We caught up with Dominik of the Austrian Drum and Bass Quartet – Fourward during his short North-American tour last month. During our discussion, Dominik was gracious enough to share with us what the four-man production team has planned for the remainder of the year, how they feel about their current success, and why Austria produces such prolific producers!
Dose: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us how you’re doing tonight?
Fourward: My name is Dominik, I’m a member of Fourward and I’m feeling good thanks!
Dose: You guys have a huge forthcoming single on SGN:LTD entitled “Black Tooth Grin/Guilty Pleasures.” Can you tell us how the release came together and what inspired the two tracks?
Fourward: These two tracks are completely new and we finished them roughly three-to five months ago. “Black Tooth Grin” was just a logical progression after our remix for The Upbeats because that single gained us a lot of exposure. Following that remix we felt we had to deliver another banger that wasn’t directly in your face, but rather something unique with some nice and tightly engineered reese’s.
Dose: Can you explain how the relationship with SGN:LTD started considering you guys were exclusively signed to Mainframe/Audioporn?
Fourward: We had a great time working with MF/AP but are now on to new adventures!
Dose: You also have a nice remix forthcoming for Walking Def’s track – “Everything.” Do you have any release info on that remix and did the request come personally or via the label?
Fourward: Their agent hit us up and asked us if we would like to remix the track, but that he could not tell us more about the project as it is under wraps. So, we only heard the original track, but when we heard it we liked it and for that reason we accepted the remix offer. The remix is actually out now!
Dose: How does it feel to have all of your releases since and including “Talk to Me/Stressed Out” reach the Beatport Top 10 chart for Drum and Bass? What else remains for Fourward this year?
Fourward: It’s a great feeling! 2013 is our best year yet and all of us are really stoked about how successful we’ve been, but we haven’t allowed that to take away from our focus and we’re just going to keep making music! It’s a really nice feeling when you release a tune and to see it reach the Top 10 more than once. As for the rest of the year, the release on SGN:LTD is coming up, as well as some big projects and more big gigs!
Dose: You guys came together via a love for drum and bass and with the intention to make music simply for enjoyment purposes. Can you provide some insight into the artists and songs that originally inspired you to produce?
Fourward: As for me, I started DJ’ing back in 1999 and that was when Rob Data, Ed Rush & Optical, Stakka & Skynet, and more just killed it and really inspired a lot of current producers including myself! Personally I’ve been DJ’ing, promoting parties, and listening to the music for a long time now!
Dose: You guys also demonstrate your versatility by putting out tracks that are stylistically different on each release. How do you approach building on the idea of an individual member and collectively deciding which direction to take?
Fourward: Well…that’s our little secret to making drum and bass! We don’t really plan ahead to much and just go with whatever sounds good. It’s really nice to have four minds working together, but on the other hand we have our struggles too.
You have to make compromises and sometimes you have to go in a certain direction even if you’re not personally happy with it. If 3 out of 4 of us say it’s really “sick,” then three of us have said that’s the direction we want to take. Sometimes it’s 2 out of 4 or all four of us that agree, but in the end we’ve all benefited from the decisions we’ve made and we’re grateful for that!
Dose: You guys released your first album Episodes on the Dutch label Citrus recordings in 2011. Do you have any plans to release a second album any time soon now that you’ve had a streak of successful releases over the past year?
Fourward: There are no plans for a second album at the moment, and if it it will happen…it will be maybe next year. We don’t like to feel stressed making music and never force it. We will just let natural progression take its course!
Dose: You guys hail from Austria which seems to be the hub for some bar-raising producers at the moment. What would you say it is about Austria specifically that produces such prolific producers? Is there something in the tap-water?
Fourward: For me, Austria is just a really nice place to live in the first place! I’ve been fortunate enough to know Marcus from Camo & Krooked for about 8 years during which he met Reini and started the whole C&K thing which has been fucking amazing! Austria is fortunate to have a lot of really great producers that inspire each other and I’d say we all just try to do our own thing rather than copy one another!
Dose: You guys are monthly residents at Flex Club in Vienna. How does it feel to be residents of such a prestigious club in where you are from? How does the crowd compare to elsewhere you’ve played?
Fourward: Our residency at Flex Club with Beat It who is promoted by D-Kay and Rawfull is amazing for us because we have the opportunity to play one gig a month where every time the crowd is full! It’s really great because in Austria you can test all kinds of music because the crowd is really open-minded and the sound is really good!
Dose: Can you briefly explain your studio set-up to us? Any favourite plug-ins?
Fourward: Studio set-up is just….a really good computer! Haha, but actually our DAW/sequencer is Cubase and we’re using all Native Instruments VST’s. Over the past year and a half we’ve bought a lot of analog hardware like a Korg MS-20, a Prophet 8, an Arturia Mini-Brute, a Boomstar, and some pedals. We’re definitely trying to incorporate more analog gear into our productions to get a more rich and organic sound. As for bass sounds though, we find we always come back to FM8 and we probably couldn’t do without it!
Dose: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
Fourward: Just be yourself! Stay true to yourself and do what you like! In terms of music, if you like what you make then stick to it and don’t compromise yourself. If you really want to do it, then don’t stop!
Dose: Your summer was full of barbeques and festivals, if you could choose any festival in the world to play and host a barbeque at which would you choose?
Fourward: Haha! Well every festival has barbeques sooo…I guess I would have to say either Rampage festival this summer that I played or Let it Roll where Ludwig played. A lot of our friends are at both festivals so it would definitely be fun to host a barbeque at either!
Dose: What’s been your biggest DJ fail to date?
Fourward: Probably ejecting a CD while the song is still playing! Even worse was when I put the CD back in and it played from the cue point where it stopped!
Dose: You’re on your couch at home on a Sunday night after a weekend full of gigs, what are you drinking/eating/watching on TV?
Fourward: Well I won’t lie. It would definitely be some unhealthy food and for sure drinking water while probably watching some cooking show!
Dose: Lastly, any words to German soccer fans after today’s world-cup qualifying game? (Austria Lost 3-0 to Germany earlier that day)
Fourward: Fuck You Tobi!! Fuck You Neonlight!!
Dose: Hahahah! Thanks for the interview!
Fourward: Haha! You’re Welcome!