Having grown up in the Blue Mountains, I've always felt pretty strongly towards Hermitude. My friends and I have been following them since their early days, with releases like Alleys to Valleys and Tale of the Drift. More recently however, the band has seen torrents of success and accolades with the release of Hyperparadise; also garnering them a swag of awards. Now back from overseas, the boys are about to head out on a massive run of shows over the next few months. I caught up with Luke Dubber (Dubs) to see how they're travelling.
You guys have a pretty hectic set of shows leading up to and including Falls Festival. Are the realities of embarking on such an undertaking dawning on you?
Yeah, the reality kicked in when they sent us the e-mail telling us all the places we have to be in a very short time. It's going to be pretty crazy but we've done a couple of crazy runs in our time, so we're ready for it. It's one of those things you've just got to pace yourself with; we actually play a gig in New Zealand before we start Falls. You've just got to try and not get too drunk and save a bit of energy. We're really excited to play Falls though, we've never played it before and I've just heard really great things and the lineup is dope, so we're really pumped.
You've played with The Bird a few times. What was that like?
Well Hermitude and The Bird used to tour together a bit back in the day, after our first or second album or something. I met Ben Walsh (drums) through Simon (keys) and we all became mates and started hanging out, as we were all living in Glebe at the time. So we used to tour with them heaps as Hermitude and then as that came to a close, Ben asked me to come on board and do some Bird stuff. It was me and Simon and Bobby on the table and of course Ben. That was awesome fun, those guys are such a different sound to us but I've always had such respect for those guys, I mean their live show is just ridiculous. It's always a challenge playing with those guys but also really rewarding. I mean Ben is like a thousand miles a minute and you really have to keep up. He'll be sitting on stage, bashing the shit out of his drums and yelling shit at you, 'Change now!' 'Do this, do that', you've got to be listening and ready for anything.
I'd be stupid not to press for info on a new Hermitude album.
It's coming along. We're right in the thick of it at the moment, we started this year and we've done a lot on it, but we’ve also been in and out of shows, so we haven't had as much time to focus on it as we'd like. I think it's starting to take shape though; we've got a bunch of tracks that we're really happy with. We've got an idea of the sound of the album but not a complete solid direction yet. We've been going in a lot of different directions and seeing what one we lean towards. It should be out mid next year, hopefully people can sit tight until then.
Hyperparadise marked a pretty big up-shoot in your popularity. Was that kind of expected at the time you were making it?
It wasn't expected but I guess it was hoped for. It's hard to predict what people are going to think, so we just kind of do what we do and hope people are into it. But with every record you make you kind of want to step up, so you set the benchmark at your last record and you want to step higher with the next one. We really wanted to with Hyperparadise but it kind of stepped much higher than we ever thought it would; it's kind of put us in a whole new echelon of Australian music and were really grateful for that. But that means on the next record we have to release super-crazy-dope-shit to take it another step up. So that's where we're at now.
Was there a particularly sobering moment with Hyperparadise where you realised that this was getting pretty big?
There's been many, the first one was winning the J Award for the Speak of the Devil video, then Speak of the Devil got in the top 50, then we won the Air award and a few FBI awards and then the Australian Music Award. So it's just been this incredible build, just when you think things are calming down the storm just get crazier. So now we've had the opportunity to play some really incredible shows because our profile has been lifted so much. That's why we're so excited to be coming to Falls at this particular point in our careers, everything's rocking pretty hard and we can just go down there and smack it.
By Layth Saeed
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Hermitude – Speak of the devil