We interviewed The Apartments, who will be headlining NGV Friday Nights at NGV International on 22 July 2016.

Describe your sound in 5 words or less?
2am, stars. No moonlight.

If your music was an artwork what would it look like?
Rauschenberg’s “Estate”, 1963.

Do you have a favourite artwork?
Rauschenberg’s “Estate”, 1963. Way back then, Rauschenberg rendered the storm, the speed and relentlessness of images, information and sensations in which we’re drenched every day—and he got that down before digital technology made it even more overwhelming. That painting, while it’s so full of energy and lyrical manages to make that whirling world stand still.

What’s your favourite gig you have played to date?
Either the Musée des Beaux-arts de in Saint-Lô (the Capital of Ruins in Normandy, France)—an acoustic set with French Apartments with Natasha Penot and Antoine Chaperon, a quiet room with cathedral reverb. Or the Bouffes du Nord, a 500 seat 19th Century Parisian theatre that Patti Smith had played the week before and whose spirit hadn’t yet departed.

What inspires/influences your music the most?
Memory, regret, liquor the colour of tears. That would be gin, mostly.

What song do you wish you wrote?
One for My Baby—Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.

What part of making music excites you the most?
Playing, performance, recording. All of this can make daily life disappear yet make a vanished world come back.

What can someone expect from your live show?
A chance to forget or to remember, to be carried through a sea of songs that reflect all the feeling in the room that night, a never again thing.

Tell us about the last song or album you created?
I wrote the title track of the last album “No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal” a month before we recorded, a song that starts out in the rain and ends up in the rain and over the course of which somebody gets changed. Forever.

Degas: A New Vision showcases works by Edgar Degas that reveal how the artist observed the world around him. How do you feel your music reflects life today?
Dealing with contemporary life takes a talent or maybe courage I don’t have. The Apartments songs tend to fall naturally into a category of matters that have always been with us. That can sometimes make them more contemporary than ever.

What are you working on now?
Mixing tracks for a new release later this year.