May 24 2013
That’s especially true when you’re interviewing one of the biggest and most critically-acclaimed electronic outfits in the world. At just 21 years old, Guy Lawrence is the older member of UK sibling house duo Disclosure. Ever since the immense success of ‘Latch’, Disclosure have been the name on everybody’s lips with their wholesome and dancefloor-ready tunes, moulded with elegance and incredible craftsmanship.
On the verge of releasing their debut record Settle on May 31, we got Guy on the phone to talk about the group’s creative process, his love for R. Kelly and his ridiculous touring schedule. Participating in the interview while he was driving, Guy is obviously a master of multi-tasking, and a nice guy to boot.
You guys visited Australia during the 2012/2013 transition for Field Day and some other festivals. Were you overwhelmed with the response given that it was your debut tour of the country?
It was crazy, man. Absolutely crazy. To play Field Day and get the crowd that we did, and have everyone singing the words back to us without ever even touring there before, it was absolutely crazy. One of my favourite shows we’ve ever done because of the crowd reaction, for sure.
You’re also now on the verge of releasing your debut album Settle, do you think you could describe the record in five words or less?
I can do six words for you: Mixture of vocal and house tracks. (Laughs)
A couple of the tracks from Settle have already been remixed by the likes of Baauer and Hudson Mohawke. Who would be your dream artist to remix one of your tracks?
Well, it’s not going to happen anytime soon because he’s dead, but it would be J Dilla from Detroit.
What’s the selection and creative process when you choose which vocalists to collaborate with?
There’s been a few ways so far. There’s not a forumla, but people like Sam Smith and a couple of other people on the album, there’s a girl called Sasha, they haven’t really had any music out yet, so we kind of find them through mutual friends. Or our managers will show us videos on YouTube and we’ll think “That’s pretty cool, maybe we should do something together.” Then there’s other people like AlunaGeorge, Jamie Woon – we just kept talking about music, maybe go for a beer and we’ll just say “Do you want to get in the studio together and do something?”
Speaking of Sam Smith, a lot of your success can be attributed to ‘Latch’, which is getting a second wind of success due to his acoustic rendition. Any further plans to work with Sam Smith?
Yeah, Sam’s a big reason that song did so well, he’s actually probably the reason it did so well. I’d probably like to do a song for him, rather than with Disclosure, I don’t really see how we could top ‘Latch’. It would be nice in the future to write something for Sam, something totally different.
You guys also played Coachella this year, how was that experience for you?
It was amazing, man. It reminded me a lot of Field Day because we’ve never had a release in America yet, and we pulled a massive crowd at that show and closed the festival. It was an incredible experience, I really enjoyed it.
Coachella gained a lot of attention last year when they brought back 2Pac in hologram form. What are your thoughts on holograms and is there anyone you’d like to see in virtual form?
I don’t really have an opinion on them, I’ve never really thought about them before. We don’t use them in our show, and I don’t think we’re going to be using them. I mean, they’re a bit of a gimmick I guess, just a bit of fun. I don’t think I’d ever use one.
We heard that the first record you got was ‘Ignition (Remix)’ by R. Kelly. There was a petition earlier this year to make that America’s national anthem. Do you think this is a good move?
(Laughs) Yes, I think that’s a great move.
R. Kelly also recently announced that he’s been working on some country songs. How do you think that’s going to turn out?
Not well. I don’t like country music anyway, and I think R. Kelly doing country music would push me over the line. I’m still a fan, and I want to remain a fan. (Laughs)
Do you have a favourite musical sibling group besides yourselves?
The Beach Boys!
We also heard that almost everybody in your family has a music history. If you collaborated with your relatives on a family reunion album, what would it sound like?
Oh, absolutely terrible. My Granddad plays the clarinet, My Grandma plays the cello, my Dad plays like rock guitar – and obviously me and Howard, we don’t do that at all. So yeah, it would be an absolute mess.
Any plans to involve your family members on a record?
Not currently. We did try to record our Mum sing before, but it didn’t really work out. But I am determined to one day make that happen. There’s no family members on this album, I’m afraid.
When are you guys coming back to Australia to tour?
I can’t says specifically now, but it’s deifnitely this year, later this year… We’re definitely coming back.
Is that for club or festival shows?
Both. I can’t say right now, because I don’t know what’s been announced. (Laughs)
What’s on the cards for Disclosure for the rest of 2013?
We’ve got the debut album Settle coming out obviously, and then just touring and gigging. I got told a pretty worrying statistic yesterday, which is that we’re doing 39 festivals this year. And then we’ve got our own headline UK tour, and we’re going back and forth to America quite a lot this year. Lots of things to get on with!
Crazy – 39. Is that even possible?
That’s what I said, is that even possible? Is there even that many?
Well you’re doing them!
Yeah, I’m doing them – I’ll let you know in five months time.
By Christopher Kevin Au of Pagesdigital