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Guy and Howard never expected their particular brand of experimental-electronic-meets-pop-music to go much further than their Myspace page. Together, the English brothers make up Disclosure, and at only 21 and 18 years old are now headlining the brand new Listen Out festival halfway across the world. Their album debuted at number one in the charts, and they’ve been praised for bringing a fresh sound to the club scene. ACCLAIM catches up with Howard to talk about the duo’s firsts, from brotherly fighting to sneaking into clubs to ‘that weird face thing’ ahead of their first Australian headline.

Firstly, who would win in a fight between you and Guy?

Me. I’m just better than him.

What first inspired you to create music?

About three years ago we started hearing music in the UK that we both liked and had a mutual interest in, which is like Floating Points and Joy Orbison. They were just playing these chords and melodies that I’d never hear before.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

The first gig was actually Seal, in Brighton and that was definitely mind-blowing. [Laughs.] I was only six or seven, so I don’t think I could full grasp it. But I never really got to go to clubs or gigs until I started playing in them because I wasn’t old enough. I mean, when the whole dubstep scene was going on, I was only fourteen. By the time I wanted to go to clubs, I was already playing in them. Guy had a fake ID though and would sneak into clubs, but the internet really, was the thing that was instrumental in us getting into music.

Do you remember the first cassette/CD/vinyls you ever bought?

The first CD I ever bought was the greatest hits of Earth ,Wind & Fire. I’m not ashamed. It was great. I think the first vinyl was a Zed Bias record. 

What was the first track like that you ever put online?           

The first tracks we ever put online were Offline Dexterity and Street Light Chronicle which we put up on Myspace and maybe two weeks later they were picked up by Moshi Moshi Records.

Offline Dexterity was quite different from the music you’re putting out now. How would you say it has changed?

I like to think we got a bit better since then, I mean we didn’t really know what we were doing production-wise or in a songwriting way. And now our influences have changed – we’re listening to a lot more house, like ’90s house and less of what we were listening to at the time, which was dubstep.

What was it like hearing your song on the radio for the first time?

It was amazing. It was played by Annie Mac on BBC Radio One – and I missed it pretty stupidly, actually, but I listened back and yeah, it was weird, but incredible. Annie Mac started playing our stuff as soon as we made it, basically, she was the first person to play it at all. It was pretty amazing once it started going up in the charts. We only ever expected it to do well in the dance charts really – we never expected to get in the main lists, I mean, let alone at number two!

Can you tell us a bit about your first album Settle?

It’s kind of like an extended version of our Face EP. It’s like a mixture of club, sample dance floor tracks and there’s also some more pop-structured songs with vocalists.

There’s quite a few collabs on there – do you have a favourite vocalist to work with?

I really like them all. The first person we got to sing on any of our tracks was Sinead Harnett on Boiling – it was kind of strange working with someone else. We hadn’t ever written songs structured for a singer; we didn’t really know the etiquette of getting to know them first. We just jumped straight into it.

What was your first tour of Australia like?

It was awesome! We did Summerdayze and Field Day, yeah. It was so strange being halfway around the world and people still knew the words to our songs. It was amazing. I think the Australian crowds were more eclectic compared with the UK ones. I mean, our music’s played on Triple J out there so there was a huge age range of people that would come to see us and a wide variety of people too. There were like whole families at some of our gigs – like mums and dads, and people our age too. It was interesting. I mean it’s cool that people other than just teenagers like our music.

What were the first Disclosure gigs like?

I think early on we didn’t really know what we were doing in terms of where to play, so we’d be booked for a commercial club and be playing really underground and weird experimental music. But I think we’ve sussed out where to play that suits our music now.

You guys seem to have a particular look associated with your music. Do you think it’s important to have a visual side of your music?

I don’t think it helps, but it was a kind of happy accident for us to have the whole weird face thing. We never intended it to be our logo or anything but we kept re-using on Soundcloud and it was picked up by the blogs and now it kind of means ‘Disclosure’. It was actually drawn for us by our old manager’s friend. She doodled it and we really liked it so we used it for the first EP, but when it came to the second one, we couldn’t actually afford any other artwork. We’ve got an app where you can Disclosure your own face now, too. It’s weird seeing other people do it and now people have started to graffiti it around London too. I’ve seen a couple of them over like bus stop advertisements. It’s cool though. It’s like a sign of appreciation.