How’s the European tour going?
It’s been great, and really surprising to get this kind of response without the album, Flume, even being released over here yet. I’m really enjoying it and can’t wait to see where it goes.
How do you try to make each of your live shows different?
I do play the bigger songs and play to the crowd, but I like to be able to vary it, too, like sometimes going with a more chilled-out, beats-y route instead of the party vibe.
How do you feel about the London show being upgraded and selling out …
It’s great, and it’s a big thing for me. I played Dublin [on Jan 16], which is one-fifth the size of Sydney, yet there were 750 people in this room to see the show. It was mind-blowing.
How do you find mixing festival shows with intimate club performances?
It can be quite odd. I don’t have a huge back catalogue to pull from, like an act like Radiohead do, so I mostly go for more of a party thing at the clubs.
In Australia I have done a huge amount of shows in a short period of time and I am enjoying the festival thing right now.
How is it that you started making music so early, from the age of 13?
It started when I went shopping with my dad at the supermarket. This cereal, Nutri-Grain, had a music programme advertisement, so we ended up getting that, taking it home and installing it.
The idea of having drums on one track and building it up through different layers kind of blew my mind.
Since then I have been writing music – I have updated programmes, though!
Which artists were a big influence on you back then?
I listen to a lot of genres, but the big three for me were probably early trance music, from the Noughties, the whole electro movement, and then more recently the likes of J Dilla, Flying Lotus, and experimental weird, hip-hop stuff.
Why did you choose a pseudonym rather than using your own name?
I like to keep my name out of it, in order to be a bit more private, but it doesn’t work – people keep referring to me as Flume, aka Harley Streten.
It hasn’t worked at all! For me, though, when I see a name, like Flume, that’s just one word, it is much more appealing.
It keeps the mystery. A name isn’t immediately identified with a genre, it becomes synonymous with the music …
Exactly, and if I do it under my own name I’d feel more pushed to put my face on album covers and things like that.
What’s been the most memorable moment on tour so far?
The whole experience of going and playing in Holland was particularly memorable – it was the coldest country I’ve ever been to in my entire life.
When I was packing my clothes it was 43ºC in Australia, crazy hot, and then we get to Holland and it’s -10ºC!
I haven’t been in the snow at all before so, for me, that was way colder than anything before. And for an Australian to get the opportunity to play this big warehouse there was great fun.
When did you realise things were taking off?
When I played the Splendour In The Grass festival last August. I didn’t have any expectations.
I was playing super early, at 2pm, and the tent was nearly full when I started – and it was a 7000-person tent.
It was like, holy fuck! Playing to that many people was when I realised, ‘OK, this is getting serious.’
What are your plans for the year?
I am heading back home for a bit but I don’t have a weekend off for the next five months.
I also have another project called What So Not (duo with Emoh Instead), which is a kind of club thing we’re touring around Australia, too. And I’ll be back here in the summer as well.
You’re a busy man … ?
The amount of sleep I’ve got on this tour is fucked.
This is the second time in four days I’ve played a club show at 2am and had a flight at 6am or 7am for the next show.
So we stay at the club, then go straight to the airport, but when we try and check in at the hotel it’s too early. I’m getting like two hours’ sleep!
What are you doing for Australia Day?
I’ll probably be in transit somewhere. I don’t even think I’ll see it as we are flying back on the 25th, and you lose that day, so I literally won’t even have an Australia Day this year!
Flume plays XOYO.
Jan 24. £5 EC2A 4AP
Tube | Old Street
Photos: Justin Vague