Interview: Elena Savlokhova, Ljubov Dzuzhynska
Photo: Ljubov Dzuzhynska

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[We were charmed by such a personality, style, art, and transcendent fragrance.]

Apologies in advance for the first question.
Diving right in haha.

What do you sacrifice for your calling?
I don’t sacrifice my calling for most things. It’s a big part of me and who I am and always has been.

Sleep maybe?
My music comes first so if it means I need to sleep a bit less then I’ll sleep a bit less. These days I’ve been keeping it pretty tight on my alcohol and drug consumption, mainly because I’ve realized that my workload just can’t permit me to do both at the same time. It was a hard transition at the start because you’re being surrounded by it constantly and it’s hard to say no, but as time has gone on, it’s actually been much easier. I enjoy it now because I can still be at a club at 6-7 in the morning with everybody that’s drunk or high and still be on the same wavelength and not feel out of place or feel too sober haha.

Do you mean times when you perform or go out?
Both. Generally when I play, – even when I was partying a lot, – I was never getting wasted whilst djing. I always keep myself grounded just because the music is more important to me. And as for the debate about ‘being on the same level as the audience’ … I think I’ve spent enough time on the dancefloor as a munter so I think I understand what the vibe is. But don’t get me wrong, every now and then it will happen where I’m DJing and somehow for some weird reason I end up wasted. An example was last year at CockTail D’Amore… I can say this, right?

You can say anything you want!
So a friend of mine wanted to share half a pill with me whilst I was DJing but I was adamant that I didn’t want to do it, but he was more adamant then me to share it with him. So then I did and it kicked in about 30 minutes… As I got more high my set got more euphoric haha. It was pretty funny. I never got to hear that set back so I was always wondering how it sounded at the end.

Is that how you play up to 10 hours?
Actually, no! Funnily enough, in those instances, in the majority of those instances, I’ve been dead sober. That particular time was a 4-hour set. If the recording somehow magically turned up I’m sure anybody would be able to point out something changing halfway through haha.

What interests you outside of music?
I am interested in hiking and seeing as much nature as I can – that’s something I really appreciated when I moved away from Australia. And when I went back to Australia I realized how beautiful it is back there. It’s beautiful here in Europe as well but the landscape is just very different. When I kept going back to Australia I made a bit of a thing to make sure I went on as any hikes and adventures. The more I did that, the more I realized how much I enjoyed it. As well as outside of music I am heavily into design aesthetics and anything involved: visual art, prints, even fashion. If by some freak accident, and I’m knocking on all the wood on this wooden ship [ed. note – ‘Closer’ has a ship in the backyard], I couldn’t do music anymore then I think I would do graphic design. It’s something that I always try to tie with my music anyway.

Could you tell us a bit about the ideas behind your new release, how it came to life, and what are you trying to convey to your audience with it?
MyMaster is a realisation and submission to the idea that I am my own Master as much as I am my own slave. From the late realisation of my sexuality to my identity and personality.
I am very interested in conveying emotions with all my releases. I like to draw the listener into what I’m feeling at that current point in time and MyMaster came about right when I turned 30 and fully realised the scope of myself. I think it happens to everybody too. So this is more of a documentation of myself that maybe others can relate to.
Also, it is my second EP on Pinkman which I consider a home label that really allows me to explore different themes.

Album -> here.

What was the most beautiful thing you’ve seen in your life?
Hm… I think the most beautiful would be really venturing out into the outback and seeing what’s already been here for millions of years that is beyond our comprehension. It might be a bit of a cliche but there are certain things that have existed here for a very very long time that you have to, you know, ponder at and go ‘wow’. Actually, when I do try to get inspired, maybe not so much in my solo project, but more for my band Die Orangen, which is a bit more of an organic-infused outlet for me to draw that inspiration. For Angus and I that’s a big part of our songwriting – just being surrounded by landscapes and environments that have been here for all these years.

What about the most memorable art piece you’ve seen?
I would say it was in Tasmania at this gallery called Mona. It’s probably the best gallery I’ve ever been to. I’m not understating it. It’s a private gallery and it’s quite big, it’s 5 storeys carved into an island. There is a lot of abstract darker type of art that you would find in certain galleries that focus on more provocative pieces. Angus and I DJ-ed at the Mona official afterparty and we spent the whole day at the gallery. It really blew our minds, it was just incredible. Actually one of our songs ‘MONA’ is an Ode to our time there. One of the memorable pieces that we saw, just to give you a bit of an idea what is there, – this human feces machine. It’s basically a recreation of the human intestines, so you feed this machine food and it goes through the process of what your body does and in the end, it drops out stool. It is exactly that and you see it happen. It’s this kind of abstract and very weird art.

The art of shit.
Yes haha. You should check out Mona and their website. They do these yearly parties called Dark Mofo. They once did a thing where they sacrificed a cow to recreate one of these performance art pieces that was done in the 90s, where there was a 3 day or week long sacrifice with a cast of 40 or something. Of course, there were a lot of people that were against it but its in the name of Art. Another instance of what they did to celebrate the festival was to paint the streets red and do upside down crosses. The city really gets behind it because it brings a lot of tourism. A lot of young emerging artists have moved down there because it’s cheaper, a nicer place to live and there is a very supportive art community. Even though it’s quite weird and provocative in a way, it’s still supported heavily.

In Tasmania, we wouldn’t even have a clue.
And the thing with Tasmania, for a long time it was always the butt end of many jokes in Australia. I hadn’t been there since I was a little boy, mainly because of that mass shooting that happened there, which shook the country. But if I had to go back and live in Australia somewhere I would probably go and live in Hobart, Tasmania.

Do you have a moment in your life that you would recall to your death?
I have a lot of them and I think everyone does. I think we sometimes forget the things that we have around us and the people we have around us. When you lose someone you are reminded how fickle this whole thing is. Most notably, last year I’ve lost a really close friend who used to work with me and my brother at our weekly club, and he was quite young. That made me re-assess my outlook on my current life and life in general. I know I’m not really answering the question but I guess it’s long wounded way of trying to get there. I can’t recall a specific thing that came crystal clear to me in any sense, but I think it happens a lot anyway, at least for me.

What do you think matters at the end of life then?
To maybe go through life with no regrets and to at least have done everything you wanted to do. It feels like there are a lot of social pressures to live a certain way, be a certain way, and maybe not fulfill certain things that you may want to fulfill. It could be anything from career to traveling or whatever – any kind of thing you may want to do but you are held back because of a certain pressure, or whatever the case may be. That’s something I would want to know when looking back at my life – everything I said I wanted to do.

Are you following that so far?
Kind of but I still have quite a bit of things to tick off haha. Or try at least.

Who is or was your biggest teacher in life?
I’d say my mother was my biggest teacher invertedly. I come from a very interesting background. My parents are in show business so I guess I was very lucky in that regard: to have an upbringing that supported and nurtured what I do, even though my mother didn’t want me to be a DJ. Herself being an actress and moving on into an agent and producer, and my dad being a singer. She was very adamant that she wanted me to be a doctor and a lawyer haha. Classic. But, unfortunately, I started out performing very young and then moving into music, so my mother saw all the signs, even though she was trying hard and in the end, had to accept that it is what it is.

And your brother as well?
Same with my brother. My brother and I are quite close in our age so we had a lot of shared interests, like music. He was learning an instrument and then he stopped. We were still into music together but he was not really into it as much until we finished school. We were both DJing at the same time and then we started actually working together. But yes, I’d say my mother was my defining mentor in a way. Even though I’d say that we are very different people and our ideologies are very different, but our ideals are quite similar in a sense of art, morals, ethics, treating other people how you want to be treated, being loyal, and all this kind of stuff.

What was the most memorable question you were ever asked?
Well, I’ll definitely remember this interview haha.

Do you think that fantasy love is better than reality love?
I think it could be better. Yeah, for sure. I mean, nothing beats the real thing yet sometimes the real thing sucks. I’m going to try and use an analogy here, which is completely unrelated but at the same time quite similar: you have an idol, someone that you really admire, or if you’re a fan of a musician, and you have all these ideas about how they are like in real life. And then you go and meet them and they turn out to be assholes. So then it ruins the mystique, fantasy and the esteem that you’ve created in your head about them. I guess it’s similar to when you have a fantasy love for someone and want it to be a real love vs. just a fantasy. Maybe if someone specific is involved then the fantasy love might soften the blow if the real love ever did happen, if you already had feelings for this person prior. It could be this thing you’ve created about them and if it did happen it could be not what you thought it would. So then it would suck.

Following up on the analogy, do you think a person’s art should overshadow a bad personality? What is the line?
It’s a very interesting question. For the record, I stand neutral on this! I guess its kind of subjective to how good the artist statement is and how bad the artist’s personality is. You know, a serial murderer rapist or whatever that makes art that people like, a name comes to mind, Charles Manson. I guess that’s the line, maybe? PS I’m not a fan of his both in his art and personality. But to specifically hone in on the art part, a lot of modern Art is actually pretty provocative. You have to ask if it wasn’t provocative would’ve it actually stood for something? Would it allow a conversation to happen? Granted there are certain ideologies, ideas, or art that can be used for someone’s self-gain or used in a bad way, then sure, that’s not cool. It’s a hard

So is it ok to be an asshole sometimes?
I don’t think it’s ok to be an asshole no, Actually, I find it harder to be an asshole because you have to go out of your way. Humans suck. I mean, there have been certain musical artists that you’ve found out to be actually horrible people that try to stand for something good – I have boycotted their music. But on the flip of that, there are artists whose music sucks and they’ve come out and said horrible things anyway and well… exactly…Duh!

If you had to choose between sex and music, what would you choose?

What question would you like to be asked in an interview and what would your answer
“Can I sing a Rammstein song from my old Rammstein cover band?” My answer would be ‘no’ haha.

Do you like their latest work?
I’ve only heard ‘Deutschland’ and I saw the video, which is pretty wild. Very wild. Haven’t heard the album yet but I’m interested to hear it.

And finally, could you share a fucked up story from your career?
A fucked up story? Yeah, I’ve got plenty of those. There is one that is really fucked up.

We’d happily publish it.
Ok, we can discuss how this goes out. So… I had a one-day operation down there. It wasn’t major, just a minor operation to help things out. Anyway, I was healing and I had to play at a big festival after 4 weeks, and the healing process was meant to take 5 weeks. I thought I would be cool by then. It was a pretty big festival, but it was a 40-degree day. For some stupid reason, I decided to wear jeans and I was DJing on this big stage and I started feeling not well. Luckily, I was DJing with a friend and at some point, he asked me if I was all right. I wasn’t and I started to feel like I was wet in the front of my pants and I turned around, looked down, and realised I was completely covered in blood. Is that fucked up?

Oh yes.
Maybe it’s ok to cut it there haha.

Were you all right?
Yeah, I was fine.

You seem to still be alive.
Yes, I’m still alive haha. I went back to the hospital and they told me I was fine and I just opened up the wound and so I needed to not move for another 3 weeks. Well… you asked for a fucked up story haha!

Can we publish this, please?

Special thanks to Worn Pop`