Friday Nights at NGV: Interview with The Apartments

We interviewed The Apartments, who will be headlining Friday Nights at NGV on 1 January 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, R got down 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’s so full of energy and lyrical yet it 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)—, a quiet room with cathedral reverb, an acoustic set with French Apartments with Natasha Penot and Antoine Chaperon. 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?
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?
It makes daily life disappear, it makes a vanished world come back.

What can someone expect from your live show?
A circus without a clown. No lions, oceans of feeling, strong currents as fresh as a daisy, some as old as regret.

Tell us about the last song or album you created?
The last song I wrote was called “No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal”, a song that starts out in the rain and ends up in the rain and over the course of the song, somebody gets changed. Forever.

What is your favourite part of being involved in Friday Nights at NGV?
Artists and musicians walk the same streets of ideas and emotion—and Friday night is the time for chance meetings like this.

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei showcases over 300 artworks that explore the parallels and intersections between the practices of these two exemplary artists. Are you excited about the exhibition?
I am grateful to anyone who makes me hungry for a new experience.

A large portion of the works included in the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition include political or social commentary. Have you been inspired to do this through your music?
I have no talent for this.

Andy Warhol famously said: ‘Art is what you can get away with.’ How would you respond?
Audacity and risk are part of the deal.

Ai Weiwei once said: ‘A small act is worth a million thoughts.’ How would you respond?
The act is just the evidence—without the thinking and feeling it doesn’t exist.

What else are you working on now? Or where are you next touring?
Songs for the next album. This NGV acoustic show is the first time The Apartments have played Melbourne since 2007. And 2007 was the first time we’d played Melbourne. The biggest risk here is overexposure. We play the Spiegeltent at Sydney Festival late January.