Others say that determination and hard work will always get you where you want to be, regardless of age or experience. For Australian electronic veterans Hermitude, it’d be wrong to regard them as juxtapositions to any of those qualities. As time passed, the duo found themselves finally cracking the nut they’ve always wanted to crack – the United States.
Returning from a huge world tour, the band are more than chuffed about their recent shows overseas, and as one half of the trippy electronic duo Angus Stuart (El Gusto) says in tandem with their most successful single to date The Buzz, it’s hard not to admit that the band are making a stir around the globe.
“The tour’s been amazing,” says Gusto. “America, Indonesia, Europe as well – it still amazes me that we get to go and play at these places, it’s truly special. We did a lot of festivals over in America which was super fun. The crowds were huge, good vibes all round. It’s been a crazy summer.”
The band are no strangers to the festival circuit. Name any festival in Australia, and nine times out of ten Hermitude have played it over the span of their almost 15 year career. Some might say the novelty might wear off, but the band remains vigilant.
“Festivals are super fun because you play to a lot of people, some of which may not have heard your music before, so it can open you up to a lot of new fans,” Gusto says. “The general vibe is always good, extremely hard to beat.
“Club shows are much more intimate, and you get more of that hot and sweaty vibe. We generally play a lot longer sets in a club show environment, so you can normally take people on much more of a journey. They both have their own merits. We love performing either way.”
Their most recent album, 2015’s Dark Night Sweet Light saw the duo take a different approach to songwriting and most interestingly, their whole production stencil. While experimenting with samples early on in their career, after being heavily influenced by a hip hop background, the band decided to experiment and create their own samples.
“We used to do a lot of sampling, but these days we tend to lean more on synths and recording our own stuff,” Gusto says. “Mainly because of licensing, but we’ve also found that it’s much more of a challenge. Every now and then we’ll throw in something, but we normally try and chop it up and make it our own sound, but that comes through experimentation.
“Even for Dark Night Sweet Light, we went out into different urban areas and hid microphones in storm water drains and old abandoned silos, and we found that it produced these amazing reverbs and other effects that we ended up using on the album. It gave our tracks a different atmosphere. We’ll be definitely doing that again for the next one.”
While the band’s touring has been relentless in the last two years, it hasn’t stopped them from planning a follow-up to their hugely successful last album, which incorporated more features and guests than they had ever collaborated with before, including up and coming Australian electronic acts like Yeo. Gusto says that while the album is still only in pre-production stages, they will definitely be going the same route this time around for the next project.
“It’s still pretty early days, so I can’t really drop any names yet,” he says. “We’re definitely looking to get in some more awesome Australian local talent. There’s so much good stuff going on out there in the Australian music scene at the moment that it’d be silly not to. And the States as well, the last tour really opened us up to a lot of incredible musicians, so we’re scoping that out as well.”
By Benjamin Potter