the Mix Up Stage and I remember years ago, I went to see James Blake play that exact slot. It was amazing, it gives me warm fuzzies. All the feels! [laughs].
You also performed with Peking Duk on the Mix Up Stage alongside some other amazing artists, what was it like performing with them?
I was on Groovin’ The Moo and performed with them – like I did at Splendour – with them the whole way through. Ben Woolner came on then as well, I’m pretty good friends with the SAFIA dudes so we were all already quite good friends. After Groovin’ I went down to Sydney, did some writing and just partied with them [laughs]. It’s a cool relationship, we don’t see eye to eye on some things I guess because they write bangers and I write emotionally driven electric tracks, but it’s nice. They’re awesome dudes.
Brisbane seems to be having a lot of success with their producers and DJs recently, being from there what do you think of the sudden rise in Brisbane electronic talent?
Brisbane’s been the breeding ground of garage and grunge rock for like 10 years, maybe longer than that. We’ve got some really good stuff coming out of Brisbane in those styles and I think only recently we’ve had some really killer electronic acts come out like MTNS, Young Franco and all those lads.
So what’s on the cards for the rest of 2014?
It’s pretty chocablocked pretty much from when I go on tour. Right now I start rehearsals for the tour and the EP is released obviously, but that doesn’t require too much more from my end. Then it’s touring and writing the album when I find time when I’m not touring [laughs]. An album seems like such a huge body of work, like a lot of importance is put on an album rather than an EP and some singles. I’d like to get it out early next year, but I won’t put it out if I’m not happy with it. I kind of don’t feel bad that it might take a while because, well Chet Faker [laughs].
Words by Lauren Payne