We all remember Luke Henner and Sam Gill from beloved Naysayer and Gilsun, well they're back with new project Ara Koufax. We caught up with the boys to hear what they packed in their bags to Splendour In The Grass, and who would win in a 100m sprint.
UC: Describe your on stage style and set up for the live show?
AK: We play using a whole bunch of midi gear for drumming, sequencing, filters and keys. There are two computers synced to be in time with each other - one for each of us - and both outputs run into a mixer. In this way it's a constant jam for us, bringing in loops over the top of each other and parlaying different sounds back and forth. When we are in the zone it feels like a tennis match: Steffi Graf vs. Serena Williams (a match I'd personally love to see). Style-wise we try to give ourselves permission to get in the groove on stage. Dress code is always "Frank and Claire Underwood Go For A Jog".
UC: How did you celebrate your most recent birthday?
LH: Drinks at New Guernica and Yerba Maté in the bathtub.
SG: I saw Mariah Carey play a winery with my girlfriend, then hung out eating strawberries on the side of the road after my car broke down. Joyous.
UC: When is the last time you volunteered/donated to charity/did a favour for a mate?
LH: Not recently enough. I make a small quarterly donation to an advocacy group for victims of iatrogenesis and I contributed to a women's shelter earlier this year private funds for a couple of assault victims last year. I haven't volunteered since I was 18. Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting until I am significantly richer to give back regularly but maybe that's a copout.
SG: I have regular contribution set up with the ASRC and donate to other causes sporadically but also lean on that cop-out fairly heavily. The last major thing we did together was donate a portion of our show profits to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, which is a fantastic organisation working all over the country at the moment.
UC: What is the most Undr ctrl and the most out of ctrl thing in your life right now?
LH: Undr ctrl, my epsom salt bath schedule. I am operating at peak salt right now.
Out of ctrl, my music library. Am I supposed to be streaming or collecting flacs these days I don't even know?
SG: Undr ctrl, daily to-do lists. Always and forever.
Out of ctrl, the shared obsession my girlfriend and I have with Cape Grim steaks.
UC: You recently played Groovin’ The Moo, tell us your top 3 festival moments?
1. Playing ping pong against the guys from Wavves backstage when we did the Groovin tour in 2012. The match got so heated that about 30 different acts surrounded us to watch. It was honestly like an Nadal/Federer 5 setter - or maybe more like when Gary Kasparov played that chess computer.
2. Getting the chance to play our favourite festival, Golden Plains, in 2012 and 2013. That said - having to follow Chic & Nile Rodgers felt like inducing a major panic attack, then stepping onto an under-maintained antique roller-coaster.
3. Spiritualized. Vivid 2011. Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space.
UC: You played Splendour in the Grass this year, what would we have found in your Splendour survival kit?
LH: We were only up for one night this year. Our mantra this year was to pack light. I had the clothes on my back, a change of underwear and a bottle of axe body spray.
SG: A USB stick and a laminated copy of my will.
UC: You released the video for your single ‘Converge’ earlier this month, who came up with the concept behind the clip? And who would win in a real 100m sprint?
We both did. Sam had the running a race concept and then we gradually refined it based on a vision for a single shot video clip. As for the race: Sam wins by an absolute mile. Every group needs a jock.
UC: Ara Koufax is a different project away from Naysayer & Gilsun – how would you define the differences between the two projects and why did you decide to create a new guise for your music?
AK: The formation of Ara came from a need for a fresh start, and the build-up of a bunch of material that didn't really fit under the Naysayer & Gilsun umbrella. The overall production style isn't so divergent; it's just a different tone.
UC: Any plans to bring Naysayer & Gilsun back in the future?
AK: Yes. We just need to figure out when, where and how, all the easy stuff.