Chamberlain plays Elements Festival (SE QLD) 18-20 October.Image: Facebook
Melbourne EDM producer Chamberlain doesn't give a damn about genres.
A set from Chamberlain can take you on a journey through any number of sonic territories, all with the intention of sending you into a state of dance nirvana. That's just what he'll do when he takes the stage at Elements Festival in October.
Before that, he takes the time to answer our questions about what he's been up to, how his pre-show ritual compares to that of Iggy Pop's and the one song he'll never play in his set, regardless of how much he loves it.
For anyone unfamiliar with you, tell us who you are and what you do? I’m an electronic dance producer that focuses on music that has influences from hip hop beats, but far more in the electronic direction with big basses and cracking snares.
I hate genres because it puts boxes around your music, but if I had to categorise it I would say I’m bass, glitch and mid-tempo influenced. Some people know me especially for ethnic-influenced work, but I write music of all different influences; as long as it has a beat that you can bop your head to and sink your knees into.
What's been keeping you busy in 2019? I've been trying to finish my next EP. It’s been way too long since I’ve last released music and always wanting to be sharing tunes.
Given the broad church EDM is, how do you direct your work so it retains a signature Chamberlain sound? For me, it comes all down to how you dance to it. The music I write is very specific music that you can sink your feet into and stomp around with, stuff that makes you wanna kick a door down and surf the beat like a wave, while also feeling like you're dancing on autopilot.
What's in-store for audiences when you perform at Elements Festival? For Elements, I’ve got my new EP to road test among some VIPs (variations in production) and some bootlegs that I haven’t released. I’m pumped to bring the noise.
When you're not performing, how will you be spending your time at Elements? I’m going to try and visit a bunch of music that I love, but also more importantly stuff I’m not familiar with. Spending time at the stages regardless of what it is, is the best way for me to broaden my horizon and challenge what I think I know about music. It’s always great to go to festivals and get inspired by what you accidentally hear.
You know you've played a great set when? You can feel the raw energy of the crowd in return for your music, and it feels as if you have the crowd in the palm of your hands. It’s an extraordinarily unique feeling where all your hard work is paying off all at once in one short, 60 to 90-minute stint that feels like you’ve hypnotised the crowd.
I remember at Rainbow Serpent Festival a couple years ago it was absolutely bucketing and I thought everyone was going to leave before I got on, but it ended up being out of control; everyone stayed and just embraced the weather and thrashed all around; they were rolling in the mud and going absolutely wild yelling in enjoyment.
Iggy Pop recently revealed his epic nine-hour pre-show ritual – how does yours compare? My ritual is not nearly as intense as Iggy Pop’s, but I like to think myself, like all other musical artists are striving to achieve the same thing with their before-show rituals – clarity and edge to perform a great show.
It’s highly dependant for me to be able to be an energetic person, which means being fed early, coffee, and a space in the upcoming hour or two to be mentally where I need to be, whether that be peace and quiet or talking. Nerves then kick in hard in the last 30 minutes, which is great; you want to feel like your work is on the line, no risk no reward.
As the super talented artist CloZee once said to me: “Of course I get nervous, it means I care.”
The things you never leave home without when you go on tour? Headphones, USBs of course and an absolute must is my Sony mirrorless camera, I love taking that with me everywhere I go.
Every musician, band performer, DJ, producer etc. there ever was has had at least one whoopsie onstage – what is your most memorable (or forgettable!) live blooper? I don’t know if it’s a blooper, but one of the most memorable moments I’ve had was this year at Rainbow Serpent Festival.
I could see one of my mates in the front row, and I was being handed beers by the stage hand. I could see that my friend had finished a can, so I signalled to him for a beer and piffed it. It went straight through his hands and hit him square in the chin. He then opened it and it exploded in his face.
A song and/ or artist you would NEVER play in your set and why? I love the song 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' by Elton John so much, but it just unfortunately ain’t my own vibe and would never go. That being said, it's one of the greatest songs ever written.
What else are you working on over the next few months? Always music, music, music, music.
Elements Festival takes place at Landcruiser Mountain Park (SE QLD) 18-20 October.