Hermitude’s Luke Dubs on the Australian Open of Surfing, tour life and plans for 2017

After an intense 2016 made up of international tours, music festivals and all-nighters, electronic duo Hermitude are settling back in AUS to work on a new record and perform at the Australian Open of Surfing in Sydney. Since their 2015 LP Dark Sweet Night Light, Luke Dubber and Angus Stewart have been keeping busy – we caught up with ‘Dubs’ to hear all about what’s planned for 2017.

Yourself and Angus have performed around the globe over the last couple of months including the Leeds Festival, TheSoundYouNeed, Lowlands, Reading, just to name a few. Out of all the festivals you’ve performed at, including the Aussie ones, which has been your favourite and why? Or are all of them just as good as each other?

It is hard to compare them just because they’re all so different. Not only are they in different locations, but the crowds are different in different parts of the world.

We had a great gig at this festival called Shambhala in Canada, and that was a giant kind of doof. [Laughs] It was maybe 50,000 or more people, so it was a pretty decent size gig – but they had it on this property that was out in the middle of nowhere and we had to drive for hours to get there. It was just a really special place and it was a really awesome gig. That was one of the highlights of last year for us.

What’s it like travelling alongside Angus? Have you boys grown closer together over the years and have you discovered new traits about him after all your travels?

We’ve been friends for a long time. We became friends shortly after we finished school so we kind of know each other pretty well and we’re pretty much like brothers. The amount of time we spend with each other is probably more than our partners do funnily enough. [Laughs} But when you’re on the road there’s you become a family unit. We’re pretty chill. We know when to give each other space and when it’s time to chill out. When you spend so much time with someone who’s also your friend but also your work colleague you have to just make sure you don’t tip the scales too much.

Last two songs were released in August 2016 with the album artwork artwork stating, “They didn’t fit on their last album. so they’re actually old,” and yet they’re still mad tracks. Will we be hearing more from you boys soon?

[Laughs] Yeah! We’re pretty much going to be working on the record this year. It’s our first opportunity where we’ve been able to step off the tour bus and actually just plant ourselves in Sydney for a while. We’ve got a little studio here so we’re pretty much going to be in there all year. You’ll definitely be hearing from us. We’ll be putting out a single at some stage this year, I’m not too sure when. The odd remix might kind of pop up somewhere as well.

Awesome. Are there any artists who you’ll be keen on working with this year?

We usually get a bunch of beats together and then have a listen to them and see what kind of vibe they are – whether they are instrumental tracks or more vocal tracks and then we usually pick the artists from that point. Who knows. It’s a new record and we kind of like to change up the program so maybe we’ll start with someone in mind and write a track for them which we haven’t really done a great deal before.

You’ll be performing at the Australian Open of Surfing in Sydney, which has an expected number of 325,000 which is huge! Must be exciting for you boys to perform to such a massive crowd in Australia again?

Totally. I mean, it’s awesome that it’s in our hometown which is really cool and it’s free, which is even cooler. So everyone can come down and just have a good time. It looks like the stage is right on the beach so it’s pretty much the perfect gig. We’re pretty excited.

Mix that with a bunch of other live free music acts, food and drinks, and you’ve got yourself one big summer get-down. What’s the difference between performing in the states compared to Australian gigs? What’s better/or worse?

It’s always nice playing in Australia because it feels like home and it feels like you have that connection with everyone. When you’ve been touring a lot around the world it’s always great coming home and playing for a home crowd.

I guess another advantage of this gig in Manly is that it gives us a opportunity to play to our friends and the locals which we don’t get to do that often. A lot of the time we’ll be playing festivals and we haven’t done our own show in Sydney in a while, so this one will be pretty special.

You’ll be performing alongside Elk Road (Rory Garton Smith) and The Jezabels, which is always a treat.

It’ll be really cool to see him play (Rory). I don’t think we’ve done a gig together – we may have been on a festival together but playing right next to each other will be really nice and it’ll give us a chance to check out his live show. We’ve been hearing his music for a little bit and we’re really digging. The Jezabels are awesome – I haven’t seen those guys live so hopefully we’ll get to see those guys too. It’s a really cool lineup.

Do you always get thrills when performing in front of large crowds? Are you simply used to it?

I don’t think you ever really get used to it. It’s always still a really buzz just to look out and see so many people getting into your music. It’s something that always fills you with joy.

Sometimes when we’re up there playing and I just have this enormous grin on my face because I’m so happy to be in that position. It’s an amazing feeling – and even though the crowd sizes are kind of different from gig to gig, it’s great just to be performing in front of everyone but obviously when you’ve got a massive crowd it’s a huge adrenaline rush.

Check out all the information for the Australian Open of Surfing 2017 here!