A cool blend of contemporary & retro culture

Reminiscing: Interview with Julian Hamilton of The Presets

Recognised globally for their dynamic live performances and their slick graphic visuals, The Presets are getting ready to deliver an iconic, face-melting set at Melbourne’s Reminisce Carnivàle on Sunday 5th December.

Karen Bilsby catches up with frontman Julian Hamilton to chat about coping in Covid times and coming out on top… only to discover a guy totally lacking in ego and ready to put on a damn fine show.

You guys have done pretty well since breaking the EDM scene, not only nationally but globally…

We’ve played hundreds of shows domestically and internationally, including key slots at renowned international music festivals such as Glastonbury, Coachella, SXSW, Exit, Melt and Splendour in The Grass.

Not to mention the awards you’ve been accoladed.

Yeah, we won the 2008 ARIA Awards for our Apocalypso album and Best Dance Release, among many other accolades.

How has Covid affected you as artists?

Covid in Sydney, and the border closures, have vapourised our entire industry. Live shows were hard to plan or had been cancelled. We were very lucky with early success. We’ve been kicking along really, enjoying new music over the months while Covid turned everything upside down. I’ve been working on my own music, having just released my debut solo single City of Love. Kim is also pursuing a solo venture outside of the band. He debuted his solo project, K.I.M, in 2005 and provided the score to Josef Gatti’s film Phenomena earlier in 2021. He and I are like brothers and we’re so lucky to share a vision yet to be able to do our own thing at the same time. It’s the perfect creative combination.

How did The Presets cope with these restrictions, yet still stay on top?

We were fortunate to be an established band. I feel hard for new bands trying to launch. They’re missing out on opportunities. Covid didn’t only affect us, but everyone involved in the industry.

Getting back to your live shows, I have to ask… Do you use a rock’n’roll sound engineer at live gigs to achieve such an amazing output?

No, it’s just our sound. I’m more techno, while Kim [Moyes] is more rock. I’ve learned to stop trying to fit us into a category. Every band is desperate to be categorised.

The Reminisce Carnival is probably the first live event for you – and many other artists – since the world went tits up. Are you both excited about this event?

Yes, and Flemington Racecourse is a great venue. It’s a bit of a ‘time’ show. If you’re playing a show after a megamix of the best dance hits, it’s a hard act to follow. But we can’t wait to get back on stage and give our best for the audience, as we always do.

Reminisce Carnivàle is on Sunday 5th December at Flemington Racecourse (Melbourne). The full lineup includes The Presets, Northeast Party House, Generik, Tom Evans, John Course [playing his Top 50 Countdown] and more.

Tickets are available from Ticketbooth.

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