L D R U had been poisoned. How? Why? Who knows! I had to get to the bottom of it.
Our interview was postponed. For Drew Carmody, the VB-sinking smiley giant behind the cheeky tunes of the L D R U project, this was not the first time he’d been poisoned.
Flashback: Your Paradise music festival, Fiji. He seemed near death, had to play a Carmada show with his partner in loose tunes Max Armada – aka Yahtzel – that very night.
But the guy still went skydiving during the day. I took a bottle of Hydralyte to him as he lay like a puddle at reception, the crew waiting for the buggy that would take them to the airstrip. He spat it out and said it tasted like shit, but thanks, and not only went on to sky dive, but kill his set that night.
Dunno which dish did it this time around, but thankfully Carmody is now feeling better and gearing up for the first gig of his Sausage Sizzlar Tour in Coffs Harbour when we hop on the phone. On top of the tour – in support of his Sizzlar mixtape – there’s a sneaky extra show going down, too – Audiopaxx, his management outfit, are throwing a roster showcase 5th bday banger at Home The Venue this Friday.
“I’m fucking frothing, gonna be a good night,” he enthuses. “That’s what I’m really excited for; everyone to be together. I don’t think the whole roster’s been together ever for a party.”
It’s a welcome home after Carmody’s recent three-month writing trip in West Hollywood, LA.
“Well, it was supposed to be just a writing trip, and then I ended up playing shows. I was kinda off it. When I play shows, I like to party… a ‘lil bit… so it takes me a while to recover.”
As well as everything is going, Carmody seems to feel the tension between his creative drive and the music lifestyle. “I’m excited about writing new music and to finish touring, to be honest. It takes a toll on me on the creative side of things because of all the partying.”
Carmody played Splash House, Electric Forest and Hard Fest, with several weeks of writing in-between. “Splash House was sick, really cool vibes. They’re all pool parties across four different hotels with different stages. You gotta get shuttle buses in between them all day, takes like five to ten mins, and you’re all staying in the hotels, whichever has your favourite stage. Chicks in bikinis, people jumping in the pools, just good fun.”
Another perfect gig for the L D R U vibe, a vibe (technical term) that has been evolving since the days of The Tropics blowing minds. For LA, he purchased a standard home studio set-up and went back to his roots.
“It was good man, some different stuff. It’s not the usual L D R U. It’s a bit more laid back, more for listening. I feel like the writing trip took me back to all those old remixes like the Miami Horror one, Broods – Bridges remix, that kinda vibe, but it all depends on my mood. If it’s good weather, everyone’s partying and having a good time, you tend to write more bangers. If it’s winter, at home, you tend to write more deep and meaningful stuff.”
Staying versatile, L D R U has found broader audiences by balancing space across pop stations, triple j, and clubs and festivals.
“In the last year, I’ve been loving vocals and the pop side of things. Keeping Score and Next To You, they’ve done pretty well. Now I’m trying to go back to the club roots, write some more bangers. I’ve got a tune I’ve been working on with Oriental Cravings, it’s fucking siiiiiick. Then finishing up all the Carmada stuff.”
Is it difficult to balance the two projects?
“It’s hard, man. It’s real hard. You wanna put all your focus into one thing. Sometimes I’ll wanna write purely for Carmada but Max wants to write for Yahtzel, so I gotta chill for a bit, go back to the L D R U stuff. The projects are getting a lot more traction, so gotta stay on the ball and make sure people are liking it.”
Given Australia’s geographical isolation in the world, the writing trip provided the perfect opportunity to collaborate in person with artists and friends such as What So Not, Justin Martin, AC Slater, Manila Killa and Party Favour. In contrast, his track Shapes with Karma Fields – another artist he loves, though never met – was created over 200 emails of ideas back and forth.
“It’s a lot easier to collaborate with programs like Splice. I’m writing a tune with SLUMBERJACK right now and every time they save a new version in Splice, I get a notification, so I can go in and listen to what they’ve just done. Way easier.”
Last question (almost) for Drewzy: What do you fear the most right now?
“Who do I feel?”
“Oh, what do I fear? I don’t really fear that much at the moment. I fear getting food poisoning again. It fucked me up big time. Remember in Fiji? It was Fiji all over again. It was that bad, fuck…”
I called Carmody again the next afternoon – I told my housemate that I’d ask what advice he’d give himself five years ago, but forgot and said I had. Sorry Ash.
He was waking up.
“Umm… [yawns] … Work hard, play harder, anything is possible… Keep ya head down and pray for a ‘lil bit of luck… That’s it. [yawns] …”