‘evolving, dynamic, enigmatic’ | Interview with Harmont

The Austrian duo has just released their first single track, Skrei! The track blends beautifully some soothing piano lines, an acoustic drum section, a charming string section and an exciting improvisation that comes as a surprise in the finale. We talked to the two multi-instrumentalists about their influences, their collaboration and what is next to come! Get to know them through our interview below!

Describe your sound in three words!

: evolving, dynamic, enigmatic

How did the two of you meet and started making music together?

KM: We met at film school and Andreas was a classmate of mine. As soon as I learned that Andreas is a drummer I kept insisting to meet for a jam and lured him into my studio. Our first meet-up resulted in a jam which lasted for hours without even checking the clock. Right from the beginning there was a special musical connection between us and we showed similar tastes in music. From that time on we started meeting on a regular basis and enjoyed our sessions with no certain purpose in mind yet.

AM: Yes, Konrad played an old demo to me and I immediately thought „that’s the kind of music I was seeking for quite a long time“. I think we both knew at a very early stage of playing that we would like to continue making music.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?

KM: I would love to be able to say I draw my inspiration from reading world literature and watching Tarkovsky films but usually messing around on the piano for a while and getting into a meditative state is all I need to get inspired – having slept well also helps. The struggle however is to stay inspired till the end of a process after you’ve been second guessing and changing everything for a million times and then the initial excitement is gone. But I guess I’m not the only one to experience this.

Other people’s music is definitely inspirational for me, but I can only take it in in small doses. I cannot listen to music passively, when I do, I really want to turn the volume up and hear all the details. I’m not good at multitasking! I only listen to a few LP´s a year as I really want to digest them fully. I try not to listen to too much music while I’m producing on my own. When I do I feel my attention goes outwards rather than inwards, meaning that my subconscious is trying to move more towards a musical direction that has been established by others. I try to avoid this at all costs as it may result in doubting your own work and labelling it as redundant.

AM: In terms of doses, I’m the exact opposite; I always need music from a lot of different styles surrounding me, but I definitely agree that active listening and really soaking in a record in full awareness, has an incredible huge quality and is a real pleasure. Listening, particularly while playing, is probably the most powerful ‘tool’ for me to come up with new ideas, so I would say my main source of inspiration is just being on my instrument playing along records or together with people.

We are huge fans of instrumental songs but we were wondering if you have ever faced difficulties in terms of promotion, given that songs with lyrics can be more popular?

KM: Given this is our first release in this formation I could only make assumptions. It’s a fact that music with a human voice can trigger an immediate response in you quicker.

For which film do you imagine Skrei being a soundtrack?

KM: I think our music video is spot on. I couldn’t be happier with what we got so I cannot think of anything else now, it’s linked to the music in my head forever. What about you Andreas?

AM: I agree. Watching that scenery, that boat surrounded by unsteady waves, is really what this tune feels like to me.

Which artists have been most influential for you, as a band and as individuals?

KM: One of my biggest musical discoveries was when I found a strange looking CD in the car of my parents. From the looks of the artwork I expected a 90’s trance-record, and I just put it on for the giggles, but realized it was a Jazz record – “Strange place for snow” by “Esbjörn Svensson Trio”. As soon as “Behind the Yashmak” came on I was hooked and sat in the car till the end of the record.

Ryūichi Sakamoto also had a huge impact on me and demonstrates that what matters in music is
how you play a certain key rather than how fast you can play.
Another big influence is “Boards of Canada” to who’s records I have listened over and over again.
In my opinion they have made the most coherent albums of the last 20 years and are in total
control of their artistry.

AM: One of the most important artists who modeled my current musical taste were Esbjörn
Svensson Trio (which is a nice coincidence) and Avishai Cohen. I remember being on my way to school and I really don’t know how (maybe it was just by accident) but two or three of the very few songs on my 256mb usb player at that time were from the record ”Seven Days of Falling” by E.S.T. – It was literally that often quoted ”door to a new world” the first time I listened to them.

Another tune that later really did it for me was ”Goldwrap” also by E.S.T. which offers this exciting combination of unbelievable beautiful harmonies, sounds and an energy that was really new to me at that time. For me as an instrumentalist, Luke Flowers drumming on The Cinematic Orchestra’s album ”Every Day” had a really huge impact on my playing and my sound.

What’s the best and most challenging thing when working with someone else?

: However we are in the midst of collaborating with other artist’s right now and I think the hardest thing is to know when to be open to other people’s contributions and not to stick to your own agenda.

AM: When you’re on the same page, speaking the same or similar musical language and experience that state while playing – that is just an incredible feeling. Also having that constant exchange of feedback is really beneficial.
The most challenging thing is to find and keep a good balance between compromises and your own musical voice.

What are your plans for the future?

KM: Keeping the momentum, release more music, collaborate and finally get to play the music to

Thanks Harmont!

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Make sure to listen our spotify playlist Metamorphosis feat. Harmont and other artists we feature in Secret Eclectic.

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