With the recent release of his solo debut album ‘Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down’, the UK bass aficionado Josh Harvey aka Hervé took the time to chat with me about what went on in the studio and behind the emerald curtain. I was lucky enough to get some incredible insight, breaking down the wide spectrum of electronic music that encompassed its production and the Hervé sound as a whole. As you’ll find out below, we timed this right to be on course with the next album single release (and our personal favorite) ‘Night Turns Into Day.’ Read on, and you might just get a free remix if you’re lucky….
Read The Interview + Free Download (after the jump)
GDD: Josh Harvey! The man the myth! With probably the most anticipant release for you yet, how does it feel to have your solo debut album “Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down” finally being completed? Is it a milestone?
Hervé: It’s great. I’ve been trying to start work on it for the last 5 years but so much has been happening I just didn’t get a chance. It’s really great to finally get it out there.
GDD: The last time we interviewed you it was in 2010 right after The Count & Sinden album release. What’s so exciting about your solo album that gives you a different feeling then when you finished MEGA MEGA MEGA?
Hervé: With the Count and Sinden album we always wanted to give it a world bass music kind of feel with a few urban sounds mixed in. Herve is just me doing my own sound. It embodies all the sounds, styles and vibes that people may know me for from the past few years but in a more up to date version.
GDD: Speaking of your alias The Count… You’ve had many monikers from Action Man, Voodoo Chilli, to The Young Lovers. Is the release of your Herve album the graduation of all those side projects and a real shine of light on where it all stems from?
Hervé: Well Herve is the root and where it all stems from. It’s essentially me whilst all the others are different musical masks I wear over the Herve “face.” I’ve wanted to make this album for ages but other musical projects got in the way.
GDD: Let’s talk about the tracks on the album. You display a greatly varied spectrum of production, from melodic club pop to your signature house synths and slimy basslines. Was your vision to display the many forms of electronic music that embody your production? Or everything that your personally into as a music lover?
Hervé: Yes, totally. It was very much about showing my style and all that encompasses it. I really wanted to push the melodic side alongside the bass side and bring the two together. I also wanted to bring an electronica feel to tracks like “Bike Ride In June” and “Mirror”. The album is mostly up-tempo as I wanted to do that kind of album with a few lighter and shadier tracks to balance it out. The next album will be more of a listening experience for want of a better phrase but there will be loads more ghetto, bass, club EPs released around it too. Then my club side and my more artistic sides can both come out at the same time!
GDD: Feeding on the various sounds in your album, ‘Bike Ride In June’ is a dream in its own, really spacing itself from your harder production and reflecting an almost ‘kaleidoscopic’ or summer time feel to it. Was it fun doing something this ambient and different?
Hervé: I’m very glad you have picked up on that track. That and Mirrors (feat Steve Mason) are two of my favourite tracks from the album. I’ve always done stuff like this but its not until you have the freedom of an album that it’s worth putting it out there. When you put something like this on an EP it gets lost as people are always looking for club tracks. It was very important to put these tracks on this album, as I feel people haven’t seen the full breadth of what I can do and what I’m into. It was amazing fun its also an indicator of where my next album is going, which will be a kind of companion album to this one. I actually have some tracks completed already with some truly great guests. There’s also a really cool video for ‘Bike Ride In June’ which I can’t wait to show you guys! It was really great fun doing that track.
GDD: From what I understand that track also inspired Frankmusik to write ‘Better Than A BMX,’ the single for the album. Did this make for studio chemistry and what was the real inspiration?
Hervé: Yes, that’s true. I played him ‘Bike Ride…’ when it was originally entitled ‘BMX Bike Ride In June’ and he wanted to write on that but I already written the piano parts for “Better Than A BMX” and wanted his big voice on that. He went back to LA and wrote it over the next couple of weeks.
GDD: On top of that, what was like working with so many great vocalists like Steve Mason and Ronika? Was it love at first session? Or was there any struggle?
Hervé: No struggle at all. I had been sending ideas to Steve and on the third one he got an idea for it. He came down from Scotland and we did it in a day. It was pretty amazing working with him as the Beta Band ‘3 EPs’ album is a one of my favourites and I think his solo album is equally brilliant. I was introduced to Ronika through a friend and just immediately liked her. She’s got a great vibe as a person and I immediately could hear from her music she had real talent. I was so pleased with what she did, it came out so great!
GDD: Our personal favorite track on the album is ‘Night Turns Into Day.’ From the haunting vocal to the anthemic chords, it is a masterpiece that we feel encompasses the Hervé sound we’ve come to love over the years. Tell us how this track came to be and what went on behind closed doors to create this gem?
Hervé: Wow that’s great! It’s the next single guys! It’s one of my favourites, and was originally called ‘Be My Favourite Ghost’ so the haunting aspect you point out is well spotted. Again, another young girl I met through a friend called Charlotte, who’s another lovely person with a great voice. I think she really nailed the vibe of the song on this. I sent her the instrumental and she just went away to write the vocal then we got together and worked on it in the studio over a couple of sessions fine tuning the lyrics, the mix and constructing the middle eight. I really love this track and think Charlotte’s vocal is brilliant!
GDD: We see that your friends Detboi and Sinden have already done remixes for tracks on the album. Can we expect a “Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down” REMIX album? What about any upcoming remixes from yourself?
Hervé: Yes there will definitely be a remix album. There are just a couple more spots to fill and then it’ll be finished… Keep an eye out for it! I’ve been having great fun recently remixing the likes of Usher, Beyonce and the new Chiddy Bang song. Recently I remixed a great UK band called Seasfire (which u can grab for free at my Soundcloud). Going to be working with them in the very near future. Also just finished a remix of AWOLNATION – Sail for Red Bull Records. Also done some bits under secret names but lets keep that between me myself and I
GDD: And the final and most eager question we all have on this side of the pond – having completed you debut solo album, can we hope for a Hervé album tour in the US? We’ve been dying for it for over 5 years now… Eric Prydz just came by boat! haha
Hervé: It’s something I’m working hard towards!!! I would love so much to come over. I’m flying again now, just building up to the long haul flights. Hopefully I’ll do a test run to NY, LA, Las Vegas and San Fransisco later this year and do it proper in 2013!!!!
GDD: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us again on Gotta Dance Dirty, and we wish you the best of luck with the album release and your already outstanding career.
Hervé: Thanks so much for the interview guys!! I feel you really understood so many aspects of the album and why I was doing certain things – best questions yet!!
*Make sure you pick up Hervé’s full album ‘Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down’ out NOW on Cheap Thrills – and look out for the ‘Night Turns Into Day’ EP release coming out September 23rd. Grab the FREE Mighty Mouse Remix (below) to hold you over!