Hook N Sling Interview + Lavo NYC Recap
Posted by Middy on August 17, 2012
The Australian producer / DJ Hook N Sling has really made a name for himself since his start back in the early 2000s where he was struggling to get by still working in his dad’s graphic design and working in the breaks genre with his radio show ibreaks.co.uk. He has garnered support for his tunes since the his first big hit in 2007, “The Bump” and his career has shot off from there with hits like “Diamonds In The Sky” with fellow Aussie TV Rock, his remix of Nervo’s “We’re All No One”, his remix of Calvin Harris – I Am Not Alone, and many more. He has upcoming tracks on Axtone, Stealth Records (the below remix of Mozaik) and Wall Records. The future is very bright for this young Australian producer who has shown that success does not come over night and that if you work hard and are patient, good things will come to you.
We caught up with him in his hotel room before his set at Lavo NY to ask him about his upcoming records, his move to the US, his favorite place to vacation, the reason why “Reason” release date was delayed, his history of singing and more. His set at Lavo was superb, bringing his flavor from down under to the upper crust of New York. Lavo NY has some decent openers, but they do like to sprinkle a few too many Beatport top 40 tracks when those should be left up to the headliner to use as crowd pleasers.
Hook N Sling stepped on around 1 and got the party going with a mixture of his own hit tracks such as his recent single “Evermore”, his remix of We’re All No One”, which got a good reaction from the crowd and “Diamonds In The Sky”. He played recent songs from others like fellow Aussie producer Walden’s remix of “In My Mind”, which was fitting as the young producer stopped by for a short time that night. He played a good blend of progressive as well as some lesser known house tracks that worked very well in the set, displaying Hook N Sling’s ability as a DJ and his intelligence behind the decks. He finished around 3, leaving the nearly full crowd still wanting more. Looking forward at Lavo, Dash Berlin will be there next week the 23rd. Tickets are sold out, but if you are a regular, get to the show. Below is the start of the interview and the rest is after the jump.
FNT: You recently moved from Sydney (Bondi Beach to be exact) to LA — was that tough for you, anything you miss from Australia?
Hook N Sling: It was tough setting up a whole new life. I had to sell my car back home, kind of pack everything up and think about stuff I really love and and don’t give a shit about anymore and sold the stuff I hated. It was like boiling your life down to bare essentials and then picking up and leaving. In that part leaving home was the hard part, getting over here doing stuff like Social Security, drivers license, which I still don’t have and I hope I don’t get pulled over until I get one. All that kind of stuff has just been a big deal, but as I was just saying to someone the other day, it wouldn’t bother me if the shows are doing well, I am busy, so I don’t really think about it, but it was awfully stressful coming over.
FNT: DJs are known for never sleeping or rarely sleeping, how do you deal with that?
Hook N Sling: I slept 9 hours last night. But I needed that because the night before was like 4 hours. It’s ok, I can deal with it, the alarm goes off, I know I am going to get out of bed otherwise I am going to miss my flight and I kind of hate dealing with airports so I like to get it over and done with as easy as possible. It’s alright, the more you think about it, the more you hate it. So I don’t think about it.
FNT: Since you were in a choir as a kid (Hook N Sling laughs), would you ever do vocals for one of your songs like Calvin Harris?
Hook N Sling: I knew I shouldn’t have said that in an interview haha. I do, I have done a couple of vocal parts, but nothing I do makes it to the final record. I would put down an idea and I would give it someone else and go “what do you think” and can you make this sound better and put some words to it, I am obviously not to good with that stuff, but yeah, I have been known to step in front of a microphone.
More of the interview after the jump
FNT: Do you ever help with the song writing?
Hook N Sling: Yeah definitely. If there is someone in the studio with me writing the vocal then I am quite active. There would be a few things I do then I leave them alone with the track and get out of there, get a coffee or something and that is always a good thing so that person doesn’t feel self conscious, but when it comes down to it and we have to put an idea down I am pretty vocal about what I like and what I don’t like. It is important otherwise you are just wasting everyones time.
FNT: I guess this is the perfect transition to “Reason” with Nervo, they are vocalists..
Hook N Sling: You know what I didn’t have too much of an input on that vocal because those girls are fierce man, you don’t want to step in between those two — you will get your hand bitten off. They are so passionate about vocals it was more in that instance me kind of leaving them the record and letting work through it on their own.
FNT: “Reason” got delayed to August 27th. Is there a reason why?
Hook N Sling: I think they wanted to get the best possible promo period for it and like it is just getting serviced to DJs now (August 9th) and if it was going to be August 13th, it was going to be a week. So there is no chance for it to really get promoed, for people and radio to start playing it. You kind of need to set it up and get the artwork done and all the press done, so 27th of August is good and gives us enough time to prepare for the release date.
FNT: One of your upcoming songs, “Tokyo By Night” (on Axtone), is that ever going to come out because Axwell talked about it last May.
Hook N Sling: I know, I know, that’s one of those records that I can’t really tell you when it is going to be finished.
FNT: Is it done?
Hook N Sling: Let me put it this way. I have done records that have taken me 2 years to finish , Axwell has done records that it has taken him 3 years to finish. I may have made the mistake of previewing the track to early, like just literally finished the demo, Axwell was really excited about it, they signed it straight away and I was like yep coming on Axtone and to be honest the track wasn’t even finished. So it is just a process of finishing the track, it’s one of those things a lot of people ask me about and I can safely say it is not finished yet.
FNT: You have a song coming out on Wall Records?
Hook N Sling: Yea there is a song called Felise (still waiting to hear back if this is the right spelling), which we are talking with Wall at the moment and finalizing the deal. It is an instrumental thing, a club thing that’s not so much not a vocal thing, more of a club banger.
FNT: You have also hinted at a couple remixes…
Hook N Sling: Yea, one I can mention now is the Michael Calfan remix (Mozaik, posted above), which is coming out in the next 6 weeks (September 10th) on Stealth, but it is just tied up in the whole release pipeline.
FNT: What is your favorite city or country to be a tourist in if you have time?
Hook N Sling: I’d say Dominican Republic, just because I have been there twice this year anyway and I have only had 12 hours to be there and I hear so many amazing things about it and it is one of the places that I really want to spend more time in.
FNT: What are your favorite non-dance music bands?
Hook N Sling: All-time probably Radiohead, but in the last 12 months, I would say Miike Snow.
FNT: Do you do your own mixing and mastering?
Hook N Sling: Yeah I do all my own mixing and mastering. I am kind of a bit obsessed with that . I like to have control over how it is going to sound, not that I have had bad experiences with mastering engineers, but I feel like they don’t really get what I trying to do, so I just do it myself.
FNT: Last question, your favorite kind of whisky?
Hook N Sling: I would have to say Laphroaig, its Irish.