COSMO’S MIDNIGHT FAULT MAGAZINE INTERVIEW

Let’s get this out into the open straightaway: Cosmo’s Midnight is a banger addict’s dream come true. With their full-length debut, What Comes Next, producer twins Cosmo and Patrick Liney are here to enable you.

Once scrappy upstarts in Australia’s beat-making scene, Cosmo’s Midnight has since become one of its finest electronic exports. The duo’s newly-released 12-track effort is dreamy, intoxicating, and complex—with the brotherly duo enlisting both local and international features to help bring their insatiable project to life, from L.A. rapper Buddy to Swedish wunderkind Tove Styrke, and Melbourne vocalist Woodes to Sydney’s six-piece Winston Surfshirt. Libidinal R&B (“Lowkey”), heartbreak disco (“Talk To Me”), cloud rap (“Where You Been”), near-instrumentals (“Polarised”), and sultry come-ons (“History”)—their tightly curated, summery, feel-good songs are all here for the taking.

The album dropped ahead of their Australia/New Zealand tour, which kicked off in July, and the fellas are now on the Asian leg of their tour before heading off to Europe next month. FAULT caught up with Cos and Pat at their show last week in Seoul, South Korea to discuss the music, the inspirations, and their journey to her.

Interview: Kee Chang

Photography: Jordan Kirk.

What Comes Next is incredibly addictive. Did it exceed your personal, creative expectations?

Patrick Liney: I think it definitely exceeded our expectations. At the very start of the process, we just couldn’t see the end and we were finding along the way what we really wanted to do with it. Looking back now, I’m really glad we ended up where we did. Three years ago, when we were writing the first demos for the album, I don’t think we—

Cosmo Liney: It was stabbing in the dark.

Patrick: With a lot of the album, it wasn’t like we went in like, “This is exactly what we’re gonna make.” We were figuring it out over three years and piecing together all these bits. So it wasn’t an album like, “This is the concept and we’re gonna smash it out in two months.” When we finished it and looked back, it sort of made sense that it was a combination of all these different things that influenced us growing up, up until the point that we became producers and musicians.

Cosmo: We feel really lucky to have had it work out, especially with a lot of the things that happened in the process. It was very fortunate because they may not have happened. For example, when we sampled N.E.R.D./Pharrell, that could’ve not happened.

Patrick: Yeah, they might not have cleared it.

Cosmo: A lot of the features were very difficult to get and hard to maintain contacts for.

Patrick: For example, we’d get a sick verse from a rapper and you just wouldn’t hear from them for like six months. You’re like, “This demo is so sick. Let’s finish it off,” and then they hit you back like, “Here’s a finished song.”

Cosmo: We’re very used to writing songs in the studio with the person and getting the songs made that way. A lot of this album was done over the Internet.

Patrick: Yeah, just emailing back and forth with ideas and stuff.

Cosmo: We’re just really glad it came together and that it’s something we can be proud of for our first album.

Patrick: Again, with a lot of the songs, we never met who wrote on them so a lot of it feels like we have this connection with the people we haven’t met yet. We wrote that song with Jay Prince and Buddy as well.

Those guys worked independently from each other as well, right?

Patrick:  Yeah, yeah. Then there’s Boogie, Winston Surfshirt, and Tove Styrke. Panama is from Sydney so and that was good for the process. I feel like we write our best music like that.

Cosmo: It’s easier to write like that.

Patrick: It’s definitely a challenge to work over emails. You can’t be like, “Change that take,” and stuff like that because it just takes too long, whereas in the studio you can change so much in a minute.

What was it like curating what ultimately ended up on the album? Are there a lot of unused demos?

Patrick: So, so, so much. The album has 12 tracks including the interlude, but I think we had somewhere around 50-ish demos.

Cosmo: And a lot of them were good. It was about finding—

Patrick: What works. There were songs that we really liked that we kind of put on hold. They just wouldn’t have worked for the album. We’re saving them for something later, further down the line. We sort of curated the album four months out of release like, “This is the final ones,” and then we went out and finished all the tracks after that. You always have the “What if?” in your head like, “What if we did this song instead? What if I tweaked this song forever?” which is why it’s good we didn’t mix it ourselves. This is the first project we’ve not mixed ourselves. I mixed all of our previous singles up until “Get to Know.” We brought in this incredible mixing engineer, George Nicholas, on board. He’s from this band called Seekae. Sometimes when you’ve been working on a song so closely for so long, you get tunnel vision. You need someone who’s objectively looking at it like, “I know what’s best for this song.” When I mix my own stuff, I don’t know what to change: “Am I making it worse or am I making it better?”

Cosmo: You just don’t know. You kind of lose track of the entire thing.

Patrick: We often come up with ideas really quickly and take a long time to finish it because all the details take a long time.

Is there any validity to artists who say that the songs that come together fast are usually the best cuts?

Cosmo: There’s no really right or wrong way to do it, but I think you can’t argue that when you write something that quickly and something that feels so right, you’ve kind of hit a nerve in some way.

Patrick: And you can only hit it every now and then. A lot of the times, you’re banging your head like, “Come on! Come out, song!” Then sometimes it happens without you even doing much and it sort of writes itself. It’s super weird. It feels really good when it’s effortless.

You guys came to play a show in South Korea just around this time last year, right?

Patrick: We did.

You were just in Singapore and headed to Thailand tomorrow. Are the vibes glaringly different?

Patrick: Oh, it’s so vast.

Cosmo: Even in Australia, it’s so different between cities. I don’t know what that comes down to at all.

Patrick: Cultural differences and like—

Cosmo: Just how much it’s different, though.

Patrick: Yeah, it’s insane. Playing in Singapore yesterday was kind of a shock. I couldn’t believe that people came to see us play in Singapore. It was really cool. Then you have the different crowd vibes. The crowd here in Seoul—at Soap anyways—they go crazy. [Laughs] At least at our last show, it was so much fun. We’ve played in China and other places where they’re more reserved.

Cosmos: They’ll politely enjoy the show and come up to you afterwards like, “That was amazing! I had so much fun!” and you’re like, “Really?” But they really did. They just didn’t show it.

What do you prefer?

Patrick: Obviously, the instant gratification of everyone sort of jumping around is really fun. But a lot of the times, we also go and talk to people after the show to see what they thought or just to say “Hi.” Hearing what they thought of the show is where you feel good. Some people just don’t like dancing and drinking or whatever—it’s not necessarily their vibe. There are different flavors. As long as they enjoyed it, that’s all that matters to me. At the end of the day, if they have a good time, then we have a good time. If someone’s not having a good time, me and Cosmo will not have a good time and it would just spiral. If everyone’s having a good time, it spirals in the reverse way.

Cosmos: Upwards.

One of the things that seems to come up a lot when you’re asked about your early influences is your older brother Nik who really turned you onto music, as older siblings tend to do. Is he shocked by how much you took to music and how far you’ve come?

Patrick: I think so.

Cosmo: None of us were prepared for what would happen. None of us really knew that we’d be touring and playing around the world and stuff. To him, being our brother, I think it’s just more shocking because he knows us so well. To see it happening is really surprising for him.

Patrick: It’s weird. And he lives in London so he has this outsider’s perspective. Even though he’s our brother, he sees a lot of stuff through—

Cosmo: He won’t be at the shows, but he’ll see recaps or photos or something.

Patrick: We’re gonna go over to Europe next month so we’re gonna hang out and he’ll come to some of the shows. I don’t think he’s seen us play in a super long time—it’ll be cool to hang out. We’re really close, even though we don’t see each other that much. He’s only two years older than us so we’re pretty close in years as well.

What Comes Next is an interesting title for your debut album because it sounds prophetic. It seems to really set you up for what’s to come after this work.

Patrick: Yeah, it’s kind of cool because it’s acknowledging that it’s our debut effort—a launchpad for all the things that can come afterward. It’s prophetic in like a hopeful sense. It’s a prediction. At the same time, it acknowledges all the stuff that built up to this point as well. When we’re talking about our album and our process, we’re referring back to when we were kids. On the album cover, the artwork is based off a collage of all these photos of us from when we were little. We’ll be sitting in different rooms in our family house and my dad would be playing vinyls to us. They’re basically three things: Switch-On Bach, which is like a Minimoog version of all these Bach songs. Then he’d play us Jim Hall’s Undercurrent, which is this jazz-guitar album that I heard a million times. Also, a lot of disco as well. At the time, we were like, “Ugh—I hate this so much.” But then, you know, as you start getting into music, you come to appreciate it. My mom and dad would email us all this music like, “You listened to this when you were little! Don’t you remember it?” It’s like, “Holy shit. We’re really just a product of our parents.” They totally put us into this shit without us knowing. Then you’re like, “Cool.” [Laughs] I’m happy for it. That’s sort of what the album is about. It’s all these things that have coalesced and shaped us into musicians and just as people in general. We’re sort of filtering that through our experiences into a musical format. So a lot of the inspirations behind the album is super far and wide. There’s a lot of the disco stuff like Chic and Nile Rodgers. There’s some jazzy elements as well on a few tracks. Then there’s like 2000s R&B and Hip-Hop that we listen to a lot. Recently, we came back to Pharrell’s stuff and Timbaland and N.E.R.D. and The Neptunes and stuff. Then there are new inspirations—we listen to so much stuff. Lately, we’ve been listening to BadBadNotGood, The Internet, Blood Orange…

Cosmo: It’s obviously a big one. I just love Kaytranada for the fact that he can still sound like he’s got enough going on, even though he has such a specific sound.

Patrick: It’s just what’s really minimal about it that’s really full. We learned a lesson listening to all these artists we like where they do a lot with little. A lot of people will try to—us included—fill in the album’s gaps and stuff by adding more layers and details, but often, you just have to get rid of that and just make the initial sound bigger. You can write a really good, incredibly dense song with just 10 layers, whereas when we were starting out we’d do like 100+ tracks and it would just get super dense and get to be a nightmare to mix. This album was about paring back from that and going back to the fundamentals—just really focusing on the core things that make a song great to us. It’s about what we really like about the song and not over embellishing it and trying to keep it to “This is what works.” If it gets overdone, when we finally know that we’ve worked a song too hard, we can stop and pull back a bit and then send it off to George so he can just mix it. It’s good—we finally figured it out. The funnest part of writing a song is like the first day and the rest is hard, meticulous work where you’re concentrated but not necessarily creative. You’re just working at that point and it doesn’t feel fun.

What is your FAULT?

Patrick: Maybe I’m too meticulous—to a fault. I’m too overanalyzed and too self-critical and detailed.

Cosmo: My fault is that I’m the opposite of that. I don’t bring enough control to what I do. It’s too off-kilter to what we’re trying to do.

Patrick: So it kind of works out.

The yin and yang.

Cosmo: It’s totally feng shui.

Patrick: Cosmo brings the vibe and I bring the technicality to it.

For more information on COSMO’S MIDNIGHT, including tour dates, head over to www.cosmos-Midnight.com.

A special thanks to Astral People and SOAP Seoul.

Olivia Holt cover shoot for FAULT Issue 29 Screen section

Olivia Holt X FAULT Magazine

Olivia Holt - FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Screen section cover

Photography: Benjo Arwas | Styling: Courtnee Scully @lalaluxe | Make-up: Tonya Brewer | Hair: David Stanwell @thewallgroup | Post-production: Nadia Selander | Director of Photography: Scott Smith | Editor: The Pioneers | Production: Kiley Coleman | Thank You to Saksfifthavenue.com

By most standards, actress and musical performer Olivia Holt appears to be on the precipice of a career breakthrough.  With her new role as Dagger in Marvel’s latest superhero incarnation, Cloak and Dagger, alongside co-star Aubrey Joseph, the 20-year old, Mississippi-bred talent is very quickly establishing herself as an on-screen force with the talent and fortitude to portray characters substantially more complex than audiences have previously seen from her.

In addition to her new show, Holt has been working daily on writing and recording her brand of music, which she describes as pop that pays homage to her soulful, Southern roots. The success of her recent single, ‘Generous’, which gained one million views in just five days after its release in late 2017, should serve as teaser to fans of what to expect.

Holt recently took the time to talk with FAULT about the new show and her unguarded approach to her career and to life.

FAULT: Can you remember the very first performance you ever put on for an audience?
Olivia Holt: It was an audience of four as a kid: my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister. That lasted for a very long time until they were totally over me forcing them to sit down and watch me perform. But, I’d say for like a legit audience the first thing I ever did was ‘Annie,’ I think. I played an orphan and I loved every second of it.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Full shoot and interview available exclusively in FAULT Magazine Issue 29 – available to pre-order now!

How did you prepare for the role of Tandy?
Olivia Holt: Tandy has a lot of layers. She’s not just one note. She is a cynical human being. A lot has happened to her and she experienced something very traumatic as a child and is sort of living in survival mode and with that a comes lot of responsibility. She’s sort of the parent in her mother-daughter relationship. She’s having to take care of everything and everyone around her and I think that’s a lot for a teenager to deal with. So she have a lot on her plate.

I would remember being a physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of some of the days just because of some of the stuff that Tandy is dealing with, whether that be her relationship with her mother, or addiction, or sexual assault. So, preparing was not an easy thing, and I think I’m still preparing. But, I think she was learning and so I was learning too. We were sort of finding where we fit in our lives. That was that was an interesting journey to go on.

How was it like working with your co-star Aubrey Joseph?
Olivia Holt: He is a gem of a human being. He is just so down to earth, talented — a great scene partner but an even better friend and I feel so grateful to work with somebody who has this insane work ethic and who is genuinely nice and so passionate, not just about his character but  about the story that his character and my character share. I just think we have an awesome, special connection and the fact that both of us get to tell that story is so surreal, and I think we’re both forever grateful for it. But, I love working with him.

What can we expect from you musically later this year?
Holt: I’ve been in the studio almost every single day writing and recording this year. I actually feel like I’ve been able to prioritize music rather than bouncing around and trying to balance both acting and music. This year has really been focused on honing in on the music and making sure that I’m involved in putting in the work to find my sound and, lyrically, what I want to do. And, it’s been an incredible journey just exploring all of that. I have a few things coming up this year that I’m really excited for people to hear.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

How would you describe your overall sound and what are some of your influences, musically?
Holt: I’m making pop records but I grew up in the South so I’m very drawn to organic instruments. So there’s a little bit of soul, a little bit of alternative — it’s artistic and cool and it just really showcases my energy and my personality and the way I talk. They are all stories coming from my real life experiences or things that I want to experience. So it’s all very personal and vulnerable and that’s my creative outlet for my specific headspace, in hopes that people are going to be able to relate and feel things when they hear my music.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

What is your FAULT?
Olivia Holt: Acting and music are my creative outlets. It’s a way for me to escape and a way for me to be vulnerable and have that space to connect with people. But I want the projects that I work on and the music that I make to move people and make them feel alive and to keep curious and to thrive and to live so fiercely… I want to change people for the better and I want them to live a fulfilled life and hopefully I can do that through what I love to do. I want to create an environment for people to feel wanted and loved. I think that’s my fault.

~

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Asos (@asos) white satin dress
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Asos (@asos) white satin dress
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Hat is stylist’s own

 

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Hat is stylist’s own

 

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Daniel Bruhl covers our Film section inside FAULT Issue 28

Daniel Bruhl – FAULT Issue 28

 

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Photographer – Udo Spreitzenbarth
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Words: Alex Bee

You might call Brühl an Actor-demic: his performances as an actor are always backed up by extensive, academic-level research. For his role in American period drama ‘The Alienist’, Brühl studied. Hard. The intelligent star, known for his credits in Good Bye Lenin!, Rush and Inglorious Basterds, embodies pioneering criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler in the eight-part series.

FAULT: How did you prepare for your role in ‘The Alienist’?
Daniel Bruhl: I didn’t know the book before but it’s one of those that you cannot put away. I felt like a 12 year old with a book and a torch under the blanket. I read it very quickly and was immediately fascinated by the world that Caleb Carr [the author] created, about each of the characters and the fact that it’s the beginning of so many things at the time that are so important now. My wife [psychologist Felicitas Rombold] put me in touch with criminal psychologists and I’d read a lot about these famous psychologists at the time the story is set. I also read books about New York in the late 1800s just to get an idea of how that place was back in the day.

What do you think makes the series so successful in telling the story of the time?
Daniel Bruhl: What helped tremendously was the passion that was put into that show in recreating the time because its so real and so authentic. When we were working on it we didn’t feel that it was fake, which sometimes can happen if there’s not enough energy and money and passion on a project. I come from movies, and when I was young when I would read a script for a period film and it would say there will be 500 extras and 50 characters and on the day you have one carriage, an old donkey and three extras and then you are supposed to recreate the magic – it just doesn’t work! What was very nice was the chemistry and the friendship we had. Dakota, Luke and I even spent most of our downtime together. Almost every weekend we met and I think that chemistry is something you cannot take for granted.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

What series have you been watching at the moment?
Daniel Bruhl: ‘Mindhunter’ [a Netflix series that explores similar developments in criminal psychology] is amazing. I was absolutely blown away by ‘The Handsmaid’s Tale’, it’s a masterpiece! I was very pleased to meet Elizabeth Moss at The SAG Awards, who I think is one of the best actresses around, and I was happy to be able to tell her how magnificent she is. I also spent some time with Matt Smith who is such a great guy and interesting in ‘The Crown’ portraying Phillip – I’m hooked on that show!

How do you find the time to keep up to date with the latest programmes?
Daniel Bruhl: I always find the time! I have a couple of days where I can watch shows in my downtime or I’ll watch them when I’m travelling on the plane.

What was it like working on the third installment in the ‘Cloverfield’ series, which unexpectedly hit devices all over the world after a surprise announcement during a Superbowl ad break?
Daniel Bruhl: It was such a great ensemble. It was interesting because you have astronauts from all over the world and they managed to get all these wonderful actors from different countries, so the opportunity to work with them all was really great. Also, it was something really different for me as I am usually always travelling back in time and this was the first time that I’d actually explored the future.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

How does working on an – equally cinematic – series compare to a film?
Daniel Bruhl: It’s the luxury of time that you have. You don’t feel so restricted as you do when working on a movie when sometimes you feel that pressure. To have that privilege of 10 hours a day and 100 shooting days with one character and the ability to explore the character to the core is very rewarding.

As a pacifist, how do you find taking on roles that are often borne from a conflict?
Daniel Bruhl: That’s whats fascinating about our job as actors: to try and get into the skin and the head of somebody who is different.

What bands or artists are you listening to at the moment?
Daniel Bruhl: There’s a band called War on Drugs that I’m listening to lately and someone from the US called Francis and The Lights. Also Roosevelt, Sigur Ros and Alt-J. There is a lot of great music here in Berlin too with artists and DJs like Frank Wiedemann, Henrik Schwarz and David August – I can highly recommend coming to Berlin for clubbing.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

 

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HAIM announce UK & EU Summer tour dates

Fresh from their Best International Band win at Wednesday’s NME Awards and their nomination for Best International Group at next week’s BRITs, FAULT Favourites HAIM have announced their UK & EU summer touring schedule with a glorious Spice Girls tribute at London’s Alexandra Palace:

The FAULT Issue 15 stars released their sophomore record, Something to Tell You, last year as an eagerly awaited follow-up to the sound of our Summer 2013, Days Are Gone. The latter has since gone on to be recognised as one of the best albums of the decade so far. Something to Tell You also made the Top 10 charts in both the UK (#2) and the US.

The LA trio’s UK & EU tour dates follow on from a 21-date US leg of the ‘Sister Sister Sister’ tour, which includes a spot at both weekends of Coachella festival on Saturday April 14th and April 21st. Their UK/EU tour will be bookended by appearances at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound on Friday June 1st, following their surprise late night appearance at the festival last year, and Lisbon’s Rock in Rio on June 23rd.

Haim announce UK & EU tour dates for Summer '18 - FAULT

The siblings’ UK & Ireland leg will kick off at Glasgow’s O2 Academy on June 10th, finishing up at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace on Friday June 15th. Tickets will go on sale from February 23rd, with a pre-sale from February 21st.

HAIM UK/EU dates:

Fri 1st June
Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound

Sun 3rd June
Milan, Italy – Fabrique

Mon 4th June
Zurich, Switzerland – X-tra

Tues 5th June
Cologne, Germany – E Werk

Thurs 7th June
Warsaw, Poland – Stodola

Fri 8th June
Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle

Sun 10th June
Glasgow, UK – O2 Academy

Mon 11th June
Manchester, UK – O2 Apollo

Tues 12th June
Dublin, Ireland – Olympia

Fri 15th June
London, UK – Alexandra Palace

Mon 18th June
Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso

Tues 19th June
Copenhagen, Denmark – Tap1

Weds 20th June
Stockholm, Sweden – Annexet

Thurs 21st June
Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene

Sat 23rd June
Lisbon, Portugal – Rock in Rio

Get your tickets via http://www.haimtheband.com

 Something To Tell You is out now on Polydor Records

‘Artificial Light’ by Frederick Wilkinson – Exclusive Fashion editorial for FAULT Online

Top- Minan Wong
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Jared Harris: Exclusive FAULT Magazine Issue 27 interview & photoshoot

Jared Harris

“Acting… it’s playing, isn’t it? That’s what’s great about the job. If you don’t enjoy playing then why would someone enjoy watching you do it?”

Jared Harris for FAULT Magazine Issue 27

Photographer | Osvaldo Ponton
Stylist + Art Director | Chaunielle Brown
Groomer | Scott McMahan @ Kate Ryan
Set Designer | Lauren Bahr @ Kate Ryan
Photo Assistants | Nicasio Andrade + Xiangyun Chen
Fashion Assistants | Francis Harris + Ariane Velluire

A far cry from the typical, theatrical masks sputtering their pre-fabricated phrases, Jared Harris is a poised and reflective interviewee. As we banter about Brexit, Boris, and all that bullshit, there’s no suggestion that he’s keen to move things along in the direction of some scripted lines about his next role.

It’s a little surprising that he isn’t fervently plugging what promises to be another significant milestone in his storied career: the role of Absalom Breakspear in Amazon’s 2019 series ‘Carnival Row’. After all, the show reportedly has an enormous budget, stars eye-widening leads in Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevigne, and has been put together largely by his former college pal, René Echevarria. But it’s clear that Jared’s been around the block a few times. When he speaks, it’s with the assurance of someone who knows that the next role is never very far away. And it’s reassuring to get the sense that he’s treating our interview with the same sense of enjoyment as he has the rest of his career to date. It’s all part of the job, after all, so you might as well make the most of it…

FAULT: Tell us about your current project [AMC’s ‘The Terror’]

Jared Harris: The job’s great. It’s sort of special, really: the showrunner is a friend of mine from Duke University, so I’ve known him for a really long time. My younger brother’s on it as well, so I get to work with him. That’s always been a personal goal of mine.

The show itself is really well written, and that’s always the first question that one asks: how’s the script?

Jared Harris for FAULT Magazine Issue 27

There’s often a temptation to qualify actors based on a role call of who they’ve worked with – and you’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the business (Tarantino, Soderbergh, Guy Ritchie, David Fincher etc). How important is that to you? To what extent do you take jobs based on the personnel vs the project?

First of all, it’s the script. That said, when I was starting out – and I’ve kept some of those scripts – I remember reading Dracula (by Francis Ford Coppola) and thinking what a load of old tosh it was! It was almost softcore porn – there were a lot of scenes with girls in flimsy blouses getting their boobs out, and I thought to myself, “What on earth is he doing this for? It’s just dreadful!” But then, of course, you go to see the movie and you think, “wow!”

That’s when I got my first education in dealing with really great directors. You just don’t know what they’re going to do with the project. You have to assume that, with films in particular, it’s almost like a lump of clay. Not quite, because scripts are never entirely shapeless, but the great directors fully intend to reshape the material. That was true when I worked on Natural Born Killers. I read the original Tarantino script and it was completely different to the final film as it was directed by Oliver Stone. So, with films in particular, the director is almost more important than the script.

That said, it’s very difficult to improve a bad script. The shape and the structure has to be there to begin with, otherwise no-one really knows what they’re supposed to be doing. You’ve just got so many people trying to tell a story: the costume designers, the cinematographer… the script is the starting point for all of them.

Jared Harris for FAULT Magazine Issue 27

On that note, what level of influence do you – as an actor – have when it comes to interpreting the script?

It really depends. There are so many different factors at play: what type of movie it is; who’s making it – is it studio or independent; who’s directing it; the size of your role… Generally speaking, if it’s a studio film and you’re not the lead, you have very little input at all and no-one’s really interested in hearing your opinion…! They all just want to cozy up to the movie star and stay there.

That said, when I was working on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows there was total collaboration with Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. What tends to happen with that sort of film is that the screenwriter is trying to deliver a fresh product – a new take on an old story – and then, during the endless period of noting (where studio executives give notes on the script), it tends to deviate back to something incredibly familiar. Or, to be blunt, something that you’ve seen a thousand times before…

The studios’ obsession is, “when in doubt, re-state the plot.” Tell the audience what’s going to happen, what’s happening as they’re watching it develop, and then tell them what they just saw. And, of course, it’s fucking boring. So they [Ritchie and Downey Jr] tried to figure out a way of taking out as much of the exposition and plot as possible and delivering just enough so that the audience could stay ahead of the story and yet still be surprised be it: because no-one was as far ahead as Sherlock Holmes.

 

You’ve said that actors nowadays don’t have the same opportunities to rehearse as often as you used to. How do you manage to go between so many different, diverse roles so quickly and without that opportunity to really get into gear?

Well, I’ve never had that opportunity, to tell you the truth. From the beginning, I was always cast late. If you’re the main person on the movie, or the person whom the financing is lining up behind, then you know what you’re going to be doing well in advance. But with me…

George Hall, my principal at Central School of Speech and Drama, said it best, in my opinion. He told us, “You’re not going to have time. You’re going to have to learn how to sketch. You’re going to go into an audition and you’re going to be handed material with 5 minutes to figure something out. You can’t afford to be precious: you can’t do research and character study and work on a back story… you’re not going to have time to do that.” That was some of the most pertinent advice I got from that school.

Jared Harris for FAULT Magazine Issue 27

Special Thank You (Location) | Tomcats Barbershop and Renee McCarty

 

What’s your FAULT?

Oh God. Forget the magazine; you’ll have a phonebook to fill!

I’m never happy with the work that I’ve done. Someone told me once on ‘Mad Men’ that I’d just done an iconic scene, and asked me if that was the one that my character would be remembered for, and that I’d be remembered for then how would I feel about that? And I remember saying, “Can I do it again? Because I think I can do it better…”

Jared’s next project to appear on screens is The Terror for AMC which begins broadcasting right after the finale of Walking Dead. The Terror is an adventure/horror story that fictionalises the real life events surrounding the disappearance of The Franklin Expedition in the Arctic during the Winter of 1847.

 

Find out who else will appear alongside Jared Harris in the issue here

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