Electronic music duo Sumner consists of Jack McLaine and Chloe Wilson. The underground newcomers have already played alongside Vera Blue, The Smith Street Band, Montaigne, graced the Falls Festival stage and were part of the recent Party In The Paddock lineup … but for the rest of 2018, it’s about to get a whole lot bigger with the release of their exciting new single, Pictures, out now This dark RnB track examines solitude, and is the first taste of Sumner’s upcoming debut EP, All That I Am (out Feb 16), a release that explores illness, diagnosis, personal struggle and catharsis, all within Sumner’s own very cool little world.
Ahead of tomorrow’s EP release, keyboard player Jack McLaine participates in a little Q&A with us

What was your first keyboard?
My first keyboard was a shitty Yamaha that had super cheesy preset sounds that I had when I was 4 and started to learn to play along to pop songs. I loved jamming on it even though I had no idea what I was doing (I still don’t), and I credit that keyboard to inspiring me to make music.

What do you use on stage generally?
Both Chloe and I (Jack) love using Akai MPK MIDI keyboards. I use an MPK261 and chloe uses the MPK225, both controlling the same Ableton session. Some of the plugins we use Live are U-He’s Diva, Arturia’s V-series and Ableton’s on-board sampler. We like using the Pads on the MPKs and we love the flexibility and creativity that Ableton offers for a live set.

Is it the same for recording?
Recording we like to use more hardware. My favourite hardware synths are my Juno 6, and Studio Electronics SE-1x which is basically a Moog Model D clone with more features both sound so classic. When we record we love to design all our own sounds from scratch. Recently I’ve been really interested in modular synthesis, and have been digging using the free software called VCV Rack to create crazy sounds in.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
Our latest release is our EP All That I Am, which we’re excited to be dropping on Friday. We’re back in the studio already, working on our next release. We want to follow up the EP with a few new singles. We’re keen to be self-recording our next project, so we’ll take some time to really nail it.

Most memorable gig?
Playing Corner Hotel in Melbourne and Oxford Arts Factory in Sydney, supporting the legendary Wil Wagner from Smith Street Band were very memorable, the crowds were so passionate and I love those venues. Can’t wait to go back.

Worst stage nightmare?
A recurring gig-mare I have is my computer crashing or overheating. We run so many of our instruments through Ableton that it would be such a vibe killer if the computer crashed mid-song. I’ve become obsessed with finding ways to minimise CPU usage so it doesn’t happen.

Album that changed your life?
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange. I remember I was 15 hadn’t heard anything like that. The songwriting was beautiful and some of the sounds blew my mind. If we’re talking about keyboard lines, that album is what’s up

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
We just played at Party in the Paddock Festival in Tasmania. We’re planning on doing a run of shows in our home of Tassie and up the coast of Australia once our EP is out, so we will announce something soon.

A keyboard tip for the kids?
Don’t get too tied up in music theory. If the music feels good, that’s all that matters. Spend 1 day a week designing your own sounds, because anyone can play the keyboard, but your sound will be what differentiates you.

Buy ‘Pictures’ here