The man behind the mystery: Getting to know Running Touch
Mysterious producer RUNNING TOUCH has seen his musical journey progress leaps and bounds over the past few months. From jumping on the Groovin’ The Moo lineup to nabbing a spot at Splendour In The Grass this year, he’s concentrating hard on sticking to his guns, and people love him for it.
His unique blend of personal and intimate electronica with dance sensibilities makes for an enthralling experience, whether it be in the club, in your bedroom or at the massive Mix Up Tent at Splendour, and his ability to transcend environments to create an intimate experience for each and every person is one that has seen him acquire a rapidly growing fan base.
With a slew of solid singles behind him, and incredibly promising movements to come, we sat down with him at Splendour this year to get to know him a little better.
I noticed that you tend to keep your identity hidden, whether hiding your face with paint or manipulating shadows in your photos, why do you do that?
It’s kind of a decision. The whole premise of that is to kind of put forward a more unspoken message of, “If you want to know who I am, come meet me,” thing instead of promoting my face and my identity and you know my beliefs or anything of that nature online. Because we have the capability as an artist, whether you’re a big or a small artist, to convey whatever you want or convey nothing at all and just convey your image. [I find] that’s just irrelevant and it’s not something I wanted to do in this project when I started it and it’s not really something I want to do now. I feel like it’s just easier, plus I’m not the kind of person that wants to knock off someone like Golden Features or someone like that, so you’ve kind of got to find your own avenue to express why you’re doing that. That was my reasoning behind eliminating the whole element of who I am, for the time being anyway. I’d never do a Daft Punk, that’s their thing you know? I’m sure I’ll find my way with what note I want to end that spin-off on, but I would never rip off someone else – even though I kind of already have because it’s already been done. I feel like when someone started the anonymous thing, it was just about being anonymous but now there’s different veins of being anonymous, there’s like sub genres so I guess I’m one of those.
Awesome! How were you first introduced to music?
Through my brother. He’s an amazing musician, a much better musician than me, and I found a lot of the backwards, more underground music that I like through skate videos things like that. Because my brother is a big skateboarder, and I was a big skateboarder as well, we found a lot of stuff through that. So yeah just fads I was into – hardstyle at one point… But yeah, my brother. My brother has been through every kind of music fad you can think of, so him.
So you’re a singer, songwriter, producer, and you incorporate live instruments. How do you juggle it all and how long does it usually take for you to prepare for a set?
Honestly, probably this Splendour set is the only time I’ve ever actually had time to co-ordinate a set.
Yeah I’d say so. That and a bit at Groovin’ [The Moo]. But with work and doing this, well this is work, but yeah just being thrown in the deep end with creating a live set, and not having a full body of work to play out, you kind of have to be smart with how you do it. So this is probably the first time I’ve ever done it. I put like a week into it.
Where does the name come from?
That’s a hard one. It’s a question I kind of wanted to save for like a while away but ultimately it’s just… I had a different name to start with, and we were going to launch this project overseas first, or so I was told, but then I had heaps of people telling me that I wasn’t allowed to use that name so I had to find another name. Running Touch was actually the name of this like short novel I was writing at the time, and it was just one of the lyrics in it, because I went into the chapters and through all the things I was writing trying to finds some words. I actually hated the name, but yeah it just came about like that. I just picked it out of something I wrote.
What inspires you the most?
People. Art, people, incredible people doing incredible things. Changing the way things are. Yeah – change, people, anything like that.
Cool. What did you want to be when you were little?
Oh God, a caterpillar… Have you ever seen the movie Rocketeer by any chance? I wanted to be a Rocketeer for a long time, and Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell. I wanted to be him for a long time, then when I realised that wasn’t possible I wanted to be an astronaut and a doctor. I wanted to be everything, any kind of typical childhood occupation.
When was your first kiss?
First kiss was actually when I was in kindergarten, but proper one was in year seven I think, un-wilfully.
That’s always the case. Who would your dream collaboration be with?
Oh that’s so, so hard. Do they have to be alive?
Alive or dead! It doesn’t matter.
I don’t know, alive is so hard to say. Frank Ocean would just be a huge one, he is amazing. Frank Ocean, James Blake, James Vincent McMorrow, he’s amazing I love him. Any of those guys but dead would have to be MJ, MJ is my ultimate.
Definitely. What’s the best live act you’ve ever seen?
I actually sacrificed going to so many festivals with my friends to do this. I was broke for so long, so I really haven’t seen many, but best live act would probably be RUFUS. Phenomenal. I’ve seen them three times and every time I’m just blown away, so I’d have to say them.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
I stretch a lot, and I drink a lot of water, but otherwise no. I’m not a big drinker or anything like that…
What about the face paint?
I do that, yeah.
Do you do that yourself?
Occasionally. I’ve got a group of people that almost demand to do it for me, because they want me to do it differently, so yeah everyone just has their own input.
Do you have music on your phone?
Can you put it on shuffle and tell me what the first 3 songs are?
It’s actually my girlfriend’s old phone so this should be interesting, we have the same music taste though. Okay – Destiny’s Child, ‘Survivor.’ Flume, ‘Bring Me Down’ featuring George Maple, and Dillon Francis & DJ Snake ‘Get Low.’ Can’t say I’ve listened to that one too many times but we’ll chuck that in there.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Considering I haven’t been to many places other than Australia, Japan and Berlin are my number ones [to visit], but my background is New Zealand. I’ve been there and I love New Zealand. It’s beautiful, I’d love to go there again but yeah Japan is my number one, hopefully I’ll go there by the end of this year.