November 08 2018

In the Moment with Francis Harris

New York-Le Bain
We chat with New York artist Francis Harris, as he celebrates the release of his third album 'Trivial Occupations' on Friday, November 16th at Le Bain.
LE BAIN: We love the new album. What’s your state of mind, just one week after releasing Trivial Occupations
FRANCIS HARRIS: There's always a bit of a lull after seeing something released as it was something that consumed my mind for a while, but it's funny how the older you get, the less the impact. I just try to stay in the moment, suspend any expectation for reception and just move on to the next idea. 

You told XLR8R “my music will always be somewhat melancholic. Even before this as an emo punk kinda guy, my music has always drawn to melancholy.” Besides melancholy what did you keep from those 'emo punk’ days? 
I think a desire to embrace countercultural movements and a general fuck you to a world that perpetuates a dialectic between those who are selling and those who are buying. 

"I feel strongly that we all need to get involved in the present."
Speaking about counter-culture, you have said “Today to be part of a counter-cultural movement [as dance music], one has to embrace responsibility rather than the opposite.” I have the impression that we see some change in that direction in the NY scene, do you agree?
It's really refreshing to see a renewed energy in this respect in our community especially, but this comment isn't necessarily just directed at our scene. It's more of a general outlook. I think we are living in dangerous times, with people connected to their Vanity devices without any real connection to what is going on around them. It's easy to get lost and lose sight that your actions at every moment have an undeniable impact. Counterculture used to, in a way, be a swing in the direction of social abandonment. I think we don't have that luxury anymore. There's no more room for what's best for "me", as the planet is in trouble and the political landscape is at a tipping point. I feel strongly that we all need to get involved in the present, which means understanding the issues that affect our communities and actively getting involved in being part of the solution rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting for shit to happen. 

Your music has been described as “not quite deep house and not quite ambient”. Would you say you produce music at a human pace?
That's an interesting analog. I never thought of it that way. I'm not sure I can even really categorize my approach as it differs per project. I'm making Ambient Shoegaze guitar music with Aris Kindt, Detroit influences house with Frank&Tony and I suppose a lot different styles for my solo projects, but indeed that project leans heavily in the ambient/neoclassical direction. 
Francis Harris "Minor Forms"

You said “To me, the record is still for the dance floor, but it’s just a different kind of dance floor.” Can you describe your ideal dance floor situation?
Dancers dancing with each other and not staring at the DJ. The DJ is secondary to the situation. The music and the people are what matter. 

On Friday, November 16th, you will be sharing Le Bain's booth with Christine Renée. Tell us about your connection to Christine.
I'm a big fan of her energy, activism, and musical selection. I think she's incredibly talented and open-minded, bringing a unique vibe to each of her sets. 

The NY marathon is here. Two years ago, Gilles Peterson played at Le Bain after running the it. He told us he never wears headphones on the run because “music sounds so much better after.” As a runner yourself, do you agree?
When I ran NYC last year I had a whole playlist ready. In the end, I only listened to music on the bridges. It simply felt too good to hear all the people and their remarkable energy to hide behind a music playlist. That said, while training, I actually use the time to take a break from music. I usually listen to books on Audible. 

On Friday, November 16th, Le Bain presents Francis Harris
with Christine Renée | 10pm | The Standard, High Line