Interview: Adrian Lux
Adrian Lux first caught our attention with the impossibly catchy Teenage Crime – a soon to become anthem of choice for Aussie party-goers over the past year. The Swedish DJ is back in 2012 with the recent release of his self-titled debut album that is an otherwise compendium of party starting goodness. On his second visit to Australia, Lux has been a headliner to the Groovin the Moo festival series, and between shows stopped by Getmusic headquarters for a chat.
You’ve been busy on the Groovin the Moo tour over the past few weeks and stopping in to a host of regional towns. Have you been checking out some cool sights along the way?
Yeah, it has been so fun. Touring places that you might have never seen before. Small towns have been really cool, like we spent some time in Townsville where it was super hot, as well as Magnetic Island.
And what has the crowd response been like at the shows?
It’s been so good. It’s a young crowd and I remember how I was when I was a kid and going to festivals. You really go crazy for the music, you sing-along and you’re not so self-conscious.
I’ve seen you crowd surfing at a few said shows. Is that a way of bringing through those elements of rock and different genres from your music into your live setup – is it a conscious decision?
Yeah, I try to be performative because people are there to see you and everything you do becomes something extra, and playing after Bluejuice - they are the most amazing performers - you have to live up to that standard.
And you’ve just released your debut album, how’s the response been far for you?
It’s been really good. I don’t know, I think I’ll see the effects of it in a month or so. It’s so fun when people come to shows and down here like in Adelaide, where they will ask for a weird album track. It’s been really good so far.
I was going to ask you about your vocal guests that feature on the album, who I’ve read many are close collaborators or friends. What is it about working with friends or familiar artists that you like?
I think it definitely keeps it more personal and it feels like a new sound. Working with artists that you might not know, I find that kind of hard to do - it’s not my thing. I have always had a lot of confidence in being able to do things yourself or with people you know. It doesn’t have to be the biggest name - you can still do something unique. I try to work with people I know so you can get that magic of being in the studio together for 24 hours and trying different things.
I read that you started DJ-ing when you were 15 and in high school. What was that like for you growing up?
A lot of it was house parties in the beginning. I had this part time job when I was growing up so I could save up to buy all the DJ bits, and all of a sudden I had DJ equipment and people would say ‘yeah play at my party!’ It has kind of been going on since then when I was 16. Then when I was 18 I started doing more club nights - it was a super fun time.
When you head back to Sweden now, do you notice much of a change in the club scene?
Yeah, I don’t know maybe it’s because I’m a bit older but I think it’s different. Maybe it’s from how I see it as well. That time when I was growing up, when house and techno was so big in Sweden that was definitely a special era. But now it’s like huge. There are big electronic festivals in the city that draw 20,000 people. There was nothing like that when I was growing up.
You’ve played at some of the biggest festivals around the world. For Aussie festival-goers that haven’t been to an overseas festival, what in your opinion are some must visits?
Miami is always fun, that’s nice, it’s very house-y. The SXSW festival is nice, it is not so much house music but the vibe is really nice. The Fader fort there was really cool. I like that kind of indie thing and there are still big stages there as well - I’d recommend going there.
For aspiring producers and DJs today, do you think having an online presence and sharing mixes is as important as starting out in the clubs, and growing organically like you did?
Yeah definitely, you don’t’ have to do it if you don’t want but it definitely allows closer relationships with your fans and it is pretty fun putting stuff up on Instagram or Twitter. For me, I’m also a fan of other artists so it’s nice to be able to say something to them and if they respond, then that’s cool.
What has been your biggest piece of advice you’ve been given over your career?
I get tons of advice. Stay off drugs is a pretty big one and long lasting. But I guess to be personal in what you do. Instead of trying to make the biggest song in the world, try and make something that stands for what you are. It kind of sounds cheesy, but I think it’s good advice. I always felt for me that it was important to find something unique rather than something that sounds like something else. For me, when I do music, I take all the influences that I love and make something that stands for who I am. It becomes waterproof when you do something for yourself and you can always stand by it, represent it, and if it goes big then you will be super proud.
By Georgia Watson