It will take a lot for Mt Eden to top this year, which saw the Kiwi duo up sticks to the US, where they're signed with a New York-based label. But they're kicking off the new year on the right foot with the Sky Is Gold tour back home, which will help recharge the batteries before it's full steam ahead with a new project.
Aucklanders Jesse Cooper and Harley Rayner teamed up in 2009 under the name Mt Eden Dubstep and gained traction with the track Sierre Leone when it went viral on YouTube. But as the then dubstep/drum 'n' bass duo developed a more encompassing sound, the name was shortened to Mt Eden, and Cooper and Rayner set about making a name for themselves on the international circuit.
Managed by Scott Maclachlan, who also looks after Lorde, the lads from Mt Eden made the big move to New York this year after signing with Ultra Records, which is also home to Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki.
Cooper admits it's been a massive learning curve, fraught with challenges. But in New Zealand for summer and reflecting on the year, he says it's all been worth it. "The number of predicaments we've had, just trying to restart everything - you know, leaving our family, finding a place to live, making new friends. But we've learned a lot of life skills," he says. "And it's been cool networking with the label and writing music with other artists. The culture there, it's very accepting. Everyone helps everyone out and Americans love New Zealanders. You get far with the whole New Zealand culture thing in America. So yeah, I absolutely love New York."
Mt Eden began their Kiwi tour last week and are making their way down the country, where they will be joined by various acts along the way, including The Upbeats, MayaVanya, PleasePlease and State of Mind.
"This whole tour is about New Zealand bass music," says Cooper, who is bracing himself for pumping and enthusiastic crowds in holiday spots such as Riwaka and Waihi Hotel. "We see all sorts of things because we've got such a good view on stage," he says. "But people should come to enjoy the music and just have fun."
And Cooper's family, including Mum and Dad, will be on the road with him, so he's looking forward to spending time with them before shifting focus to the next big challenge - Mt Eden's upcoming album.
"It'll be out at the end of January. It's called No Man's Land. We've got a few features on there with Omar LinX and Polina, who just featured on Eminem's new album."
As for the sound, expect a genre-hopping journey that'll hopefully keep everyone happy, says Cooper: "We've made a whole bunch of house music, some good drum'n'bass and not your generic trashy dubstep, but nice dubstep that everyone can relate to. Even my mum listens to it and likes it," he laughs.
Mt Eden's The Sky Is Gold Summer tour is on now. The duo play Waihi Hotel on January 5. For more dates visit www.mtedenofficial.com