To Client Liaison, their art is a multi-sensory, multi-faceted being. Not only a carefully crafted, sonically fluid sound, but an array of eclectic colour, loud fashion choices, striking theatrics and quirky business pursuits.
With their new album, Diplomatic Immunity, finally arriving in November last year, the puzzle comes together for Melbournian boys and high school mates Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller, who concentrate on the ‘whole visual element and philosophy’ behind their music, their look and their video clips. The pieces are like ‘different arms on a body, where the heart is the music’.
It’s hard to miss the pastel tailored suit jackets, the 80′s neck ruffle, and most notably the luscious mullet Morgan rocks. With the beat to match and the iconic ‘Off White Limousine’ in tow, the duo certainly deliver on the strong visual appeal. Having grown up in the late ’80s and early ’90s, they draw on this style from experience.
“My parents like wearing colourful clothes: my mother would dress me up in matching outfits which I loved, and the sound on the radio I liked,” Morgan says. “Then when I was growing through adolescence I didn’t identify with mid to late 90′s grunge culture and hip hop.”
The feeling is mutual for the boys, who share this love for the ’80s. “I think we have a lot of shared interests, and Client Liaison is a shared interest coming together. We are into different things, but we open each other up to those different things. Like Harvey is opening me up to noughties dance. We are constantly learning from each other, but we do have a particular passion for that digital synthesised sound.”
Currently on tour for their new album, Morgan is relieved it’s finally out there; a great “weight off our chests,” he comments. “It actually all came together, because we had set multiple deadlines and not quite made them before, but we made this deadline. It was quite an intense period, but we are really happy with it.”
The process was seemingly one of filling in the gaps, as the album came together, “always trying to to make the show better, always searching for a certain kind of song.”
“I was always happy with the ballads, like yep we have good ballads – but we need this kind of pump up song, or this kind of funk tune – that’s what the moment in the set is needing at that time. We were always looking for that certain energy that we don’t have, always looking for a different mood, trying to tick all the boxes.”
The same goes for their live show, said to be one of the most entertaining going around. “We have a cool setup – we’ve got like a big reception desk we built recently, a led mounted desk and a telephone.” They also record every show in a bid to learn more about the sounds, lighting, performance, timing and queues. The meticulous perfecting is coming to a head very soon, as their hometown Melbourne show approaches.
“That’s always the yard stick for as good a performance we can get. Because that’s our home audience, and we really want to give them everything we’ve got. We have a lot of new concepts which is exciting, it’s pretty cool putting the show together,” he says.
But that’s not the only thing the Client Liaison crew have been busy putting together. Their first fashion line launched in November sold quickly, with beach themed jumpers, beach robes, t shirts, bum-bags and budgie smugglers – all in the signature peach and ‘reef’ shades. With a possible winter collection on the cards, Morgan also mentions the nearby launch of their new limousine business. The famously ‘off-white’ limo will be available to book for formals, weddings, nights out or even a Client Liaison tour.
“We have a diplomatic flag, and the upholstery is very nice, that’s why our lyrics say ‘interior pleasures, your skin on the leather, she’ll give you whatever you need.”
Outlandish side-business endeavours, theatrical gigs and striking fashion choices aside, the Client Liaison boys focus on what is really at the core of their brand: “I think the music comes first, that’s our first passion.”
Where & Where: The Wool Exchange, Geelong – April 27 & 28. Purchase tickets for the April 27th gig via the website.
Written by Megan McNeel