Australian duo Hermitude found break-out success with their now globally signed single “Speak Of The Devil” taken from the ‘Hperparadise’ release. It hasn’t been the only notch-on-their-belts with nationally sold out shows to an experience that can only be judged live.
To get pre-warmed for a summery Parklife festival, Ben got onto the buzzer with Luke, one half of Hermitude to chat touring Europe, new material and back stage antics!
You guys just got back from Europe with Horrorshow and a couple of others artists, how were you guys and Aussie hip hop received over there?
It went really well. We have been mainly doing electronic dance stuff, but we have always had a hip-hop influence. The good thing about being an instrumental group is that we don’t have any rappers, so we can play anywhere, we can do hip-hop festivals and dance festivals. We did a hip-hop festival in Germany called Fusion, it was ridiculous! There was 60,000 people there and everyone was getting loose. It was set in an cold war military air base, all the stages were in hanger’s where they kept all their planes, it was crazy man, absolutely wicked… It was BYO, no security, everyone had heaps of fun. There was not one fight, didn’t even see an argument.
That’s crazy considering the situations that arise at many Australian festivals where we have high security and tight liquor control.
I think it may have to do with the level of security and how people react to it or something, I dunno, but it was a really refreshing experience.
We also did a gig over in the UK in Camden and sold it out, so we had a great little tour.
I also heard through the grape vine you guys were also working with some UK talent whilst you were over there.
Yes! Well we just signed over to Regal Records, for our single (Speak of The Devil) over in the UK and they hooked us up with this rapper named A Dot, a great Grime rapper from Brixton. So we did a track with her, which will hopefully make the next record.
We also worked with a singer named Takura, this wicked Zimbabwean London singer who’s worked with Chase and Status and a couple of other groups. We got leaked into the London scene which was great, and go to work with some great artists.
What can we expect at Park Life this year, are you guys going to mixing it up on the turntables or can we anticipate a live set?
We are bringing a live show to Park Life for sure! We are amped, we haven’t done a gig in quite a while. We are right now back in the studio writing, so we are keen to test out some new stuff out on the dance floor.
That’s wicked! You guys have some more material coming out?
Yeah man! Working on a new album actually, probably wont single out a date till next year, we only just kind of started but it’s an exciting time. We just got back from Europe so we are really inspired to write. We have no real clear idea of what the new album will sound like.
What are you guys like back stage?
(laughs) It really depends on how many whiskies we have had… we are normally pretty chilled, we like to hang out and do our thing… however towards the end of the last tour with 360, we found ourselves getting looser and looser. (laughs) we are normally pretty chilled. We are really stoked about the Park Life tour, being backstage getting to meet a whole lot of new people. Previously we toured with Laneway a few years back and met Rusko, it would be good to catch up him this time round. We are going to try and keep ourselves well behaved.
Any great on the road tales?
(laughs) Oh man, before we went to Europe at the end of the 360 tour, we had a massive gig, I think it was the second last show of the tour, anyway, the sound guy was driving us around because we were too wasted to get behind the wheel and handle any machinery, I don’t remember anything. We got up the next day all hung over and ready to get in the car and do the next show, and we get out to the car park and there was this trail of empty beer bottles and kebab wrappers going from our room all the way to the car. When we got to the back seat, it was covered in falafel.
Any big influences in the studio and on the stage?
Man, there are so many, we started off with DJ Krush and DJ Shadow, then Flying Lotus; but at the moment, we are really digging Hudson Mohawke, the new TNGHT thing he is doing with Lunice from Montreal; absolutely loving Frank Ocean’s new shit and Major Lazer’s new track is dope. All sorts of random shit… my girl friend put me onto this new band called Hayseed Dixie, they cover Outkast, Beastie Boys, do a cover of Gin and Juice and whole bunch of others on banjo.
A question for all the music nerds out there, what kind of equipment do you guys use in the studio?
We are big on analog synths, we are big on the Korg MS 20, the Korg Mono Poly, Sequential Circuits Six Trak, Odyssey, and then we have been getting into soft synths, doing something we haven’t done before. We also try and mix it up with live percussion and live drums. We all so used sample drums… we like to hit shit, record it and turn it into a drum sound. We’ll see how things go, maybe with the next record we’ll come out with something new.
Any wise words for aspiring producers?
Listen to heaps of different kinds of music. I think that’s one of the most important things for inspiration, and to all so hear what people are doing with sounds. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut just make the same sounding songs and having trouble coming to the studio being inspired. Just listen to as much music as you can and just soak it all up, listen to how they make it and figure it all out. Just keep making music, do it over and over again, for everyone 20 songs you write, one of them maybe good, just keep at it.