We had the chance to sit down and get to know the man behind LO’99 during his debut American Tour. After learning that it’s only his first time in America since a young age, we got right down to business to see what life has been like for the Australian success.
Thank you so much for speaking with us. Tell me about yourself-how you got into DJing and producing.
So, I was always doing music. I played a lot of instruments when I was a kid. I discovered Prodigy, DJ Shadow, Cut Copy, and Chemical Brothers, through probably music TV. And then I started going to raves and my shift from punk music turned into dance music, because that’s what I was getting into, listening to, and going out with. It didn’t happen over night – I had a 303 and was jamming with my friends with a band. And now that you can write music on computers without a studio, that probably opened the doors to where I am now.
How did you get your name “LO’99?”
Well it’s actually a pretty stupid, but sort of cool story. I had all of my music, but I didn’t have a name. And my friend was running a gig on a Friday night at a really cool pub, and he was DJing and I crashed his set to test some of my records. So I’m playing them, and there was this air-con unit behind us, and for some reason it was flashing. For some reason it caught our attention, probably due to drinking, so I’m like “fuck it, I’m going to see what it’s saying.” And I got a little closer, and I was squinting, and it was going LO99 LO99 LO99 in time with the music, or it was in my drunken time. And I was like fuck that’s really cool, and I wrote it in my phone and then next I woke up and still it was a good name.
What was the first album you ever purchased?
On a CD, it was New Kids On The Block-the one with the “Step By Step.” Before that I was on tapes before CDs, I think it was Michael Jackson “Bad.”
If you had to choose one track that truly embodies the vibe of LO’99 to show someone who’s never heard your music before, what would you choose?
Maybe I would choose my record “My Mind,” because sometimes I play very housey, and sometimes I play very basslinely/borderline breakbeat stuff, so I guess I’m pretty versatile, but maybe that has a bit of in-between. My Moby remix is straight up tear-up-the-club. And I also play a lot more techy and housey than that. Or maybe my record on Bunny Tiger called “The Lick,” because it’s very bassliney and warpy and sort of fucked up, but it still has that house groove.
So, on your tour right now-what kind of sets are you usually playing?
It’s been different for a lot of the shows-some of the rooms have been really big, and some of them are a bit smaller. Sometimes I’m playing before another headliner, or I am the headliner, so it depends really. But a lot of the time, I have been starting a bit housey and building it up to a bit more intense, and then bringing it back down to house levels so that someone else can do their thing.
You recently remixed Moby, which by the way is awesome. What sparked you to remix a Moby track?
I did a remix for Röyksopp about two years ago at the very start of all of this. And it’s the same management as the Moby guys, and they were looking for a remix package, so they reached out to ask if I wanted to do it. And I was like “Of course I do.” The Röyksopp record was really chill and nice, and the Moby original was a little dark and energetic. I think they were a little shocked when I handed the remix in, because they might have been thinking they were going to get this 123-BPM semi-housey/cruisey thing, which is what my remix was before, but instead I delivered, I don’t know how fast it is, but chill is not the right word.
Do you have any other exciting plans for the rest of the year that you’re looking forward to other than this tour?
I’m doing a nearly three-month tour back tour back home, it’s 15-16 dates. And then I’m going to Europe for ADE. And I’m not sure if I’m going to come back to America or go back home after that. But music-wise, there is so much music coming out that I can’t wait to get out there. I’m doing sessions with a bunch of people while I’m here now, and I’d like to hope that a lot of those will come out before ADE.
Last but not least, favorite American food so far.
Well this isn’t very American, but two nights ago we went to Buddakan, which is like a modern Asian fusion restaurant. They have an edamame dumpling, which doesn’t sound that crazy, but then when I had it, I was like “this is the most next-level thing I’ve ever had in my life.” If you don’t like edameme or dumpling, you’re not going to like it, but if you like either of those two things, you’re okay. *Insert full-blown description of the dumplings, which are now on my bucket list.* I’ve had some amazing pizza, some amazing chicken, some great burgers-everything’s been pretty sick. I went to Katz’s Deli.
He then went on to teach two lucky winners how to DJ, thanks to our giveaway with Webster Hall. Later in the night, he filled the floor of Webster Hall with a hard-hitting house set that explained exactly why he has seen so much success in Australia. This tour will prove him a force to be reckoned with in America and we are looking forward to see where his journey takes him next.