Category: Interviews

butterflyeffect

Interview: The Butterfly Effect

Breakups are never easy and as a rule of thumb, they signal the end of a relationship. However for The Butterfly Effect, the departure of their singer Clint inspired a National tour and spirits could not be higher.

 

The Butterfly Effect is part of an exclusive club of artists that have achieved real success locally and developed a loyal fan-base over their 13 year journey. With 5 commercial releases to their name, The Butterfly Effect consolidated an important place in the alternative rock landscape and this success hasn’t been limited to Australia. To their credit, the group has also had exposure in Europe and South Africa. Sadly however, the group is undergoing some change as vocalist Clint makes his exit from the band. It’s at this point in time that I recently took the time to speak with Kurt (guitar) to discuss the group, its direction and their National Tour.

Kurt appears relaxed as he responds calmly to my predictable first question “…we just weren’t getting along I suppose. It wasn’t a happy dynamic in the band for a while and I think music was ‘the glue’ that kept us together”. I suggest that this animosity had strained relationships, but Kurt was quick to point out that the group doesn’t actually hang out all that much together. For the public – who seldom sees a band apart – this is striking comment. One can naively forget that band members don’t all live together and spend their days accumulating in-jokes and songs.

Kurt explains that Clint had made movements towards starting a side project some time ago and that the group had accepted this, as they were each looking for a new ‘feel’ or a new ‘sound’ in their music. It just so happened that Clint found it in a new band.

So how does a band steer a break-up into a national tour? Well, I get the feeling from Kurt that Clint’s departure allowed the members to connect in a way that they had been unable to for a while; openly. “We were able to turn a negative into a positive” Kurt explains, “working with Clint had felt ‘misaligned’ since Imago (2006) but we were able to come together and we’ve revamped all our old material for the tour”. I’m struck with the recollection of Lars Ulrich and his monosyllabic tirade on James Hetfeild in Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and how incredible it is for a rock band in turmoil to find a positive and turn their heads to something creative.

I asked Kurt if it was upsetting that the catalyst for working together so well was Clint’s departure? “I’d never thought of it like that… it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t grow together. But he’s found the direction he was looking for and I’m happy for him and I’m excited to be playing our music with him in a new way. I’m really excited about this tour”. Kurt clearly harbours no hard feelings about Clint finding his inspiration ‘outside’ and that has to be respected.

What’s next for The Butterfly Effect? A singer down and coming off the back of a huge tour, there are a few big questions for the band. Kurt explains they’re obviously in the market for a vocalist “We’ve been in the industry a long time, we’ve got a good knowledge of who’s out there.” I suggest that Kurt might consider taking charge of the mic. “Nah, that’s not really my thing, Clint really owned it and I think we need someone like that.” So is there anything they’re looking for in particular? “It’s not complicated: if their voice is fucking amazing.”

Are you looking at this shift as an opportunity to expand your audience? “We have a lot of new material and a new vocalist will open opportunities”. Kurt spoke at length of the new material being created by the group, excited by the new energy the group has and the freedom they now feel to write new music. When asked if the band still has international ambitions, Kurt responds “we’ll go where the music takes us.”

So watch this space. The Butterfly Effect still has a few more tricks up their sleeve and if you missed them on their recent tour, fear not – I have a strong feeling they will be on the road again before too long!

Phetsta

Interview: Phetsta

Phetsta. If you’re not familiar with the name, I’m guessing you think it has some sort of filthy meaning pulled straight from urbandictionary.com. However if it’s ringing any bells, you’ll know twenty-eight year old Perth-based Phetsta (born Whetu Kay) is one of Australia’s biggest players in drum and bass and dubstep. With the ever so obvious and rather sudden rise of bass in Australia over the past eighteen months, it was damn fortunate for Phetsta to be an already established artist with a number of quality releases under his belt. Apparent in his production, Phetsta takes on a very mature angle whilst still keeping it accessible to your average punter. He keeps the old school heads happy with classics like ‘Disco Dog’, and the dancefloor heaving with bangers like ‘The Sun’ and his latest remix of Dodge & Fuski’s ‘Come Again’. Phetsta is your everybody man: he’s great for a laugh, he’s humble and most importantly, modest.

“That was one of those tracks where I made it, burnt a demo then played it out and it got the reload and I was like whoa, I think I’m onto something. Which is cool, I guess?” Modesty to a tee right? Of course it’s cool – so cool that Phetsta then goes on to tell me that his remix of Dodge & Fuski’s ‘Come Again’ was made on his laptop on tour in L.A, with one shitty speaker lacking any sort of decent sub. It always impresses me when artists of such calibre can talk about their work with such a level head. For a track that has been produced with such basic resources to climb up the drum and bass charts the way it did is definitely an achievement: thousands of producers couldn’t even do so with a custom built studio.

If you’ve heard the above remix you’ll know it’s all about disgusting basslines and synths flying off every which way, which many would think is classic Phetsta – however, it’s in his remixes (and solo work for that matter) that this man can really show his versatility, and while it’s not often he gets the chance to release a sexy dancefloor roller, it was clear by the optimism in his voice that he’ll snap up any chance he gets. “Yeah, it was cool to do something that was a little bit different – I always love making something that’s a challenge in the studio which breaks out of the comfort zone,” he says, sounding positive when it comes to his remix of ‘Holding On’ by Grafix, which is arguably the most tasteful input to Cue Recordings latest release, The Reflections. This being just the tip of the iceberg: if you’re feeling that vibe, there’s a whole back catalogue spanning over fifty releases with rolling gems hidden throughout.

For an artist with such a plump and healthy discography, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see a full length album in the works ,or even something already available to the punters. You could pull a Nero and re-release half of your past EPs in one and call it an album (got to hand it to them, they killed it with minimal effort, right?). For Phetsta, though, he has a realistic view on the LP, and where the format is heading. “If it was a few years ago I would’ve said yes, for sure! But for me it feels like the music game’s changed a little bit and the album format’s a very risky one to do because you spend so much time not releasing to put it together and then when it does come out you may have gone too far into album territory where they’re not club tracks, it can be a bit of a risk,” he points out. And of course, not to mention: who buys an album these days? When it comes down to dance music it seems the money is in the EPs and single releases – the average punter is going to make a playlist (or crate, if you like) suited to their personal taste. Phetsta is on the right tip by making sure he’s in every one of these playlists by churning out quality singles.

Our little corner of the world is starting to build a solid crew of producers taking their skills to an international standard – Phetsta’s name is now up there with the likes of Pendulum and of course his good mate Shockone. Now, while our humble foundations are growing stronger, the market for bass is in the U.K. We all know it and few deny it. Pendulum bailed over there and in the grand scheme of things I don’t think anyone blames them. However it is on this topic, that Phetsta’s positivity shines through once again. “Part of me is always listening to the newest tracks from out there and I’ll hear something, and think – damn, that’s really good, I have to lift my game! But then at the same time if you do that all the time you can lose sight of what you’re actually really working on, you know? You were writing a track and it was good then you convince yourself it might not be. It’s good to keep yourself in line production-wise but at the end of the day it’s just about writing a good song, that will hold up over time instead of following what’s current.” Definitely apparent in many Australian’s production is the sense of being rather unique, from the big guys such as the man in question at the moment and Shockone, right down to the left field beatsmiths like Boot from Sydney (who Phetsta mentions as one to watch) and Dizz1, a Melbourne lad who is writing beats for U.K rap star Roots Manuva. There is talent here and it seems guys like Phetsta really know how to present it to the international scene.

Phetsta’s success doesn’t just come with his production skills: it’s his live sets that leave dancefloors with gaping jaws. Last year’s All City Bass at Brown Alley in Melbourne saw some massive names pass through, with artists such as Danny Byrd, Loadstar, Funtcase and Downlink all blowing the roof off the place. In saying that, it was Phetsta’s energetic and refreshing appearance at ACB that took the cake in 2011 (have a dig on the interwebs for Anarky’s video of the night – big!). The promoters were happy and so were the punters, which can be a rare occurrence and a beautiful balance to witness in current times.

What does it for Phetsta though, is his ability to come back to Melbourne time and time again, throw a massive party with so many new and revitalizing elements we didn’t see just months before. “I’m always trying to look for something new. Alright last time I went there, I did this, I can’t do this again. Javing gone out a lot myself in my time and gone to see DJs tour, it’s always annoying when you see one, then you see them again the next year and the sets hardly changed or they were just going through the motions. I guess I can’t really bring myself to be like that – I have to push it as hard as I can.”

It’s clear that Phetsta is going from strength to strength and considering how fickle this industry is becoming, it’s great to see someone killing due to their positive attitude and genuine hard work.

Phetsta Plays Straight Up at Geddes Lounge, Saturday February 25.

Phetsta

Interview: Phetsta

Phetsta. If you’re not familiar with the name, I’m guessing you think it has some sort of filthy meaning pulled straight from urbandictionary.com. However if it’s ringing any bells, you’ll know twenty-eight year old Perth-based Phetsta (born Whetu Kay) is one of Australia’s biggest players in drum and bass and dubstep. With the ever so obvious and rather sudden rise of bass in Australia over the past eighteen months, it was damn fortunate for Phetsta to be an already established artist with a number of quality releases under his belt. Apparent in his production, Phetsta takes on a very mature angle whilst still keeping it accessible to your average punter. He keeps the old school heads happy with classics like ‘Disco Dog’, and the dancefloor heaving with bangers like ‘The Sun’ and his latest remix of Dodge & Fuski’s ‘Come Again’. Phetsta is your everybody man: he’s great for a laugh, he’s humble and most importantly, modest.

“That was one of those tracks where I made it, burnt a demo then played it out and it got the reload and I was like whoa, I think I’m onto something. Which is cool, I guess?” Modesty to a tee right? Of course it’s cool – so cool that Phetsta then goes on to tell me that his remix of Dodge & Fuski’s ‘Come Again’ was made on his laptop on tour in L.A, with one shitty speaker lacking any sort of decent sub. It always impresses me when artists of such calibre can talk about their work with such a level head. For a track that has been produced with such basic resources to climb up the drum and bass charts the way it did is definitely an achievement: thousands of producers couldn’t even do so with a custom built studio.

If you’ve heard the above remix you’ll know it’s all about disgusting basslines and synths flying off every which way, which many would think is classic Phetsta – however, it’s in his remixes (and solo work for that matter) that this man can really show his versatility, and while it’s not often he gets the chance to release a sexy dancefloor roller, it was clear by the optimism in his voice that he’ll snap up any chance he gets. “Yeah, it was cool to do something that was a little bit different – I always love making something that’s a challenge in the studio which breaks out of the comfort zone,” he says, sounding positive when it comes to his remix of ‘Holding On’ by Grafix, which is arguably the most tasteful input to Cue Recordings latest release, The Reflections. This being just the tip of the iceberg: if you’re feeling that vibe, there’s a whole back catalogue spanning over fifty releases with rolling gems hidden throughout.

For an artist with such a plump and healthy discography, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see a full length album in the works ,or even something already available to the punters. You could pull a Nero and re-release half of your past EPs in one and call it an album (got to hand it to them, they killed it with minimal effort, right?). For Phetsta, though, he has a realistic view on the LP, and where the format is heading. “If it was a few years ago I would’ve said yes, for sure! But for me it feels like the music game’s changed a little bit and the album format’s a very risky one to do because you spend so much time not releasing to put it together and then when it does come out you may have gone too far into album territory where they’re not club tracks, it can be a bit of a risk,” he points out. And of course, not to mention: who buys an album these days? When it comes down to dance music it seems the money is in the EPs and single releases – the average punter is going to make a playlist (or crate, if you like) suited to their personal taste. Phetsta is on the right tip by making sure he’s in every one of these playlists by churning out quality singles.

Our little corner of the world is starting to build a solid crew of producers taking their skills to an international standard – Phetsta’s name is now up there with the likes of Pendulum and of course his good mate Shockone. Now, while our humble foundations are growing stronger, the market for bass is in the U.K. We all know it and few deny it. Pendulum bailed over there and in the grand scheme of things I don’t think anyone blames them. However it is on this topic, that Phetsta’s positivity shines through once again. “Part of me is always listening to the newest tracks from out there and I’ll hear something, and think – damn, that’s really good, I have to lift my game! But then at the same time if you do that all the time you can lose sight of what you’re actually really working on, you know? You were writing a track and it was good then you convince yourself it might not be. It’s good to keep yourself in line production-wise but at the end of the day it’s just about writing a good song, that will hold up over time instead of following what’s current.” Definitely apparent in many Australian’s production is the sense of being rather unique, from the big guys such as the man in question at the moment and Shockone, right down to the left field beatsmiths like Boot from Sydney (who Phetsta mentions as one to watch) and Dizz1, a Melbourne lad who is writing beats for U.K rap star Roots Manuva. There is talent here and it seems guys like Phetsta really know how to present it to the international scene.

Phetsta’s success doesn’t just come with his production skills: it’s his live sets that leave dancefloors with gaping jaws. Last year’s All City Bass at Brown Alley in Melbourne saw some massive names pass through, with artists such as Danny Byrd, Loadstar, Funtcase and Downlink all blowing the roof off the place. In saying that, it was Phetsta’s energetic and refreshing appearance at ACB that took the cake in 2011 (have a dig on the interwebs for Anarky’s video of the night – big!). The promoters were happy and so were the punters, which can be a rare occurrence and a beautiful balance to witness in current times.

What does it for Phetsta though, is his ability to come back to Melbourne time and time again, throw a massive party with so many new and revitalizing elements we didn’t see just months before. “I’m always trying to look for something new. Alright last time I went there, I did this, I can’t do this again. Javing gone out a lot myself in my time and gone to see DJs tour, it’s always annoying when you see one, then you see them again the next year and the sets hardly changed or they were just going through the motions. I guess I can’t really bring myself to be like that – I have to push it as hard as I can.”

It’s clear that Phetsta is going from strength to strength and considering how fickle this industry is becoming, it’s great to see someone killing due to their positive attitude and genuine hard work.

Phetsta Plays Straight Up at Geddes Lounge, Saturday February 25.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Interview: Underground Lovers

As the name of their band suggests, Underground Lovers are an enduring presence on the Australian music scene – possibly not always visible, but always there, hidden away and ready to emerge. Frequently described as a bridge between late-eighties electronica as well as more traditional rock, their role in helping to break down the barriers between the two has guaranteed them an enduring place in Australian music history – cemented by the numerous awards they’ve scooped up during their time together. An ARIA award, Triple J Hottest 100 slots, Australian Rolling Stone’s album of the year. An extended absence from the music industry began in the late nineties and ended with a reemergence in 2009, and the group haven’t stopped since – playing all across Australia and beyond, releasing a best-of compliation and getting ready to release a new record. No better time, then, to get on the phone to singer and instrumentalist Vincent Giarrussio, to provide us with an update on what Underground Lovers have been up to since.

Giarrusio kindly provides a brief overview of the last ten years for us. “Glenn and I started the band and we’ve always been the constant through it – we met at highschool and formed the band at the moment, which was the first incarnation of the band,” he explains. “And then people kind of left to do other stuff, so we had to find other drummers and bass players and stuff. Which we did, but we hoped to start playing again – we hoped to bring all the members back eventually. We’d been playing for ten years and did a lot of touring, put out a few records, and it just got to that point where we needed a break. And we were all branching off into different areas of creative endeavours – we never made a decision, it just sort of happened. And so with coming back together, it was the same sort of thing – we got asked to play a show, and we thought, oh yeah, we will. And that was it, there was no grand plan or anything – it just happens.”

Which they’ve managed to do, welcomed with open arms by Australian fans – making an impressive emergence from an extended hiatus with a string of live shows that began with a glorious return to form with a slot at the revered Homebake Festival in 2009. “It was really good,” he says. “We played a show in Sydney at the Annandale the night before, and that was extraordinary in that we hadn’t played at that venue for a long time, it was a sellout and there were people trying to get in. And it was a very intense show, and all of the shows have been like that – people coming along and being really into it, into the music, and it gets exciting. It’s a great feeling – we haven’t changed, we still play with the same intensity and it’s all about the music – we improvise, we make stuff up in the moment, and we play stuff from the early nineties through to the late nineties, and it all still sounds very fresh to us, and we still get excited by it. We’re playing some new stuff this time, too – some new songs which seem to work well. I love that element of mixing genres – the power and energy of rock music, and the repetition and energy of dance, too. It’s inspiring, it gets your blood going.”

Of course, with a career that extends all the way back to 1990, the group are no strangers to touring with some of the industry’s premier rock and dance acts. Asked about some of their favourite gigs, the list of names that Giarrusso mentions looks more like a roster of the nineties’ biggest acts. “We played with The Cure around Australia, and that was really good – it was great to be part of a really big show and all of the entertainment centres,” he says. “But it also showed us that it can be quite an impersonal process – it sort of becomes something else, and we like that contact with people, we like that one-on-one with fans in smaller venues where there’s more of a personal interaction going on. Having said that, it’s kind of exciting doing big things like that. My Bloody Valentine was a highlight, just because it was only about the music – they were extraordinary live, and the best thing I’ve ever heard. Primal Scream – we played with them a few times, and New Order, we played with them. Australian bands like the Go-Betweens and the Saints, and local bands we love and have played around with – we played in Sydney a few months ago with a band called Underlights, and these young guys were extraordinary – we felt really set off by them, too.”

If you weren’t already familiar with the litany of inspiring material Underground Lovers released during their first incarnation, there’s a new best-of compilation to sink your teeth into, titled Wonderful Things – a title that accurately summarises the wealth of material it contains. It was a difficult project to work on, as Giarrusso explains. “We had a few legal difficulties with some of the tracks – getting the rights back. But putting together the album took awhile, to work out how to do it, how to get songs from all the different albums and make them sound like they were part of one album. We spent a lot of time in the studio mastering tracks so there was an even kind of texture across the whole lot. The opportunity was there to visit some of the older stuff and kind of re-jig it – did a couple of edits and took out some things, too. It was a chance to do that which we thought we’d take on.”

Listening to it, one can’t help but feel that the group have a thoroughly eclectic approach to putting together music – it seems like each track or album takes you in a completely different direction. I point this out to Giarrusso, and he seems to agree. “We always thought of each album as something you’d lose yourself in – that you’d come out of it altered, or feeling different and hopefully, you want to go back into it again and get something different from it each time. We’ve always thought about records in that way. I think it’s a bit different to how you get music these days, with the way people tend to get single tracks a lot of the time. It’s kind of good, as well, though – we’re tackling those issues, those ideas with our new material.”

Music is not Giarrusso’s only creative output – alongside his work with Underground Lovers, he’s put out a collection of lyrics and prose named Rushall Station after one of their albums, as well as his own feature film Mallboy, which ended up doing quite well for itself at the Cannes Film Festival on its release. With such an impressive track record of success in a wide variety of creative disciplines, I wonder whether there are clear boundaries that divide each of his creative outlets, or whether they all blur and cross over into each other. “They do all blur, because they all come out of a writing discipline – I write a lot,” he answers. “So whether it’s writing lyrics, or – I‘m in the middle of a PhD, so I’m writing a thesis, and I’ve got a couple of scripts on the boil, TV stuff. I’m always writing, yeah, so it’s always a writing process – and when you move into production, that’s when the practice changes. It was weird, with Mallboy, I wrote the script and the opportunity came up tio direct it, and I thought, okay, I’ve got to learn how to do it. For me, it always comes out of writing – I work at a university teaching writing, too. It takes different forms, it’s always changing. It always comes from a personal place – I don’t write anything for commercial gain or because I think there’s an audience for it, it always comes out of personal expression.”

Set to play the Northcote Social Club very soon, and the group seem thoroughly enthused by the string of recent dates they’ve played, reimmersing themselves in the thriving live music scene of Melbourne. “We’ve never played the Northcote – it should be fun. This time, these are the last shows we’re doing to promote the Wonderful Things restrospective, but we’re also throwing in some new stuff – so we’ve got some new songs that we’re playing from new recordings that we’ve started doing. We’ve started getting back into the studio – we’ve got about six songs that we’re working on, and we’ve written another ten, so hopefully we’ll have that come out later this year.”

You can catch Underground Lovers when they play the Northcote Social Club on Saturday February 18.

Drawn From Bees

Interview: Drawn From Bees

How many of our readers have read the enduring Oscar Wilde classic, The Importance of Being Earnest? It’s probably one of my favourite plays every to be written – Wilde’s ridiculously absurd, lighthearted sense of humour and twisted narratives are in a league all of their own. Brisbane-based art-rockers Drawn From Bees seem to agree with me, taking their name from the aforementioned play and sharing a similar sense of cheeky, irreverent humour. Not that they aren’t serious when it comes to their music – with an impressive discography that includes five EPs and a full-length album under their belts since forming in 2008, they’ve certainly established themselves as a long-player in Australia’s indie music scene. And in light of an upcoming slot at the St. Kilda Festival, and in the midst of prepping their next full-length album for release, I spent fifteen minutes joking around on the phone with bassist and singer Stew Riddle.

Drawn From Bees was reborn from the ashes of an old project the group were involved in, called Glasshouse – and Riddle laughs, when I ask him about those days. “We like to think that we’re not the same band at all, even though we’re the exact same people, because the philosophy’s different,” he explains. “Glasshouse was basically a faux-metal band—” we laugh together – “and Drawn From Bees is much more complex and literary, and I think what was really important for us was that separating of the – well, it’s hard to explain. It’s not the same.”

Fresh off a successful tour of the US, featuring slots at SXSW, Canadian Music Week, and Music Matters in Hong Kong, the group have an impressive track record when it comes to performing in front of international audiences. “I think we learned that our alcohol threshold tolerance went up, while we were over there,” he jokes. “We also learned that all of the clichés about America are exactly that – clichés. Because we have a political kind of bent in the band – like Raven and myself in particular were quite left-wing, we’re always talking about Chomsky and this, that and the other. So America’s kind of the big bad guy in that sort of political sphere. So we went over there expecting to have like, fisticuffs with everybody – but we did not meet a single person who fit the stereotype or the cliché of the loud, obnoxious American. Every single one of them were awesome. Wonderful human beings. And I don’t just mean we went to New York, and that was great – like, we went into the heartland of Texas, we went to Houston and up to Buffalo and we had a great time.”

Those of you who have been following the progress of Drawn From Bees may notice the litany of material they’ve managed to accrue in the short amount of time that they’ve been together. Riddle explains this as a matter of convenience for them – “Dan, our singer, actually does all of the production himself – so we’re very lucky in the fact that we can go into the studio at any point and record ideas, so we’re always working on stuff. Which means that we’re not bogged down like most bands who have to pay a producer, and they’re on the clock and time’s ticking – we just keep doing it all the time.”

It’s worked out well for them so far, and the recording of their first full-length LP, Fear Not the Footsteps of the Departed, was put together with similar ease. “It was pretty quick,” he says, of its recording. “We did this deal – when we started the band, we said we were going to record and release four records – four EPs in two years, so we said every six months we’d release something. Fear Not was meant to be an EP, and ended up being an album, because we recorded so much. From the moment we started to the moment we finished was about three and a half months. Whereas the record we’re working on at the moment, we’ve been doing it for nearly twelve months.”

The reception of Fear Not has been appropriately full of praise, critics both here and internationally holding up their unique brand of art-rock as a forward-thinking, distinctively unique release from a group to keep an eye out for over the next few years, and Riddle seems pleased with the manner in which it’s turned out. “We’re a slow burn band, so it takes a few listens to really get it – like, it took me a few listens to get into the record as well,” he says, laughing. “But I think that ends up being part of the charm, in the end. It’s a slow growth, but people that do connect, particularly through the last record – that’s what we really like.”

Asked about the process of putting those incredibly thoughtful pieces of music together, Riddle explains the often-agonizing process of going about constructing something that all of them will be happy with. “Most of what we do is really collaborative. Dan, Raven and myself tend to bring in ideas and then we work on them together, or Dan and I will do a demo in the studio and send it to the others – often with the lyrics, though, they’re the last thing we fight about. There’s always a general idea for a song and a few lyrics, but once we start recording it is when we start arguing about it word by word, phrase by phrase. It’s agonizing.” I point out that being detail-oriented is something that often works to one’s advantage in creative fields such as music, and he laughs. “I think anally-retentive is more like it!”

One of Drawn From Bees’ most intriguing qualities is their penchant for narrative – which makes sense, given their fascination with the world of literature, which I point out to them. “Absolutely. We’re all big literary geeks – our actual band name is an Oscar Wilde reference. And like, today, all I’ve done is been reading and watching stuff on Charles Dickens – it’s his birthday today. I’m a huge Dickens fan. If I could time travel and meet one person, it would be Dickens. That’s where it comes from, we’re all a bit book-nerdy. It’s not very rock and roll to say that, is it?”

Further cementing their nerd-cred, it turns out that Riddle is also a university lecturer in his spare time, and I ask him about what he teaches. “Education – so I actually teach people how to teach,” he says. “Which is amusing, because I don’t know how to teach. I tend to tell a lot of jokes and make comparisons to Jack Black and School of Rock, that’s about it.”

Busy with the process of putting together their next record, this date at the St. Kilda Festival is a welcome break from the studio. I ask them about how the new record is going, and it’s looking good, it seems – “we’re at the point where we’re trying to vote which tracks are on and which tracks are off,” he says. “We’ve got this really complicated spreadsheet with percentages and rankings. We sent it out to some friends, critics and colleagues, everyone gets a vote and they all get ranked and we’re looking at what tracks are kind of coming out – it’s quite ridiculous, actually, rather than just talking, we’re doing a complex voting system.”

How odd, I thought, and asked whether he’s found the process similar to editing down a piece of writing. “Well, this is the first time we’ve ever tried this – generally, what we’ve done in the past is just record,” he muses. “For example, with Fear Not we recorded the thirteen songs and they all went on, but this is the first time we’ve recorded twenty-something songs and we’re only using twelve of them. It’s really hard to pick! And it’s like you’re condemning some of them to the salt mines by kind of going well, we’ve worked really hard on this and it’s a beautiful song but it’s just not gonna make the cut, sorry.” And when can we expect to see this latest effort out? “The album will come out probably about halfway through the year. We’ll do another tour before that, then we’re going over to Tasmania and New Zealand, and we’re probably going back to the States later this year. So, lots of touring for us.”

Regurgitator

Interview: Regurgitator

Lock a few bandmates into a project for eighteen years, and you might be forgiven for thinking that minds would be on restraining orders rather than records, but not so for Brisbane genre-benders Regurgitator. With 2011 seeing the band once again hitting the touring circuit, releasing their seventh album SuperHappyFunTimesFriends, and receiving a very public accolade for their 1997 album Unit, it hasn’t been a difficult task staying young for Quan Yeomans and Ben Ely, as bassist Ely explained to Radio Monash.

“I feel like when Quan and I get together we just have a juvenile way of writing songs together, which makes up the band Regurgitator. Being the band that we are, if we were just playing middle-of-the-road rock music or just stuck to one style, I feel our band would’ve disbanded years ago – we would have been terribly bored.”

The band’s most recent album SuperHappyFunTimesFriends was released in August, with Ben suggesting that it is “probably the best one we’ve done in a very long time”. “It’s just got that playfulness”, mused Ely. “It was just Quan and I playing at home”. Notably, the band’s most recent single, No Show – a staunch reminder that Jesus simply isn’t returning set to an upbeat pop hook – offers a distinct contrast in style and lyrics.

“I think Quan started experimenting with that shock pop thing years and years ago – back in the early nineties. He really enjoys the word-play of singing about something really confrontational with really sweet pop songs – I guess this is just an extension of his fascination with that.”

Undoubtedly, the musical style which brought Regurgitator to the attention of the mainstream music industry in the mid-nineties is still held in high regard. Earlier this year, Regurgitator’s 1997 album Unit managed to sneak into the Triple J’s Top Ten Albums of All Time, cementing Regurgitator a place in Australian music history, and a unique opportunity to once again play Unit live on stage – something which Ben is still yet to wrap his head around. “It’s funny because the guys at the Falls Festival invited us to do the show before the poll… it’s just a really bizarre year to have that kind of attention for that record.”

And Ben is looking forward to rebuilding Unit almost fifteen years after its release for the Falls and Southbound Festivals with both excitement and a touch of fear. “I haven’t actually relearnt any of those songs yet!”, Ben laughs. “Yeah, I guess I’m kinda excited about doing it, but I guess it’s gonna be a bit tricky relearning the songs. We haven’t actually ever played Just Another Beautiful Story live before.”

The band will once again take their place as one of the mainstays of the Big Day Out this summer, making their sixth appearance at the festival in 2012, and although the band members are once again going their separate ways after the tour to work on their own pet projects, both artistic and musical, there is no doubt that the engine and energy behind Regurgitator will continue long into the future.

“I feel very blessed and I feel a lot of gratitude to be able to play music every day, and just goof off and make up silly songs – it’s a pretty good job. It’s funny, because we just do it for fun… we never intended for it to be a very popular band, or a very good band for that matter… I wake up every day with gratitude for the fact that we can be a band that can play live, and people still come to the shows.”

Regurgitator will be playing the entirety of Unit at The Falls Festival and Southbound, will play a special New Year’s Eve show at The Corner Hotel, and will also be gracing the Green Stage at the Big Day Out in 2012.

JINJA_SAFARI

Interview with Jinja Safari

(originally published in Lot’s Wife)

Having spoken to Marcus Azon (lead vocals and guitar) and Nugget (Alister Roach – percussion) before their tour supporting Boy and Bear in May, I was lucky enough to have a full interview with Marcus ahead of their coming tour.

JM: I really enjoyed seeing you guys live. It was the first time I’d caught you performing, and I was totally blown away. But I know that you only met Peppa [Cameron Knight] in early 2010 is that right?

MA: Yeah, well the story goes that one of my friends Johnny was going on this camping trip to the Central Coast up at Cresecent Head, and the day we were heading up there he bailed and said he didn’t want to go. So I said, ‘Well I’ll go anyway’ and on the way up there I spoke to my mum on the phone and said ‘I’m just going to meet these new people’ basically with the thought in mind that I didn’t want to be lying on my deathbed and think ‘what would have happened if I’d been more spontaneous in my life and done things that I don’t normally do?’ So up there is where I met Peppa and Joe and we started jamming and we realised we could have something in common so we started writing. After that I went back down to Tasmania and they went back to the Central Coast and we just started emailing ideas.

JM: So how did Nugget get involved then? Because you guys have been friends for ages.

MA: (laughs) Yeah, well basically the story of our relationship is told within the lyrics of ‘Vagabond’ we met when he was 7 and I was 9. And we’ve wanted to play music together since then. I made him a drumkit out of tin cans when I was 10, and said you’re going to play drums and I’m going to play guitar and we’re going to be in a band someday!

JM: Naaw, that’s so cute!

MA: Ha, we never got to though, that’s the thing. We didn’t get to play together until we were 23, so it was a nice full circle. So many of things that have happened have happened so naturally. When we (Marcus, Joe and Peppa) were setting up a live band last year [Nugget] just happened to be passing through when he was busking around Australia with another friend of ours, and it was just perfect timing.

JM: So you didn’t really have to seek any of the members out, they just naturally came to you?

MA: Yeah that’s it, there was just so much synergy going on.

JM: Okay, so we’ve heard about the other members, what about Jacob? How’d he fall into the mix?

MA: Well he’s played with Cameron (Peppa) for 10 years, so he was just a natural choice, and he’s one of the best drummers I’ve ever met. He plays to a click track so he’s always on the money you tell him something once and he’ll remember it. He’s the one pulling us up on new changes. He’s the reliable one sitting up the back driving the ‘big truck’ the ‘tempo truck’.

JM: Turning now to Splendour, what was it like opening Splendour in the Grass last year?

MA: Well I wasn’t as terrified as I looked. The reason I looked so terrified was because I was getting an electric shock thought the singing, every time I got to close to the mic it would give mr a little whack on the lips. We were pretty on edge already because we’d only played a few shows, and all of a sudden it was a jump onto this massive stage.

JM: So just to be discovered on Triple J and then end up on a stage across the country?

MA: Yeah it was just such a different frame of mind, recording songs in your bedroom and then to hear them on Triple J was just such a blow-out. We were all together when it happened, and then having to play at festival in front of so many people, it was great it was really great. But we were still learning to be a band, there was so much to learn about ourselves and eachother. It was the first time I’d been the singer ad writer in a band and it was all very new. But we’ve been together for a year now so hopefully we’ve picked up some tricks along the way.

JM: During May was one of your first shows right? And then Splendour would have only been two months, so were you working a lot together over that period to get ready?

MA: Yeah we had our first show, the one in the forest on May 1st, then we played a show with Miami Horror, and a few shows at a little club called World Bar, but we played under a fake name.

JM: Why?

MA: Well it was crazy, because there was already attention, and we didn’t know how to play the songs live, so we wanted to see if we could do it. So wer thought if we did it under a fake name and got people dancing that we knew it was going to work, and ti worked! Turns out if its late enough in the night and people are drunk enough they’ll dance to anything!

JM: So what name did you play under?

MA: It was called the Stepping Stones.

JM: So you guys already have a massive following, looking at the amount of fans that were dressed up in jungle inspired clothing and furry hats, and vines and that sort of thing at your Corner Hotel gig was very cool! Back at Splendour were there already people that knew a few of your songs?

MA: Yeah I think so but they may just have been our friends down the front, we did have a lot of friends that went to Splendour that year. Dressing up was a thing we were trying to get people to do when we first started playing, we just told everyone to always come dressed as animals and woodland creatures, and there have been some hideous looking costumes! I guess we just grew up out of dress ups, we haven’t seen many of them in a while and it’d be nice to see the [dressed up fans] make a comeback.

JM: You seemed pretty surprised to see all of the dressed up people at the Corner [Hotel]. There was hell of crowd in front of Nugget of vinely clad people.

MA: I think it shows a hell of a commitment to get dressed up to see a band. I cant think of a time that I did it, I think I dressed up as Neo when the Matrix came out, or a hobbit for Lord of the Rings but other than that I don’t think I’ve ever done it!
JM: Leading on from that, where did Forest Pop come from? How did you and Peppa end up in that groove? Was it intentional? Was it just the way the music was going?

MA: We never really had a genre or style that we wanted to subscribe to or write within the confines of. It was just like ‘let’s write songs that we like’. I had a lot of lyrical ideas and he [Peppa] had a lot of very jungle foresty sort of sounds, so it was just a matter of matching up my ideas with his sounds and structuring them with guitars, and then Nugget came along with a big bloody djembe, and turned it into more of a dance fiesta. It got pretty jungly because of having two drummers. So we’ve been evolving more and more over the year, the songs we are writing now are certainly different to how we started but that’s how we wanted it we didn’t want to stay on one level for I don’t know if you can call it a career, more a journey.

JM: So did you all have to move to Sydney when you formed the band or do you still go back down to Tasmania when you need a break when you’re not recording or touring?

MA: I moved from Tasi 6 years ago. We all live in Sydney now, and Nugget and I live together, the other boys live up on the central coast. We rehearse here in Sydney. We like flying around a bit, so it doesn’t matter where our home is based because we’re moving around a lot any way. It’d be nice to be set up and have a unit together but we spend so much time together that it’s nice to have a bit of time away.

JM: I can imagine that living with your band mates could get quite claustrophobic?

MA: Yeah you’d think that but I’ve known Nugget since he was 7 and we relate to each other the same now as we did then. We’re probably a bit more respectful of each other now, we write so much music together, we jam together we talk about girls, oh its sounding to much like a sleep over club right now!

JM: So the Mermaids and Other Sirens tour, is it going to be accompanied by the launch of an album?

MA: Its promoting the new little EP that we did, which is going to be a part of a bundle with our first EP at the end of the year through JB Hi-Fi.

JM: Are you planning on releasing an album in the near future?

MA: The album’s going to be out this time next year.

JM: Awesome. How do you keep up your energy when you’re on stage because you go absolutely crazy with the dancing.

MA: Well I can tell you that Nugget has a banana and red bull every time before he goes on stage that’s his pre show workout, I go and have some quiet time and go over the lyrics. It seems like it would be an effort every night but it’s actually just really fun. It’s really exciting to be on stage in front of that many people, it kind of just makes you do weird stuff.

JM: Like your ugly dancing?
MA: Hey!

JM: Haha. Well we better wrap this up, it’s been great talking to you and I’ll catch you in Melbourne soon.

MA: Thanks!

Jinja Safari will be a playing at the Corner Hotel on the 23rd of July (sold out) and the 24th of July. Tickets are selling fast so get in quick! Tickets are available through the Corner Hotel website.

london-elektricity-press-660-80

Interview with London Elektricity

For those that know him and those that don’t, Tony Colman (no ‘e’!) cuts a formidable figure. Having been involved in the D+B scene since the mid-90s, the co-founder of Hospital Records has been instrumental in the development of the genre as we know it today. Responsible for some of Hospital’s biggest anthems (Round The Corner, Different Drum, Just toOne Second), Tony has cultivated a first class reputation as both a producer and DJ. With an impressive back catalogue of singles, EPs, remixes and no less than five artist albums under his belt, London Elektricity is set to make a big impression on 2011 with his fifth studio album ‘Yikes!’

Tony took time out of his very busy schedule to chat to Dre about all things Hospital and Medschool!

I’ve read online that Yikes! is the first album that you’ve been able to listen to after completion. Why do you think that is? Is it because the sound design and recording process was different in anyway to your previous ones?
Honestly I don’t know why I’m able to listen to it, it’s the first album I’ve made that I’m really genuinely happy with. Normally there are only one or two tunes that I’m really happy with when I finish an album. This time though, I’m happy with the whole thing. It’s quite an odd feeling for me really.

Do you think it could be because this is the first album where you’ve recorded all the parts to the album yourself and not used any samples?
I think it could well be because of that, I’ve played everything on there myself and it does feel quite satisfying.

The artwork is really cool on the album, I’m actually in the market at the moment for a new pair of glasses and I love the glasses you are wearing on the front cover. Are they yours? What are they made from because they look like they’re wooden!
They are made from wood. They’re made by an American guy who has a company called urbanspectacles.com, you can choose almost any material for him to make them from. He specialized in making glasses out of vinyl and wood, so if you want you can buy your favourite album ever on vinyl and he’ll make them into a pair of glasses for you.

A lot of drum and bass out there is very dance floor orientated, there isn’t much meaning behind the lyrics but Yikes! seems to tell a story. Did you write the lyrics yourself or was Elsa responsible for that?
A bit of both really. To give you some examples, Elsa brought me the complete lyrics for Elektricty Will Keep Me Warm, Fault Lines I wrote myself and we just tweaked them together. It wasn’t all separately written though, some of the other song lyrics like Meteorites were a co-written. We both spent a lot of time in the studio hammering out those lyrics. It was kind of whatever worked really.

I’ve also noticed that a few releases on Hospital get a special Japanese Edition, is that because the D&B scene over there is particularly big or do you have a massive following?
Well no, DnB isn’t too big in Japan but I’ve got a following there. I’ve had Japanese versions of all my albums to date, it’s kind of luck that I have such a good following over there, I’ve also got a Japanese wife so I spend a lot of time over there, I play there every year and Japan have been really good to me over the years.

I love that Yikes! isn’t a full on assault of dance tune after dance tune. It’s an album that you can sit down and listen to from start to finish which is quite rare within DnB. Was there a broader plan for the album or did it just turn out that way naturally as you wrote the songs?
As a producer, when I’m making a tune I get bored really, really easily, and I never have the second half of a tune sounding exactly the same as the first. I like a tune to keep changing and be interesting throughout. All my tunes do that and I like them to tell a story, so yeah, I do think of them and write them in terms of listening rather than dancing. I can’t really help doing it; I can’t work any other way. A lot of the things I make are not suitable for the dance floor because there’s too much going on and DJs don’t know when to mix in and mix out.

I saw on twitter recently that you’ve had two full days back in the studio, are you back writing or remixing already?
I’ve casually been working on a producers sample pack. We release these on Hospital every now and then. We’ve had some in the past by KJ Sawka (the Pendulum drummer), Total Science, Mitsubishi, Nu:Tone and Danny Byrd. I’ve been working on a London Elektricity one gradually. I got into the studio yesterday, typically of me, I get in there and go “right, I’m just going to focus on the sample pack, I’m not going to start making any tunes” and of course some of the things you write for the sample pack you really get into and before I knew it I’d written lyrics for two of the sketches, so they can’t go in the sample pack anymore, (laughs) I like them too much so they’re going to be kept back for my next album. I’m trying to be disciplined but I do find it hard, I guess it’s because I don’t get too much studio time but when I do I like to make the most of it.

I was listening to one of the Hospital Podcasts earlier today and you mentioned that all of the tracks on Yikes! have been remixed and you’re just keeping it under wraps. Which tracks have been remixed and when can we expect them to be released?
We’ve just released the Danny Byrd and Cutline remixes of Meteorites. We’ve also got a few completed remixes that I’m happy with; S.P.Y’s done an amazing remix of Elektricity Will Keep Me Warm, Logistics has remixed The Plan That Cannot Fail, Mutated Forms have remixed Love the Silence, Unquote has remixed Fault Lines and Enei has done an amazing remix of U Gotta B Crazy. There’s quite a few others that aren’t quite there yet so I wont discuss those at the moment but it’s really, really exciting.

I’ve read in other interviews that you like to treat new things like experiments, your approach is to throw out the business plan and just start doing it, do it hard, and do it for as long as possible. Was that how Medschool started or was it more of an outlet for you to release stuff that didn’t fit on Hospital?
I think it was the latter really, as Hospital grew, we inevitably started getting sent a lot of music that we really liked, but either didn’t quite fit in the Hospital schedule, or it was musically kind of different to what we were pushing on Hospital. Medschool was our attempt at having an outlet for the deeper and more experimental sound. So far it seems to have worked really well, we’ve given a home to Bop and Unquote and a whole list of other producers with the New Blood series. If you take Bop, his new album is out now, it’s called “The Amazing Adventures of One Curious Pixel” and it follows the journey of one single pixel exploring the world. Musically it’s not dance music, you could say its intelligent dance music, you could say its ambient, you could say its glitch core but it’s just Bop, he’s got his own genre, he does his own thing and no one sounds like him and it’s just so beautiful.

Having now released two artist albums for Bop and a number of compilation albums on Medschool are there any plans for other artists to get a solo album released?
Yes, funnily enough there’s another artist who lives in St. Petersburg called Unquote. He’s also signed to Medschool and his solo album is due for release in the autumn. It’s very, very different from Bop; Bop is kind of prickly and icy and has loads of little bits going on. Unquote is almost religious sounding, it sounds like a sonic cathedral, it’s incredibly warm and beautiful and lush. His album is coming out in October I do believe.

I’d like to talk to you a little about DJing, earlier today I heard an interview with Dan from Nu:Tone on another radio station. He told us that he doesn’t plan his DJ sets, he just spins the first tune and progresses from there. Is that similar to how your sets work?
I’ve never planned a set in my life. To spend days in a studio rehearsing a set so you know exactly what you’re going to play would get incredibly boring. A lot of DJs do that but for me it’s all about the spontaneity of the show, each crowd is different and you need to be prepared to draw different tunes depending on the crowd, and depending on other factors as well. I play vinyl and dubplates only which means that I am really at the mercy of equipment failure. If you play Serato controlled by a CD then it doesn’t matter what you’re playing on it’s going to work. If you play vinyl it’s a lot more unpredictable and I like that, I like the excitement and challenge of it. The only preparation that I do for my set is selecting tunes, I have to be very careful what I bring with me, if you play off of a laptop you can bring 100 years worth of tunes with you which can reflect quite badly on the DJ set but the good thing about vinyl is that it makes you really think about what you’re going to play and what tunes really work for you. I also work out the key of my tunes before hand so I can mix in key. I’m lucky though because I’ve got perfect pitch, which makes it a little easier to do!

Speaking of your ears, the special edition of Yikes! has a track called Bells In My Head, what is that track about?
I’ve got tinnitus in my left ear and it’s almost totally deaf. I’ve had it for ages and it’s fine really. It just means it annoys my wife sometimes because when I’m lying in bed on my right hand side and she’s talking to me I can’t hear a thing she’s saying but apart from that it’s fine when I’m DJing and making tunes because you just turn the stuff right up. What that song is about is the fact that I’ve actually learned to love my tinnitus, I find it quite comforting and it’s become my friend.

Haha that is classic! So you’re coming to Australia in October. Last time you graced our shores you toured with MC AD, who is coming down this year?
I think Wrec is coming down this year; I’m really looking forward to it. It’s only a lightning visit though; we’re coming down for the weekend and then going home again. It’s always a blast when I come down to Australia, clubs and crowds are amazing and it’s something I look forward to every year.

You did a video podcast a few years ago when you came down for the Good Vibrations tour in 2007; it looked like you and Wrec were having some serious fun. Did you give our Vegemite a try, how does it compare to Marmite?
Yeah man! I’ve had vegemite, I like it it’s nice. It’s different; it’s a different product. It’s like Bovril, I don’t know if you have Bovril over there, Bovril is like a similar thing but it’s made of beef. They’ve all got their own strengths and weaknesses but I do like vegemite I could happily substitute Marmite with it.

I’m a big fan of the Future Sounds Of series, are there any plans for a Future Sounds of Australia, or Future Sounds of Pacific now that you’ve got Shapeshifter signed to Hospital?
Yeah we kind of let that series slip a little bit, it’s partly down to finding space for it in the schedule or not. The last thing you want to do is take an album like that and squeeze it in between two other albums so that it doesn’t get the proper love that it deserves. There’s a lot more DnB being made in New Zealand, especially per head of population, which is quite interesting. So we’d probably want to do a Future Sounds of Pacific rather than either Australia or New Zealand. There are a few places on our radar for that series. There is also a hot bed of talent in Finland, artists like Muffler, LAOS and Raiden. There’s loads of great music from there and Estonia as well. It’s more a question of us identifying a gap in our release schedule where we can actually present it properly.

Does that mean the release schedule for Hospital is predetermined for quite some time? I’ve heard rumours of a Camo and Krooked album.
Yeah man, they’ve signed to Hospital. Their debut single comes out in two weeks and their album drops at the end of September.

It’s hard to miss having followed you on Twitter for a while that you really enjoy speaking to your fans and engaging with them on social media. Do you think the way music is evolving through social media is a good thing or a bad thing?
It’s an inevitable thing, so there’s no point moaning about it. It is what it is and you either embrace it and have fun with it or you don’t. I can look back 15 years and be all nostalgic about the fact that if you wanted to track down a tune you had to go to a record shop and get it from them on vinyl. That was fun, there was a real exciting chase but it was very elitist in some ways – which was also fun but now it’s the opposite. Music isn’t elitist anymore, it’s accessible to everyone and although I miss record shops and that kind of vibe, what I do love is being able to get feedback from people immediately and chat to them, whether it’s by Twitter, or the podcast or by email, it’s great to have that instant connection. I love it.

You have some pretty cool nicknames for your family, how did those nicknames come about? Is it because the Secretary General and the Chairman make the decision for you?
(Laughs) Do they run things? Actually no they don’t it’s basically because my wife’s Japanese, and when my first son the Chairman was born, he looked like Chairman Mao when he was a new born, I know Chairman Mao isn’t Japanese but we thought he looked like him so he became the Chairman. Then my second was born and I thought the Secretary General was a quite a good name, keeping on with the communist party vibe. I’m not a super star or anything so I’m only famous to who like drum and bass, so I like to keep my family separate because I know the way things are with Facebook and others anything you say becomes public knowledge. I don’t like pictures of my family to be out there, especially my kids so yeah they’ve got this kind of alter ego thing going on to deal with my publicity.

London Elektricity ft. Elsa Esmeralda, ‘Meteorites Danny Byrd Remix’

spherix

Interview with Spherix

Dubstep. No matter how you feel about it, it’s impossible to deny it seems to be emerging as the Big New Thing in dance music. Emerging from garage, two-step and dub, dubstep is a shadowy, nebulous genre that pulls influences from all over the place, characterized by slamming, syncopated beats and an emphasis on dirty basslines that seems to have all the cool kids frothing over it.

While dubstep is a predominantly UK-based movement, real talent in the genre is emerging all over the world – and Melbourne happens to be home to some hot, up-and-coming producers. While predominantly labeled a dubstep artist, Melbourne-based DJ and producer Spherix is making waves in the world of dance music – unconfined by the limits of genre boundaries, Spherix has a number of excellent bass-heavy releases to his name on labels such as Immerse Records and his own label Lowercase Music, as well as having played some seriously cool gigs both locally and internationally.

Josh Lamaro – the dude behind the decks and drum machines – kindly took some time out to have a quick chat with Miki to illuminate the murky depths of his musical world.

So you’re a pretty well-known name on the Melbourne dance scene at the moment: last month a couple of us caught you at The Likes of You with Scuba and Robert Babicz and unanimously agreed was a fucking killer gig. Not to mention your pretty mad track record of playing gigs in Melbourne. Tell us a bit about your experience in Melbourne’s clubbing scene?
Well, as far as experience in the clubbing scene goes, I don’t really know! I was kinda thrust into having to learn to DJ about 5 years ago when my music started gaining some momentum – namely the DnB stuff I was involved with at the time with Catacomb, but also the emerging 140BPM stuff.  People were asking me to play gigs, and I had to sorta turn a lot down because I had never DJed, and didn’t know how I could get the music across.  Cubist had a little monthly thing called Local Lineup which showcased local producers, and that was my first taste of playing out. At the time, I was getting sent loads of dubs from international DnB artists that wrote in the same style, so fortunately I was able to bring something to the club that nobody else had, or sometimes had never even heard. I think soon after I did some shows in Adelaide and Brisbane, supporting Bulletproof.

Once the 140 stuff started getting bigger, Camo had started the Sunday Night Sessions at Laundry (Bass High) and I became a regular there – which was always a nice mellow vibe and loads of fun. I give a lot of thanks to Camo for helping me gain a following locally – he really believed in what I was doing, and in my sets (which often were less dancey and more “head music”). He was very good to me in that when the big dubstep internationals came, he would get me to open for them. Supporting Pinch and Loefah was a big thing for me, as I looked up to those guys a lot.

I’ve always been staunch about playing my own sound in DJ sets – the deeper, more esoteric dubs, mainly because I’ve always thought there’s no point having 5 DJs booked if all of them play the same stuff!  I think a DJ should have an identity as much as a producer should.

When did you start producing music, and what drove you to do so?
I started off when I was living in Melbourne for university, which is a good ten years ago now.  Prior to this, I was in a band called Requiem, but as travel got in the way for some members we became increasingly more electronic, and it became a three-piece, essentially, and we changed the name to LocustDawn. When that fell further apart, as bands do, I started working on my own making things at various tempos.

What kind of equipment are you using?
A computer, Korg M1, Korg Trinity, Akai S-01 sampler, Roland SH02.

Do you find that living in Bendigo and Melbourne limits your ability to get involved in the international music scene at all, or does it work for you?
Well, I suppose it is not like living in Berlin or London, where the euro market is so accessible. Having TWU Agency look after things is nice, though. I’ve played in NZ and Japan. We were headed over there for holidays so I just get on the email to the guys at TWU and see if I can sort some gigs while I’m there. I work full time as an osteopath in Bendigo, which is much more lucrative than music, haha. But it would be nice to be able to play more gigs and be more involved in music, which I obviously love. 

We love the dark atmospherics and skittering beats in tunes you’ve written such as Separation (with Sigha) and Dub Chemistry – what kind of influences would you say are apparent in your music?
A big influence for me is the human body and its intricacies – particularly physiology and movement. I guess this comes from studying it for five years and working with it for six!

Generally, I can only write music out of feeling. If I go to sit down and just make something without an idea, it usually ends up being something I don’t feel is honest, or something I wanna put my name to.

Can you tell us a bit more about the collaborations you’ve done in the past, and whether you’ve got any coming up?
The Sigha collaboration is probably the best known, particularly now that he’s doing so well with his music in Berlin.  It came about after Scuba sent me some of Sigha’s music that was due to come out on Hotflush. I clicked with it instantly and got in contact with Sigha, and we decided that at the time we were both terrible at finishing things we started, and that we would have a go at finishing each others’ tracks as a means of collaboration.

There are a few things in the works at the moment, but I haven’t had much time to work on them so I won’t mention them just yet. There are a few collabs with techno producers both locally and internationally though :)

You’re involved with the running of a label called Lowercase Music, which you’ve released your 2010 EP ‘In a Hole’ on. Tell us a little more about the aims of Lowercase Music, and what kind of sounds you’re interested in?
Lowercase aims to push more esoteric forms of bass music, without being defined by a genre title.  We are looking at exploring deeper territory in music.

So we hear you’ve got an album dropping at the end of the year – can you give us a few more details about who you’re releasing it with, and what to expect?
It will be on lowercase, not sure if it will be before the year’s end, but will contain personal material that I myself, and lowercase feel strongly about. I want it to be a bass album that isn’t just a collection of singles, so the aim is to build a storyline out of the tracks.

Big up to Josh for lending us some of his time to conduct this interview! Make sure to check him out and give him some love at the following links:

bauplan.tumblr.com
soundcloud.com/spherix
twitter.com/spherixmusic
lowercase-music.com