Australian DJ and producer Anna Lunoe returns to San Francisco February 5 to play Audio SF as part of the “Ship2Ship” tour with headliner Destructo and funky U.K. house artist T. Williams.
The Australian export now based in LA has been on a roll recently after previous collaborations with Flume and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. She also made numerous stops at Mezzanine last year and killed it at Coachella with a set inside the Sahara tent.
Her latest All Out EP gives a peak at what’s to come with her new productions. We spoke with her during a phone interview from the road.
You’re touring the U.S. and Canada with Destructo. How’s that going so far?
I’ve got to say, it’s been absolutely crazy! We’ve only done two shows—booth sold out and both complete madness, crazy insane. The Ship fans are all about it. They come dressed up. There’s pineapples, mega heads of Gary’s face. People have made whiteboards and they write messages to us while we’re playing. It’s insane.
Sounds like a good atmosphere. Are you staying out of trouble?
Uh, kinda. I’m still up and running so we’ll see what happens. We’re playing tonight in Toronto at the Hoxton. It’s supposed to be one of the wildest shows of the tour. That’s what the guys were saying last night.
What are some of your basic necessities at the club when you are on tour?
Good question. I perfected my rider so I basically have enough food for the ride. Nothing crazy or expensive, just logistically really accurate.
I have drinks and mixers, but then I have gum, hand sanitizer, salt and vinegar chips, Luna bars and fruit salad. I make it so I have everything I need for the night. It’s very boring, but very lifesaving. It’s a bit of a survival kit to be honest.
We go every night for five or six nights in a row on very little sleep. I need something to eat when I’ve been out until after 5am. If I’m in the middle of some town I don’t know, I won’t get any sleep.
Stepping back for a minute, you first started making mixtapes with a tape deck when you were 5 years old. What were some of your favorite selections?
Basically, I used to record all of my brothers’s and sisters’s records and tapes. It was depending on my technology at the time for taping. I had a tape player and I could tape to tape or tape from the radio. I couldn’t do from CD to tape until later on.
Depending on my technology restrictions, I was recording the radio, whatever was hip at the time. I hosted, as well, by recording my own voice. I was making my own radio mixes on my little tape recorder. It’s funny because that’s still what I do.
Where do you most often find new tracks now?
It’s really scattered. It’s everywhere. I find them online. I see things buzzing. I’m on a bunch of promo lists and weird email threads with people. I have a bunch of different sources that I frequent regularly.
I have a feed of all the blogs. I try to swap music with people so I get a whole different tap sometimes. You have to keep refreshing your sources because if you don’t, you’ll just sound like everyone else.
You were also involved with journalism at one point. What interested you most about that profession?
I knew that I wanted to talk about music. That’s all I knew. You’re at these schools and you don’t know what you want to do. Now it seems like producers are 15 years old and can produce anything. I knew that I loved music. So, maybe I should be a music analyst? I started doing a radio show.
There’s a music channel in Australia called Chanel V, and when I was 17 or 18 I sent a video in to them of me interviewing some bands. I used to write to bands on MySpace before they got to Sydney asking if I could interview them at sound check, it’d be really quick and I’d bake them muffins.
When did you make the jump from Australia to LA?
In 2012. Australians have a culture for travel. We travel a lot because we’re so far away and we have a real culture of living overseas and adventuring. In that way, we’re a little different than Americans because travel and living overseas was such a huge part of our 20s. That’s just what people do.
Moving to America was challenging, definitely. I had very much a comfort back in Australia. I had all the gifts I could want and played everything I wanted to play. That’s what drove me to leave. I wanted more challenge. I wanted to try, and fail, and have to try harder. It’s been a really formidable few years and I really have to push myself further because it is very competitive here.
What are you missing most from Australia?
Just family and friends, obviously. There’s a lot of people in your life that you don’t necessarily keep in touch with but you really like. A lot of periphery friends. Whenever I go back, I’m reminded I have a whole other life back home. A whole bunch of people that care about me that I care about that I don’t get to talk to. That’s about it.
Have you spent any time in SF since the move?
Yeah, I’ve had amazing times in San Francisco. I even came to San Fran before when I was just starting out. I think I was 19 and I came down on a travel trip. I had the best time. I completely fell in love with it. I loved the history of San Fran. I just went all in.
Their club music scene is really incredible. Last year, I played at Mezzanine every two months in different circumstances with different artists every time. At the end of the year, kids were coming up to me saying I’ve seen you at every single show this year. They just tap into it; they’re coming back for more and it was really cool to see it build.
Last year you played Coachella, performed with the Weeknd and did some shows in Central America. How do you plan to top that in 2015?
This year I want to do a bit more in Europe and Australia. I haven’t been touring in Australia for some time. It’s been a year in a half, maybe two years, since I’ve done a solid tour in Australia. I need to do that and I need to go to Europe and really start establishing things there. Over the last year, I got a lot of play on BBC Radio One. I want to keep that momentum building.
Musically, I want to push myself a little further. My main focus is generating that music once the tour is over. Tap into that and pull people who can support my whims and try to best work out how to best create that sound.