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Interview: Hervé

Jul 5 2012

Josh “Hervé” Harvey has gone by many aliases, including Speaker Junk (with Trevor Loveys), Count of Monte Cristal, Dead Soul Brothers (with Seba), and Young Lovers. Most notably perhaps is he work as a DJ/production duo with Sinden as The Count and Sinden. In my conversation with Josh, I avoided asking the oh-so-typical question about band name origin, but I can speculate that it’s a take on a Frenchman’s pronunciation of Josh’s last name, Harvey. If I’m wrong, then please correct me, but in the meantime I’ll continue trying to pronounce “Harvey” in a faux French accent.

Josh was initially catapulted into the blogosphere through Dave ‘Switch’ Taylor’s Dubsided label and since then it’s been nonstop bass. In 2008, Josh created his own label Cheap Thrills, which has been credited with launching the careers of the likes of Jack Beats and Fake Blood. Now it’s 2012 and Josh is debuting his first solo album under his Hervé moniker titled Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down. With the album’s 13 tracks, Josh employs the vocals from some electro-pop heavy hitters like Steve Mason and Ronika that gives the album an extra touch of dance floor sensibility. Check the rest of my chat with Josh below.

Nancy Lu: Can you tell me about your musical beginnings/background and how Hervé got started?
Josh Harvey: I met Dave Taylor through a mutual friend in 2005. We were talking a lot about how conservative dance music had become and started playing a few tracks to each other. He ended up signing the first ep I sent him to Dubsided, which was a great start obviously! It all just snowballed really fast from there on in. I started Speaker Junk with Trevor Loveys and the Count and Sinden with Sinden, which all took off instantly too.

Nancy: Where do you see dance music going from here as far as sound, influence in the mainstream, etc?
Josh: I think that now America has woken up to the power of dance music it will stick around for a while (in pop and dominating the musical landscape) but I can see potential for a massive collapse as it could get ridiculously over-kill! What goes up must come down! It’s already getting a bit laughable in some quarters but I’m not bothered about underground/mainstream, I just like good music and making music.

Nancy: Why did you wait so long to release a full length album?
Josh: I had tried a few times but had so much other work going on I never fully got it going. Then The Count and Sinden thing blew up when we signed to Domino Records. It was awesome but I had to get stuck in and make that album which took 2 years. We had so much remix work and were djing all the time it took awhile to finish and we had a few set backs with singles which was disappointing. Once that was finally all out the way I had some time to get started on my first solo album.

Nancy: Can you tell me more about how Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down came about? Was there an overarching concept behind the album?
Josh: To start off with I wrote around 29-30 tracks… Kind of like sculpting, I then chipped off the excess tracks to reveal the 13 tracks that felt like the album. Beginning, middle, end. I’m really happy with it and just want to release it so people can go buy it and enjoy it! I managed to get Steve Mason to guest on a track, which was quite a big deal for me! For those that don’t know, he was the lead singer in the Beta Band. 3 eps is one of my favourite albums.

Nancy: What are you listening to right now that you think we should get into?
Josh: I love this song by Outer Limits: 

I would love to work with him; he used to be in Testicicles! It’s on Weird World, which is a great label (part of Domino Records). 

Nancy: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Josh: My single “How Can I Live Without You (Make It Right)” feat Ronika, is out 15th of July and my album ‘Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down,’ is out July 23rd.