By Sophia van Gent
Perth band, COMMAND Q, have had a very hectic 12 months. They’ve released two tracks, “D1LL1GAF” and it’s sibling track “D1LL1GAF – VIP” on DiPLO’s MAD DECENT empire and sub-label GOOD ENUFF.
To top off their massive success, COMMAND Q recently released their debut EP “We Are Animals”, and have been touring across Australia recently promoting their new EP.
Teensoul sat down with Louis Frere-Harvey from COMMAND Q to have a chat about musical influences, musical ambitions and lessons learnt from touring.
How has your classical and theatrical backgrounds influenced your style of music?
We [Shaun Pickett and Louis Frere-Harvey] met each other whilst studying classical music and both had a huge interest in the way we could fit classical percussion into electronic dance music. It definitely influenced the way we write because of the thought of how can we keep this relatable to a club, yet still play elements of it live?
Also just the theory base you acquire whilst studying music, especially classical, helps so much in the way you think about the musical elements of dance music.
You reached number 2 on the iTunes Dance chart the day after you released it. Did that surpass your expectations?
Oh man, surpassing expectations is an understatement for sure! We had no idea what was going to happen. Honestly when we decided to just take the dive into an independent release we were so nervous to see what would happen just off our own backs, so we are eternally grateful for all the support to jump us up the charts like that.
What were your goals when you first started COMMAND Q? Have any of them changed?
When we first started Command Q, we wanted to play everything live. Just jump straight into a full live show. We pretty quickly realised one of us would have to learn to DJ so we could play the music we were writing in clubs and actually get gigs. This kind of took us into a whole new world and new domain which definitely changed the direction a little, but the end goal has always and will always be to play a full live show.
Each band aims to leave an impression and a mark in the music industry. What difference do you want to make?
The music we’ve always written has had a primal feel to it. We want people to feel not like they’re listening to mainstream EDM or synth based electronic music, but feel something different coming form a more primitive vibe. I guess we would most like to change the way majority of people are just accepting music they’ve heard before and challenge them with music and a show that’s different and unique
You’ve had a couple of big names (including DIPLO and JACK Ü) in the industry play your song during the set. Did you ever imagine your songs will be so well received when you first started out?
The irony is the song everyone’s supporting wasn’t even going to be released. You honestly have no idea what support will come when, and when it does it the most exciting and surprising feeling we’ve both experienced in music. It is seriously the most rewarding thing that your hard work is being recognised and experienced by such large bodies of people.
What have been your main influences in your music?
Shaun and I come from very different musical backgrounds in rock, metal and punk rock, but we both share similar taste in Electronic music. Pre electronic, Shaun was a Radiohead/Korn kinda guy and I was into Blink182/Sum41. But we both found idols pretty quickly in dance music, Skrillex most definitely, Pendulum and Knife Party for sure and also Major Lazer.
Looking forward, what are your plans for the next year or so?
In the next year we’ve got plans to get another EP, maybe album 😉 out. We have an amazing team helping us make decisions on things like timing for releases and tours etc, so something big will happen next year, we’re just keeping vague.
You are touring a fair bit around Australia at the moment. What has touring taught you about music and success?
Touring is insane. You always hear about the life of a touring muso, but until you’re in it you can’t know really what its about. It has taught us that gear is bloody heavy, it’s taught us that not every show will be amazing but still play it as if it were because you could change the life of 1 person in that room even if they’re the only one there.
Mostly it’s taught us that a salad is infinitely more energising than a pizza, but there are some gooooood pizza places about!