On track for an epic 2020 – LDRU
Drew Carmody, aka music producer LDRU, talks to Success NQ about building a music career after his career as a builder collapsed.
Success: We know you as a DJ and music producer, but you almost had a career as a builder. What made you change course?
Drew: Three and a half years into my apprenticeship, I fell off a ladder at work and had a really bad back injury. I was 17, and had been DJ-ing since I was about 15 or 16, sneaking into nightclubs to play. It was like, ‘if you can get yourself into the club, you can come DJ’. So, I had been doing that for a few years before I had the accident. I had to take a year off work to recover, and thought ‘If I really want to try and make a name for myself I have to write my own music’ and then I started producing.
Success: And you didn’t look back! Have you found your career in music to be more satisfying?
Drew: It’s a really, really nice job to have. The freedom of not having a nine to five, I think that was the main goal for me and just to be able to turn a passion into a career.
Success: You’ve had some cool gigs like supporting The Chainsmokers. What has been a highlight?
Drew: Jeez, there have been so many along the way. Getting my first platinum record was pretty cool, definitely supporting The Chainsmokers, getting signed to OWSLA… [International music producer Skrillex headhunted Drew’s former duo, Carmada, to sign to his US music label OWSLA.]
Success: As well as your work as LDRU, you were part of duo Carmada until your split in 2018. Is splitting a music duo like a relationship break up?
Drew: It is like a break up, a bad break up. That’s probably a good way to put it. Yeah, it’s been quite hard, but it’s been nice to be able to focus on the LDRU project a little bit more, kind of put more time and effort into that and collaborating with some really cool artists. I’ve been meeting and hanging out with new people, it’s been good.
Success: We saw you collaborate with Aussie electro-hip-hip duo Boo Seeka earlier this year. What are you working on at the moment?
Drew: I’ve just gotten out of my deal with Sony so I’m a free man for the first time in four years, which is pretty cool. I think I’m just kind of going to take a step back for a bit and write a bunch of music and see where I sit musically and then go from there. I’m aiming for an album.
“You need to wake up with a good attitude and then hopefully a good track comes out within three hours.”
Success: What’s the creative process for you like?
Drew: Well, I’ve just finished building a home studio at my place in Seaforth, so that’s given me a bit of inspiration to actually get head down, bum up. Then you know, when you’re on the road, I’m always working on the laptop, inspired by different people, different places, seeing new things, new surroundings…
Success: What’s the recipe for creating a good track?
Drew: You need to wake up with a good attitude and then hopefully it comes out within three hours. Normally the best ideas come out really, really fast. And then it will take months of tweaking after that to actually get the song finished. For example, that Boo Seeka collab, I think I wrote that beat in about two hours the night before the studio session and then we went in there and the first words that came out of Ben’s mouth were, “Show me your rules, I’ll be your ruler.” And we were like, “That’s it! That’s the hook of the song.” And it just went from there, the whole thing came out in one day.
Success: You travel around a lot. What’s been your favourite gig?
Drew: Jeez, probably the Stereosonic tour 2017. We [Carmada] hadn’t slept from the night before and I just remember getting out there in front of like 15,000 people and being like, “This is so surreal, I can’t believe I’m actually doing this!”
Success: Do you get nervous before a gig like that?
Drew: Yeah, I get nervous if I play to five people or if I play to 15,000 people.
Success: You were recently in NQ for the Sorry for Partying Music Festival at Oceanside Terminal. How was that?
Drew: It was amazing actually. It was a really, really well-run festival. B Wise was playing, DJ Tigerlily as well. It was just a crazy, crazy spot. It’s one of the best venues I’ve played at to be honest. We got there and the sun was setting and I kept looking out over the water and yeah, it’s just a very cool location.
Success: Our final question: what does LDRU mean?
Drew: Left Down, Right Up. It was an old school Grand Theft Auto cheat on PlayStation. Part of a cheat to get max ammo and all weapons. It’s a silly name that kind of stuck.
For music, gigs and more updates, follow Drew on Facebook at @theldru.