While on Randall’s Island in New York City at Gov Ball, we had the pleasure of speaking with EDM duo Hermitude straight out of New South Wales. Hermitude is made up of Angus Stuart (El Gusto, Gus) and Luke Dubber (A.K.A. Luke Dubs) and their mid-day performance was just as radical as their stage names are.
AMBY: If you weren’t DJing right now, what would you be doing?
GUS: I would be playing basketball for sure, and barbecuing.
LUKE: I would definitely be playing golf and video games.
AMBY: How did you guys meet?
LUKE: We met in a high school band actually. Somehow we got paired together, and we realized we loved the same kinds of music, and started hanging out after rehearsals regularly. Eventually we ended up in a studio together, and the rest was history!
AMBY: What kind of instruments did you play?
GUS: I played the drums…
LUKE: And I played the keys.
AMBY: What was the age that you started coming together and made things official as a duo?
GUS: Around sixteen…
AMBY: As much as I love asking about upbringings because what happens to you when you are young is so vital with influencing whom you become and how you contribute to society, what was the music culture like in New South Wales?
GUS: Australia is honestly very broad with taste in music, but what I love about America is every state and every city has a unique sound coming out of it. In Australia, it is not so defined by states… or cities, it is just broad and accepting of music over all.
LUKE: Everyone in Australia is working to make their sound known but really it is becoming one big genre. Like, Tame Impala is playing, and she is from Perth which is all the way out on the west coast, Flume played last night who is from Sydney as well… there is a lot of exciting music coming out of Australia all together but the fact is there isn’t just one sound, and the sound cant really be classified yet. It’s a good time to be an artist who is apart of the music industry.
AMBY: What are your inspirations? By that I mean a person, a place, a certain culture that you gravitated too?
GUS: Generally I take inspiration from American Hip Hop, and some from the United Kingdom bass scene. Also, like back in the day with Massive Attack. Of course we had this background with playing in bands, and loved anything from reggae, to blues, to jazz. I believe that we both take all these things and smash them together, and that becomes Hermitude.
AMBY: If you could work with someone who has passed, who would it be?
GUS: I’d say Herbie Hancock!
LUKE: Hmmmmmm… Passed… Ah… Probably Ella Fitzgerald.
AMBY: And now, is there anyone you would love to collaborate with who is alive!
GUS: Maybe Frank Ocean… Chance the Rapper.
AMBY: What did you think of the crowd here?
GUS: Absolutely INCREDIBLE.
LUKE: Yea I’m honestly going to say, that was huge. We’ve had a run with five or six festivals, and I think this was my favorite. Not just because it is in New York, but I found it was the most receptive crowd. It was downright amazing. And that was an early set as well; we weren’t expecting the turn out that came. We were insanely stoked.
AMBY: What do you have to say to the haters?”
GUS: “Haters gonna HATE.”
LUKE: To be honest, we don’t get many haters, and I am just saying that because I think we’re amazing.
LUKE: There are obviously always haters, but I think we haven’t had heaps of haters. Although I think haters are really refreshing. Everyone could like your music, but I am not making my music for my haters, and there are so many other things out there for people to like… Just go listen to someone else.
AMBY: That’s really refreshing to hear from someone who is apart of an industry that can rip you to pieces, if you pay attention to the negative opinions. Now for my little twist on this interview… how do you guys decide on what you’re going to wear before you perform? Do you guys bounce ideas off each other?
LUKE: Funny you should ask, this ensemble right here, is what I like to call the the burger clean up. I went to take a bite of the burger and ketchup went everywhere. So I just washed myself down!
AMBY: [laughs] So, outfit wise, besides the little mishap you had before the interview, how do you like to look put together?
GUS: On a serious note, we just say to each other ‘Hey what are you wearing!’ and we bounce ideas off of each other.
LUKE: I love finding small labels and supporting them, because there is so much going on in fashion with these more underground labels, and it makes you feel good, and the designers feel good, when someone who has the power to show their work to the rest of the world on a larger scale.
Thank you Hermitude, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Morgan Zakarin | @subculturegyal