Australian DJ/Producer Anna Lunoe had a big 2014. When she wasn’t playing festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza she was releasing tracks with the likes of Treasure Fingers, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Aleisia, Wordlife, and The Alexanders. Her song BDD (Bass Drum Dealer) got picked up by Skrillex’s free release label, The Nest, and was mixed by the boss man himself. An overnight hit, the track’s unique blend of clanging steel drums, fierce driving basslines, and Lunoe’s own vocals established the Aussie as a force to be reckoned with. Her Ultra debut EP, All Out, showed off her pop-ier side drawing from different subgenres of house. Lunoe doesn’t like to confine herself to just one subgenre, instead she adapts to new emerging sounds whilst maintaining her own voice within the scene. This versatility sets Anna Lunoe apart from the rest and is why we chose her as one of our Spotlight Artists for 2015. We caught up with Lunoe after a lengthy bout of touring that sent her across country for the Ship2Ship Tour with Destructo and Motez ending in her joining the lineup of Holy Ship! for its voyage.
Hi Anna, how are you? What are you up to right now?
Anna: I am well my Thump Mix just went up the mix I did for HARD Fest. So I just put that up online, so I’m just retweeting everyone right now haha
Go Hard, is this a new tour coming up?
Yeah I’m doing some of the Go HARD shows, HARD is doing a bunch of upcoming one stage lineups so it was just a mix leading up to that.
Cool, You also got the Full Flex Express coming up with Mija. You girls are doing a bunch back to back sets across Canada, you excited for that?
Yeaaaaahhhhh, Mija and Skrillex and [unintelligible phone noise] ahh sorry that was an insane sound, but yeah it’s gonna be fun. We’ve back to backed before at Sonny’s house early in the morning once and we had a good time doing it, so I think that’s might be what put the idea in his head.
So what’s coming up in 2015 for you? Last year we saw you collab with people like Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Treasure Fingers, and recently Sleepy Tom. What can people look forward to hearing from you soon?
I’ve got two collabs, like I’ve got a bunch of collabs in the works and it’s something every dj/producer faces. You meet someone on the road and start something and then it’s hard figuring out a time and place to get together and finish it. So it’s one of those things where I don’t talk about the collabs until there done, because some never end up getting done. But yeah I’ve definitely got two that are coming out in the next few months that I’m really excited about. I’ve got one with Chris Lake and one with Valentino Kahn and I love both of them so that’s cool. And other than that I’m just working on writing a whole bunch of new music, I’ve just sorta stopped touring in the last week. Like literally four days ago so I’m just trying to get some studio time in and try and get that going.
It sounds like you've been really busy lately?
Well it’s all about the balance and you just gotta juggle. You literally have to change your mentality to go on tour all you think about every day is travel, eat, show, and sleep. Nothing else can enter your brain, I don’t have a tour manager so I’ve gotta get myself on that plane, you know? I gotta survive out there. And when you come back you gotta change your brain over too, well first you change over into your logistical brain cause you gotta download emails that need to be handled, taxes that need to be done, all this boring life stuff that needs to be handled and once you’ve got that taken care of you can start creating music.
You literally have to change your mentality to go on tour all you think about every day is travel, eat, show, and sleep. Nothing else can enter your brain … I gotta survive out there.
Is there any sort of special things you do in the studio to get into that creative headspace, like a certain snack or do you have a ritual?
I do have a ritual. My studio is like my favorite little space, some people prefer to work in a hyper environment on their laptops on the fly. For me, especially when I’m writing lyrics, I like to burn wood cause I love the smell of burning wood. I also do stuff like exercise and yoga, that really helps me. I have weird sunglasses and plants. Do I eat different snacks? I like tea. I drink lots of tea. It’s good for procrastination, if I’m like ‘ahh, I can’t get this sound to sound the way I want’ I just make a cup of tea and just step away.
What’s your go to tea?
My go to tea is Earl Grey, Yeah it’s my favorite. I’m obsessed with twining cause it tastes different and it tastes different in America so I buy it online from Australia cause I’m an idiot.
There’s a great market in Chinatown that I buy really cheap green tea by the caseful for my dad.
Oh, do you buy it with the spice in it?
Oh I don’t think so. I buy the really cheap stuff but it’s still really good compared to the store brand stuff you get at the supermarket.
Yeah. Do you get the powdered green tea?
No, I get the bags.
Yeah I get the bags too. My friend stayed with me and he bought the powder. And the powder was kinda interesting cause you can mix it into smoothies, it’s like a nutritional supplement. I think with the smoothies too that’s a big part of my regime.
So since you're one of our Spotlight Artists this year could you maybe let us in on some trends you might be seeing, some cool artists that you think are about to get big? Back in the day you used to have a pretty popular radio show that showcased a variety of innovative talent and your current Luney Tunes mix series is a veritable who's who of the coolest forward thinking artists in the scene.
Yeah, the thing about it is that everybody has a different view on it. I find myself getting drawn to stuff that doesn’t feel played out. So as soon as something begins to feel played out I tend to drift away from it cause I feel like my fans are drawn to more exciting sounds. Um I LOVE bassline house but I have to be wary that it has to sound different from everything otherwise it doesn’t pop and it gets to be a little bit formulaic. There’s only so many keys on a keyboard, there’s only so many options that will work. So for me it’s all about trying to avoid those played out sounds and try to bring something innovative to it and I think there are people who do that really well and who consistently reinvent in a unique way. But I’m also loving Techno house and I’m also loving the Boys Noize stuff, I’m loving RYME, this guy Vakkuum who did a remix of Duke Dumont that I play a lot, this guy Billy Kenny from the UK, T. Williams is always a big influence he knows how to craft bassline house in a really interesting way. Bunch of guys in America obviously the Night Bass crew, AC [slater] he’s always doing cool stuff, and who else…? I really love grime at the moment there’s this guy Igloo who just put out an EP which is awesome, Phra from Crookers is back and making really cool stuff…you’re really putting me on the spot… I really love the Jack U album I think it’s really fresh and they’ve come up with a bunch of new ideas for it.
What’s your opinion of the Bieber song [Where Are U Now]?
I love the Bieber song! Its such a good song, I just put it on the Thump mix. What else has really been pushing my buttons? I mean I’ve always been really into the UK stuff but I’m living in America, I love when people bridge the UK sound and make it more…just one step removed from it. Goldrush, the new Kid Kamillion Boys Noize collab. There’s a guy called Durkin in [Boston] who’s doing really cool stuff, Kaptain Cadillac he’s making booty tech sort of stuff which I personally love. These guys are sort of my secret weapons, when I play them every DJ is like ‘what’s this?!?’ So I keep it quiet cause I don’t wanna give all my secrets a way.
You’ve always struck me as someone who’s very in touch with her fans. You mentioned you were just retweeting a bunch of links for this Hard Fest Mix and your very active on social media making sure to keep an open dialogue with your followers. Like I saw you at Lolla last summer and you came out and took selfies with all the people who came out to see your set, which was super cool.
Yeah for me I just think the support from people continuously blow me away. I’m genuinely… like if someone gets up early on a Sunday at a festival and comes early to see me play that’s the coolest thing ever, like you know? That’s commitment and I’ll never get over that. That’s the dedication that allows me to do the things that I love and be passionate about what I do. So the least I can do is come down and thank you guys and, whatever, hang out its cool to meet you. I’m always blown away by the people who come to my shows, they’re really nice and it sounds really dumb but people say crazy things…like with fans you never know what you’re gonna get but I don’t think of it that way. If you treat people with respect usually they treat you with respect back.
I’m always blown away by the people who come to my shows, they’re really nice and it sounds really dumb but people say crazy things…like with fans you never know what you’re gonna get but I don’t think of it that way. If you treat people with respect usually they treat you with respect back.
Yeah the fest culture tends to get a bad rep from a couple of bad seeds
Yeah. You know maybe, until something mean happens I’m gonna keep going out. There’s trust, like I trust the crowd that I play for. This is the music that makes them come in for me and, you know, they’re intelligent forward-thinking, and smart and they’re into the same kind of stuff I’m into so therefore they must be cool.
What’s your current obsession? Like a new favorite TV show or something.
I love House of Cards! I watch a lot of documentaries online…
Did you see that new Scientology documentary?
No, I really wanna see that. What’s it called?
Going Clear, it’s an HBO Doc I believe.
Going Clear. There’s the Jinx as well which I’ve gotta watch.
So before we go I wanted to ask you one last quick question. What’s your favorite Australian wildlife animal?
Well, I mean the Kangaroo gets all the glory. There’s a lot of cool wildlife animals in Australia, I think the platypus is amazing but they scare me. They’re like the cutest things ever but they’ve got these secret talons on their feet that are poisonous. I also like the koalas they’re really excellent.
Oh wow. I feel like Koalas are definitely up there with Kangaroos as Australia’s mascot.
Yeah vying for Australia’s most popular animal. There’s also the wombat. And the wombat is pretty funny, I grew up on a farm and we had a wombat that lived under our house and [would] do the weirdest stuff. We saw it having sex once, but we saw it when we were coming back in the car. And yeah it would eat the dog food.
That’s so bizarre. It’s like the Australian version of a raccoon.
Yeah totally. Or like a skunk but it doesn’t smell. I have a friend who had a skunk living under their house and it was a similar deal. But yeah wombats are kinda like funny little nesting animals that come into your life.
Cool…any final words before we go?
No, I think now that we’ve talked about wombat sex we’ve pretty much covered it all.
Well thank you so much Anna
Your welcome, thank you for having me.
You can catch Anna Lunoe right now on the Go HARD tour and can see her this summer at HARD Fest!