We were lucky enough to share a few words with Dave of Spectrasoul about what the duo’s future holds, what he thinks of the music industry currently, and if he would ever run his own record label. Thanks to Sonorous and Soul in Motion for another great night of drum and bass and big thanks to Dave for allowing us to chat!
Dose: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us how you’re doing?
Spectrasoul: Hi, I’m Dave from Spectrasoul and I’m doing good! Just come off the decks here at Sonorous and Soul in Motion and it’s a little bit hot but good!
Dose: How did you like the sound system?
Spectrasoul: Yeah it’s good! Really good! It’s always nice to come to a club and have a proper sound system. There’s nothing worse than like a weak, pussy sound system. It’s important because especially in clubs you’ve got to feel the bass because it’s bass music! If there’s no bass it’s stupid!
Dose: After having a successful last year with the release of your album Delay No More and a few remixes since then, what have you guys been up to as of late?
Spectrasoul: We’ve just been working on a lot of new material! We took a little break after we finished the album and then we got straight back into the studio and started writing. We’ve got a big batch of new material, but we don’t know what’s happening with it yet. I think we’re working towards another album because it feels natural and we’re quite quick to work. We’ve got this big batch of material together now and it looks like it’s shaping up to be another album!
Dose: You revealed there’s some remixes that have been done of tracks off the album, can you share details about that?
Spectrasoul: I can’t say who has done what, but I played some stuff tonight and it’s not every track off the album but it’s a fair amount of tracks off of it. It’s coming out in June I think and all the remixes are really sick and cover all different angles of drum and bass and there’s also some non drum and bass remixes from some really cool people. It’s just a really good musical project and it will be coming out soon.
Dose: We’re currently seeing that many mainstream artists are working with lesser known artists that have strong followings. We’re also currently seeing that many drum and bass producers are in the process of writing albums and are exploring a diversity of bpm’s and sounds. Being well known fans of artists such as James Blake, Bon Iver, and Lana Del Ray, do you find that by drum and bass artists expanding their productions outside the standard 174bpm beat that it presents dnb artists with greater opportunities to work with similar artists as those mentioned above?
Spectrasoul: For sure! There are lots of people in drum and bass that produce music for other people but if you’re just into drum and bass then you’re never going to know what else they do. People don’t know that we produce stuff that isn’t drum and bass for other artists and it’s cool to do different productions because we write all sorts of tempos and style. Drum and bass is quite a hard music to make and we’ve always found that if you can perfect drum and bass then it’s quite easy to drop the tempo because drum and bass is so crazy in the frequencies. Slower music has more space and you don’t have to worry about the technical side so much. To your answer your question though, it definitely does open up more opportunities and I know lots of people that are working with some really cool singers and song writers.
Dose: You guys feel it’s important to introduce new equipment and elements in your music to refresh your approach and to challenge yourselves. Now that you’ve explored the live show concept, are you going to continue that idea or are you going to refresh that idea and take a different approach?
Spectrasoul: The live show we did was for the album and that was a one off thing, but it was good to do as like a blueprint for future projects. To be honest a live drum and bass show is quite hard to market because club music is club music. It’s hard to do the live thing in a club environment unless you’re going to run the festival circuit and we’re not quite ready to do that. Our sound isn’t really a festival kind of sound…at the moment. So for now we’re just going to stick to the DJ’ing and eventually when we do it we’ll have the knowledge to evolve it and make it even better!
Dose: You previously recognized Instra:mental’s “Watching You” as one of the most accomplished songs in not only drum and bass but electronic music as a whole. In your album you can certainly hear elements that were influenced specifically by that track as well as the artists involved. When looking back do you feel your album will be the milestone that bridged your past productions with what your future holds much like “Watching You” was for Instra:mental?
Spectrasoul: I think so. I mean an album is important for an artist because you’re kind of showing everyone that this is you and it will always be a milestone for any artist. It’s important to show a broad variety of what you do as well, so I think for us we had drew a line underneath what we did already. I think Delay No More is a good link between our past, present, and future.
Dose: What can you tell us about this new bit called Bugsy?
Spectrasoul: That’s just a new thing we finished up a couple weeks back and it’s probably going to be on the album eventually. We’re actually waiting for a vocal for it because a lot of the time what we actually do is test the track out with no vocal to see if it needs that tweak or whatever.
Dose: You were previously a label manager for Shogun. With your prior experience and a love for various styles of music, do you ever see yourself running your own label?
Spectrasoul: Nah! Actually…I said that too quickly, maybe one day. It’s alot of hard fucking work and even harder in this current climate. It’s a very hard industry to be in and it got to the point for me where I had to ask myself if I should carry on being a producer or working for a record label. It was great fun working for Shogun, but it was hard work and just being on-call 24 hours a day it was…a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too. I can’t knock working for a label because it was the stepping stones and if we ever did run a record label I think it would be for our music only. Record labels are so hard to run because you have to deal with so many other people and it takes forever sorting shit out with other people. If I ever did do it, it would be like Calibre and just to put out my own material.
Dose: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
Spectrasoul: I can’t remember exactly who gave it to me because a lot of people say this, but just use your ears! Obviously the technical stuff is important, but the technical stuff can be learned! You can go to school or learn from other people, but you can’t learn what’s within. Explore your own ideas and it’s cliché to say, but it’s all about getting a vibe in the studio and throwing shit at the wall. Eventually stuff will stick and from there you perfect that with the technical stuff you learned!
Dose: You’re notorious for loving to eat but hating to cook, where’s the best local spot where you live if I wanted some good eats?
Spectrasoul: Ha! There are some wicked jerk chicken places around Hackney on Dalston Lane. There’s a big Jamaican community where I live so there’s some wicked jerk chicken in Hackney! The Hawksmore in London is also pretty good. It’s a steakhouse type place that a lot of people go to, but beyond that there are loads of great pop-ups that are just around for a few weeks then disappear.
Dose: You’re also notorious for enjoying a fine whiskey, what drink would you pair with some local jerk chicken?
Spectrasoul: Well the thing is…I only drink whiskey! So, with jerk chicken you would probably want something that wasn’t very sweet and I only drink bourbon whiskey so I’d pair something like a Bulleit or Maker’s Mark! I’m also notorious for being addicted to pizza and I always drink Jack Daniel’s with pizza because it’s sweet and just goes really good with pizza!
Dose: What festival are you looking forward to playing the most this summer?
Spectrasoul: Well we’re playing a few in England including Global Gathering and a festival called Far Festival. We’re playing a few random boutique festivals and a lot in Europe that I can’t remember the name of, but to be honest it’s the places of the names I can’t remember that I look forward to playing the most because you can never know what to expect!
Dose: Lastly, who’s better at ping pong? You or your girlfriend Reija Lee?
Spectrasoul: She’s actually pretty good! She bought me a ping-pong table for my 30th birthday a while back and now she’s got a nifty backhand I have to watch out for!
Dose: Thanks for the interview and we hope you enjoy a slice with some jack on the rocks when you get home!
Spectrasoul: Cheers! Thanks!