He's from Australia, he's Mall Grab's mate, and that's about all we know. Time for a chat…
Born and raised in Newcastle, Australia, rising house producer Loods has come a long way in a short time – both literally and figuratively.
Since relocating to the UK from Down Under in 2018 there's been no stopping the DJ known to the taxman as Elliot Struck, with a well-received Boiler Room broadcast in aid of the Southbank Centre back in September, shows on Rinse FM and NTS, and releases on his long-term friend Mall Grab's Steel City Discs label.
Yet that right there is pretty much about all we know about him. So with a gig for veteran Loughborough promoters DBE coming up on 28 February – playing at their Hideout warm-up party alongside Krystal Klear and Lex Luca – we grabbed him for a chat to find out more...
You're from Newcastle, Australia. What was your first introduction to dance music/club culture - is there a strong local scene or did you have to travel?
"I was lucky enough to discover clubbing when there was something of a dance music renaissance happening in Australia. Newcastle had a really good scene for a while in the early noughties. Love for the music hasn’t gone away, but the NSW government’s continually intensifying war on fun has, sadly, shaken the cultural framework. And the effects are felt most in smaller cities like Newcastle.
"Extra enthusiastic heads generally migrate to Sydney, Melbourne or overseas, which is what I did (London via Sydney). Big ups to all the party people back home who are finding interesting ways to hold it down in a very difficult political climate."
And when/how/why did you take your first steps into DJing and producing?
"I was playing in a post-punk band when I started appreciating a more electronic sound spectrum. A lot of the bands I loved were also doing DJ sets – quite du jour in the Soulwax/2manyDJs epoch. Plus, a bunch of friends had turntables, so it was all an obvious progression for me. Once I came to comprehend the amount of music I could have at my fingertips and the unlimited places you could take a DJ set, I was hooked."
To our ears, vintage disco/boogie and classic 90s house sounds would be the obvious big influences on the music you make, but how do YOU describe it?
"Definitely classic 90s house, but there’s also a decidedly French Touch theme in there, and my love for golden era hip-hop probably creeps in too. So... 90s Parisian hip-house? Ha ha!"
Are there any particular artists/DJs/labels that have inspired you?
"Maybe too many to list here, but top line: things start with the sadly discontinued Modular Records and move quickly into Thomas Bangalter’s Roulé, followed by that period of time when Ed Banger could do no wrong. Hot Haus Recs has been a big one. Studio Barnhus for quirky genius. Running Back for consistent brilliance. And of course, most importantly and most inspiringly, my Steel City fam."
Tell us three moments/events that have been pivotal for you in your career so far?
"1. Releasing my debut record on Steel City Dance Discs early 2018. It was the spark that lit the fuse – things have moved very quickly for me since.
"2. The Looking For Trouble Ireland tour: burning around wildly beautiful countryside with two of my best friends, playing for some of the most enthusiastic crowds you could ever hope for... that was a very special week.
"3. Long Live Southbank Boiler Room. A great cause (preserving the hub of UK skate culture) and a killer party. To play a Boiler Room was a huge personal milestone for me."
You relocated to the UK last year. What lay behind the move and how's being based here panning out so far?
"I wanted to give music a real chance and felt that my sound was better suited to this part of the world. It’s been a wild ride so far. I’ve seen beautiful parts of the UK I never would’ve visited otherwise, and made some incredible friends. Doing a four-hour set at Parisian nightclub floating on the Seine, or sharing a bill with Gerd Janson at a converted slaughterhouse in downtown Stockholm... if you’d told me about these things a year ago there’s no way I would’ve believed you. The opportunities here are endless, I really love it."
I gather Mall Grab is a long-time associate of yours? Tell us about that...
"Jordy is fam: we’ve known each other since teenage skateboarding days back in Newcastle. Our musical trajectories eventually, perhaps inevitably crossed paths and it’s been nothing but fruitful. When my girlfriend and I moved to London, Jordy was kind enough to let us live with him. He’s one of my closest friends and a big inspiration."
You're playing for Midlands club night DBE on 28 February, how did you come to hook up with them?
"It came about quite naturally – I love the Midlands area and have heard DBE is a great party, so when they reached out I was thrilled. Plus, Krystal Klear is headlining, so it was a no-brainer for me. I can’t wait."
Finally, as a fairly new arrival to these shores, have you visited Newcastle, UK yet? How do the two cities compare?
"I played in Newcastle, UK for the first time in November last year – it was actually my last UK show before flying back for an Australia summer tour. I absolutely loved the place. The main bridge there is what the Sydney Harbour bridge was modelled on, so it’s a bit of a trip. I had a fantastic Sardinian meal and played at a really vibey club night, two things you might be a little hard-pressed to come by in Newcastle, Australia at the moment. But then, of course, there’s the weather..."
Words: Russell Deeks
Loods plays DBE's Hideout Warm-up Party at Echoes, Loughborough on 28 February – tickets available here