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AtlasBound4

Atlas Bound on Aussie Electronica, Dreams for Overseas & Winning Big with Bose

ATLASBOUND

It’s been a huge year for Sydney boys, Atlas Bound. Their first track, Lock, uploaded six months ago, has now had more than 350,000 plays on Soundcloud with their subsequent tracks, Soul and Talk garnering over 100,000.

21 year-old’s Will Taylor and Adrian Kalcic have had immense success in the last six months, simply from the comfort of their Northern beaches homes. Their biggest break came in November when they won the Bose Creative Development Grant, scoring a $20,000 cheque for their musical development. They beat 10 other finalists from around Australia for the grant which puts them in good stead for 2015.

We spoke to Will and Adrian about what they’re planning to use the money for, their polar-opposite music tastes and the state of Australian electronic music right now.

Have you always been making music?

Adrian: I used to be a club DJ back in the day. I actually went over to Bali and played a gig with Flume and Porter Robinson, which was sweet. I also used to DJ at Ivy heaps.

W: Adrian showed me a photo of when he was in Bali and there were all these posters up on signposts. And it had his face next to Flume’s and Porter Robinson’s.

Haha! Headlining!

A: There was like a security guard at my door and I was like, “dude, you don’t need to be here.”

How did you guys meet? Have you been friends for a while?

A: Yeah, we went to school together. In year 11 and 12 I was at a different school and we hadn’t seen each other for 5 years or something. Then we were out in Manly and I asked him what he was doing and all of a sudden we started jamming and that was six months ago.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/atlas-bound/talk-atlas-bound[/soundcloud]

Was that it? Just six months ago?

A: It’s crazy. I guess it’s come so quickly.

Yeah, that’s how it happens these days. You only need like one or two good songs out there and then suddenly people start picking it up.

W: I can’t believe how far we’ve come. The first song we released, we were just sitting there, the day after and we were like, “what’s going on?” Our Soundcloud views were going up by about 10K a day.

How did that happen? Did you just drop it on Soundcloud?

A: Yeah, so we popped it on Soundcloud and then a label called Cosmonostro based in Lille, France, picked it up and were like, “we want to release it”. So we were like, “yeah, sure”. And that turned out quite well.

So you’re appealing to all the French listeners?

A: Yeah, apparently they like to listen to music that they can’t understand the lyrics to.That’s really what he said!

That’s a crazy story. And then you won the Bose competition?

A: Yeah it’s incredible. I don’t even know how that happened. I saw the Bose competition somewhere and I ended up hashtagging our song with ‘#listenforyourself’ and then a month or so later, it got tweeted on Twitter that we were in the top 10. And we were like, “this is crazy!” They sent us headphones and it was the best. It was the first sign of something earnt from making music. We were stoked. And then we ended up winning the $20,000. We couldn’t believe it.

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That’s a great pay cheque for a day! How are you guys going to spend it?

W: Well, it’s funny because we were asked for a budget. So we sat down and tried to think of it. As people our age and our level of the music industry, how do you even spend that?

A: Also, because the opportunities are arising every week, you don’t really know. You can make a plan. We want to put the majority of the money behind PR and advertising, just growing us, but each couple of weeks there’s a new opportunity arising. Like, maybe we could release it on a certain label, things like that. It’s just that, being this size, it’s hard to predict where it’s going to go in the next year. Roughly, we want to put it behind press and try to build as much awareness around us as much as possible.

W: It’s all boring business stuff where we want to spend it, though. I wish I could give you some amazing answer, like a one-way trip to LA or something!

So what’s next for you guys?

A: We’ve got a song coming out through a US label called Next Wave. It’s a fairly new label but the guy who owns it has been doing press for quite some time. He’s done it for bigger labels and is trying to branch off.

W: He’s a nice guy. A legend. He’s like, “please let me release this song”. He’s so passionate about the song. So that’s who we want to give it to; people who are passionate about our music.

Is that really weird for you guys? Just being in Curl Curl, being able to put a song online and then suddenly it spreads?

W: Yeah. The other day, we supported Tora at Newtown. It was really cool, it was one of the bigger crowds that we’ve played to. Just a room full of people just chilling and drinking with a few rogue dancers out the front. God knows how they found a way to dance to our music, but they did. I introduced a song and I heard one of them saying, “this is my favourite one of theirs!” and I was like, “What?” These are people that I don’t know and they’re like, “this is my favourite”.

A: I was in the car the other day and FBI started playing our music and it was so sick. Having that support.

When you guys started, did you think it could be a long term thing? Or was it just for fun?

W: I dunno, we were dreaming.

A: And now it’s happening.

W: Yeah. I guess, since school, it’s always been a priority for me

A: I’ve always DJd. I’ve never really made music. I backpacked last year for eight months through Europe and I was like, what the hell am I going to do next year? I don’t really enjoy uni that much, I need something to do. So when I got back home I started learning how to use Ableton and now I make music.

Did you know Ableton, Will?

W: No I still don’t know Ableton. Since school, I’ve been doing music in all different ways and in different bands.

A: He’s got a more musically trained background

I think you need both sides, though.

W: Yeah, definitely. I guess what I wasn’t good at, Adrian was good at and vice versa. We just clicked. Especially with us both being in all these musical projects, we found a bond. Once you click with someone, you’ve just got to stick with that.

A: How long did it take us to write Soul?

W: Like 10 minutes?

A: Some tracks just come along really quickly.

And then others you just have to work at?

A: Yeah, and the ones you have to work at, you know aren’t going to be that good. For us, at least.

W: Lock, literally came about the moment we plugged everything in and played together at the same time. Obviously the track developed as time went on but, yeah, it’s crazy.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/cosmonostro/atlas-bound-lock[/soundcloud]

So what do each of you play and who sings?

A: I can’t play an instrument. I can only play our songs on the piano, which is weird. Will can play a range of stuff.

W: Yeah, I just like to play around and figure out new stuff. I can’t play anything really well.

A: That’s bull! You know how to play piano and guitar.

W: Yeah, but like there’s people on Triple J Unearthed etcetera that have studied music at the conservatorium for four years to play classical piano. We’re nowhere near like that.

A: I think that’s why we can write stuff so quickly. We don’t look at things too technically, we just like to get the idea out.

Do you guys have similar music tastes?

A: No!

Not at all?

A: Well, we both like our chilled music. I guess that’s why we work well together. But I listen to people like Cosmo’s Midnight, Wave Racer, that sort of stuff. As well as people like James Vincent McMorrow, more chilled out music.

W: Chilled out is probably the only common denominator. My iPod’s like Nat King Cole, Etta James…

A: Old stuff..

W: …Al Green.

A: We like to incorporate that stuff as well.

W: Yeah, because our philosophy is, what you hear now has already been done so you’ve gotta try and do something different. And I think electronic soul, or ‘soultronica’ as it was put once, I think that’s what we’re aiming for. Safe to say we have very different iPods, though. When we get in the car it’s always like, “okay, whose turn?”

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What do you study at uni?

W: Vet science.

A: I study commerce.

Very different.

A: Yes, very different to music.

W: I think it’s like a plan B.

It’s a cool time to be making electronic music in Australia.

A: Definitely in Australia, You can put something out and if it’s half decent, and if you’re from Australia, people from overseas easily recognise it. They’re like, “oh yeah, another person from Australia making good music”. I do find that maybe overseas is a bit more open or appreciative to our music than Australia itself. Which is sort of weird because I thought Australia would be more supportive, trying to get up-and-coming acts out. I guess they are, in a sense, but you look overseas and Aussie acts have so much more pull and influence than they do at home. And it’s not until an act is big overseas that they’re big over here.

We were in New York early in the year and we looked to see who was on and it was like Courtney Barnett, Elizabeth Rose, Big Scary, Broods…and they have all received such a good rap over there. In particular Courtney Barnett, who can play a big festival over here and she doesn’t pull a huge crowd.

A: Yeah, I mean, the dream for us next year is to head over to America and maybe set up base and build up from there. If we can get a good team behind us, that would be the dream.

It’s interesting looking into what’s going on with Australian musicians going overseas. It’s always been that you start in Australia, build your fan base and then you’ll try your luck overseas later. Like Powderfinger, Silverchair, and all those classic Aussie rock bands back in the day. Now it seems like you’ve got to go overseas to spark the success, and then you come back and everyone’s like, “oh my God, you’re huge!”

W: Yeah, now it happens the other way around.

A: Yeah like, “they’re Aussies! They’re ours!”

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/atlas-bound/soul-master-1[/soundcloud]

It’s very interesting to watch acts like Iggy Azalea and Sia winning at the ARIA Awards and then Australia taking all these accolades for their success.

W: 100% agree.

A: Yeah, it’s funny. After Lock came out, we sort of got that view already. Maybe more electronic acts, more Sydney-sounding music, trends a bit better here in Australia. But the more chilled out stuff, I find it doesn’t really kick off as well as overseas.

W: We can see where all the plays on Soundcloud come from and it’s all America.

A: America and Europe. And then Australia.

W: Australia is nearly at the bottom of the list.

A: But you’ve got to remember that LA itself has a bigger population than Australia. If you’re bigger in California, you’re bigger than you are in Australia.

Yeah, it’s kind of happening now where you can go overseas and build your career there and still be considered Australian.

W: Yeah, completely. Although I’m not trying to rip into Australia too much!

I suppose the flip-side of that is Flume who killed it here and then went overseas and killed it as well.

W: But that’s more fun too. We’d love to go overseas and move away from uni.

andrasfox

Andras Fox on Moscow, Melbourne & Megan Fox

andrasfoxCafé Romantica is the debut album by Andras & Oscar, also known as the brilliant Melbourne-based producers, Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung. Respected artists in their own rights, the twosome have been travelling the world since the launch of the album, promoting their solo projects. Now, upon their return to the mainland, both Andras and Oscar have been busy promoting their latest collaboration at the likes of Outsidein festival, Melbourne Music Week and Astral People’s Summer Dance, as well as an Australia-wide Cafe Romantica tour. Suffering from a slight case of jetlag, Andras managed to set some time aside to chat to us about his overseas adventures, his experience with the Melbourne music scene and his blossoming bromance with Oscar Key Sung.

Are you in Melbourne at the moment?

Yeah, I just got home.

Where were you?

I’ve been in Europe for six weeks.

Awesome. How’s the recovery going?

Can’t tell you yet but it’s going to be a while.

Where was your last stop on the trip?

Paris.

Have you done all that before?

I did a tour in April/May and that was the first time I’d played shows in Europe.

Where was your favourite place this time around?

I’m a big fan of Moscow because it’s really peculiar and cold. It’s really frightening and foreign.

What was the music scene there like?

Kind of the same. There’s weird, ghetto clubs and then some really glitzy, cocaine-fuelled, fur-wearing Moscow fashion parties.

So what are the plans now that you’re back in Melbourne? Heading on tour?

I’ve got a show for Melbourne Music Week and then I’ve got a tour with Oscar Key Sung for the album we just recorded together.

How’s the reception to the album been so far? Were you in Europe when it was released?

Yeah, luckily I’ve been away for the entire thing and haven’t had to think about it. I worked pretty hard to get it finished before I left. Hopefully it goes alright, I’ve just got to not think about it too much.

Have you had much time yet to practise the live show with Oscar?

No, we played a couple of launches prior to me going overseas.

How did it come together, you two working together?

He moved into the warehouse I was living in, in West Melbourne, right across the road from Embassy cafe, which we named the first record after. We both realised pretty quickly that we preferred to hang out in dressing gowns and make track mixes than go out every night. Most weekends, instead of hanging out with cool, fun people, we were in a dark room together making mixes.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/chaptermusic/andras-oscar-everytime-i-go-album-version[/soundcloud]

I suppose on the flip side of that is that you go out and play in Melbourne. Have you found Melbourne a good place to grow up musically?

I wouldn’t say when I grew up I was proud of it but the last four/five years have been incredible, meeting all these people and seeing all these people put out records and do parties, there’s some really great stuff happening in this town right now. And even after touring Europe for six weeks, I didn’t go to as many parties as I would have at home.

Do you think that was just a product of growing up and finding more stuff or do you think the Melbourne music scene has matured in the last few years?

I think the scene’s matured in a lot of ways. Like, the older generations, guys who are in their late thirties now were doing parties as I was just getting old enough to go out and then there was a bit of a lull. Now a lot of people my age have stepped up and started doing things of their own; running their own labels and throwing their own parties. There’s some really good venues here, and the council supports them. Objectively there’s a lot of good stuff happening. There’s a lot of crossover between the live music scene and the dance music scene.

Do you feel like, because Melbourne’s been making waves all around the world because of its artists, has that helped you in terms of exposure?

Yeah, absolutely. It just gives me encouragement to keep going. I think it’s important to have that relationship with your local scene. We have a scene that really gives my music some kind of value.

Did you meet many other musicians overseas that you’d like to collaborate with?

Yeah, I met a few. I caught up with all the people that I’ve been working with; the people who put out my records and the guys who support them. It was a really good combination of business and pleasure.

Moving onto talking about the album. what is it about the cafe aesthetic that draws you guys in?

I think that it’s ‘cos it’s really daggy. I grew up listening to Cafe del Mar and electronic house, chill-out CDs and I just really like how not-tough they are. Just a sense of relaxation and the fact that they’re not quite club records so they sit well with this cafe ethos. I guess I’m drawing on all that legacy of these slightly lame chillout CDs. I guess it’s also a piss-take of Melbourne cafe culture and all that kind of crap. I guess as well because of places that have fancy names, there’s this kind of idea of French-Italiano parody that I like as well.

I feel like the music on the album is very visual and it’s well-complemented by videos in the way you just described it as well. Do you feel like the visual and the music go hand-in-hand?

Yeah, that’s kind of important to me, to have that. I do all the design stuff myself. It’s not so hard to do that stuff if you do it on a budget, to do it in kind of a cheap way. Having a lot of fun just playing around with that still.

And I suppose your style lends itself to not spend so much money on it and still achieve what you want to achieve.

Yeah, you can just maintain control over everything if you do it yourself.

[soundcloud width+”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/chaptermusic/andras-oscar-looking-back[/soundcloud]

When did you first latch onto that style and thought that’s what you wanted to do?

I’m constantly working out what I do and how I do it. I think I realised that I didn’t want to sample stuff anymore and I didn’t want to be something like an American hip-hop producer because that’s not what I am, that’s not my culture. So, the moment that I started doing things for myself and do something that hopefully is well-respected there, indicative of where I grew up and who I am, the rest follows from that.

How do you distinguish between writing your own solo work and when you’re writing for your tracks with Oscar? Do you have a distinguishment?

It’s not as much distinction. The early tracks we did together were just stuff that I was working on and Oscar happened to be around so we worked on it together or put vocals over it and there’s still a degree of that. I still write the music I wrote for Cafe Romantica. Some of them started out as solo tracks and ended up being tailored towards that project because they work better with vocals and it’s more fun and more enjoyable to play that music with someone else. My solo stuff can kind of tend to be more New-Agey and I have more fun doing more pop music with Oscar.

Do you each of you bring different influences that the other normally wouldn’t have considered?

Absolutely. It’s a total meeting point between a more dance music world that I come from and the garage and R&B influences that Oscar swims in.

What’s the kind of music that you grew up with?

I didn’t play in a punk rock band as a kid, I was buying dance records in my early teen years onwards. I grew up listening to a lot of terrible dance records. Just a reflection of the stuff that I like and that I play when I DJ.

Are you the type of person that can write on the road or are you more comfortable writing at home?

I don’t write on the road at all. I think if you write music on a plane it sounds like you wrote it on a plane; minimal, boring music that you can write when you’re in a cubicle surrounded by dickheads. For better or for worse, all my equipment is heavy and chunky. I don’t use a computer to record so it kind of rules out the possibility to write on the road but I’m okay with that.

5 Quick Questions

1. If you had to describe you and Oscar as a coffee, what would it be?

We both drink a long black. Actually, an Australian-style long black so I guess it’s more of a medium black? It’s probably a good description. It’s kind of in-between and a bit bitter sometimes.

2. In terms of movies, would you pick Fantastic Mr Fox or a Megan Fox movie?

Definitely Megan Fox. I kind of loathe the fact that I have Fox in my name for the fact that people associate it with the animal.

3. Oscar pulls out of a show and you have to replace him with either Usher, Lauryn Hill or Stevie Wonder, who do you choose? 

Musically, obviously Stevie Wonder’s the dude but I think he’s too good a musician for me, to ever play with. Usher would probably be a lot more entertaining.

4. Would you ever consider pulling a U2 move with your next album and putting it into everybody’s iTunes?

No, I could think of absolutely nothing worse than forcing your music onto people who don’t want it.

5. What’s your favourite Paddle Pop?

I’m going to say banana because I like the colour yellow and I like how artificial-tasting it is. If you’re going to get cheap, shitty ice-cream, you might as well pick a fun one.

Catch Andras & Oscar’s Cafe Romantica Album Tour at Goodgod tonight, Thursday 11th December. Tickets available here

therubens_interview2

The Rubens Guide Us Through Their Instagram

therubens_interview

We stalked The Rubens’ Instagram for inspiration ahead of our interview to find out a little bit more about what they’ve been up to, based on what they’ve been posting recently. Drummer, Scott Baldwin, gave us the low down on everything from the band’s new album to their go-to NYC haunts and even his favourite Disney movie.

Let’s start from 2 months ago on October 11th. There’s a photo of Sam and yourself in front of an American flag where you announce that you’re spending time in NY to record your new album. How long where you guys over there in total, have you just gotten back?

I’ve been back for a week. We started out the whole process down in Wollongong, which is quite close to home, just writing songs. We got David Khane our producer who also worked on the first album to fly out and we spent some time with him in Byron Bay for about a month, then about 5 days after that we flew over to NY and got underway with recording. So it’s been quite a long process. We haven’t done much playing, we miss that.

There’s a video a couple of days later of Zaac skateboarding down a hallway – Was that in your NY apartment?

Unfortunately that is our apartment. He didn’t ruin the floor but probably not ideal for the people who lived below because it was like 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s right near Madison square gardens, on 7th and 28th. It’s really close to everything; it’s a great spot.

Hippie jump.

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You posted a few photos at Avatar studios where you were recording album #2 – Can you tell me a bit about what we can expect to hear? 

It’s a much bigger sound. We tried to keep the original sounds of things; we tried to keep it really raw and big and real, that’s the main thing. The songs, some of them are a little bit faster and have a little bit more energy. Zaac the guitarist features a lot more in it, there’s some cool guitar lines. Elliot the back-up singer who also plays keys, he featured quite a lot on it with his vocals as well. In my view it’s a much more developed and more mature album.

Zaac, Will and Scotty doing their thing.

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Was NY an inspiration?

NY is mad. We spent time there doing the first album, so it’s like our second home, we know where everything is. It’s been very inspiring. I enjoyed it a lot more than the first one and I think it shows. We had a lot more fun in the studio in the booth, we were jumping around and all having fun and encouraging each other. With the first one I suppose we were all green so we didn’t really know how things happen, and we were nervous. This was a lot of fun and I think it shows in the album.

Can you see yourselves ever moving to America or do you want to always be Australia-based?
I would probably never move to America, I just like Australia too much. My friends and family all want to travel and that’s great, but people don’t realize how lucky we are out here. It’s just ridiculous. We have really good weather, we have extremely good food, the people are super nice. Even though we complain about our government, our government’s way better than heaps around the world. So we’re extremely fortunate. There are no beaches in the world like here. So I don’t think I would go to America. I would go for like a year but then I’m pretty much done.

3 weeks ago you posted a picture with Andrew from Grouplove, and last year you toured with them – this time did you work together on any new music?

No they’ve been flat out. We toured with them in America then caught up with them when they did Big Day Out. They came down to Wollongong when we were writing down at the beach so we hung out. We catch up with them when we’re in the same town, they’re good friends. We haven’t collaborated with them or anything. Maybe one day. Andrew is an insane surfer, he’s super good.

Who is the best surfer out of you guys?

I am definitely the best surfer because the others don’t really surf. They have a go. They’re better at other things.

Three weeks ago you posted a photo of a restaurant sign with the caption quoting Seinfeld – did you eat anywhere amazing in NYC? 

Definitely compared to the first time we were there. The first time we recorded we were actually on a $10 a day budget. We saved up to get over there then we couldn’t really eat. We all lost like 10kg and didn’t have a home. This time it was much better.

"What's with aeroplane seats lol" jerry seinfeld.

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Was there a favourite place for you?

Yeah up from the studio there’s like this Mexican Lime place and that was awesome. They had a happy hour every single day and awesome fajitas. If you want to go there it’s on 51st and 9th. It’s really good. Spend some time down at Lower East Side as well. There’s a pub called Donnybrooks. That’s like our local.

Back to your caption – are all of you Seinfeld fans (or one of you in particular)?

What’s the guy with the frizzy hair?

Kramer?

Yeah, we keep bagging out Will because he looks and acts exactly like Kramer. Will, who plays bass and Zaac, who plays guitar, they love that show and we all just watch it anyway because it’s hilarious. If we’re not watching Seinfeld we’re watching like CSI or something, or South Park.

Did you see Book Of Mormon in NY?

No, because it’s too expensive! It’s all booked out. I saw Phantom of the Opera, that’s just started up again. That was awesome, it was unbelievable, their voices and things are just crazy. Book of Mormon is meant to be extremely funny.

Yeah, see I love South Park but I feel like the humour didn’t translate as effectively on to real people. I think I’m the only person that thinks that though.

Sometimes it depends on the actors you get. I’ve seen the Lion King twice and if the character is having an off night or they’re not as good at it, it’s a downer. I went and saw the Lion King in Sydney again and Scar just wasn’t enthusiastic. It’s like they need to re-watch the Lion King.

I love the Lion King, it’s my favourite Disney Movie.

Yeah it’s so good, so good. It’s easily my favourite. I have a Simba doll. Not a doll, a teddy and you put your hand inside and make it roar. And I don’t still have it and it’s not still on my bed.

Ok, I believe you. Two weeks ago you posted about the fact that you guys are playing Falls at Marion Bay – how do you feel about it? Will that be the first time you play some of your new stuff live? 

We played there last year and it was awesome, we did the whole set, but because the album won’t have released yet we’re just doing that one off festival in Tasmania. We’re hopefully going to play a few songs. I’m not sure how many yet. We don’t want to spoil too much but we want to see how it goes. I’m really looking forward to playing them.

 When are you hoping to release the new album?

I want to release it in January but that’s not going to happen. Hopefully it’ll be out by May but that’s just me guessing, I don’t know.

Your most recent post was 1 week ago, of blurry Zaac on his birthday – How did you celebrate?

We went to the Camden Hotel, our local bar in our hometown, then we went to The Bunker. This is like a WW2 Bunker under the ground where officers used to hide and everything during the war and our friend owns it. So we go there and jam and stuff. It’s awesome. We just hung out there.

It's this slightly blurry guy's birthday today. Happy birthday @zmargin we love you too much! Xx

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You can catch The Rubens at the Marion Bay leg of Falls Festival, Dec 29-Jan 1. Tickets available here

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ILLS

I’lls on Paradise Music, Camping & Local Flora & Fauna

ILLS

We thought we would make our Paradise Music weekend somewhat educational and sit down to have a Music, Culture and Geography lesson with Dan from I’lls. This legend is one the nicest humans, we could have kept chatting to him all afternoon about everything. He is one third of I’lls, a young trio that are making some solid tracks at the moment. We were stoked to watch them play later that night and fell in love with their new music.

How did you guys meet?

We all met at University, did Jazz together and we were just coincidentally put in the same ensemble. We had a year of playing together and then we went back to my house to play some Jazz and we all figured out that we don’t really like Jazz that much and we like electronic music more. So ahhh yeah, that is pretty much how it all started.

How did you guys transition from Jazz into Electronic Pop… What was the motivation?

Because it’s happening now, it’s what’s happening. Like Jazz was happening in 1959 you know, so that peaked in that year when Kind of Blue came out by Miles Davis, that was like the best album, Jazz album EVER! So you know and that if we were born then, then we would have been doing that. This is what’s happening now, this is more exciting I think.

How has your background in Jazz helped with the music you are producing now?

There’s a lot of masters in Jazz, who are very good at explaining what they do. We are lucky at University we had some unbelievable teachers who talk more about music than about Jazz. So it’s all relative, the skills are the same, it’s about using your ears, and the theory is very useful as well, but you know there are a lot of other lessons which are easily transposed too.

That’s an interesting point about Music Theory, do you think with the movement of electronic producers it is still important for them as artists to understand the theoretical side to music?

Ummm, Yes! I do think theory is very important. I loved theory for a lot of years. For two years I studied just theory because I loved it, without playing that much but I just did a lot, a lot of theory. However it is not the be all and end all. It doesn’t make a good musician, it helps a good musician. I think if you have a good ear that is most important, but if you want to expand that ear and understand what you are doing then it’s important to do theory.

Where do you guys get your samples from?

We make a lot of our own samples. So we will do some weird shit to make samples. Some of the new stuff we would be recording on a hand-held cassette player that would be plugged in live to these monitors and be feeding back. So the way you turn the cassette player, the microphone would feedback in certain waves. So that sample we used a lot in the new EP that is coming out. Yeah that was weird. Hamish would be talking to get some of those samples and that was weird.

How was your tent experience last night?

Oh fine! My friend bought a Teepee tent, and I was like I don’t think this is going to stand up and it’s so solid. I tried pushing the pole in the middle down and the thing does not come down. It was fine. And they bought mattresses and they were like, this is not a good set up. For me it is an unbelievable set up.

You guys played this last year as well. How is Paradise this year compared to last year?

Yeah it’s the same you know! It’s just more people, which is nice.

How are you actually vibing this festival?

It is chilled. Andre is a genius. One of my favourite festivals. Last year it was probably my favourite festival of the year… easily. It’s just simple stuff they do really well… They don’t overly complicate it.. It doesn’t need to be complicated.

What was it like to work with Andre Eremin? What does working with him bring to table for I’lls?

We worked with Andre from the very first EP, we mastered it with him in his Mum’s house in.. it’s not in Eltham, just outside of Eltham. We started together, he’s our work horse, he is unbelievably talented, and he has unbelievable ears. He fixes all our mistakes. Everything that we stuff up on he will fix and make really good. And he’s by far, I don’t know anybody that comes close to him in Australia, I’m sure there are some older guys with good rep but as a younger master, he is so bloody hard working. If he doesn’t make it I don’t know who the bloody hell is going to make it in this industry. He is phenomenally talented and really hard working.

Are you playing any other festivals soon?

We don’t have anything lined up, because we are taking it easy. We have an EP coming out next year so we don’t want to play too much at the moment. The EP to start then hopefully an album later in the year. So will be good fun!

At Paradise everyone seems to know each other. There is obviously a big group of you this year who play together and support each other, is this something you have always had or is it a recent thing?

Yeah the electronic music scene, when we started there wasn’t such a big community. There were a couple of people doing it, a lot of people like Electric Sea Spider. It was all beats based stuff. It is really nice that the community is much bigger and growing and everyone knows each other. And thats why I guess last year was so special, because it was smaller but it gave everybody a chance to kind of meet each other and hang out. Like we knew a lot of these people but we had never hung out, yeah maybe from gigs and stuff like that but never had a weekend to actually speak to these people, that’s what’s really good about this weekend.

Andre was doing Inca Roads before this and that is the same. We meet Jim Sellars from Electric Sea Spider at the first Inca Roads and that was like yeah for us it was unbelievable because we love Jim. At the time we didn’t know who he was and knew nothing about him. He is lovely and now he has influenced us a million times when we write. The community is definitely a big part of this.

Yeah I noticed how great the vibe is especially between artists and punters, there is no pedestal everyone is on the same level here!

Yeah it is really nice, the community is really good. No one is out to be better than anyone else, it is not competitive or nasty. Everyone just wants to have a good time!

This location is out of this world amazing. Talk to me about these trees because I have been arguing with my Sydney mates all weekend about this, is this a result from the 2009 Victorian Bushfires?

Haha …ha. Yeah, they were burnt down. Well burnt down. This is all new, it looks so cool.

I don’t know if they are dead, I don’t think the trees are dead because it looks thicker than last year. They got burnt down so they have to re-grow from the start. Because we are up at higher altitude they are re-growing slowly.

I will hold you to that, at Paradise in the next five years if these trees haven’t developed and still looks the same you owe me a drink!

Haha yeah but I don’t want it to go green, I think it looks beautiful as it is.

But hang on what about that tree which is green!.. That didn’t get burnt down!

Haha thanks for chatting! I might take a photo for The Interns if that’s ok?

Yeah no worries, lets do one of me standing in front of the posters of the local flora, keep it relevant.

Cosmos2

Cosmo’s Midnight on Facebook Stalking, Surfing & Telepathic Powers

CosmosMidnight

Sydney-based twins and Ableton aficionados Cosmo and Patrick make up electronic duo, Cosmo’s Midnight. Hailing from Sydney, the two have spent the past few years remixing and creating their unique, computer-generated music, as well as touring their set Australia-wide. We had a chat to half of the twosome, Patrick, ahead of their Beyond The Valley appearance next month.

How did you come up with that name? Why does Patrick get left out?

Haha! My brother Cosmo wrote a remix for Lykke Li/ or did a bootleg of Lykke Li and finished it at Midnight. We didn’t have a name to put on Soundcloud so we were like, well you did it at Midnight so we will just call it Cosmo’s Midnight Mix because it was heaps literal… and then basically everything we did after that we were just like, well let’s just call it Cosmo’s Midnight because we don’t have a name and it sounds kind of cool I guess. I don’t think Pat’s Midnight would sound very good, so I’m glad it’s not.

As a duo, how do you work together?

Well the way we do stuff is that one of us will have an idea then we sort of just pass it between us until it’s done or we’ll sit down and just finish a track.

Where do you guys mostly produce your music?

We have a studio in the city and we will go there if we want to finish stuff, but most of the time we just write stuff at home. It’s just the nature of music, you don’t really need to be anywhere, you can just sort of be at home. We sort of just created this studio to get in the zone or whatever, to knuckle down and just finish it.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/cosmosmidnight/goodnight-feat-polographia[/soundcloud]

I saw Stoli Vodka posted a video on YouTube of a challenge for you guys to create a mix in one hour. Do you find working under pressure sometimes works for the better?

Oh for sure! Most of the time I’d like to work at my own pace. But sometimes having a deadline for a remix or something forces you to get creative or at least get an idea out. I think that works a lot of the time. Sometimes when we have a deadline for a remix or something and they go, “hey we have a week and a half turn around for you, can you do it?”, we give it a shot. For the first week you just have your ideas and then all of a sudden you come up with something, because it just comes to you eventually, you are forced to think about it because you have that deadline.

I had a day off work yesterday to sit by Fitzroy Pool and listen to your EP Surge on repeat. Your tracks took my mind away from the 30 degree heat and into the depths of the ocean. Is the coastal landscape and chillwave style a big influence in your music?

I’d say indirectly a lot, but I don’t think about it too much when it comes to writing music. Cos and I have always been at the beach a bunch, we went to school at Bondi so we went to the beach after school everyday more or less and surfed. We don’t do that so much anymore because we don’t live on the Eastern Suburbs, which is where the beaches are at. We went to school there so it made sense to go but now we sort of go there when we can instead of everyday. It’s still awesome, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What is the main program or technologies you use in your mixing?

Pretty much everyone who does music uses Ableton, that’s what we use. It is like any other DAW, I don’t know what it stands for, it’s like the net technical name for it, but yeah! We just write everything on that.

What is one Festival in the world you both want to play?

Hahah that’s a hard question. There is this real cool Scandinavian one called Roskilde, that looked pretty cool. There’s a bunch of cool ones in the UK. I want to suss the American ones out. I don’t know too much about what goes on in other countries to be honest, regarding festivals. There’s that one, Tomorrowland, I think I just want to go to experience just cause it looks so crazy.

How did your collaboration with Wild Eyed Boy for your new single, Snare come about?

We went to school together and both did music. He sung on our stuff before but never really as Wild Eyed Boy. He lived in London for a bit and then he came back and we wrote this track together and that was it. We were school friends and we knew he had talent to do it and he was more than willing to do it so that was cool.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/cosmosmidnight/cosmos-midnight-snare-feat-wild-eyed-boy[/soundcloud]

Is there an intention for you to get behind new artists such as Wild Eyed Boy who don’t have a big following to help build one for them through your own platform?

Me and Cos are massively supportive of smaller artists, we often post about them on our Twitter. We don’t usually do too much of that on our Facebook because you need to keep tabs on that. We post stuff on Soundcloud, to get people the attention they need. It’s really hard to start off, so it’s really good to try and give people a leg up. If you don’t give them plays but maybe give them an industry hook up or something to point them in the right direction, like a label, potential manager or blog interview or something like that. It’s good to help people out.

If you could jump on stage with any other artist playing Beyond The Valley who would it be?

We want to make a track with AlunaGeorge so that’s a given. Maybe Danny Brown to rap along to his track. I really love Sinjin Hawk one of the smaller bands on the bill. If he is playing the same day I will atleast be on the side of the stage to support.

Are you guys Glamping it up in a Tee-Pee or roughing it out in a tent?

I wish were staying in either of those but we are actually staying off-site which is a massive bummer I reckon. I think we are just staying in a hotel with Basenji. I am going to hopefully stay as long as I can at Beyond The Valley because we have to head back to Sydney the next day to play another show.


 5 QUICK QUESTIONS:

What do you think is more groundbreaking in the world of news- The fact that Frances Abbott got a Fashion scholarship for being Tony’s daughter or Kim Kadashian’s amazing ability to balance a champagne flute on her ass?

If Kim Kardashian’s photo is legit I am going to say that is more groundbreaking. Because it doesn’t look real, I call bullshit on that. But if it is I am pretty impressed. The whole picture looks like it’s photoshopped.

Have you guys ever pretended to be each other before on a date?

Not on a date, I can’t imagine how weird that would be. We have done it at school before. ‘Cause we are sort of better at doing different stuff so I took one of his tests and he did one of mine so that was cool. But yeah, I would be interested to see how the a date would go.

Do you guys have telepathic powers between one another?

I wish we did, that would be pretty cool. I guess from being around each other so much we can get a feeling of what the other person is thinking. I think that’s more of a familiarity thing than super powers which sucks but you know maybe one day it will just click and we’ll be like, oh we were missing out all along.

I’m your 1272nd instagram follower because I find your 23 posts hilarious. What will you post next?

I wish I was better at insta, I don’t really do it enough. Instagram is an artform, you’ve got to do it right. I guess it will come to me, it’s just like any other artistic inspiration.

cosmos_insta

Who was the last person you stalked on Facebook?

I don’t want to say I stalk lots of people but I do often look through, you know, to see what’s going on. Maybe with people I haven’t added yet just to suss what’s going on before I add.

I look forward to seeing you guys play at Beyond The Valley.

Cheers, yeah, should be great. We are going to drop a whole bunch of new stuff, we’ve got a really cool remix we did that we are going to hopefully have out by then.

You can catch Cosmo’s Midnight at Beyond The Valley Festival. Tickets available here

BlackVanilla_Interview

Black Vanilla on Eddie Murphy, Neapolitan Ice Cream & Throwing It Down

BlackVanilla_Interview

Black Vanilla are a supergroup of Australian electronica, of sorts. Made up of Cassius Select, Guerre and Marcus Whale from Collarbones, the trio have made a name for themselves crafting innovative, introspective RnB mixed with a healthy dosage of electronica. This year Black Vanilla have toured with Whale’s duo, Collarbones, and are now set to ace it at Astral People’s OutsideIn festival. With their new track, Smacks, giving a harder, more aggressive sound, they’re bound to be a force to be reckoned with live. We caught up with Marcus Whale of Black Vanilla in advance of their upcoming OutsideIn performance.

You’ve recently been playing double Collarbones/Black Vanilla shows. How do you handle doing the two at one time?

I realised that I needed to do a lot of vocal warm ups and try to take care of my voice. I thought I’d just be able to wing it but after the first night, where I could barely make a sound out of my voice in the final Collarbones song, I realised that it requires a lot of care and preparation. So for the rest of the shows I had to really think about it. 

On a performance level, I was fine. I would say that the Black Vanilla sets were definitely more dynamic than the Collarbones ones because of only having a certain amount of energy. But at the same time, Black Vanilla is more all over the place than Collarbones which is a bit more centred, and performing through the voice rather than the whole body.

How do you decide which band you’re writing for?

With Black Vanilla, we usually do it all together in a room at the same time. It’s quite sensual, quite immediate, because it’s meant for the live aspect. If you want to have a Black Vanilla experience, best thing to do is go to a live show. Whereas with Collarbones, it’s kind of like songwriting. Also we start with production first and then I sing over it. Black Vanilla’s a lot more in the moment. 

I guess it’s more about the experience, you can do more things on the spot?

Yeah, on the spot is definitely the feeling of it. 

What do you feel like you can do in Black Vanilla that you can’t do in Collarbones?

I think with Black Vanilla we can be quite aggressive. It’s a little bit punk, a bit antagonistic, and I really enjoy being able to do that, being able to be confronting. Collarbones by contrast is more about the atmospheric, about the concessionalism. And through that it becomes, for me, a different experience.

I recently read that you’re influenced by the spirit of hostility of death metal bands?

That’s a term that I have used, definitely. And I stand by that. I think that, for Black Vanilla, it has been important for us to try and counter the status quo which is a bit about trying to get up in the world. I guess really about trying hard, which is nice, but we’re not really interested in that. We’re interested in just throwing something down and being really strong with what we do. 

As per your latest release, Throw It Down?

Haha, yes, as per Throw It Down.   

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/club-mod/black-vanilla-throw-it-down[/soundcloud]

Have you performed any of your new material yet?

Well, we used to play Throw it Down about a year ago and we don’t play it anymore because we have newer music now. It takes a long time for these things to come out, so…here it is now!

So you’re getting a bit sick of it?

I think it’s become less relevant to the way that we perform now. The music we make now is more barren and aggressive than Throw It Down, which is more of a feel-good kind of song.

Yeah, because Smacks takes a bit of a harder approach to R&B, it’s a bit more aggressive.

Yeah, we made that six months after, so there you go. If you’ve been paying close attention to us, it would seem we’re going back and forth a bit, but it’s actually just like a narrative that’s been split up and moved around a bit.

What was the idea behind Smacks? What influenced you to take this more aggressive approach?

It became clear to us that we were more interested in being brutal and spectacular. I guess it differentiated us a little bit from stuff that we see around. And I think we’re also inspired by a lot of music that maybe isn’t the type of electronic music that’s popular at the moment. I would like to mention some friends of ours called Making, a Sydney band, they’re our biggest inspirations. They’re really incredible with their energy and their commitment to the sound they make. I think that sort of stuff is really influential for us.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/blackvanilla-1/smacks[/soundcloud]

You’ve been around for a while in your respective projects. How have you seen the music scene develop? In particular, the Sydney scene?

It’s been quite amazing. It feels like so long ago, even when Black Vanilla got together. Just to paint a picture, we started playing music in the middle of 2011, Jarred, Lavurn and I. Lavurn and I had been doing stuff for a couple of years before that. At that time, we were playing mostly warehouse shows, shows with rock bands. We were playing small shows with people like Seekae, Lavurn played a show where he was supported by Flume, that sort of stuff. And meanwhile, people that are actually younger than us have become really successful and in many ways it’s really exciting. Software is acceptable now, young people, anyone can make music really easily. And I think that’s great. It’s really democratising and it means that people can understand music more.

Your live performances, they’re very interactive. Being up in the face of the crowd seems to be a big part of the show. Do you feel that this level of personal interaction is important?

I do often wonder why we do it and I suppose it’s a contrast with the hierarchy, with the performer being on stage and people being down on the ground and watching you, being appreciative  in a passive way. I think it’s really about us wanting an active experience. Any experience in which where we are, is where you are, and that we’re all in the room experiencing the same thing at the same time. It’s interesting, the bigger you get, the more removed you become from the experience. It gets to a point where it’s like a big pop act. You’ll be on a big stage, you’ll have monitors so you can’t even hear the crowd. I’m totally into that mode of performing but for Black Vanilla, it’s important that we’re all together at the same time.

How does the audience usually react to that level of interaction?

Usually, these days, people come for that, people come to our shows to be in the moment. But before that, it was kind of us bringing people into the experience, trying to get them to be there with us and confront passivity a bit. I think it’s totally okay to be passive but we want to perform in such a way that you can’t be passive and our aim is to make you want to be as involved as possible.

Five Quick Questions

1. What’s your best party trick?

Being able to hit that top note in that Eddie Murphy movie, Coming to America. There’s an ad in the TV shop for Soul Glow shampoo and the theme tune of this fictional ad involves this guy singing so high and I can usually hit that note.

How often do you get to use that in day-to-day life?

Not often. I’m kinda clutching at straws here haha.

2. Would you rather collaborate with Avril Lavigne or Chad Kroeger?

Ugh. Definitely Avril. No one wants to hang out with Chad Kroeger. Although after that Hello Kitty song, maybe not, but I would with 2002 Avril.

3. What’s the weirdest or most embarrassing song on your iTunes?

I have everything from One Direction to ABBA…I’ll go One Direction.

4. On the subject of Black Vanilla, what’s your favourite Neapolitan ice cream flavour?

Vanilla!

5. Would you rather have Cheetos fingers or have a popcorn kernel stuck in the back of your throat for the rest of your life?

I’ll have to go popcorn kernel. As long as it’s cooked in oil, not butter. That way I could maintain my vegan lifestyle.

You can catch Black Vanilla this weekend, alongside Cut Copy DJs, Seekae, Giraffage & more, at OutsideIn Festival.

Tickets still available here

UVBoi_Interview2

We interviewed UV Boi through Snapchat

UV Boi is one of the fastest rising artists in the Australian electronica scene. Having charmed the likes of Ryan Hemsworth, the producer has churned out everything from kawaii sounds to iPhone messenger sounds. We took to Snapchat to interview the 18 year-old up-and-comer to prove we can still kick it with the cool kids.

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UVBoi_interview2

You can catch UV Boi at Paradise Music Festival and also at Future Classic & BBE’s XMAS WEEKENDER.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/pp17051996/paint-a-perfect-picture[/soundcloud]

Add ‘theinterns’ on Snapchat to find out what we’re listening to in real time.

Sampology_Interview

Sampology on Paddle Pops, Berlin & His Collaboration With Daniel Merriweather

Sampology_Interview

Creator of multi sensory, high octane, audio-visual landscapes, music producer Sam Poggioli (AKA Sampology) has had a busy past few months. Recently sharing the studio with fellow Aussie, Daniel Merriweather, to produce the uplifting track, Shine A Light, the Brisbane-born musician has just hit the road with his new AV show. Sam took time out of his BIGSOUND debut to have a chat to us about Paddle Pops, Berlin, his forthcoming album and collaborating with Daniel Merriweather.

Are you excited for tonight?

I am for sure. It’s the first time I’ve done this new live show so I’m really excited. I’ve been to BIGSOUND a bunch of times, because I’m from Brisbane, and it’s just fun to go out and check out a bunch of stuff. It’s always good but it’s the first time I’ve actually showcased here which is kind of good timing because of this new live show and it’s kicking off the new album cycle. I’ve been working with different vocalists and musicians. Most of them are from Brisbane, like Jordan Rakei, who’s definitely one to check out, he’s an up-and-coming solo artist. He’s playing keys and vocals tonight. Also Tom Thumb, who I’ve worked with for quite a long time, and then Daniel Merriweather, who’s coming out from Melbourne to do the track (Shine A Light) tonight.

Is this your first time with two other guys on stage with you?

I’ve done heaps of stuff over the years, just like little collaborations, and I’ve done heaps of shows with Tom before. So I’ve always had stints where I’ve worked with other people but I guess in terms of putting together my own live show, it’s more on that live show/performer/new music kind of style. It’s definitely a new thing for me.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/sampology/preview-sampology-shine-a-light-ft-daniel-merriweather[/soundcloud]

Is this going to be the arrangement for you, moving forward? Are you going to be on stage with people in live shows now?

Definitely for the next year or so, but I’m still doing my visual show as well for specific tours. So in mid- to late November I’ll be doing a visual tour around the release of that single and then early next year-onwards, I’ll be doing live shows with the guys.

So the visuals will still be incorporated in the live shows?

There’ll still be that visual component for sure. I was never trained, I never went to uni for visuals or anything, I just had ideas that I kind of wanted to put on the screen. So I kind of taught myself how to do that stuff for the AV show and I guess from that stuff, I had more creative ideas around what I wanted visually for the live show. But it’s definitely a different style of things, because the AV show is more about taking found footage, and flipping it and juxtaposing. Juxtaposing is a pretty solid word to use for that show, whereas this show is following a strong art thing surrounding all of it.

Do the others contribute to the ideas surrounding the visuals?

No, it’s actually me and my Mum! She’s an artist. There’s so much more art to come out, around the album cycle that I’ve been working with her for. So at the moment I’m just really excited because I know I’ve got on my computer all the stuff we’ve been working on and there’s so much rollout over the next year and it’s all on the same thing. It’s funny, to me, my Mum is my Mum. Not really thinking she’s an artist. But it’s only recently I saw this one piece that she’d been working on, and I was like, “that really links to the music that I’ve been working on” and we developed all this stuff.

So this is the first time collaborating with your Mum?

Yeah! So the visuals that you’ll see on the screen are animations, inspired by stuff that she’s done.

Sampology_Five Quick Qs

How did collaborating with Daniel Merriweather come about? 

I had a couple of days down time in LA about four months ago and he was living there at that point and I hit him up because I wanted to work with him anyway on that track. It just so happened that we were both there. I was just going to work over the internet like I usually do but I was like, “oh, we’re in the same city,” so we met up for coffee, I played him stuff from the album which he was really digging and that track. The next day, I had to find a studio really fast and ended up knowing one of the engineers that works at the Mad Decent studio so I used that. He gave it to me for free so we recorded it there.

Is that the only track he pops up on?

Just that one track, yeah. But Jordan’s on a couple of tracks and Tom’s on another track and Hannah Macklin, who’s from Brisbane, is doing some vocals on some tracks. Really beautiful choir-stacked vocals. It was like halfway through making the album stuff, and I’m still working on it. I’m really happy with it at the moment because a lot of the sounds are inspired by overseas. A very Brazilian kind of influence on the Daniel track, as well as carnival and tropical themes, even though I’m using contemporary synthesisers and stuff. There’s that kind of element but then on top of that, there’s definitely a strong, next-wave, Brisbane soul artist world. It’s cool to represent where you’re from as well. That came about naturally so I realised it and went with it a bit more.

The Brisbane music scene’s evolving so much.

Definitely. And it’s kind of like, when you don’t expect it to happen, it just naturally happens. When I saw Jordan for the first time at West End at this super small gig, it was kind of like the split second he opened his mouth, I was like “woah”. Just that tone of voice that he has. I was like, “Holy shit, this guy’s from Brisbane.

sampology

It feels like a kind of change of direction for you. Almost like starting a new chapter of sorts?

Yeah, for sure. There’s lots of new stuff and the show and the sounds and the album…but at the same time, I kind of see there’s definitely extensions of what I’ve been doing. Shine A Light, for example. The original rhythm track that I made of that was from playing DJ sets and I always try to drop an upbeat, traditional Brazilian track. I find whenever I play Brazilian music, girls always get onto the dancefloor. This chanty, choir, Brazilian stuff. It just works really well. Even if I’m playing dance music that was made in 2014, I try and find these specific older tracks that you can bridge into nicely. So it was kind of after a few gigs of doing these kind of things that I was like, “I want to make a track that is a culmination of those two things.” So that was kind of the starting point for the Daniel track. I guess that was an extension of what I was doing in these DJ sets.

It sounds like you’ve had a pretty crazy year, travel-wise. Visiting a heap of places. Does that influence the sounds that you make?

I think so. I remember working on tracks when I was in India, even though there’s no Indian or Bollywood sounds on the album. I guess, you can be inspired in a specific place in the world, completely removed from Brisbane, but that doesn’t mean you’ll make music from that spot.

Was there a favourite place from your trip? Where you were like, “I’ve got to move there!”

I could definitely live in Berlin. It’s cheap and I’ve got a lot of Aussie and New Zealand friends. I probably wouldn’t do the “I’m moving to this city forever!” kind of thing, I’d do something like live there for three months.

Are there any producers or artists in particular that you’re listening to that maybe could have inspired the album a little bit?

I feel like different processes through the album. When I was working with the bass tracks, like the initial rhythm tracks, there were definitely situations combining traditional Brazilian thing with a contemporary track, and then layer a track over the top. So that’s kind of influenced the bass tracks and the rhythms. But then, situations like, going out and being a punter and seeing Jordan play or seeing Hannah Macklin play, those kind of situations, it would be cool if you combined this and this. I feel like it’s a different hat that I wear for my DJ sets because there’s so much new music. I hear it and then I want to play it in my DJ set. I’ve never thought about it this way but I guess it’s a different thing to be inspired to be making my own music.

On the AV side of things, how do you travel with it all? Or is it just your laptop?

With the AV show, I’m manipulating videos and audio at the same time using turntables. And with the visual show, I’ve got cameras pointing down so I can show that it is live. I send a green screen through this box and then I key out the green light, like the weatherman on TV, and it’ll show through to the camera shot. It’s kind of a tricky way to layer up stuff to get this cool effect that I wanted to do at the start of the year.

Is it easy enough to set that all up? In all these locations around the world?

It’s a little bit more complicated because I’m using all this gear that was meant for something else. Like, using it in a different way. So I cable it differently.


Sampology Tour Dates 

The Factory, Qld | Nov 21

Oh Hello!, Qld | Nov 22

GoMA Future Beauty Up Late, Qld | Nov 28

Flinders Social, Qld | Dec 13

Howler, Vic | Dec 19

Hermitude_Interview2

Hermitude on Hangovers, Poutine & Plans Beyond The Valley

Hermitude_Interview2

After a solid stint touring, most recently around North America with fellow Sydney mates RÜFÜS, Hermitude are back in the studio. I chatted with one half of the electronic production duo, Angus Stuart, about various things, most notably mistaking his beer choice of Coopers for Cougars, the North American cuisine and plans on bringing in the new year.

You arrived back in Sydney a week ago, how was the tour?

Yeah it was amazing, we had a lot of fun with the RÜFÜS boys touring around, checking out America and Canada and playing the music that we love. It was a great experience.

We had a lot of shows over there in a small amount of time, we basically did 15 shows in 20 days. There was a lot of driving, we got to see a lot of the country side which I find inspiring but also meeting people from the audience in different cities, really getting a vibe for what that city feels like and what the people are like. I really enjoy that when travelling.

A lot of our music is rooted in hip hop, we also take from the electronic side of things as well, so I always like listening out for new music and usually come back with a lot of new music in my bag.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/hermitude/hyperparadise[/soundcloud]

What’s on for Hermitude in the coming months?

We are currently finishing up our new record, at the tail end of the process working on a bunch of tracks. It’s sounding really cool, we have just finished the single, thats coming out soon and dropping the record next year, so its all ramping up.

You have been touring a lot, how have you found time to produce new material for this next record?

Yeah, we have spent a lot of time on the road over the last couple of years since we dropped HyperParadise, there was a time we were writing in between travelling and playing some big festivals, so there are a couple of big tunes inspired from those experiences. When your in a plane or the back of a van you have this really interesting environment outside, creating different sounds which serves as a form of inspiration. This record feels like a progression on from HyperParadise, our production and song writing has stepped up a notch. I guess the main thing is whenever we write we just like to have fun and try different things and hopefully that comes through on the next record.

Are you incorporating any new instruments or technologies?

I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you after. Nah, for HyperParadise we used a bunch of old analogue synths that we still have but we have acquired a couple of new synthesisers- one of them is digital, theres a bit more digital sound going on with this record.. So yeah there are a couple of new things, a big mash.

Any collaborations which you can talk about on the album?

I’m just going to wait with that one.

What shows have you got, apart from Beyond the Valley coming up?

We have another one in Perth called Co-Lab Festival, it’s always good getting over there and we are doing NYE On The Harbour, thats going to be really fun and New Year’s is also my birthday.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/odesza/say-my-name-hermitude-remix[/soundcloud]

New Year’s resolutions on your birthday?

Yeah I know, sometimes I do New Year’s Eve resolutions and other times I’m just like, “fuck it”.

How did the AV component of your set come to be?

When we perform live we like to play as much as possible, we have two synthesisers, MPC sampler and turntables. We realised early on that we were playing all this stuff and half the time the audience couldn’t actually see what we were playing so we went to our Production Manager and said, “we want cameras”, so he came back to us with this whole device that he had built and all these Go Pro cameras, he helped us develop this live visual feed of what we are doing on stage so its been really cool, he’s a genius.

What other artists are you excited to check out at Beyond the Valley?

AlunaGeorge, Danny Brown, Bag Raiders…it’s going to be awesome.

There are hip hop influences throughout your music. Who are you excited about in Australian hop right now?

One Day Crew, it’s a bit of like a super group between Horror Show, Split Syndicate, Jackie Onassis and a bunch of other dudes but, yeah, they are really dope. Sydney based as well.

Last artists listened to?

James Blake, FKA Twigs.

 When you were over in the US you were talking about listening to other artists, bringing back records, whats ‘hot’ over there? 

There was this girl. Me and Dubs were in this store one time, it was just a clothing store or whatever and there was this track playing. We both walked out of the store and turned to each other and were like “did you hear that track playing, it was dope”…We didn’t find out what the track was and for the rest of the trip we were just trying to hear this track again. Finally, in LA, I was in another store and they were playing a tune, it wasn’t the same track but the voice, I think it was a female rapper or singer. Anyway her name is Dej Loaf, she has a new mixtape out called Sell Soul I think.. but the track Try Me was the first track we heard, I think it was in the midst of blowing up.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/moaninmonkeys/dej-loaf-try-me[/soundcloud]

Apparently there is a hangover spa at Beyond the Valley, see you there?

Yeah, I’ll be there for sure.

5 Quick Questions 

Dedication to your recent North American tour- Meat pies or poutine?

That’s a tricky one, I think I’m going to go with meat pies just cause they’re a classic and they’ve been in my life for so long. Every now and then you just gotta have a good meat pie.

Mangoes or avocados?

Oh fuck thats a hard one, depends what season.. Im going to say mangoes.

VB or Melbourne Bitter?

Fucking hell, is there any other choices?

Top 3 items on your glamping rider?

A Sega Mega drive console from like 1990, with Sonic the Hedgehog, Mortal Kombat….umm what else would there be…champagne.

Tent or Teepee?

Teepee.

You can find Hermitude at either the Hangover Spa or on the stage at this year’s Beyond The Valley Festival. Get your tickets here.  

Yacht Club DJs interview

10 things I learnt from my interview with Yacht Club DJs

Yacht Club DJs interview

Back in August, it was announced that party duo and mash-up maestros, Yacht Club DJs, were calling it quits. Since forming in 2008, Gareth Harrison and Guy Chappell have entertained crowds with their unique mixing style and mash-up techniques, as well as their on-stage antics, which in the past have included nudity, crowd invasions and riding over the crowd in an inflatable boat. To celebrate almost eight successful years in the music industry, the Ballarat locals are throwing 14 massive send-off parties around Australia, beginning in Hobart and ending in their hometown, Ballarat. I was lucky to speak to one half of the super duo, Gaz, in one of their last interviews ever. Here’s what I learnt:

1. Music goes in circles

When I first started DJing, literally the biggest thing was deep house, pushing that sound all over the world, and then everyone went really backwards with it and didn’t want to listen to it, it was all too serious, and then it went ultra, ultra party and everyone was listening to hip hop and party jams. And when we came along, the whole mash-up thing happened, what with 2manydjs, and then that moved into the indie-electro sound by Justice, and then Daft Punk happened. And now it’s all come back round again and everyone wants to listen to deep house. It all happens in circles. Everyone out there is like, “I’ve got a fresh new sound!” and I’m like, “Bullshit! it happened in 2000!” It’s cool, though, there’s always going to be new discoveries. That’s music, that’s what it’s there for.”

2. Mumford & Sons and The Prodigy go surprisingly well together

“Guy was obsessed with playing a Mumford and Sons song in our set and I kind of hated it. I like Mumford and Sons but I came from this really serious band background so every now and then we’ll do something that will make my skin crawl. I had to do things to get my head around it so I started mixing Breathe by The Prodigy into it. This really anthemic Mumford and Sons song with this really garage thing (laughs). So like injecting that kind of sense of humour into it got me past the skin crawling phase because it was just so preposterous and funny. But that sort of thing still backs the spirit of the house party vibe we have. It’s like the kind of shit you’d put on your iPhone with your friends, like playing ridiculous song after ridiculous song.”

3. Australia’s killing it in the music scene

“There’s so many good dudes in Australia now, we’re taking over the world. Just to see people do what they do, like Chris from What So Not, Flume, all those guys, are absolutely taking over the world. And then there’s dudes just killing it, like Paces and Spenda C. Also, Yahtzel, I love that kid. He’s unreal. And he’s such a good DJ, it’s ridiculous. Australia’s scene is really, really strong.”

4. Their onstage antics are unplanned

People make it sound like our shows are really planned. We just go on stage and do our thing. One time, I got this really intense cut on my back and was bleeding everywhere and it just got written off that I had planned it. And I was like, ‘I’m really hurt here?’

Another time in Byron Bay, I broke my leg. These things don’t get planned. This shit just happens. If I get naked, I get naked. If I accidentally break my leg, I accidentally break my leg. We’re never going to go on stage and be like, ‘Alright. 10 minutes in, I’m gonna do this, you’re gonna do this.’ Who even wants to plan that shit? It’s so ridiculous!”

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/yachtclubdjsmusic/hooroo[/soundcloud]

5. They hate the lockout laws

“Last time we played, we had to play so early so everyone could go out afterwards. And then I couldn’t go out afterwards! I went on stage, got a beer and was like, “Sweet, let’s go out,” and then it was like, “Nup, can’t go out.” Fuck the lockout, I hate that stuff!

It doesn’t work. Ballarat, where I live, is the first place that ever did it. And if they looked up what happened here, they’d know it doesn’t work because everyone goes out on the streets and fights each other. No lockout, it’s a shit idea.”

6. They really, really love Meredith Festival

When asked about one of his favourite moments of his career, Gaz replied, “I’d have to say the very first Meredith we’ve ever played. I worked at that music festival for so long and I absolutely adored it. I always said that if I ever got on stage there, I’d take a shovel and just bury myself out the back…and then we got to play it three times.

I’ve walked on stage at a lot of festivals and and there’s nothing like the rush when you walk on that stage there. And that includes all the stuff we did over in America, which was a huge rush and such an incredible experience, but there’s just something about Meredith. I think also having my best friends in the front row just giving me shit the whole time is good. It definitely holds a special place.”

yacht club djs

7. Gaz wants to be a fortune cookie writer

When asked to choose between professional sleeper, dice inspector or fortune cookie writer as his next career options, Gaz was quick to choose the latter: “I love unloading truth on people.”

8. Their career was a huge surprise to them

“We only ever did this for fun. The whole career has been a huge surprise to be honest. We started this just for a laugh and like 8 years later we’re still doing it and we’re like, ‘holy crap, how did this even happen?’”

9. Gaz is taking a well-deserved break  

“I don’t have any plans but I know Guy’s got some other stuff he’s working on. I just want some time off. I’ve been DJing full time for 15 years. I just want to do something else and I kind of like the idea of not knowing what I’m going to do. After 15 years of having a pretty regimented life, I think I’m just going to wander around and see what happens.”

10. They’re quitting the biz and there’s nothing we can do about it

It seems the duo are pretty confident there’ll be no John Farnham-esque comeback tour. “Definitely zero chance,” said Gaz. “I’m not as young as I used to be and who the fuck would want to see me when I’m 40 and playing party music at a nightclub? I don’t think that will ever work.

We never wanted to get what we do to get old. We always said, if we get tired of it, leave it where it is. We’re still doing really good things with it but at the same time we want to do other stuff so we’re like “fuck it, let’s just  call it off.” Let’s leave it as this thing. It was really good and never got old so let’s, yeah, move on.”

Yacht Club DJs’ Hooroo! tour kicks of tonight, 31 October. See below for dates. 

Fri 31 Oct – Republic Bar | Hobart TAS | Tickets 

Sat 1 Nov – Republic Bar | Hobart TAS | Tickets 

Fri 7 Nov – The Northern | Byron Bay NSW| Tickets 

Sat 8 Nov – The Brightside | Brisbane QLD | Tickets

Fri 14 Nov – The Cambridge | Newcastle NSW | Tickets 

Sat 15 Nov – Oxford Art Factory | Sydney NSW| Tickets 

Fri 21 Nov – Barwon Club | Geelong VIC | Tickets 

Sat 22 Nov – The Corner Hotel | Melbourne VIC | Tickets 

Fri 28 Nov – Jive | Adelaide SA| Tickets 

Sat 29 Nov – Lost at The Vic | Darwin NT | Door Sales Only

Fri 5 Dec – Amplifier | Perth WA | Tickets

Sat 6 Dec – ‘Hooch’ at Toucan Club | Mandurah WA | Tickets

Fri 19 Dec – Karova Lounge | Ballarat VIC | Tickets

Sat 20 Dec – Karova Lounge | Ballarat VIC | Tickets

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