In all art, there is an underlying sadness, a melancholy we feel when we face true and deep beauty and we can definitely see how sadness is the main pawn in Francis Harris’s work.
With Fifteen years of DJing at the world’s top clubs and over fifty electronic dance music releases as Adultnapper, Sycophant Slags and lightbluemover to his credit, one might think that at 40, Francis Harris had reached the pinnacle of his career, or at least firmly established his niche.
We had the pleasure of talking with the man about his latest musical realease plus many other things and here’s what we found out:
How did it all start for you? What was the impulse behind your move into music?
I’ve been doing music for as long as I can remember really. How well I did it is a whole other question. I don’t really feel with any art form one chooses anything. Doing these things keeps life moving, hopefully not in a destructive way, moving nonetheless.
What was the NY music scene like when you were growing up? Were there any local DJs/artists who you looked up to?
I didn’t grow up in NY. I grew up in Las Vegas listening to Dub, Punk, and indie noise music.
What do you think makes NY such a good place for music right now?
There is a lot of innovative music coming out of the smaller more creative neighborhoods. It’s not in the clubs. It’s in the back rooms of warehouses, art galleries, and bedrooms.
Can you take me through your production process? What is a typical Francis Harris studio day?
I really don’t have a particular process. I just like to explore sounds with various instruments, different microphones, synths hooked up to a tape machine and a bunch of pedals, then some drum loops from my 808 …let’s see what happens. Other than that, I spend a lot of time thinking about concepts, as that is really what drives my curiosity with music.
The new album, Aris Kindt “Floods” isn’t house at all. The only tie to house would probably be the nature of it being some sort of attempt at outsider culture and the use of an 808. Bear in mind, when I say House, I mean house in the sense of it being a countercultural movement of inclusion, not the hyped up bullshit we see in most clubs today.
Who, if anyone, would you credit with helping you to make it to the point you’re at now?
As far as production techniques I owe a lot to my good friend’s Erik Lee and Alexi Delano. As far as the rest, perhaps Thomas Pynchon and W.G. Sebald have helped me get out of bed in the morning.
Are you able to maintain a living from music now, or do you still have to do a day job or ‘normal work’ once in a while to make ends meet?
In New York, you are doing multiple jobs always to make a living.
Some DJs have a secret recipe when it comes to sets. What is your take on that when you perform in front of people?
I just know the music I am playing and love it enough to play it. That and leaving your ego behind and respecting the music you are playing.
How would people communicate in a perfect world?
I think any answer to this is above my pay grade.
Which fictional character do you believe is the most like yourself?
Woody Allen, minus the sexual misconduct charges.