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Confidence Man and DJ BORING: ‘The motto is: never give up, never go home’

The Aussie duo and their compatriot discuss ecstatic new collaboration ‘Forever 2’, how messy ‘cooked sessions’ are inspiring Confidence Man's third album, and an almighty pledge from DJ BORING for their live shows...

By Will Richards

Confidence Man
Confidence Man and DJ BORING (Picture: Sully @_sullman)

On a recent Wednesday night in east London, posters lined the sweaty windows of tiny basement venue The Glove That Fits with a message: “CONFIDENCE MAN ARE BORING.” If you’d been out and about in the days preceding, you may have also seen DJ BORING – aka London-based, Australia-born producer Tristan Hallis – sharing a similar sentiment on placards around the capital.

Thankfully, such slander was all in aid of the pair’s thumping new collaboration ‘Forever 2 (Crush Mix)’, an ecstatic club track about being blinded by love. It’s Confidence Man’s third collaborative effort with an outside producer in the last year, following the sugary delight of ‘Now U Do’ (with DJ Seinfeld) and the darker, more dangerous Daniel Avery collaboration ‘On & On’.

With ‘Forever 2 (Crush Mix)’ out now, we catch up with DJ BORING and Confidence Man’s Janet Planet and Sugar Bones to discuss living in London as Australians, the genesis of the new collaboration and how the band’s soon-to-be-legendary ‘cooked sessions’ are inspiring work on their in-progress third studio album.

First things first, we just want to check – are you all friends again now? There was a lot of ‘Confidence Man are boring’ posters spotted around London…

Sugar Bones: On paper, I guess.

Janet Planet: We’ve settled all our differences now, on the advice of our major label.

DJ BORING: …reluctantly! My lawyers have been telling me to pack it in.

Janet: Music brings people together!

How long has ‘Forever 2’ been in the works?

Janet: Tristan had the beat ages ago, I remember you showing us the beat when we were in Australia about a year and a half ago.

BORING: Originally, the song was a piece that I had for the ending of my live shows. I took a sample from something and hit up the guys saying that we should do something. They hit me back asking me to compile a bunch of tracks together. I sent them this and didn’t think much about it, and then came into the studio the next day and they were already half-way done.

Janet: We wanted to do a day in the studio for ages, and then we’d done a day with DJ Seinfeld where we wrote ‘Now U Do’, and then we wrote this one literally two days later. I remember you [BORING] and Seinfeld talking about how you were both in the studio with us at the same time.

Now we can see where the tension came from…

Janet: We had a slutty summer!

How did the three of you meet?

BORING: I’ve lived in London for about nine years now, but I met Janet at a festival in 2018.

Janet: How do you remember that?!

BORING: I thought that we were friends, and I like to remember my friends. I then met Sugar at a mutual friend’s house party, and there’s a quote he said that night which won’t ever leave my brain. I had just taken a toke of a vape, and he goes, ‘Digitalised, eh? I’m still rocking the analogues!’ It absolutely blew my mind.

Sugar: Analogue ciggies, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Bring them back! We’d obviously heard BORING’s stuff and knew of him as a man about town – a local legend – but we hadn’t crossed paths until a couple of years ago, first in Aus and then now in London.

Janet: He harassed us to hang out once we moved to London.

BORING: It’s not that fabricated, but it’s close.

Confidence Man
Confidence Man and DJ BORING (Picture: Sully @_sullman)

How has moving to London last year changed life for Confidence Man?

Sugar: We’re residents now, we can get stuck in!

BORING: It’s nice to have you guys in London.

Sugar: We wanted to get out of Australia and live somewhere else for a while. If we can do that and the band can also thrive, that’s perfect.

Janet: There’s a lot more going on over here. We’re definitely drinking a lot more and going out a lot more. The scene here, especially the queer scene, is so exciting.

Sugar: These scenes in the dance world have been around for decades, and it’s so much fun.

BORING: When you’re an Australian coming to live in London for the first time, you feel like a kid in a candy store. It’s just so exciting, and you get a bit greedy.

Sugar: You walk around all the amazing restraurants and wanna get drunk in all the pubs!

BORING: We don’t really have pub culture in Australia.

Janet: I actively avoid pubs because they don’t have cocktails and that makes me anxious. It’s my cross to bear!

Since the second Confidence Man album, you’ve released music with DJ Seinfeld, Daniel Avery and now DJ BORING – was this series of collaborations a deliberate bridging gap between albums?

Janet: We were just hanging out and it naturally made sense. Tristan and us have been talking about working together for ages.

Sugar: It also came in a nice patch between albums where we had time to do these fun collaborations.

Janet: It was a bit of a decision as well though. We didn’t want to put out any solo ConMan tracks ‘til album three. This song is the last collab!

How is work going on the third album?

Janet: We’re getting through it!

Sugar: Starting to lose our minds, but that’s when you know you’re nearly at the end point!

What did you all learn about each other from writing the new song?

Sugar: That he’s a funny fuck! I suspected that already though.

BORING: You didn’t need to make a song with me to know that, mate!

Janet: When you do a song with someone, my weird rule is that if you don’t become best friends, you probably didn’t write a very good song.

BORING: Janet told me about these ‘cooked sessions’ that the band do, and I got very jealous, because they get to do this all the time. They do these quite frequently, but if I were to do these things, it’d just be me, munted, in my studio on my own. That’d be a bit sad.

Confidence Man
Confidence Man and DJ BORING (Picture: Sully @_sullman)

We’ve heard whispers of these ‘cooked sessions’ – can you explain?

Janet: We go to Cecilia’s Café for lunch, that’s our ritual. Then we go to Mare St Market to do our lyrics. It has an outdoor smoking area which is vital for Sugar. We’re quite responsible, have a few margaritas, and then go to the studio. We have some good times and then start working on stuff. Usually at about 1am, stuff gets really good because you’re the right amount of cooked. Then it starts going downhill at about 3am, but one time we had a breakthrough at about that time, so now we’ll usually push forwards until about 9am.

Sugar: The motto is…

Janet: ‘Never give up, never go home!’

You’re also playing the Other Stage at Glastonbury this year – your set there in 2022 felt like a huge breakthrough for the band. What do you remember from that day?

Sugar: It felt crazy at the time. It was a bit of a whirlwind, we blinked and it was over. It felt like something pretty special when it happened, but we didn’t realise the effect it would have until afterwards.

Janet: You don’t register any of that stuff. We just thought it was rockin’! We couldn’t see all the way to the back, so didn’t realise how many people were there until we watched it back. It was like, ‘Holy shit!’

Sugar: We watched it that night in our tent!

What are the plans for the evolution of the live show this year?

Sugar: BORING’s coming out on stage naked with a tambourine.

BORING: I’m gonna hold you to this!

Janet: We’re upskilling in many, many ways. Putting our bodies on the line for the people.

Confidence Man and DJ BORING’s ‘Forever 2 (Crush Mix)’ is out now.