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Rising duo LUNDØN talk origins, new music, and future collabs (Interview)

Photo Credit: Jeff Smith

Dance Music Northwest had the chance to chat (virtually) with LUNDØN; a newly founded NYC based DJ/producer duo. One part punk rock, one part dubstep, LUNDØN consists of Justin Peeling and Jeff Updike. While the pair may be new to the EDM scene they’re already turning heads, recently hitting over one million total Spotify streams.

After sharing their new single Don’t Turn This Car Around with us, we had to learn more on this emerging duo’s musical roots and current projects. Truly, LUNDØN are collaborative masters as they give their soulful tracks the perfect amount of edge and emotion. Read the full interview below and listen in on their new single Don’t Turn This Car Around!

 

DMNW: Congratulations Justin and Jeff on the success of LUNDØN’s first single, ‘You & Me’! What was the process like making your first track as a duo and does it carry any special significance? How do you guys feel about its release?

Jeff: Justin and I had just met around the time “You & Me” was released, and we started talking about collaborating. LUNDØN was originally Justin’s solo act and I was releasing music under STRVYLIGHT at the time. We met through a mutual friend and began exchanging some of our ongoing projects, bouncing ideas off each other, asking each other for feedback, that kind of thing. We eventually collaborated on Whoever’s Next with Reece Young and Brandon Elgar and realized we really clicked artistically. Justin liked my style and asked if I’d be interested in being part of LUNDØN and I couldn’t say yes fast enough!

DMNW: Where does the name LUNDØN originate from?

Both: Unfortunately, the origin of the name is lackluster – Justin and a friend had been brainstorming artist names together, and eventually came up with the name “LONDØN”. They decided to change the spelling to LUNDØN and it just stuck.

DMNW: Justin, I have to ask with your punk rock roots what bands did you grow up listening to the most? Do any of them still influence you musically to this day or has another genre swept you away recently?

Justin: I grew up listening to BMTH, FIR, Simple Plan, Blink 182, Fall Out Boy and the like. I still listen to a little more metal, but my roots always stick with me. I find myself going back to that phase of my life often to find inspiration. It’s actually part of the reason that Jeff and I got along so well since the beginning. We both grew up listening to and being infatuated with punk rock and shared a lot of similar tastes. He visited me in New York recently and while he was here, we spent a lazy day just listening to old bands that were very nostalgic for us.

DMNW: I’d love to hear more about both of your musical beginnings, Jeff what inspired you to first learn how to DJ and produce music? What was it like to ghostwrite for someone? Justin, are there any memorable moments starting up your first band Lifelines?

Jeff: I started making music in around 2010 or 2011. At the time, the only thing I knew about EDM was Eiffel 65 and electronica/electro-pop like Owl City, so that’s the type of music I began to make. I discovered deadmau5 and electro house in college, and friends of mine introduced me to Kill the Noise–my EDM idol to this day–all of which inspired me to produce bass music. Between 2012 and 2016, I tried my hand at trance, ambient, progressive, and future bass. In 2016 I went to a Zeds Dead concert that blew me away and made the firm decision to take music a lot more seriously and produce bass music on a professional level.

As far as ghostwriting is concerned, it was a great learning experience for me, but it’s definitely not for everyone. It can be pretty hard to part with your work sometimes, but for someone trying to get their foot in the door, it’s a good enough starting point.

Justin: Your first band is always a bit of a trial by fire. You learn a lot about the music industry, business, etc. Sometimes you have creative differences you have to work out and compromise on tracks. Sometimes the track works and sometimes it doesn’t. I think the most positive thing would be meeting people who are still to this day, some of my best friends and seeing them succeed in other projects. Like Brandon Elgar was in Lifelines and now he is currently singing for the band Palisades, and Jeff and I both love him to death.

DMNW: What was the first piece of DJ equipment you owned/ learned to use Jeff? Slightly the same question for Justin, what instrument did you first pick up that you’ve never been able to put down?

Jeff: For me it was a Gemini Midi Controller – I did a whole bunch of shows with it, but I don’t use it anymore. I gave it to a friend who wanted to learn how to DJ! That little controller got me through so many small gigs; I even played my first show with it in college.

Justin: Guitar will always be my primary method of musical expression. It’s my bread and butter. I started getting into guitar around the age of 5, there were some breaks in there, but overall guitar is the one thing I always come back to and it feels like home.

DMNW: LUNDØN did a huge collab with Kramos and GLNNA on, ‘Ride or Die,’ what was the production process like? Any future projects in the works with either?

Justin: The production process was pretty simple; Brady (Kramos) reached out to us and wanted to collaborate. The track just came to fruition pretty effortlessly and GLNNA crushed the vocals. We don’t have any plans to work together again in the near future, but that’s not to say there isn’t a chance we may do something again down the line.

DMNW: How have you been handling the music industry’s current low point? Have you joined in on any virtual events or have any planned?

Jeff: The current lull in the industry has had a pretty dramatic effect on all artists and we’re all doing what we can to continue doing the things we love, which is creating music. We both still work day jobs to make ends meet. We are going through trying times and we are just like most other people out there trying to keep the lights on. At the moment, we haven’t been approached for any virtual events or livestreams, but we would be down for something like that. The opportunity just hasn’t presented itself …YET!

DMNW: Thankfully we here at DMNW have been able to hear your new single,’Don’t Turn This Car Around,’ before its much anticipated August 7th release, are you guys excited? Does it have a special meaning to either of you?

Justin: Loveless laid down some killer vocals that depicted a personal experience that he had in a previous relationship, but we thought the lyrics were relatable enough to put into a track. We got the vocal stems and added a bassline that we were absolutely crazy about. We drew inspiration from Tame Impala and wanted to inject an indie vibe to a track that eventually evolves into a melodic EDM track. It was kind of tricky to get the transition between the two styles because we wanted the stylistic change to be something that only happened one time for what I guess what you could call some contrast. We’re really into blending multiple genres of music and we took a big leap with making the song do a 180 at the end to catch the listener off guard, but in a way that hopefully isn’t jarring.

DMNW: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a duo starting up so far? The greatest reward?

Jeff: The biggest challenge is living so far apart since I’m in Omaha and Justin is in NYC, but I think we’ve managed to make it work. We call each other almost every day to just talk about whatever or music stuff. Currently, I’m looking to move to New York to be closer to Justin and our management so we can have more of a face-to-face interaction to work on music instead of video chats. The greatest reward has been a simple one, but one that has so much meaning for us, which is simply being able to make music. We’re both music fanatics and if we’re not writing stuff, we’re sharing and listening to music. It seems plain, but from a sentimental standpoint, making a new friend with someone, becoming close with them and making some tunes, at the end of the day, is the most rewarding experience even if it sounds trivial.

DMNW: We’ve heard LUNDØN has a collab with Lookas in the works, are there any hints you can drop as to how it’s sounding and when it might arrive?

Justin: The track with Lookas is finished. It’s a bit more of a festival tune and a fairly energetic one at that. As far as a release date, it’s still to be determined. Since it’s more of a festival anthem, we’re waiting until concerts and festivals resume to put it out there because we think it would be more fitting. We have a pretty strong feeling on the difference between what we would call “festival music” and “listening music”, and that tune is more of a festival tune, so we want to wait for the right moment to put it out there.

Have you listened in on LUNDØN’s new single Don’t Turn This Car Around? Tell us now on Facebook and Twitter!

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