Our good friend JC Harnell dropped by the pop-up shop for an interview last week. He loves fly53 and wears us proudly, the pic above shows him sporting our gear at The Peoples Music Awards earlier this year.
After a wonder around the store and a good old chin wag we got the questions started:-
How did you first get into music?
I was living in quite a remote area in Pennsylvania, USA during my teenage years, it was an interesting and rather dramatic part of my life, so I really wanted to express and capture my experience in some form. PA can have really harsh winters and so during those months, when the weather was at its most isolating, I began writing and found music to be the most satisfying way to translate my experiences of American life, High School etc.
Was it always electro that you were passionate about?
Yeah, in some form or another synths and electronic music have always been my biggest obsession when it comes to music. I’ve always found electronic music to be far more evocative than other genres, it doesn’t really force imagery or emotions onto the listener, and allows a level of freedom for the audience to make up their own mind about what the song means. That really appeals to me.
Did you ever get career advice at school….were you inspired by someone….is this somewhere you thought you’d be?
Haha, no I was never given much career advice or guidance, the education system never really suited me, too much of a daydreamer I suppose! I always knew I had to be creative in some form. Living near such an artistic hub like Brighton probably had a part in that, but I never thought I would be a musician! Just didn’t think I had the knack for it, but after winning the Peoples Music Award earlier this year I’m starting to think I’ve chosen the right path.
Did you teach your self to compose music… a bit of trial and error or did you get taught?
A lot of trial and error! I started teaching myself music at quite a late stage considering, age 17, and I just became obsessed about improving and making the sounds I wanted to hear. It took a lot of hard work, starting from scratch like that – but I really enjoy the discovery of making music, it’s an addictive process.
Who do you listen to…….which artists do you like?
I’m inspired by so many styles and artists, and my musical tastes tend to evolve quite rapidly, but there are a few genres I always find myself coming back to. There are a lot of modern artists I find incredibly inspirational; Kieran Hebden, Boards of Canada, Tycho, Com Truise, Ulrich Schnauss, Kavinsky and M83 – there is so much talent among these guys, they’re all pushing their respected styles and it’s really exciting to see where electronic music is headed right now. I really enjoy great film soundtracks, I have a huge respect for modern composers like Cliff Martinez, Clint Mansell, Thomas Newman, and John Murphy, the work they do is defining this generation of cinema and emerging media. I also tend to always have one ear in 80′s, it’s artists like The Human League, Brian Eno, Gary Numan, The The, and soundtracks from the period by guys like John Carpenter, Vangelis etc. that were a huge early influence on me.
What are your plans for the next year?
It looks like it’s going to be a very intense year for me, I’m working on my latest album – Keystone, which is starting to take on a life of its own now and is a very personal project for me. Hopefully should be ready by next autumn. I’m also starting up a music production and graphic design company in January called Sons of Wolves. I’m trying to combine my skills in both music and design to start producing more soundtrack work, and get my visual art out to the masses. It’s a lot, but I like to multitask!
Are there any thanks you would like to give before we finish?
Yeah – I’d like to thank all my fans (as well as my biggest fans, my family and my girlfriend), they’ve listened to my music evolve through every step of my career and have been incredibly supportive, I couldn’t believe how many of them were passionately voting for me in the awards this year. It was an amazing experience.
I would also really like to thank everyone at Fly53, it’s refreshing to see a company so completely supportive of the British music industry, it’s that sort of involvement that will keep the independent music scene over here such a strong part of our culture.
Presenting his new music video…..Meta.