the AU interview: Nina Las Vegas (Sydney)

With the second Triple J House Party tour set to kick off soon, we were lucky to score some time with the lady behind it all, Nina Las Vegas. Reflecting on this year's tour in comparison with the 2012 run, which saw her play alongside some lad named Harley, Nina tells us about putting the 2013 compilation together and what she enjoys most about these shows.

How are you feeling about getting back on the road?

Oh, I’m really excited! I haven’t played for a couple of weeks and I know that sounds like not so much of a long time, but it really is a long time. Especially with my friends! With Cassian and Flight Facilities; I met Wave Racer last weekend, as well as Tyler Touche, who I hadn’t met before. It’s going to be huge.

I suppose that the list of names you’ve got on this tour with you is pretty indicative of how great the talent is that we’ve got coming out at the moment.

I know, right? It’s fantastic. It’s really exciting; it’s quite funny, I saw someone write a comment on Facebook, just a friend of mine, about Harley [Flume] being on the tour last year and then having Wave Racer …literally, since announcing him on the tour, he’s been the most played on Triple J and he’s been signed to a record label, so someone said that the House Party tour is like a Flume Factory!

Nina’s got the golden touch…!

[Laughs] I know! He’s just a talented young dude, and I really worked on the line ups as I wanted to make it a cool sounding night, so I knew that I wanted something heavier or something a bit more beats-y, like what Flume was last year. So I’ve got Wave Racer on the bill. It’s so exciting because that’s what it’s all about.

Totally. Now, on the venues you’ll be hitting up; I know that when you did the tour last year, you had the smaller club venues along the way…in Adelaide for instance, you did Rocket Bar and now you’re playing HQ, which is one of the biggest club venues in the city. It’s got to be pretty cool to see the desire and the want for these sorts of nights growing in this way.

Well, I think it’s a pretty nice indication of our club world being good, but people don’t know how good it is. I think people get to a certain age and then they just stop going out because it’s all the same or it’s not doing it for them anymore. To bring people back to the club, where dance music and party music can be so good and it can be a really fun night and not necessarily be a festival and not need an international line up as well, is really special. I think that’s what the House Party tour…it was just crazy how well it worked; we’re all friends and by the end of it, we were on stage the entire time – you don’t see that happen all the time.

That’s a good point you bring up; I know for me, working in music, you tend to find that the amount of times you go out for the sake of going out becomes limited, because you’re always out for a specific purpose, so it’s good these opportunities are there because now I can be like, ‘Oh cool, I know what House Party is, I know the content and I don’t have to worry about dealing with all the crap that can come with attending festivals or your standard club night’.

Yeah! Basically, I started DJing with my friends and so we would put on nights, like the Bang Gang era, and those nights were all about everyone being behind the decks. If you’re not playing, you’re standing there and you’re dancing and it’s like just having a party for yourself, but having other people there. I think that’s what was so cool about what happened last year, because everyone watched the party and everyone was part of it and everyone saw how much we were loving it. I think that these days, if you go to a club gig, often people are DJing five or six shows in a weekend and who knows where they’re at? This designated party is just so fun and that’s what I’m excited about; I’m just excited about late nights with my friends and having people there.

Totally. In terms of putting the House Party compilation together this year; looking at the wealth of awesome artists and material that’s coming through, how much of a task has it been for you to sit down and put together a mix you’re completely happy with?

Oh it’s so hard! I had practice last year so this year I did have a few rules for myself: the songs had to be songs that I loved and even if they were smashed, I’d still love, songs that I haven’t gotten sick of yet. I wanted to have the CD really capture a moment of time and not necessarily be something that was going to last forever, but it’s going to last like…mid-2013 is what we’re about, you know? I think that’s kind of cool. The idea is that it encourages people to listen to some different stuff; I really put some great acts in that aren’t all Triple J smashed. I’ve got Jimmy Edgar in there, I’ve Ryan Hemsworth…I’m really representing the music that’s coming out that people love, that now have a space on Triple J radio.

There’s always been that great thing about that station, you know – it only takes one person to steer people to these acts and then all of a sudden, there’s a whole new, massive audience for these artists.

Also, I think that’s the sound of House Party; people know and people request stuff like R.L. Grime and they request TNGHT because they know that I have a soft spot for that stuff. So yeah, I’m going to play the brand new Arctic Monkeys track because I think it’s great and I love it, but I’ll also play…I’ll definitely play something like…you know! I’m just so proud of the track listing; it was difficult, but I think I was a bit more holistic about it and I was like, ‘I want to get them in and I want it to sound good and I want to listen to it a million times’. When I was making it, I totally would be smiling the whole time and I’m not even lying! I would just be like…I just kept listening back to a Rudimental song over and over again, even though I’ve played it for three or four months, I’m like, ‘Oh this is so good, I can’t not dance to this’!

Awesome! Well, I’m looking at the tour dates now; obviously they’re going to be Friday/Saturday gigs, so will there be much prep during the week for you, or is it more of a case of getting to the gig and doing a quick run through?

I think the plan is to treat it as I would any gig; I’ll prepare each one…it’s a bit of a show that I put together, because it is like a big performance and I’ve got like 41 tracks from the House Party CD that I can put in my mix and I’m only playing for an hour, an hour and a half. I think I’m going to have everything organised and ready to go and then I don’t know, if I feel like playing something different, I will! I think that this time though…last time I was after Flume, this time I’m kind of the headliner with Flight Facilities, so it’s like a bit of a build up. Flight Facilities play house and they play disco you know? For me to come on afterwards it’ll be good because I can go, ‘Okay, we’re going to switch it up again and bang it out for a bit’.

Well it’s all sounding like it’s going really well and I know the hype surrounding it is only growing stronger, so just, best of luck for it all Nina!

Oh thanks! I think Sydney is probably going to sell out today, Melbourne too. So it’s all good! Thank you so much!