Aug 20, 2014
interview
Anna Lunoe

Anna Lunoe has taken on the US dance scene like a stealthy ninja, dealing techy beats and sultry vocals with influences from her home country of Australia. We sat down with her at Moonrise Festival to find out how a beautiful and talented woman makes a name for herself in this industry.

LessThan3: Shout out to Moon Boots for letting you have a few minutes of his set time so you could finish with All Out. As a team, All Out has been one song we have each enjoyed, even though we all have different tastes.
Anna: That makes me so happy, because All Out is not gonna be for everyone. When I released Bass Drum Dealer a lot of people were like “we don’t normally cover songs like this, but we love this song.” All the nu disco blogs that have been following me since Real Talk and I Met You, when I posted BDD, said “we never post stuff this heavy but this is crazy and we love it!” I think it’s cool to break people of what they think they like. Sometimes it’s gonna go bad, and that’s part of it. But hopefully sometimes you let people know that sort of stuff is cool too. Never close yourself off to anything. Kaskade is a great example of someone who doesn’t really give a sh*t about what anyone thinks; he’s really making stuff that he loves. He’s done it with such passion and honesty for so many years that it’s undeniable. I think that if you are honest and you really try, at the end of the day no artist really gives a sh*t about what anybody else thinks because we don’t have a choice but to do this stuff. It’s the joy in our lives. It’s a creative journey that you work on. If your heart says make this kind of song, just make it.
LessThan3: You tweeted that there were some fans calling All Out “pop.” Do you feel like most fans tend to place artists in specific genre boxes?
Anna: Just to explain that Tweet a little bit, I haven’t gotten any bad feedback. It’s more like people’s perception of what everything should be. Like what is deep house? I saw someone comment on the video “This isn’t deep house.” Yeah, no sh*t. I’m not trying to make deep house. We don’t think about that kind of stuff. You just make a great song and try and do something that sounds a little different, and is complex, and maybe doesn’t sound like every other thing on the deep house Beatport chart or indie disco chart or whatever.
LessThan3: In an industry dominated by males, what are the advantages or disadvantages to being a female in the industry?
Anna: It’s very difficult to pinpoint what the benefits and problems are. I try to ignore it to be honest. It’s the elephant in the room. It’s like, “can we just not talk about it and just do it? I’d just really like to do this job and do it well.” That’s all I really want to take away from it. I don’t want to be on a soapbox saying “This sucks and there are inequalities.” Sometimes I’ll just put it out there to people and say “What do you think?” Because people are always asking me. I do this to encourage people to think about what they might be doing that may be playing a part in this huge picture. Because it’s a lot of subtle stuff. It’s a problem that plagues women across a lot of industries–not just dance music. I just want people to do whatever the f*ck they want. I want people, if they love something, never to let any other voices stop them from trying things. Cause women, in a lot of instances, it’s ourselves that stop ourselves. It’s not just the industry or whatever. Yeah, I stopped myself for years from doing what I thought I was capable of because I didn’t want to be controversial or “bigger than the boys.” I didn’t want to ruffle those feathers. But you get to a point where you’re like “wait. Why am I stopping myself and holding myself back?”
LessThan3: Who are some your biggest female role models?
Anna: I love so many women in the industry. Any woman that does things her own way and tries to make bold moves is someone who inspires me. That could be anyone from Madonna to Kim Deal from the Pixies, Bjork, or Yoko Ono. It’s inspiring to see women who have come before. Like Kathleen Turner and all the sh*t she had to deal with to be the figurehead she was. It makes you realize that even guys come up against so much aversion. No matter what you do, if you get really good at it, there are gonna be people who are trying to stop you. You have to have the guts to keep moving forward, and that can be really scary sometimes. Any woman I see who can push through that, I admire.
LessThan3: Where does your music inspiration come from?
Anna: Everywhere. A lot of music I’m playing I’m inspired by. Composition. All my stuff I try and make the structure really club-friendly. I’ve been DJing for eight years, and in that time I’ve learned what works. I think you can make up for a lot of weird concessions if you just have really good structure. I always try and give people a good direction of where they should be heading at any one time. I think that you can get away with a lot if you do that.
LessThan3: Is it more important to you to have dancefloor hits vs easy listening music?
Anna: Both. Is that greedy? I want both. I naturally make a lot of “song” songs, which a lot of people haven’t heard yet, but it’s starting to come out. I really want to have some that aren’t just dancefloor. They’re songs that you play in all aspects of your life. They’re very influenced by dance music culture, but essentially it’s songwriting, and that’s something I’ve been trying to get better at as well.
LessThan3: When did you realize you loved music?
Anna: When I was like six. I went to a country wedding in Australia for a distant relative I didn’t know. I was with my mum and dad. I was the youngest kid, and none of the other kids would go, but I had to go because I was too young to stay home. We drove like 15 hours to this wedding and I didn’t know anyone, but I still ended up on the dancefloor. The first memory I have of dancing as hard as I could was to Earth Wind & Fire’s September. I just remember dancing in this room full of people I didn’t know and singing at the top of my lungs and just feeling that energy for the first time. My first “rave.”
LessThan3: We saw Clockwork had on a BDD shirt last night during his set. Is there a collab in the works there?
Anna: I’m the biggest Clockwork fan ever. I would love to collab with him. But no, there’s no collab in the works. I’m going to be doing some shows with him. I would love to work with Zeds Dead right now because I really love that song Lost You. Really great combination of sounds on that track. Twin Shadows did an amazing job on the vocals. Mr Carmack’s set was incredible; I would love to work with him as well. I love Djemba Djemba’s work too.
LessThan3: What makes your sound unique?
Anna: It’s interesting growing up in Australia. I just have a different take on it than everyone else. We get influence from America but in such a specific way that I grew up listening to a different combination of music than everyone else on this lineup.
LessThan3: How would you describe your perfect set/show?
Anna: Honestly, the way things are going at the moment. When I moved to America, nobody knew me here and I had to start again. Luckily it coincided with a bunch of new music coming out. Now the people that come to my shows come to hear my music, which is so lovely. It makes me so happy that people give a sh*t about my stuff enough to come out. That’s all I want. I’m completely satisfied. I never wanted to be the biggest artist in the world. I wanted to do what I wanted and have people appreciate it. The fact that I have a small but passionate amount of people that support my work is just enough. If it ever got bigger, then it got bigger. But I’m not stressed about it. It’s hard in this industry to see numbers on Twitter and be like “whatever.” We live in such a quantifiable age. But at the end of the day, I’m just really happy to be able to live my life and do what I love. I used to work at a clothing shop.
LessThan3: What advice would you give to aspiring producers?
Anna: Everyone sucks at first–keep pushing through that. You get into production because you like dance music. But then it’s hard to make your work sound like what you hear in your head, and that’s a really tough phase. Know that everyone goes through that and know that you’re going to have to ask for a bunch of help from people and keep working through it and it will become good. Hopefully.
LessThan3: What would fans be surprised to learn about you?
Anna: I’m a really good horse rider. I used to do eventing. My whole teenage years, I wasn’t going to raves. I was going to horse competitions. Also, I grow all my own vegetables. I killed one this week while I was away. It’s tough.
LessThan3: How do you maintain your badassness?
Anna: It comes with a steady diet of organic vegetables mixed with tacos, and a lot of loud techno music.
LessThan3: If the world was ending in LessThan3 minutes and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Anna: I Only Have Eyes For You by The Flamingos. That’s my jam.
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