MELBOURNE duo Friendships urge you to “push ur brain guts.” One part music (Nic) and one part visual art (Mish), the pair open up their colourful world of stunning audio-visual treats and I can guarantee it is something you haven’t seen before (at least done this well). I had a chat to Friendships ahead of their upcoming gig at Bosphorous Music‘s REFLECTIONS event – details below.
Friendships made us a video playlist of everything from videos they’ve found inspiring to old favourites – go check it out.
MM: How did Friendships come to be? When did you guys first meet?
F: [Mish] We met at an exhibition opening in Fitzroy, a few friends and myself had put on a show and Nic had been invited by a mutual friend and came along. He saw some of my paintings and thought I might be interested in doing some cover art for him. We met up in my old studio in Kensington and our conversation went from the original intention [of cover art], to brainstorming ways of doing live visuals at shows. I think the conversation flourished because unknowingly [at the time], both Nic and I had a kind of dissatisfaction with the constructs we faced in our chosen fields of work, and not in the mediums themselves but in the way that they were engaged. For Nic, it was about the experience of playing live; for me it was about the way in which visual art is distributed and displayed. It was a very natural progression for us, it just made the most sense, given our woes, to team up to make things how we want to make them.
When was your interest in making music first sparked?
[Mish] Don’t really know. I guess I always grew up with music. We didn’t have a TV. The radio was always on in the house. My parents would wake us up with Cat Stevens every morning.
What kind of stuff did you listen to growing up?
[Nic] Pretty much blues and folk, anything that was playing at the Jerramungup Pub / Needleup Golf Club – shout outs to DJ Bev.
Have you heard anything lately you’ve really liked?
[Mish] Orlando Furious!! went to a fundraiser gig at the tote the other night and saw this guy live, never heard of him before but he was so on point; lyrically, musically and in his stage presence… sooo good definitely check him out.
Who or what have been some big inspirations for you from a visual art perspective?
[Mish] For live shows and performing, I think about the way artists and audience interact and engage, that plays a significantly big part in choosing the visuals we display and the way in which we display them. I’m really interested in relational aesthetics and the idea of the catalyst. Free-styling in the context of hip hop or spoken word poetry… intuitive decision making. For videos, there’s an abundance of artists that have inspired – Chris Cunningham, Pipilotti Rist, Spike Jones and Luis Gispert are big ones.
Being so involved in music and art, where do you feel you fit in a city like Melbourne that’s packed full of people working in both those areas?
[Mish] I think naturally we fit in between the areas, I mean friendships belongs to both visual and sonic art, so we’re spread over two worlds. It’s funny, it can sometimes prove difficult to execute our ideas, but for the most part it’s a good challenge, and we are realising what a broad spectrum of possibilities there are.
Your latest track “2 Reel” is great, what was it like working with Null?
[Nic] He’s a dickhead and impossible to work with… lolz. Not really he’s a total legend, and he lives just down the road so it’s easy. We have very different styles, so it’s interesting and exciting to bring it all together and see how things fit. He’s probably better at synthesis, but I’m way funnier.
What’s next for you guys?
[Nic] Pretty busy ATM, by the end of the year we’ll have released our debut album, gone on a US and European tour and done at least three bucket bong.