With about an hour to go before their set on Sunday at Firefly Music Festival, Mixtape sat down with Luke Steele, brainchild of Empire of the Sun. We talked influences, the new tour, and taking over the new American dance culture. Judging by the reception of the huge crowd they drew…it looked like it was working.
PM- Your stage and costume design is an integral part of not only your shows but your music. Who puts it all together?
LS- My wife and I design everything with the help of Wonder and Piety. I wanted to keep imagination and adventure throughout this whole project. I’m addicted to vision, married to it really.
PM- How do you have the time to do all that and the music and perform?
LS- Your days are numbered. It’s about how little time you have to work with. We’re workaholics.
PM- What are you doing different on this tour compared to your last?
LS- I’ve been fortunate enough to re-uite with some old friends of mine who are in Gomez. They are part of the band now. The last five years it’s been me building the shows including the sound effects, cues, etc. Having these guys in the band is refreshing and takes Empire to a whole other level.
PM- What artists are you truly inspired by these days?
LS- I just found this girl Hannah Diamond in the UK. Odesza. DJ Shadow. Chemical Brothers. All of those. I’ve always loved Ratatat. And I’m a big fan of that Brandon Flowers record. “Between Me and You” is one of those songs my wife and I like to put on at the end of the night. We dance. We cry.
PM- What’s setting you apart this time to break through to American audiences?
LS- We’re on a different track with Gomez, re-shuffling the whole road train. New stage, new visuals, new songs. It’s also being a part of this whole new dance culture of America that’s been so exciting.
Empire of the Sun ended up turning new fans into dedicated fans this past Sunday. It was arguably one of the most fun crowds I was a part of all weekend. Luke was a chill dude and we can’t wait to hang with him again whenever that new album drops…hint hint.