Interview | The Kite String Tangle
Image: AAP/Joel Carrett
The Kite String Tangle (aka Danny Hurley) first came onto the radar in 2012, with his dreamy electronic tunes gaining airplay on Triple J and getting him booked on national festivals like Groovin the Moo. It’s taken a few years, but his self-titled debut was finally released in July and it was well worth the wait. I had a chat with him about the record, touring and more.
First I wanted to talk about your debut album that came out about a month ago. How did it feel to finally have that out?
It took a bit longer than expected so it feels pretty bloody great to have it out there to be honest. I couldn’t wait to have it out, it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I feel like it was something that mentally I needed to get out just to move past it so I’m super pumped for everyone to be able to hear what I’ve been hearing for the past year or two.
It’s been pretty well received. What’s your favourite thing someone has said about the album?
What I’ve been liking is a lot of people have a lot of different favourite tracks, which is cool. There’s not like a clear standout track and the rest are filler, and that’s what’s I was trying to do. I think all of the tracks have come up by someone at least, so that’s really cool.
Which one do you think is your favourite track?
Depends what mood I’m in! There’s one really personal and vulnerable one, ‘Know By Now’, which is a favourite of mine, and then maybe ‘The Devil You Know’.
Did you think of any other album names before you settled on a self-titled debut?
Yeah we had a few, it was going to be called ‘Waiting’ for a while which is the opening track of the album and was just kind of relevant. It kind of felt right to go with a self-titled because it had become such a huge milestone and it took so long, and a lot of artists I really like have called their first record a self-titled record so I thought it was a cool thing to do.
Your set at Splendour in the Grass this year was insane. What’s it like to play at festivals like Splendour?
It’s unreal. That’s the second time I’ve gotten to play Splendour in the Grass, it’s like my favourite festival in Australia. I’ve been there more times than I’ve played and it’s just incredible. It’s humbling and a real moment as an artist when you get to walk on stage to all these people and they know your songs.
Did you manage to catch any of the other acts there, and which one was your favourite?
I definitely did manage to catch some of the other acts. I’d been hanging out to see The XX for a long time, I’ve got all their vinyls and am a huge fan of theirs, so that was an obvious highlight. I think I was the only person who had adequately prepared for the cold as well so I was having a great time. I also caught Sigur Rós.
How does performing with a band change your set compared to what you might have been doing before?
It frees me up a little bit. The previous stuff I was writing it all by myself in my bedroom and it felt like the most honest way to take that to the stage was by myself. I was doing that for a long time, but there’s just too much to do and it makes me feel like an octopus with my arms flailing around. So having a few extra hands on stage allows me to take the mic off and go for a bit of a wander and connect with people a bit more. I can focus on what I’m doing and try to do just that. It also makes it a more dynamic experience, especially with the drums and the energy of the whole band up there. I feel like it takes it to the next level.
Are you more excited to be doing your own tour or to be supporting people like Odesza and London Grammar?
I guess they serve different purposes. I think I’d be more excited to do my own headline shows because then I get to perform to people who bought tickets just to see me and know the songs, and I feel like we’ll make a stronger connection. The other shows will be so much fun and I’ll get to play to big crowds but there’s a sense of having to prove yourself and convert people to the way of The Kite String Tangle. They’ll be so epic though, and I get to watch my favourite bands so that’s a little perk.
What’s your favourite thing about going on tour?
The pace of the touring lifestyle is really good. You’re always busy, you don’t get bored or left alone with your thoughts.
Have you got any touring horror stories?
I think I’ve been pretty lucky…there was this one time I was coming back from London to Australia. I’d been touring in the States then went to the UK to do some shows, and I had a gig when I got back to Australia. They charged me thousands of dollars in excess baggage because I had all my gear, and I was travelling by myself. It was just some special rule they have in Heathrow Airport and I had no other choice but to pay thousands of dollars in excess baggage.
You started a record label this year, and your first signees Golden Vessel and Lastlings are incredible. How did you manage to land those guys as your first acts?
They’d kind of been on the radar for a while and I’d been watching them. I started the label with my management and then I know their management and so we all just got together and talked it out. They liked the idea of having the support of the label and the project so it was fairly natural and we were able to see eye to eye in what we could offer each other. It felt pretty good to have those two as the first acts, they were my ideal two and we got them so I was super stoked.
Anything we can expect from the label in the next little while?
I reckon we’ll have another act signed by the end of the month, hopefully.
What are your plans for after the tour wraps up?
I’m doing a lot of writing now before the tour, and then straight after the tour I’m going on holidays for a couple of weeks, so that’s the current plan. I’ve got a couple of things for earlier next year though. There’s things going on for sure.
This interview originally appeared on Blitz UNSW.