Ahead of the release of his new EP, Everything In Quotes "Dark", Figaro chats to Christopher Port, one of Australia's most dynamic new producers about where it all began, changing as an artist and what's to come in 2018.
Q: Firstly, welcome back to Australia. You've recently been travelling in Europe and the UK, was this a music-related trip or a bit of a holiday?
Well, it was a bit of a combination of things, I booked it a while ago kind of before a bunch of things were put in place, I just wanted to go, but I never felt I was ready. It’s such an exciting city (London) and it’s been so influential on the music that I love and the music that I make. We’ve only just figured out UK PR and things over there. So yeah it was great, I met up with Your Army and did a bunch of interviews, some mix’s and some radio stuff whilst I was there.
Q: Originally you started out drumming for a number of bands, so what was the process of transitioning from being the drummer to the producer you are now like?
It’s been pretty smooth, I was in the States for a while and was involved with the Jazz scene, so I went and did this course in Canada, where they get people from all over the world to come and play and it’s like a workshop thing. I hadn't actually touched the drums for about 6 months before that and then I got there and the level of playing was just incredible, I was such a hack! I really enjoyed the course but I was looking into Ableton, producing and stuff like that at the time and decided I’d like to focus on that. Then when I got home, I decided I wanted to make more just general electronic music.
Q: Has it been weird being at the back of the stage on the drum kit and now being by yourself front and centre? Have you enjoyed the attention or is it quite daunting?
Confronting initially, but it's sort of funny, like making club music anyway, it’s sort of incidental a lot of the time when you’re playing. But I feel if you get the lights dark enough and just do your thing its kind of okay! Especially because I’m not singing, it’s pretty rare that I'll speak at all. So I never really feel like the air gets sucked out of the room and it’s just you.
Q: You’ve recently released your latest E.P ‘Everything in Quotes “Dark”’, which is probably one of our favourite releases of the year. How do you feel your sound has changed since your previous releases and what were you trying to achieve with this EP?
I feel like there are still those garage influences there, but its a little bit more abstract. It’s less like here’s a garage beat, now there are more influences in the songs. I’ve wanted things to diversify a bit, change tempos for certain tracks, I decided that I’m gonna write it at this tempo and that’s all that I say about it, not what it’ll sound like or what it’ll feel like, I'll just try to fill a gap in-between the tempos of stuff that I have already.
Q: The production of your work is very unique, from your range of vocal samples to the synth cords, could you give us a bit of insight into your creative process and how you actually tackle coming up with a new track?
Well at least with vocal samples I sort of go through periods where I find any YouTube video I can, I’ve also got my labels (Future Classic and Pie Eater) who send me quite a lot of different demos from people who have been working on things. I get banks of vocals and just kind of get everything I can together and not really worry about copyright, initially *laughs*. Pretty much every track I’ve done it’s been in a different way, never in a set order.
Q: In addition to your EP release you’ve also been busy creating a fashion line, can you shed some light on that?
So I have been into sewing for a while now and I like altering things for friends, fixing things, taking things up and then when it came round to doing this, I thought what could we do for this EP that could be a good part of it? I wanted to do merch, but I didn’t want to just put my name on a shirt, it just makes no sense to me. I decided that I wanted to do something that was more 'from me', than about me.
Q: For a while now you’ve spent time playing alongside a lot of the Pie Eater roster, looking tough in Kllo video clips and being apart of Melbourne’s growing music scene. What’s it like to be so involved in this industry?
Well, I mean it’s kind of happened naturally, there was sort of a crew of all of us doing things anyway and it was sort of like I went off to Pie Eater and Simon (Lam) went off to Good Manners.
I mean there are always things that could work better, but I feel the people in it all have their heart in the right place and we’re all sort of pushing towards similar goals and trying to help where we can. I feel very lucky to have the best of all worlds really, where it's amazing to be in Pie Eater and Future Classic and have the Good Manners guys and a bunch of other people helping out with shows and other things.
Q: So you're playing at the Evelyn this Saturday afternoon and we hear you’ve got a new live set, can you tell us a bit about what to expect?
Bitta gear… not too much gear…just the right amount of gear!
Q: We hear you're supporting Mount Kimbie in March next year, what else do you have planned for the remainder of this year and in 2018?
Well this next EP, Everything in Quotes “Light” is something that I’m working on which feels great because I did the Dark release, and compared to Vetement it didn’t quite feel like a finished product. So I’ll have that, the clothes that will come with that, then the Mount Kimbie show, hopefully, the chance to go back to the UK and then this time next year I’d love to do a bunch of festivals.
Catch Christopher Port at the Evelyn Rooftop on Saturday the 18th of November,
from 4-8 as part of his Everything in Quotes "Dark", EP release.