Sydney production duo Hermitude snagged the Australian Music Prize for their 2012 album Hyperparadise, and its new long-awaited follow-up debuted at #1 on the ARIA Album Chart. Dark Night Sweet Light is a thinking person’s EDM album, matching widescreen hip-hop cues with poignant emotional plunges. Hermitude are playing their biggest Australian shows yet in November, at Hordern Pavilion in Sydney and Festival Hall in Melbourne. We hit up Luke Dubber for travel advice right before he jetted off to Brazil to get married.
What’s your top tip for beating jet lag?
Probably to stay awake until about 11 o’clock on the night you get to your destination. Otherwise I’ll sleep at 4 in the afternoon and wake up at 3 in the morning. If I’m arriving somewhere, I go out and have a couple drinks and acclimatise myself to the festive atmosphere of wherever I’m visiting.
Where’s your favourite place in the world to touch down in?
São Paulo, in Brazil. It’s quite amazing as you fly in because out of nowhere, when you start descending, this enormous metropolis of concrete just appears out of your window. I love that kind of stuff. It’s so many buildings, as far as the eye can see – this whole new civilisation you’re flying into. It’s exciting.
What’s the number one thing you won’t fly without in your carry-on?
To be boring, it’s my laptop. Just because we’re touring a lot at the moment, so we don’t have a great deal of time in one place to write music. So laptops on planes have become the ground where we have the most time to sit down and sketch out a bunch of ideas.
What’s the most ridiculously cool hotel you’ve ever stayed in and why?
We were in Japan touring and our friend from Australia was our tour manager. He organised romantic weekend getaways for us and our girlfriends. It was this old deserted resort town an hour or two south of Tokyo, in Atami. It’s like the old samurai accommodation, like a Japanese guesthouse: a ryokan. This place was really cool because on the roof it had an onsen, which is a hot spring. The whole city looked like post-apocalyptic Miami; there were buildings everywhere but no one appeared to live there.
Instagrams out of the plane window: cliché or cool?
Which place is on the top of your bucket list?
Johannesburg, South Africa. It looks pretty cool. I want to check that out.
Where’s your favourite hotel pool of all time?
It’s down to two. One was when we were doing a gig in Kalgoorlie. We stayed in a motel that had a pool shaped like Elvis Presley’s guitar. The other one was with my parents in Macquarie Park when I was a kid. You walk downstairs and it’s got a gym in a cave. And in the cave there’s a pool. You can swim under this particular part in the cave, and you come up in this big pool outside. I’m not sure if it still exists now though.
What’s the first overseas country you ever went to and did you like it?
New Caledonia. I really enjoyed it. I was touring with this band and we got booked to play Nouméa. There were a bunch of other bands on the bill, but they picked two bands to do a little tour of the country. It’s very small and you can drive it all. We went out to all these little country villages. We had to drive in and give offerings to the chief of each village before we played. They put out these incredible spreads of freshly caught seafood and yams. Riggers would basically come in and plonk a stage down on the beach in the middle of nowhere, and all the locals would come and mill around. We went to one village where apparently it was the first time they’d heard electronic instruments, which I found hard to believe.
Recommend a great movie to watch/book to read on a long plane ride.
The Godfather trilogy. It goes for ages. So if you watch the three movies, you’re pretty much at your destination. It’s a good nine or 10 hours of movies. I had never seen them [until a flight] a couple months ago. I was like, ‘Alright, this is the time.’
Are you a window seat or an aisle person?
Good question. You’re climbing over someone or they’re climbing over you. I’ll go with aisle. You can see out the window anyway, provided there’s not someone with a really big head. And it’s just easier to get up. It’s easier to have someone climb over you than to climb over someone, I guess. That’s my theory.
Doug Wallen is Music Editor of The Big Issue. He's a father of two and a prolific freelance journalist. His passions include books, gigs, and pizza.