Empire Of The Sun Interviewed: "We're Washing People's Brains With Colours And Light"

The galactically minded duo are returning with a second album, and stopped by to discuss festivals. costume malfunctions and which member of the Royal Family they'd like to join the band...
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The galactically minded duo are returning with a second album, and stopped by to discuss festivals. costume malfunctions and which member of the Royal Family they'd like to join the band...

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'Cosmic crusaders' and further cliches are often used to lasso Empire Of The Sun, and I'll admit talking to them brings about the faintest whiff of joss stick and unicorn. But to stop there is to hurtle past the point; they're also firmly rooted in making the kind of music that encourages cartwheels across council estates, all the while wearing little more than your own ambition.

What's the new album Ice On A Dune about?

Nick: A large part of the record is the reunion of Luke and I in many ways. The nature of traveling is that you're always away from loved ones, we wanted to send a message back to the audience that there is a resonance there and that things are going to be ok.

The first single 'Alive' could of crossed the line into sentimentality, are you aware of those pitfalls when writing?

Nick: We were right on the edge with Alive: "Loving every minute because you make me feel so alive". In many ways that lyric could be quite blank, but if it comes through with goodness and light then it's truth. Thats why it takes time, you have to wait till you have a body of work that has that beautiful naivety, you need to be ready to catch it like a fisherman at the lake or a train spotter at the....

Luke: Station


You're playing Wilderness this year, what can the fans expect?

Luke: To have their minds completely blown away. People come up and accuse us of brain washing. And I say yes! We're washing people's brains with new colours and light, That never really comes out good when I say it.

Nick: I don't know, that sounded pretty good actually...


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Both the audience and yourselves have been know to dress up...

Luke: It's a part of the testimony, we started this band talking about dreams and imagination, and now people actually doing it right? They're using there imagination to dress up as these characters and come to the shows. It's working

What was your worst festival experience as a punter?

Nick: It was Big Day Out and my first ever festival, I was only 13 and my favourite band at the time were Ministry, when Al Jourgensen came out, plugged his guitar in and the everyone got pushed back 5 meters from the sound. I totally freaked and spent the entire gig just trying to get out whilst being jostled by all these giants in the crowd.

What about costumes malfunction on stage?

Luke: There's been a couple, I've got some bullets in my new belt which is always risky and every now and then have a blow out in my crotch from doing splits and high kicks, I'm sure the crowd have seen the odd breast here and there, we did have that Swordfish fish girl who fell 10ft off the stage.

Nick: Was she ok?

Luke: She was still dancing.


What was the last song you heard that you wish you'd written?

Luke: I head Sketter Davis 'It's The End Of The World' [sings chorus and mumbles majority of first verse].

Nick: Oh yeah, l love that song

Luke: We heard it in New York that time with the singing waitress, when I lost you in that Diner.

My mum only really listenings to Lionel Richie: I want her to download Ice On A Dune for a BBQ she's having this summer. What would say do convince her?

Nick: That's tough, I mean maybe we could come and do the sausages? We make music for our mums, so I'm sure she will like it.

Luke: Mums love cooking so maybe we could serve Ice On A Dune burgers or even a cocktail?

Nick: Yeah, Cocktails for mums!

If forced which member of the Royal family would have in the band?

Nick: Kate is preggers isn't she?

Luke: Surely it's Harry we want?

Nick: No man, Harry's dopey, that Nazi thing wasn't funny, I always loved Princes Di.

Luke: That might be tricky...

Nick: The Queen, she has already got the headdress nailed.

Are you coming back to the UK to tour?

Luke: Yeah, we're going to come back and play somewhere massive.

Nick: Albert Hall

Luke: Wembley!

Nick: More like Brixton...


Ice On The Dune is released on 24th June, you can pre-order it here .  They are playing Wilderness Festival, which runs from 8th to the 11th August
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Follow Chris Barrett on Twitter- @CT_Barrett