Interview: Client Liaison

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Words by Jack Herz.

Diplomatic Immunity is a rare privilege, not to be taken lightly. By definition, it basically means you are exempt from certain laws and taxes. It also happens to be the name of Client Liaison’s upcoming debut album. This idea of immunity would no doubt allow a lot of freedom; being that you essentially have the power to do almost anything you want. This perfectly encapsulates what the album represents in both its music and themes: jetting to and from exotic locales, driving around in high class cars and overnight stays in luxurious hotels. But don’t be mistaken for assuming that Client Liaison are shallow, these themes merely provide a foundation for deeper underlying subjects such as love, lust and alienation. You could also be forgiven for thinking Client Liaison are living a lavished lifestyles all the time, but Harvey Miller (one half of Client Liaison) suggested this wasn’t entirely true. “Well we aren’t driving around in porches and throwing around bags of money or anything like that but we consider ourselves rich in that we have friends and family and we are lucky enough to live in Australia.”

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Although their business-savvy promotions may leave you questioning if the band are musicians or entrepreneurs, Miller sees them as a bit of both. “That’s just all part of the Client Liaison narrative that we have going, we want it to be an all-encompassing sensory experience for people.” Going back to the lyrical themes, the band also incorporate various political jargon throughout the record, which Miller says was crafted in a way so as not to suggest a bias or concrete political viewpoint

“We definitely aim to be apolitical in our music. I think it’s important not to ram ideas down people’s throats and rather leave it up to interpretation.”

As their latest single ‘Wild Life’ suggests, Client Liaison are intent on presenting music you can easily dance to and this is also indicative of the majority of the album. There are tinges of 80’s, 90’s and 00’s house and pop but Miller suggests this is just a given for them. “We grew up in that time so that informed our sound. Even the naughties, there’s something about the music and culture that we want to encapsulate in our music.”

The track list also lists a variety of collaborators such as Flight Facilities, Touch Sensitive and Mr Hudson. However, there is one collaboration that may particularly surprise listeners with pop-veteran Tina Arena. Tina turns up on the song ‘Foreign Affair’ and of the collaboration, Miller says it was a stroke of pure luck, “We wrote a part of that song as a nod to Tina with the lyrics, ‘kiss on the beach of Sorrento’, and just as a pipe dream we brought it up with our manager that we wanted Tina to sing on the song… and then it actually ended up happening. I think Tina deserves a lot of credit too, that someone of her calibre was willing to work with a lesser known band and that she’s still active in the music world.”

But the album, contains more than collaborations, head-bop inducing dance-pop and a wide range of lyrical themes. In the album booklet, you will find artwork by Australian artist Ilya Milstein depicting various Australian icons and scenes featuring the band, which enhance the songs and what they represent even more so. On the last page of the booklet lies a world map with numbers linking different places to the songs themselves, which Harvey says was important to include as another way to enhance the experience of the songs for listeners. “That map was a way to show how each of the different songs link to different places, like how the song ‘Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight’ was about Canberra and ‘Foreign Affair’ is linked to France as that’s where Tina lives.”

And with a brand new album comes a brand new live show according to Miller, who suggested a more immersive and interactive experience is in the works for the next tour.“We’re now organising to have a reception desk and cubicles on stage like an office. I think people are getting tired of just seeing a person stand behind their instrument. It’s all well and good if you have a hit song, you can just come and play it and leave, but for everyone else I think you have to do something a little different to keep people’s attention”.

Diplomatic Immunity will be released Friday 4th November via Dot Dash / Remote Control.

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