INTERVIEW: Luke Million @ Mountain Sounds Festival

Mountain Sounds 2015-7

We’re big fans of LUKE MILLION at Purple Sneakers! He performed on the stage we curated at Big Day Out in 2014, we recently got him to do a mix for our radio show on FBi Click and have featured both him and his band THE SWISS on countless occasions on our site. We thought it was about time we caught up with the man, just before he had to run off and perform at this year’s Mountain Sounds Festival.

How has your debut at Mountain Sounds Festival been so far?

It’s been pretty good! My driver just had to stop on the way to pick up 30 massive boxes of toilet paper, so I was on the toilet paper run.

Are you playing a DJ set or a live set tonight?

It’s a DJ set. Originally I was planning to do a live set then I realised that I was playing in a bus and I didn’t have enough room for my keyboards and drum pads, so I’m just doing a DJ set tonight.

What can we expect from your performance this evening?

I’m going to take it as it comes but I’ve got a whole bunch of classic disco stuff, some music which is a bit harder and just some fun tracks. I want to have some fun tonight. I think I’ll need a few more vodka Red Bulls before I go on, definitely.

Do you play live shows regularly around Sydney?

I’ve been touring pretty heavily for the last 3 or 4 years by myself and with my band as well, so there has been a lot of trips to Sydney. It’s kind of my home away from home in Sydney.

For your own live sets, do you perform with a band?

Nah, I do it as a one man show. It’s almost like a DJ set but with live elements so I’m playing all of my own music and the remixes that I do and throw in a few tracks from The Swiss as well. On stage I have a couple of keyboards, drum pads and I’ve got a keytar too.

The Bus Stage was a highlight for many people last year at Mountain Sounds. Was the setup of it fully explained to you?

All I know is that it’s in a bus. As I was walking here someone pointed and said “that is where the bus stage is” and I could see the outline of a bus. I think it’s going to be a bit of a surprise for me but it sounds pretty awesome!

Your new productions feature a lot of vocals whereas your first EP was purely instrumental. What inspired you to change your style?

I think it’s a natural progression. I did start off with instrumentals because it’s all me doing the whole production side of things and I can’t really sing. I mean, you don’t want to hear me sing. I’d use a vocoder or something but I just wanted to work with some other people and get some vocalists involved. Still to this day what I’ll usually do is release a vocal track and then after that, an instrumental. I won’t leave the instrumental songs because they’re something I really like doing.

Every year I hear great things about Melbourne Music Week. What was that like to perform at late last year?

That was really fun! It was this crazy party called The Shadow Party. Basically there was this little warehouse setup and it had projections around the whole room with all different coloured lights going on and people were dancing in front of shadow screens. It was really awesome. It was nice to have something visually going on while you were playing as well.

Your band The Swiss have been relatively quiet lately. Have you been recording any new material?

Well, we have been a bit quiet because Tony the drummer has been living in New York for a year so that has made it a bit hard. We’ve only been doing DJ sets. He has been playing in America and if something pops up in Australia or Asia I’ll go do it. We haven’t had a chance to record but now Tony has moved back to Adelaide, we’re trying to work out what we’re going to do next. I’ve found a studio that we’re going to record in. We’re going to do it the old school way how we started out and get away from the computers. We want to make it more live again. We want to do an EP within the next 3-4 months so I think we’ll start recording mid March.

Do you think it’ll still just be you and Tony for the The Swiss live show?

Funnily enough there is talk that we’ll get Sid back who used to play bass. By adding more people there’s more chemistry and you get more of a unique vibe. It was cool doing the duo thing and we did some tours where we went a bit more electronic with it but we just want to get back to the roots and lay down some really nice grooves with a dance beat on it.

Do you have any plans to start playing live again soon as The Swiss?

First things first, we want to get this EP happening and then I think we’ll look to do some shows to suit everyone’s schedules. Everyone is doing different stuff these days. I mean, Tony is into wine now. He’s making wine with his Dad.

I really liked your votes in the Triple J Hottest 100. Which artist would you most like to tour with out of Chromeo, Todd Terje and Royksopp?

How about all of them? Hahaha.

What if you had to choose just one?

I think it would probably be Chromeo.

What would you like to achieve as an artist in 2015?

I just want to put out as much good music as I can and work on heaps of amazing remix projects and tour some amazing countries again. And, eat lots of European food!

Words by Tony Kingston
Photo by Nick Lalak




During the week Tony works in a busy retail corporate office. Once day becomes night, there’s a good chance you’ll see him at a gig or DJing at a house party.