You travel around the world and you own your own festival. On top of that you will be spending the whole of January in Australia, kick starting the new year at Melbourne’s Let Them eat Cake. Better know to bass heads as The Librarian, that is exactly the position Andrea Graham finds herself in. But there is nothing quiet about her music, and she can kickstart any party in emphatic style. As part of the huge Let Them Eat Cake NYD lineup alongside Jon Hopkins, Stephan Bodzin, Palms Trax. Jackmaster and more, we got to speak with the excitable Canadian ahead of her Australian visit…
Hey Andrea thank you for taking a minute to chat with us today! Let’s just get this one out of the way straight off the bat… How did you get your name?
Well the librarian started off as a nickname that Liz (my business partner in Bass Coast Festival) gave me. It caught on quickly amongst friends due to my uncanny resemblance to a Librarian. I also have a deep library of music, so the name stuck and I just couldn’t escape it!
Unsuspecting punters may be a bit surprised to hear The Librarian plays some badass bass music, how did you get the dubstep/bass genre?
I’ve always been moved by bass frequencies. When dubstep first appeared in the early 2000’s it caught my attention right away. I’d never felt or heard anything like it. That early wave of European dubstep & grime really formed my taste in electronic music. I also really love footwork, jungle, and the halftime movement happening today.
Your schedule has been crazy busy with festivals lately, what’s been your favourite festival experience this year so far?
It’s really difficult to choose, so I’ll give you my top 3! Playing the Do Lab stage at Coachella was really incredible. My set started off to an almost empty crowd and within 20 minutes it was packed to the brim and people were really receptive to hearing new sounds. It was truly an honour to be included in the line up. Oregon Eclipse Gathering was really special because people from all around the world collaborated on the event. I was fortunate to play Thursday night to an incredibly fun crowd who had tons of energy and it set the stage for the rest of the weekend. And playing Bass Coast is always very special to me. As you may or may not know, I started the festival with Liz Thomson and my husband Andor who design and build the stage I play on. Needless to say it is very close to my heart and I am so appreciative to play for the community that has grown around Bass Coast.
You’ve also been squeezing in a tonne of b2b sets, who would you love to play b2b with and where would you be playing?
I love playing B2B because it keeps things spontaneous. Mat the Alien and I have been playing together for 9 years! We had a weekly residency in Whistler for over 6 years and now we have a radio show on Sub.fm, and we also tour playing festivals like Shambhala, Bass Coast, and many other clubs/venues B2B around North America. There are a number of other friends/artists who I’ve played with including Max Ulis, Michael Red, & Mandai. We are all part of Lighta! Sound – a foundational crew in Vancouver, BC. I’ve also played B2B a few times with Danny Corn and PRSN out of Portland. We all share a love for similar sounds, so it was natural to jam together.
It’s been a while since you released new music, have you got plans to write some more material?
Yes actually I have been working on some collaborations with Danny Corn and we may put them out this year. Bass Coast and touring as a DJ has taken a lot of my time in the past 3-4 years so my production output has not been high. It’s a priority for me over this winter and I hope to have some new material soon.
What have been three go-to tracks for you this festival season?
Oooh… ok, let me look. I love Sweat Equity by Greazus, Badmouth (Dem A Talk) by Egoless, and ALL of the dancehall tunes of Sam Binga’s new release with Rider Shafique.
When you’re not blasting huge sound systems, what do you like getting up to in your time off?
I love to mountain bike. It’s why I live in Squamish BC where the trails are really incredible. I love getting out in the rainforest and floating down the mountain on my bike. It’s my meditation and my place to live in the moment. It’s an incredible way to stay fit, push my boundaries, and to keep my brain happy.
Keeping the festival vibe high, when you visit Australia you’ll be playing Let Them Eat Cake on New Years Day! What else have you got planned for your time in Australia?
I’m really looking forward to spending a month in Australia. Kicking it off with Let them Eat Cake and then closing it out with Rainbow Serpent. In between, I will be visiting friends and family, hopefully surfing a bit (although I’ve got a lot to learn) and exploring the music scenes in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and beyond. My mom is going to join me and she’s Australian and hasn’t been home in years so it will be fun to tour around with her.
During your touring and travels, what are three things you’ve learnt on the road that only the road can teach you?
1. Talk to everyone and get to know the people in each place you go. I find making connections really enriches the experience and creates deeper memories.
2. Check out the local music / art scene. If I have time, I love going to see local crews play and / to check out local art shows. It’s a great way to learn what makes each city’s creative scene unique.
3. Get outside and explore the landscape & food of each town/city. I’m an adventurer at heart and really appreciate experiencing new places. Hotels are the same everywhere… but the mountains and beaches and ocean are really unique.
4…. haha I know you said only 3… but PACK LIGHT!
Finally, if you were going to throw a festival anywhere in the world, where would it be and who are the headliners?
WELL…. I DO throw a festival in Canada called www.basscoast.ca But if resources were plentiful, my dream line up would include: Fever Ray, Dizzee Rascal, Thom York, Om Unit and FKA Twigs among many many others!
Catch The Librarian alongside Ame, Jackmaster, Jon Hopkins, Apparat, Stephan Bodzin and more on NYD at Let Them Eat Cake at Werribee Mansion in Melbourne.
Interview by Stefanos Mak