Back in November, when Melbourne based musician Glutz (real name Katie Harris) released her surreal new video for Just Music, we were immediately immersed in her sprawling, post-apocalyptic sounds.
So fresh off the video’s release, we caught up with Harris to chat about how the video came together, the visual element of music, and what the future holds.
We caught up with Melbourne artist Glutz to chat about her surreal new video, the visual element of music, and what the future holds.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
GLUTZ: Yeah good, thanks. Actually, for the past couple of days, I’ve been working on a King Crimson cover on guitar. Don’t typically do many covers, so it’s been fun. And today I’ve just been in Bloom Studios tracking some guitar, bass and melodica for one of my songs.
HAPPY: We’re loving Just Music… could you tell us a bit about the track?
GLUTZ: Thank you. Yeah, Just Music is kind of the odd song of the bunch. It’s probably the one song of mine that I can play singer-songwriter style, just on guitar without too many fiddly riffs and key-changes complicating it. I think on some level throughout the recording and writing of it, I was kind of doing a simplicity-experiment, trying to be minimalistic with it. When I was tracking the bass, I had to keep going back and reminding myself to play with the sparseness I’d initially wanted. And then with the quote-unquote ‘guitar solo’, yeah, not reaching for the overdrive like I usually would, and trying to maintain the space for the desolateness the song was meant to be depicting; it was a nice challenge.
HAPPY: The track’s new music video is great too! Could you tell us a bit about the making of the video?
GLUTZ: Thanks for saying that. Yeah, it was kind of another experiment. For the video for my last song Healthy, I’d worked with the mastermind filmmaker Peter Baker. He had a team of people who really knew what they were doing. But for Just Music, I wanted to try to make something spontaneous and DIY. My brother and I were out at 2am on a four-degree night, driving through mist-blanketed streets. It was the bleak, post-apocalyptic vibe I’d been visualising for the video. So we raced out and did a bit of a guerrilla shoot with the song playing through a phone in my pocket. We didn’t know how to use the video camera correctly. We did a lot of it dead wrong. But we just chased more of those vibes over the following weeks and threw it together. We didn’t want to be too perfectionistic. But who knows, maybe that’s just my pretentious excuse for incompetency!
HAPPY: How are you feeling about the clip now that it’s been released?
GLUTZ: I’m pleased that people like it. It’ll do!
HAPPY: The visual and sonic aspects of your music feel really closely aligned. How important is the visual element to your music?
GLUTZ: I don’t know, my songs never have built-in definitive meanings, it’s kind of like the meaning of the music changes depending on when and who is observing it. Sorry, I’m sounding all quantum mechanicsy! But yeah, so I think for me, things like videos, and even lyrics, can create a kind of contextual permanence for the song that can be an obstruction, but on the other hand, they can add dimensions or context that couldn’t have been generated any other way. But yeah, the music definitely comes first for me, I try to say most of it with the song, but that may change one day.
HAPPY: We’re picking up a lot of different sounds in your music. Are there any particular artists that you’re currently drawing influence from?
GLUTZ: No, I really haven’t been listening to much music over the past few years. I’m not sure why. I’ve always been into all of the greats like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, King Crimson. I had the twisted teen years on bands like Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs Three, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Still love all of that. So I guess all of that would have to stick with me when I’m making choices with my sounds in the studio.
HAPPY: You’ve spent a while playing in a variety of other people’s bands… what made you want to go out and pursue your own project?
GLUTZ: Yeah, I played bass and guitar for metal bands in high school. Then later it was often the case that a musician I knew had an important gig or tour coming up and needed to put a band together quickly. Along the way, I’ve had my own projects happening, but I was getting lost in those places artists seem to get themselves stuck in, and wasn’t really functional enough to get my music out. Had to get healthier physically and mentally, you know, that boring muso trajectory. But yeah, it’s very gratifying to be playing my own stuff these days.
HAPPY: What’s next for Glutz? Any other exciting plans in the works?
GLUTZ: More songs, more recording at St. Charles and Bloom Studios. An EP early in the year. Yeah, I’m looking forward to putting out some of the more heavy, psychedelic, guitar-heavy stuff.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
GLUTZ: Cheers to you!
Watch the video clip for Just Music above.