Q&A Scene: Justin Hamilton ~ AMERICAN DOUBLES

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour? 

We are excited to be completing our debut EP exec produced by Jimi Maroudas. Rob reached out to Jimi after meeting him at a mix breakdown he was conducting on High St in Northcote, not far from where we live. Jimi’s broad knowledge and experience has been a huge asset to the EP and it has been a real honour and thrill to be working with him.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 

It’s usually the last track that’s being worked on. This can either be coming up with a fresh idea, or revisiting an older track that needs reworking.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

Our sound has been described as very layered, so lasagna maybe??

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

We keep changing song titles, which has caused confusion at times, one of us is always reminding the other about the correct name. One time we got together for a few drinks and by the end of the night we had renamed all the tracks (except for The Swell) on the EP. The next morning we found them and they were just awful! Shortly after that though, we came up with four completely new titles which have finally stuck. 

What, or who, inspires you? 

Good music and good company.

Which song do you wish you wrote? 

There are plenty songs I wish I could say I wrote… One I heard when I was out recently, is ‘Jungle Boogie’ by Cool and the Gang. I’d take that!

What’s next for you? 

Some gigs in and around Melbourne then possibly some regional shows. We are also back in the studio in the coming weeks putting the final touches on our debut EP which will be coming out this year.

What’s your scene?

There’s a great scene where I live, here in Melbourne Thornbury. It’s culturally diverse with an array of food options. It also has a great music scene which is why I’m here. It’s a short walk to the Northcote social club, so I will quite often end up there. Last weekend Rob and I saw Saatsuma, who were awesome.


Melbourne-based electronic duo, American Doubles release their debut single The Swell, a luminous track steeped in blithe nostalgia.  To accompany the track, the pair have released a spectacularly have-to-see-it-to-believe-it video, co-directed by Daniel and Jarred Daperis of LateNite Films (RÜFÜS) and filmed almost entirely underwater.

The Swell is recommended listening for a long, cool drive, perhaps one which involves a Miami Vice-esque nighttime cruise sequence; characterised by knowing nods to the 80s and to more recent electronic pioneers Metronomy, The Swell is a soaring yet subtle, unbelievably memorable smash.  One half of the duo, Rob Smith, reflects on the conception of the song, I used to walk to St Kilda Pier and along the beach, which brought back memories of when I was growing up and spending summer holidays at our family’s beach house in Cape Patterson.  One of those memories is swimming out with a friend past the breakers, floating on our backs for a while and then diving down trying to touch the sea floor.  I wanted to try and capture some of that sense of freedom that can come with being in the moment, letting go and having fun.”

The video for The Swell must be seen to be believed.  The underwater set is a feast for the eyes; an intriguing story plays out as a woman dives nonchalantly into the watery depths and finds herself in an aquatic bar scene.  Patrons dance and drink, bartenders wipe the benches and the woman catches the eye of a man at the bar – all relatively normal, if it weren’t for the fact that the entire scene is performed silently and deeply submerged in a pool of water.

The filming process was no mean feat, with everyone from marine biologists, architects, construction workers and freedivers getting in on the action – all of which is documented in an extensive behind the scenes video, filmed over the course of the recording.  Proud of the ambitious, breath-taking clip, Smith discusses some of the issues that arose in the leadup, “We were contacting the various departments including underwater cameraman, lighting, set construction, scuba divers, and more, and the enormity of the project really started to dawn on us…for example, one of the issues with using regular actors for underwater work is that after a while, at the depths we were shooting, the veins in their head start to pop out!  We wanted everyone to look relaxed and graceful moving around in the water so it was an obvious choice, in the end, to use freedivers.”


The Swell is a remarkable debut from American Doubles, one which refuses to leave the head after only a single listen.  Grab The Swell here.


About Mary Boukouvalas 1453 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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