Currently touring the nation, spreading recreation and inspiring procreation, the dynamic duo that is Hermitude seems to only be moving from strength to strength, as their latest album Threads sees them take an even further step into new ground.
‘As the years go on and you write a lot of music in different bands, you always want to keep it fresh, not for yourselves but for everyone’ Luke Dubs tells me. ‘So with Threads we were trying to get out of our comfort zone. With Hermitude, and with every album, we kind of explore different angles and different feels that we haven’t delved into. We made a particular effort on Threads to navigate our way through woods that haven’t been navigated before, not by us anyway’.
One of these wary woods was the realm of vocals, with the two men enlisting the help of legendary reggae singer Luciano to lend his voice to the project.
‘We’ve wanted to work with a reggae singer for years and when we found out that he was coming through town we managed to tee it up; it wasn’t easy. Those Jamaican dudes run on their own time, but he must’ve taken a liking to us ‘cause we managed to get him in the studio. And it turned out to be a great collaboration, so we’re really grateful for that’.
‘He was fucking awesome, a true professional. Like, there was no ego whatsoever. As soon as he came in, he stepped up to the mike and he started singing and we were like ‘holy shit man this guy is fucking incredible’. He was like – whatever you want me to do just communicate. We had a chorus written for him and we just free-styled the verses, wrote some lyrics, and yeah, he just brought all of this stuff to the table’.
While Luciano was obviously a high point for the lads, Hermitude have worked with some of the biggest names in the hip hop scene including Dizzee Rascal, DJ Krush and RJD2.
‘Sometimes you have to sit back and remember it, these moments in time’, Dubbs tells me with a sigh. ‘Like we were sitting in Japan rattling off all the names of the people we’ve played with and it was like fuck we’ve played with a lot of people. We’ve been really lucky to support all these amazing artists and we went through a period where everyone just kept booking us, every hip hop act that came into town’.
‘I remember the first ever support gig we did was with The Herbaliser at The Metro. The gig wasn’t that great. The Herbaliser were a bit disappointing, we think we actually did a better set than them’, he laughs. ‘But the thing that was really special was that The Herbaliser were the first band I had kind of discovered’.
‘I walked into a CD shop called Blockbuster in Pitt St. Mall (I was at university) and I just saw this cover for their first album Remedies, this graphic kind of cover – really busy. It caught my eye and I put on the headphones and just fell in love with it. For them to be our first support was really cool and also a wake up call, like fuck we’re playing with these guys we’ve been listening to for years; a massive influence on us’.
And wake up they did, no longer confined to support slots as they headline their own national tour in support of Threads.
‘We’re happy to tour by ourselves. We’ve done a lot of support gigs in the past and toured around Australia with other bands, and I think we’re at the point now where we just want to keep writing good music and do more headline tours. We might do a little bit of writing for other people – that’s something we haven’t done a great deal of – but now that Threads is out we want to keep gigging through the summer, and keep promoting it and hopefully getting it out there’
Photo By Jim Skouras