Don’t Sleep on Slumberjack
Up-and-coming power duo, Slumberjack, are now on tour supporting Troyboi.
Fresh off a headlining tour in Australia, Slumberjack now has their sights set on conquering the States. Members Fletcher Ehlers and Morgan Then are on a massive 32-city tour supporting trap all-star, Troyboi, and recently released their EP, Fracture, featuring Vera Blue. They stopped by the BPM Supreme office to talk to us about their unstoppable momentum that brought them to the U.S.
Slumberjack’s recent release, Fracture, is one of the duo’s favorite tracks to play on the “Left is Right” Tour. There’s an indie-dance ambiance to the song, but also a big room feel that leaves an impact.
“We have a different take on the trap music that’s happening in America right now. It’s not as loud. There’s other elements like ethnic beats and unique samples,” said Ehlers. “Troy picked us to support him on this tour based on our music and because of the similarities in our production styles.”
After meeting at an Australian DJ competition in 2014, Ehlers and Then decided to start working on music as a team. Dubbing themselves Slumberjack, the guys acquired a booking agent within New World Artists. Their self-titled debut EP hit number two on the iTunes electronic chart. Things were starting to fall into place with no sign of slowing down.
After spending two years building up their name in Australia, the guys signed to Deckstar Management and made the leap to the U.S. market. By 2016, they were playing huge festivals including Australia’s Splendour in the Grass, and Lollapalooza and Electric Forest in the U.S.
“We usually have a full production set up on stage. Morgan plays the keyboards and does more synth lines; I’m on percussion,” Ehlers added. “For the “Left is Right” tour with Troy, we’ve taken a much more minimalist approach and it’s strictly a DJ performance.”
With fairly different musical backgrounds, Then (a Borneo-bred, classically trained concert pianist and former world-music instrumentalist) and Ehlers (an Australia native who taught himself to make electronic music at age 11) often translate their personal styles into their music. The results are distinct and catchy tunes like Fracture and Afraid, Unafraid.
Now based in LA, the guys find themselves conversing about the determination it takes to make it in the industry with big names like Diplo and Skrillex.
“A track can take years from the time it’s created to the time it gains recognition,” said Ehlers. “Even just getting a nod or ‘I like it’ from those guys, you’re like ok I can keep doing this.”
Slumberjack credits LA-based producer and “beat-wizard,” Mr. Carmack as one of their greatest mentors. He helped the duo to find their unique sound.
“It’s kind of like, don’t worry so much about being technical, but really feel the vibes and see what feels right,” said Ehlers. “His motto is ‘make music like no one’s listening’ and that’s really helped us in the studio.”
While making music on the tour bus isn’t as easy as Ehlers and Then hoped it would be, they are working hard during downtime to produce and keep creativity levels up. And they’re definitely not complaining about traveling across the U.S. with talent like Troyboi, YehMe2 (Josh Young, formerly with Flosstradamus), Daktyl and Louis Futon. Instead, they’re soaking up as much knowledge as possible.
“It’s important for us to learn how to do everything before we tell someone else how to do it,” explained Then. “We want to understand everything that goes on within a tour, top to bottom!”
With help from their tour manager, Ehlers and Then are learning everything from day-to-day logistics to roadie work. Someday Slumberjack plans to take their full production set up on the road in the States. For now, they’re keeping busy and growing their U.S. fan base on the “Left is Right” tour.