When I called Godlands to do this interview, it was Valentine’s Day and she’d just left the mechanic. She was having her car fixed up after an accident a friend had back in Adelaide while she was in New Zealand for Northern Bass. “Don’t worry it’s all good now,” she assures me. The sentiment is quickly followed by “I hate Valentine’s Day,” and how she’s been avoiding “gross couples on Instagram.”
To say Godlands’ mind is fast paced would be an understatement, the Adelaide DJ-come-producer is the only musician in a family of sports fanatics. She has an endless amount of on-stage energy—enough to keep up with her impressive light show. She’s got her own version of Gogglebox, Godlands Box, which chronicles her rocky relationship with reality TV and she has her own meme that her fans have wholeheartedly embraced. In short, Godlands might be Australia’s answer to Steve Aoki.
We caught her ahead of her set at Hidden Music Festival to chat Disney Sea, the Bloody Beetroots, and that age old saying “my dog ate my USB stick.”
You just released ‘Valour’ with BOI. How did your first time working with a vocalist go?
It was actually really daunting. I’ve never gone in and actually recorded vocals ever. I was really lucky because I went into the studio with another production guy. I was literally just sitting there, my track would play in the background and he’d record BOI and give some direction. We’d talk about it, and it gave it a good group dynamic working together. My job was to give direction, explain that something to should be a bit more like this or should sound like this. But he was the guy that got it down and recorded it for me. It was really good for me to see how it was done. I don’t usually have a production guy in the studio with me, so it was good to be there and get tips from him. I learnt a lot in there for sure. In the future, when I do record other artists, I can actually know what I’m doing.
Yeah. That’s sick. Because it can be really daunting collaborating.
100%. Because you don’t know if you’re going to get along with these people. BOI’s just so energetic and was so easy to get along with. The first time actually properly meeting them… you just don’t know what to expect I suppose. I’m just so used to working with myself. Especially because it was my first time working with a vocalist. I love collaborating with people, I want to do it more this year. It gets your creative juices flowing. I thought it was a really positive experience for me.
That’s so exciting. How did you find BOI?
My team and I just scrolled through Triple J Unearthed looking at all the artists. She’d worked with LBIU before, so I had heard her voice before. She has this really unique Ella France mixed with Mo sound to her. A really unique sound. Her voice is really powerful too. I didn’t want a pretty voice. She has a powerful voice and she really made the track.
You grew up with a really sporty family, but then came out of nowhere and decided to be a producer.
Yeah, I was like “Hi I want to grow up to be something you’ve never heard of before!” In my family, if you didn’t have a ball in your hand it was weird.
So if you didn’t grow up with a lot of DJs, when was the first time that you realised that it was an option?
There’s this one memory I have that made me think “Yep. I wanna be a DJ.” So I was in maths class in maybe, Grade 11 or something? I was with one of my friends, obviously not doing maths, and she was one of those girls that went out underage. So she’d been in clubs and around DJs and that was just not a thing that I’d ever done. During that class, she showed me this video of the Bloody Beetroots.
Oh my god.
It’s so fucking weird because they filmed that video in the club that I currently work at. As soon as I saw that, I was like “I wanna be a DJ! I wanna go to the clubs and vomit and get crazy.” I started to really look into it. I started working at a bakery at the time, and I worked so hard to get my money up. My brother helped me with some of the equipment. It’s very expensive to start up. But then, obviously made it and got picked up by a club. And I’ve been on the club circuit for about eight years now? And now I’m signed to Dim Mak, which is the label that the Bloody Beetroots started out on. It’s crazy to think.
I love hearing stories from people about how they’re doing the things that they always looked up to when as a kid. If you worked at a bakery, then what’s your favourite baked good?
Oh my god. I love bread. I’m such a simple girl. You can’t go past a good sourdough. I’m gonna be really lame and say sourdough with butter but also donuts. I also love Vegemite scones.
How good are Vegemite scones though.
I know! If I could pick up a loaf of good bread, some butter, and a donut… I’d be fucking happy. I told you I’m a simple girl!
Glazed or cinnamon donuts?
I like the original glaze. If I was to go to Krispy Kreme, I’d just get the original. I don’t need the fancy stuff. Or just a simple sprinkle donut. I literally had one last night. Isn’t that crazy? That we’re talking about this now?
I’m going to get one right now. We should eat sprinkle donuts together, what do you reckon?
I’m here for it. We could do a Godlands Box on it.
Yes! We could film each other on Facetime or something.
Are you really into reality TV?
Ever since I started doing Godlands Box, I’ve actually really gotten into it. It was mainly just the Bachelor though. Married At First Sight I never really got into. My friend made me watch it, and now I’m like “Okay, now I understand why everyone’s into it”. At first I took a stand against it because when it first came out, gay marriage wasn’t a thing. I couldn’t understand how straight people could get married, just by looking at someone. But gay people, who’d been together ten years, still couldn’t. That’s why I was so against it. But now it’s all good, so I can watch it.
I love that you drink red wine when you do Godlands Box. But the internet tells me that you like Hahn Super Dry beer.
Oh my god. I love beer. Super Dry is my go-to because it’s cheap. But I much prefer it on tap. I don’t like craft stuff, if it’s fruity I’m like “Ugh.” Wow. I’m such a simple girl!
I agree. When it’s too hoppy, it’s just gross.
Yes! I ain’t that the fucking truth.
Your merch is hilarious. That Godlands meme filled my feed for a fortnight. Anytime you play a set that’s all I can see.
I love it. I was hoping that would happen! I remember thinking “If I can get a meme out of this, I’m so happy.” Every festival, I’d get tagged. It’s so good. It just gets people involved, and also, if people don’t know about me it’s a good marketing tool. What is a Godlands? Why are people doing this? Well come to my set and you can find out!
What’s your favourite meme at the moment?
I love astrology memes. I live for astrology memes. I’m a Sagittarius, so those astrology memes I’m here for.
Do you follow @notallgeminis?
Yes! It’s my go-to! How hilarious are they!
Do you read your horoscopes much?
Are you daily or monthly?
I’d probably do monthly more than daily. I’ve got that Costar Astrology app and they give you all the info on what your houses are. I’ve got so many in the eighth house. I looked up what the eighth house meant and it’s all about death and how I die. That doesn’t sound great to me. Can I be honest? I’m a bit scared. It says it’ll be a sudden death. Like it won’t be of illness. So that’s kind of a positive thing to me.
Well, let me know if you die. To you, what is God’s country? What’s your ultimate, heaven on earth, best place you can think of.
First off Japan, in general, I fell in love with. But more specifically in Japan, DisneySea. It’s the only one in the world and it’s so expensive to go. But it is the most incredible place I’ve ever been to. Like you can go and see Aladdin and they have all the temples set up. And you can go to Ariel’s grotto and you literally go in under the ground and there’s a humongous cave under there. It’s the best place I’ve ever been to.
You need to get sponsored by Disney.
I know! Do you think they’ll allow me, even though my meme goes around?
Maybe one of their other brands. Like Marvel or something?
Oh! Fucking oath! I wanna be a superhero so bad.
What would be your power?
Maybe bass frequency waves! Soundwave shit.
Maybe you could shoot lasers from your eyes?
Yeah! And I can fly. Of course.
Where do you keep your USBs? Do you keep them in one place?
Yeah oh my god. I literally chuck them in the biggest bag possible. It’s legitimately a Mary Poppins bag. It’s one of the most annoying things ever to find something in a bag. I don’t want to have to look down into my bag. I wanna feel for it and be like “Oh yep that’s it.” But usually what I actually end up touching are tampons. Then I have to like go through the whole process of like figuring out what it is. All the girl DJs will know exactly what I’m talking about!
How many USBs do you think you own?
For about two years, I only owned one. I was running the gauntlet like some idiot of one USB that had absolutely everything on it. And, mind you, I get quite drunk but I’d somehow always remember to put it in my backpack. Then I bought another USB and literally a week later I lost the first one. So I blame the second USB. And I think it cursed me because after that I bought two new ones. Then I’m pretty sure my dog stole one of them. I just don’t trust him you know.
Why don’t you put them on a carabiner?
I’ve got my keys on one of those. They’re actually very handy. But my USBs don’t have the little things that you can hook through. Sometimes people keep them in sandwich bags, tupperware, all that shit.
What was the first set you played?
First set in the club, I would have just turned 18. I was so shaky and so nervous. Then I played the same song three times in a row because I got really drunk. I don’t get too worried about stuffing up these days. Everyone else is either on your level or not going to realise unless you make it really known.
Have you ever really messed up? Like so badly like you can’t hide it?
I know that if I have, I announce it. And then you move on. You get a little bit embarrassed, but you can’t let it mess with you. I know that if I was starting out, I’d be freaking out. But everyone makes mistakes. It’s whatever.
You’ve got a really distinct style. If you could own any item of clothing in the world at this point, what would you go for?
I really want those Balenciaga sneakers, you know the Triple S’s? I know they’re a bit toffy, but I want to own them just so I can say that I have them. Isn’t that the point of fashion, high fashion particularly?
It’s more about your bank account than anything.
Yeah, basically. If I could get it for free, I’d be stoked. But I’m not about to spend a thousand dollars on that shit.
Do you have a favourite item of clothing?
I love shoes and sneakers. I love pants—I love wide leg pants. And at the moment I’m really fucking with bandanas.
Is there anything else you want to say?
I’m doing the Hidden tour. It’ll be in Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane. And then I’ll be having my tour later in the year and that’s about it. Love my fans!