After the unprecedented success of their debut album Settle, young guns Guy and Howard Lawrence of Disclosure have been storming the globe with a new take on dance music to get a little crazy about.
In a Stoney Roads exclusive interview, Izzy Combs chats to half of the power pair, Howard, about the trajectory of their music, collaborations, how the Australian crowds measure up and whats next for the brothers who can’t be stopped.
Hey Howard, how was your show last night?
Yeah amazing actually, definitely my favourite show in Sydney we’ve played so far, it was really good.
Glad to hear it, my friend took her top off, she was that stoked.
Oh did she? [Laughs] I don’t know if it’s ok it was supposed to be an underage gig!
May as well enjoy it!
[Laughs] Yeah I guess.
Since the release of Settle you guys have been going absolutely mental, how does it feel to have had such a big effect so quickly?
Yeah really good, we’ve been working relentlessly hard touring it before the album and after so it’s amazing to be getting some return from it.
You guys have been compared to Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers in terms of your popularity and influence, how does it feel being compared to those guys?
Obviously it’s a huge honour, they’re legendary dance producers. Apparently we’re from the same town as Fatboy Slim, which is pretty cool, I didn’t realise that.
Very very cool. Born of the same breed.
So the first few tracks of Settle have a bit of a political edge and something that really stuck with me was ‘change is inevitable’ what kind of change are you guys referencing there?
That reference is actually towards the music that we’ve been producing since the start of Disclosure to now. When we started we were making quite obscure, intricate, muso, experimental music, alongside like what James Blake was doing at that point. And now, you know, we’ve got vocals and we’re doing verses and choruses and that was a choice because we feel like we’ve done the whole experimental thing and there’s no point just carrying on making the same thing forever, so that’s what that was in reference to.
Speaking of chorus’ and words, there’s been a bit of drama with your collaborations lately, what are the advantages and disadvantages of working with such a diverse group of collaborators?
Well with the album we’ve actually become really good friends with all the artists that were featured on it. We knew some of them beforehand and some of them we met literally on the day of writing and we really enjoyed it, we really like working with other people.
So, dead or alive, who’s the dream collaboration?
What would you guys envisage doing with him?
I don’t know, but it would’ve been great.
We also recently reported on you guys having a cheeky collaboration with Nile Rogers, what did you get up to with him?
Yeah we had a great session with him actually, we had two days in the studio just sparking on a few ideas. Nothing’s finished or ready to come out, but yeah, it was a really positive day.
Just to take a different spin, the dance industry’s been copping a lot of shit for perpetuating drug use in young people. Where do you guys stand on heavy drug taking – have you been accused as influential?
Ah, no, we’re not for it or against it really, we don’t find it an important part of what we do we just make the music. Obviously our crowds are mixed between people who do get involved in that and don’t but its not something that we take a strong opinion on.
So you’re in Australia to headline the highly anticipated Listen Out Festival and you’ve got your sideshows as well, which do you prefer to play?
It’s kind of different because with festivals you get the whole kind of reward because people have the option to just walk off and go see someone else. If you’ve still got a big crowd at the end of your show it means you’ve kind of earned them. With the headline show its just as rewarding because everyone that’s there is already a fan and they’ve paid to specifically come to see you, so I kind of see them as different entities in that way.
After playing Listen Out how do you feel Aussie music festivals line up against the other ones you’ve played globally?
The line up’s really, really strong. I think that it’s great. We’re good friends with a few people on the line up so it’s been nice to hang out with them.
Cool, and what did you think of the vibe compared to somewhere like Europe or the US?
I actually think that Europe is the closest thing to relate it to, especially the UK. In terms of the crowds that we’ve been playing to so far they seem to react in a very similar way to the UK crowds which is great because we love the UK crowds, very different to somewhere like America.
So do you think there’s a chance of a return trip to Australia later in the year?
Um, maybe not this year but we’ll definitely be back next year.
I hope so. We haven’t heard anything in the rumour mill about a second album, are you guys going to ride the success of Settle a bit longer before producing another?
[Laughs] Yeah definitely, it only just came out. We will be starting work on another album at some point but we only just started touring this one so.
We’re all just super keen! So my last question is for our female readers. Settle is an insanely sexy record, have you been reaping the lady benefits whilst in Aus?
[Laughs] Ah, no, no, we’ve both got girlfriends!
Plenty of ladies will be disappointed!
[Laughs] Oh no, sorry!