During Disclosure's early evening set at Lollapalooza 2013, British brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence paused to pay tribute to house music--a genre with deep Chicago roots that heavily informs the pair's celebrated full-length debut, “Settle.”
“Chicago, home of house music!” they cheered. “We love Chicago and everything its music has done for us!”
It's a point Guy, 22, reiterated in a recent phone interview, saying, “Basically, all my musical heroes are from [Chicago].”
“We've been there a couple times and it's always been great,” he continued. “I'm glad we're doing the after party at the Mid this time because I don't think we've actually done a [strict] DJ set in Chicago, and it'll be good to play some house records rather than just all of our own stuff.”
Additionally, the musician opened up about the pair's “feud” with rapper Azealia Banks, the first time he heard one of Disclosure’s songs on the radio and the local rapper who recently caught his ear.
With a band name like Disclosure, how good are you at keeping a secret?
[Laughs] Do you have a test lined up?
I wish I did now, but I was really just asking.
I don't think I'm very good. I don't have many secrets to keep.
That's usually a good sign for an interview. Your record label PMR Records recently removed the video for “Help Me Lose My Mind” from YouTube about an hour after it posted over concerns it glamorized drug use. What was your reaction to the series of events?
It's not what the video was about, and it doesn't feature any people actually taking drugs, but if people were seeing it that way then of course it's right to take it down. We don't want to associate ourselves with that. I think part of the reason people had that reaction is when the label uploaded it they had this massive parental warning label on it.
Were you automatically drawn to the records that had that parental advisory sticker slapped across them growing up? I know I was.
Not at all. I had a lot of hip-hop that carried that sticker but ... it was all about music for me. Even with hip-hop, I was never listening to the words. I listened to the music and the production and the beat-making. I didn't care about the message behind the music. I'd buy all the albums as instrumentals if I could, basically.
I'm guessing your recent dealings with Azealia Banks (who called Disclosure “rude”) haven't soured you on hip-hop?
Nah. Her music is not the kind of hip-hop I'm into, really. I don't listen to a lot of modern hip-hop. I still like to listen to the J Dilla [and] DJ Premier era of stuff. Actually, there have been a few really good rappers lately that have sparked my interest — people like Kendrick Lamar and A$AP [Rocky] and this guy called Vic Mensa. He's from Chicago so you might know about him. So, yeah, I really like hip-hop again. Not so much her, but everyone else.
Were you taken aback when she called you out in the press?
I'm not surprised. That's what she does. That's her thing [laughs].
How uncomfortable is it for you to have media attention that's only tangentially related to the music? In general, it seems like you guys prefer to keep a low profile.
Definitely, which is why I'm not going to talk about it anymore. We're leaving that [bleep] behind us now, man. It's all done.
What was the first sense you had that “Latch” was catching on with a larger audience outside your circle of family and friends?
I think when it started getting regular plays on Radio 1, which is the national radio station in England. [Radio] makes such a difference, really, and you don't realize it until you experience it. Even though it's quite an old technology, it's still so important and so relevant, and “Latch” was our first experience of that in action.
Can you remember the first time you heard yourself on the radio?
Oh yeah. The first song I heard played on the radio was “Blue You,” which is one of our really old songs.
When you heard it that first time, did you turn up the volume?
I turned it up, yeah. I was in the car, so I turned it up loud and I drove fast. It was a really good feeling, man.
"When a Fire Starts to Burn" by Disclosure