SLUMBERJACK The live realm, 3D rendering and the secret to seducing labels

We’ll admit the title may sound just like any other clickbait in your newsfeed but after hitting up the Slumberjack boys during their Groovin’ the Moo tour, you too can now earn up to $3,496 dollars a week if you read on. MIA CAMPBELL-FOULKES spoke to Slumberjack’s Morgan Then ahead of their performance last Saturday at Groovin the Moo in Bunbury. Slumberjack also play Villa Nightclub, Perth on June 2 as part of the Fracture Tour.


So what’s been inspiring Slumberjack lately?

In the last week we’ve been getting more appreciation for live bands. We’ve just been venturing into the live realm in the past week or so and we’ve been prepping this for a couple months now so I think that our current trajectory is to come up with the best possible version of our live show… Although, what separates us away from live musicians or other bands is that we have very compelling visuals. The visuals are precisely timed to every note hit, kick or snare fletcher plays, every chord I hit, and everything is perfectly timed. The lighting as well and that’s one thing I guess that your traditional live band or a rock or indie band don’t have at the moment. So we’re kind of in the middle between a DJ and a live band.

Does that mean you work fairly closely with the people that are creating your visuals – that they’re portraying the right image?

Well here’s the cool part, we actually make our own visuals. So we create everything in-house and all the creative direction and the story we want to tell is all in-house. That’s the new passion within Slumberjack. Fletcher has a big background with 3D rendering and he’s been doing that for the past year or two now, doing pretty basic visual stuff, until we decided to do a proper live show and a visual show.  So he decided to really up his game and while watching him do it, I started to get into the postproduction side of things… and we do the 3D animation together. So we control literally every element of our live show.


So, tearing away from the scene. Is it trying different genres of music or is it a sense of refinery in your maturity as an artist?

I guess it’s maturity as an artist – when Fletch and I first started we always thought no one appreciates, no one listens to our music, but I think that’s just because we were young. When you’re young you’re a little bit more impatient, everything tends to move a lot quicker in your perspective, but everyone just wants to see a band develop before they support it or before they give their stamp of approval I guess.


This goes back to your appreciation of live bands and your most recent exposure with Triple J’s like a version with K Flay. Have you done stuff already like that in your live shows?

No not yet, I guess if you want to say, Like A Version is the debut of the new times of Slumberjack. When we got invited by Triple J, we thought of the idea of doing it live or just pressing play and getting a singer on board to prove a point that we’re producers and not a band at the moment, but as time went along we decided, if we’re going to do a live show for the Fracture tour and maybe Groovin the Moo, we might as well do a whole live thing.

I think it had a really great reception.

Yeah, it has and thank goodness!

Do you see yourselves doing work with K. Flay in the future?

Yes, we do. We worked at her LA apartment a year ago and we got a couple of demos… We’re hanging out a lot this Groovin the Moo tour. We get dinner, we get beers together and now we really get to know each other instead of that one or two days in LA.

Or even where you don’t get to meet the person?

Yeah, I think it’s really important to know people now. A lot of collaborations happen online but it’s very important that you like that person too.

Do you then feel a pressure to gather your things up and give the states a crack or move to LA?

Um, we don’t usually tell anyone these things but I think we are thinking of repositioning ourselves and living in LA for a little bit…. sometime in the near future. But that doesn’t mean we’re leaving Australia.

If you’re trying to incorporate live music aspect where do you see electronic music as it is now heading? Do you think you’re moving with the motion, with the genre or away from it?

I think we’re going to do everything. It’s something we aren’t going to write off. I mean fletch and I love Dj’ing because it’s a different vibe. When you’re in a DJ show fans know that we’re going to go there and it’s going to be a party, it’s going to be hot, it’s gonna be quick, it’s gonna be impactful when the fans are at a live set I think the expectation changes and we like to cater to that too. It’s not as though we are giving up the DJ thing and completely going live, we’re just doing more stuff and both these shows have to be enjoyed in the right context. The right venue, the right festival yes.


What is the best way to approach labels?

First of all, we’ve never approached a label until [their] approach. So we like to just write the best music possible and upload it to the Internet and your due diligence as an artist.

So you’re approached by a media publication and you don’t go cold but just explain that [you’re] a new artist, please have a listen to my music. Keep it short and sweet, put a Soundcloud link there and that’s it. Whereas a lot of people tend to send demos to a label and never get replies because labels get 1,000 of demos everyday and they’re always on the lookout for the next Skrillex or the next Flume so they’ll be listening and most the time, if the label doesn’t get back to you, it’s a big chance that you’re not ready.

We learnt this ourselves as well with a lot of friends in the industry. People tend to think they are better than they are at the moment, which is a very natural human bias, but if you send your demo out to 50 labels and none of them get back to the artist I think that says something about the maturity and the quality of the artist.

So it does take time and it’s all about developing your art and not to be too hasty.

Just be a little bit more patient and it’ll pay off. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.