Big cities may scare frontman Spencer White but he still has ambitions to hang out with good mates Millions in London. That aside, he says Brisbane will always be home.
Blank’s music mistress Mella Lahina caught up with Morning Harvey ahead of their BIGSOUND Live showcase to see what’s changed since our last chat…
Last time you spoke to Blank you had just released your EP Love&Loveand. and were touring. How’s that all been going? Any highlights?
Spencer: The tour has been fantastic, it’s our best one yet. Melbourne’s great and has always been good to us.
Steve: The more we go down to Melbourne the more people seem to come and see us. It’s really nice to see people turn out.
Any thoughts about moving down that way? Or are you loyal to Brisbane?
Steve: We have too many networks in Brisbane to leave anytime soon. It would be nice, we do love Sydney and Melbourne but we have too many things holding us in Brisbane to think about going.
Spencer: We are very loyal to Brisbane, it’s our hub to everything and to move away would throw a spanner works. I feel comfortable here and I get a bit overwhelmed in bigger cities.
If you had to choose a city to go to which would it be?
Spencer: I want to go the UK as quick as I can and London is a big city but I’ve always wanted to do that because it appears to have a fantastic, thriving music scene and until you try it, you can’t really tell. Plus our friends Millions moved over there eight months ago.
You’ve mentioned that you are already focussing on your next recordings. Have you managed to do any of that?
Spencer: I’ve been working on a handful of songs for the past five months now and recently taken recordings into my own hands. I’ve never done that, I’ve always gotten Steve or Lewi to record the demos and we punch them out really quickly. But because Lewi (Moses Gunn Collective bass player) is always away, he’s a very busy boy, I just felt like it was the time to learn it myself and I had the help of Steve as well.
How’s that been for you, Steve?
Steve: Yeah I’ve just been a guiding hand. He knows what he has to do; he just had to learn how to use the programs. He’s doing completely fine now. All the songs are still in the demo stage and we are planning on recording them at the end of this year and get it all finished at the start of next year.
Is having a better understanding of the recording process a good thing, a la knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss?
Spencer: It’s kind of like discovering or seeing the beach for the first time, for instance. Like for me to see how everything works finally and to see how it’s all put together. I’ve been watching it for the past five years, like “this is cool and I guess that seems straight forward,” but seeing how everything comes together in the recording process was just completely new to me. I have more passion for that side of things and it’s definitely made me push myself a little more with the songwriting process.
Steve: I think it’s a good thing for you in your space to have a limited amount of options in the way you can record things, it helps you focus on the actual writing and what the song needs, rather than the methods that you could record it. That’s the big thing for me, I do a lot of recordings, I often try and limit myself just to keep it direct, to not get too carried away in the way you do it, just capturing what’s trying to be captured.
Do you have full time jobs?
Spencer: Steve is a studio engineer and I work at a record store down the road.
Steve: I try and make it a full time job out of producing and recording bands. Right now i’m producing The Jensens, another five-piece Brisbane band, they are really solid live and we are trying to capture that in the recording studio. I also engineered Moses Gunn Collective’s latest album and all the Orphans Orphans recordings (which Spencer and Steve are both in).
What was your first BIGSOUND experience like?
Spencer: The first time we played was last year but we have been before as punters. Last year was fantastic, Orphans played on the first night and Morning Harvey the second night, it’s a bit of a blur but a lot of fun.
Steve: Morning Harvey played this dingy little bar called The Underdog at the bottom of the valley which surprisingly had a good vibe cos it wasn’t really a huge room and it came through in the performance.
Any speakers you want to see?
Spencer: I never go and see the speakers really, generally that’s the hangout for the industry delegates, I wanna stay as far away from that kind of side, I don’t want to be that person.
Steve: You don’t really want to bog yourselves down with that kind of stuff, just keep it on the fun side.
First vivid musical memory?
Spencer: When I was three my mum rocking me asleep to Abbey Road and the Mamas and Papas record.
Steve: I wasn’t a musician per se when i was really young but I loved video games, and I used to listen to the soundtracks in video games like Super Nintendo, I loved that sort of thing, I just heard a RATATAT song in the car and it took my straight back to that.
Finish this sentence. When I wake up in the morning?
Steve: I go back to sleep.
Spencer: That’s pretty much it.
_ _ _
Catch Morning Harvey as part of BIGSOUND Live at The Foundry, Thursday 10 September from 8.00-8.30pm