Friendships is the audio-visual collaboration between musician Nic Brown and artist Misha Grace. They create a visceral experience: dark, dissonant and compelling, and best served live. They’ve supported Erykah Badu, Thundercat and Purity Ring, and are fresh from releasing new record Nullarbor 1988–¬1989 – on which every electronic track comes with its own visual response. Named for the stretch of land that separates the duo’s respective hometowns of Footscray in Melbourne and Jerramungup, WA, the project is a “clash and mash” of these worlds, says Brown.
Broadsheet: Tell us what the title of your record Nullarbor 1988–1989 means to you. Misha Grace: The Nullarbor Plain resonates with me as a rural Australian, but I feel it's symbolic of our art. Harsh, intense and dissonant. Sparse open-endedness. Beautiful and barren. No rules. It's the perfect conceptual backdrop to what we are trying to achieve audio-visually.
Nic Brown: We are bringing our version of our modern, diverse Australia and setting it thematically within conceptual outback Australia. We live in clubs but Mish and I come from completely different backgrounds, we wanted this album to be honest and encompass both our past and present.
BS: Can you tell me a bit about how you bring the audio-visual element to life on stage, and what do you drive for in your shows? MG: In its most basic explanation, Nic does the music live, I do projections live. There are parts that are completely improvised, and there are other sections that are very rehearsed. But the 'AV' aspect of our stage show also comes through movement, performance and attire. It all ties in together. We are very honest on stage, and we have grown into it by playing lots, fucking up, succeeding, and learning where our comfortable place is. For us it's not really about creating pleasantries: we are not here for you to have a cute time, we want to get to the grit of you – of us. That’s what we are chasing, the guts. I think the glory lies there.
Fantasy support slot – any artist, any era, anywhere? MG: Omggggggggggg Prince, but I'm not worthy. NB: I'm not really huge on sport. However, I really quite like boxing. I know most see it as a brute sport but I see it as a choice. The boxer chooses to enter the ring and exercise their finesse and skill. I would love to set the scene audio-visually for a bare-knuckle boxing match.
Tour dates: Melbourne Thu October 27 – Howler, Brunswick (album launch) Mon October 31 – New Guernica, Melbourne
Sydney Fri November 4 – Oxford Arts Factory, Darlinghurst (album launch)
Brisbane Sat November 19 – The Foundry, Fortitude Valley