Hermitude Are Heading To Vintage Vibes On Saturday
Originally from the Blue Mountains Hermitude are an electronic music duo consisting of long time collaborators Luke Dubber (a.k.a. Luke Dubs) and Angus Stuart (a.k.a. El Gusto). The pair have been making music together since 1994 where they were sixteen and eleven respectively. The group have crafted an ever-exploratory body of work blending hip-hop, funk, dubstep, and pop, informed by their frequent international touring and life experiences. Mirror Mountain is Hermitude’s latest record which is all about timing: finding one’s way, a creative spurt coinciding with a global lock down, to find a new kind of homecoming. As a result, the album bristles with the energy and spark of a duo who still find things that excite them.Luke talks to Hi Fi Way about playing Vintage Vibes on Saturday.
It must be a little bit exciting coming back to Adelaide and playing a new festival, Vintage Vibes up in the Adelaide Hills?
It is, man. We were super stoked to get asked to play it actually, because it’s such a diverse line-up. Some older bands, some new bands, different genres. I feel like festivals that spread their wings a bit with the line-up really makes me excited. It’s cool to be able to see other bands of all kind of shapes and sizes.
Who doesn’t like a little bit of Leo Sayer as well?
Exactly. I mean, come on.
Do you approach festivals any different than your own club shows?
It is a little bit different because the time slot is usually a little bit more constricted, so you have to squeeze in a bit more into a bit less of a time slot. Festivals are generally, I guess you have to get to the point a bit quicker, club sets allow you to do a little bit more of a journey set. Whereas festivals, you have to get everyone in the palm of your hand a little bit quicker, I guess. At the same time depending on the festival, I can’t remember how long we’re playing for off the top of my head at Vintage Vibes, but I feel like Vintage Vibes will be the kind of festival where we’ll be able to take people on that journey a little bit more perhaps than a regular straight up kind of EDM festival where people just want to hear like the bangers. It’s going to be fun.
How are you finding the integration of the new songs with your existing songs in the set list? Do they go well together?
It’s a funny one actually. I feel like when we’re writing a record and the songs are still really new and fresh to my ears, they always feel so far removed from our older music. I’m always like, man, how are we going to play these live? How are we going to slot these in? Cause it just feels so different. Once the record’s finished and I listen to it, I’m like, oh yeah, this just sounds like a Hermitude record. It has whatever we do in it. I feel like I worry a bit unnecessarily early on, but, um, yeah, as, as we’ve kind of played ‘Mirror Mountain’ out a little bit now, the songs have fitted in fine, we’ve found a good way to shape the journey of all of our previous records and it’s just one of those things that somehow always comes together, which we’re lucky.
Looking back, are you really pleased with what you ended up with Mirror Mountain?
Absolutely! It was a really fun record to make actually, one of the funnest records in a long time. We had no rules, no restrictions. We didn’t let anybody listen to it. We didn’t listen to it outside of the studio. We had a few experiments going on to see how it would influence the sound and coupled with a newfound love for up tempo music, which Hermitude fans know that we’ve kind of resided in a hip hop kind of down tempo territory for most of our careers. So now we’re getting a little bit of a taste for dance music and stuff that’s a bit more up tempo. Experimenting with all these elements proved to be a really lucrative thing for the music itself. We had heaps of fun doing it, which I think resulted in a great record.
Was it a challenging album to make?
It wasn’t challenging actually. It was the opposite of challenging. It flowed quite freely, there was a lot going on Covid and then we had the fires about three months before that, which basically incinerated half the town. The fires came right to both of our backyards in black heat. There was literally embers falling like right near our houses. We were very, very lucky, as was the whole community up here, that no houses were lost. The firies were next level angels up here for that period. Funnily enough, the album itself was quite easy to write. I use that word lightly, obviously easy. It’s never easy. Finishing songs is always tricky, but it’s the ideas that the initial burst of creativity that came with Mirror Mountain was really fruitful, enjoyable and fun.
We wanted to strip it back like it was when we first got together, before the band becomes like a business or when you are writing songs thinking is it going to fit on radio? Are people going to like it on the dance floor? When you’re first writing, you’re just having fun, right? You don’t really care what anyone’s going to think about it. That was part of the essence of Mirror Mountain. It was like, let’s just get back to having fun and see what comes out. It was a great experience.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Hermitude at Vintage Vibes on Saturday 1 April, tickets HERE