Rustie looks back on a huge 2014, and forwards to Laneway 2015.
Russell Whyte, probably better known to most future-bass music fiends as Glaswegian-based producer Rustie, successfully managed to follow up his break-out 2012 album Glass Swords with last year's Green Language. An album that shows the kind of cohesiveness and maturity many artist's can struggle with the dreaded second album. One of the world's most-hyped producers, and at the forefront of dance music's obssession with the future-beat sound popularised by the likes of our own Flume, he's continually pushing boundaries, and we're looking forward to much the same when he plays the Red Bull Music Academy x Future Classic Stage at St Jerome's Laneway Festival, along with a couple of sideshows (dates down the bottom):
First up congrats on what seemed like a pretty great 2014, especially with Green Language – were there any major lessons from the release of Glass Swords you were able to carry into Green Language’s release?
I learnt a lot from Glass Swords and both records are very different. Basically to keep pushing what I do and not be observably influenced by other musicians’ work was a big thing for me.
In some ways Glass Swords felt like a collection of great singles, while Green Language definitely has a more rounded, ‘album’ feel, was that a big goal for you with this release? (And do you feel like the art of writing full albums is getting a little lost in the dance music world, or making a comeback?)
Green Language was more about the range of different music I make and not just all big tracks like Glassworks. I don't think any formula exists for making a great album. A lot of the best producers around just now don't probably listen to older music and that’s exciting for music as people are making their own rules.
Did the success of Glass Swords give you more or less freedom when it came to sitting down for the follow-up, be it from labels and/or fans’ expectations, pressure placed on yourself… things like that?
The second album is actually tougher expectation wise but it’s not about that. It’s about doing what I wanted and getting music out again.
There’s some killer guest vocalists on Green Language, were those tracks written with certain people in mind and did you manage to get the artists you were after pretty easily?
Yes! All good friends and they did a great job. Thanks to them.
Glass Swords was such a massive breath of fresh air in the electronic music soundscape globally, and it’s played a big part in the densely populated future-beat/trap/*insert genre here* world we live in now, how does one separate the wheat from the chaff as a listener, or as a producer cut through that noise?
Again no formula to it. It’s more about doing what you want and then pushing yourself as a producer to learn your craft.
Some parts of Green Language feel really cinematic in scope, especially in the beginning, are film scores something you’d ever like to dabble in/had the chance to do so?
A few things have come up! I’ve been busy touring so maybe later in the year something might happen.
You generally play sets in quite an understated fashion, letting the music do the talking. In today’s superstar DJ world do you feel like the actual music side of things can get a bit lost sometimes – people jumping up on the decks, spraying champagne everywhere, showmanship of that sort?
I mean, that’s fun. Someone once handed me an olympic gold medal onstage and I held it up. Each to their own and some kids wanna see that style of showmanship.
You’re back in Australia soon for Laneway, a place you’ve had a really strong affiliation with over the past few years, do you keep much of an eye on the scene down here and who’s doing good things?
I’ve been sent a few things and always love coming to Australia. Shouts to Nina Las Vegas especially. Always makes us feel welcome and has a great radio show.
It has been a few months since Green Language, any new music in the works we might get a tease of at Laneway, or have the sets been fairly focused on GL/previous releases?
I sometimes make music just to play out and you will always hear new stuff in my sets.
And finally after Laneway, what’s the plans for 2015 and beyond?
Touring a lot! Then looking forward to a break with my girl.
LANEWAY FESTIVAL DATES:
Saturday 31 January - BRISBANE - BRISBANE SHOWGROUNDS, BOWEN HILLS (16+)
Sunday 1 February - SYDNEY - SYDNEY COLLEGE OF THE ARTS (SCA), ROZELLE**
Friday 6 February - ADELAIDE - HART'S MILL, PORT ADELAIDE (16+)
Saturday 7 February - MELBOURNE - FOOTSCRAY COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE (FCAC) & THE RIVER’S EDGE
Sunday 8 February - FREMANTLE - ESPLANADE RESERVE & WEST END