Artist Interview: The Upbeats

We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with Jeremy of The Upbeats to ask him a few questions about their background and what the boys got in store for the year. Big thanks to Curtis and THuuN of Sonorous as well as Toronto Jungle for providing the opportunity and putting on an incredible night! If you haven’t already, check out our Artist Feature on The Upbeats as well!

Q: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us how you’re doing?

A: My name’s Jeremy and I’m on the other side of the world! Just got here in Toronto from New York last night and I’m doing good thanks.

Q: Awesome! We know you guys have a brand new album forthcoming later this year on Noisia’s Vision Label, how  much easier or more difficult was it to produce this album in comparison to your last two?

A: It felt like there was a bit more pressure to perform, but I feel like in the last few years we really put heaps of work into the studio to up our game and it was really enjoyable.

Q: Has a date been set for the album? When is your next single “Beyond Reality” coming out?

A: “Beyond Reality” is coming out next month and our album is going to be released roughly around the end of March!

Q: We can’t wait! With live acts gaining in popularity due to artists like Netsky and DJ Fresh and with crowds becoming more receptive to the idea, have you guys ever considered doing the live show again and bringing it to North America?

A: Sadly no, unless we blow up meteorically! Honestly it’s a lot of work and is very time consuming. To be able to do it properly you need a huge budget and I think it’s cool, but the amount of time we put into the last one was a lot. When it worked it was really rewarding, but you need an amazing drummer. Not having a drummer really changes the feel of it and we did it as live as we could, but it was still very restrictive having the backbone as programmed drums. I saw Netsky’s live drummer and he’s a fuckin freak! I couldn’t believe it wasn’t programmed!

Q: You guys recently co-produced the new Shapeshifter album, what was that like and what did you find was different from that project in comparison to working on your own album?

A: We had never done any production for anyone else before so we learned a shit load and it was a really fun yet challenging process. Working with the two main guys of Shapeshifter we learned it can be difficult trying to keep two people happy at once, but it was a new experience that taught us a lot. We hadn’t done a lot of mixing with proper live drum recordings and we had to hone our skills on stuff like using room mics. It’s also a very different mindset from working on your own ideas compared to working full-time five months solid for someone else, but we were really happy we did it!

Q: What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?

A: Shit that’s a tough one! Hmm…going back in time I’m going to say it was Digital. When we were producing our first tunes and before we got picked up by Bad Company we were writing tunes in a garden shed and sending them to Digital. Literally, a garden shed using Fruity Loops on the worst Kenwood mini system which was my first ever stereo and at the time we were using pro-sequenced drums that sounded really wack. Digital was like “You guys have to use breaks! Breaks are where it’s at for drum and bass!” So, he sent us a disc full of drum samples and that just changed the game for us so big ups Digital! Funny thing is a lot of those first tunes made it on to our first album!

Q: Wicked, what DAW are you currently using and any favourite plug-ins?

A: We’ve been using logic for like nine years now so that’s what we stick with and we really like it a lot because of all the MIDI capabilities and the native plug-ins are excellent! For the Shapeshifter album we ended up getting Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate and some of the compressors are really nice so we’ve started using them a lot. We also use quite a bit of the D16 stuff like the Devastor and Decimort and we use a lot of the soundtoys stuff.

Q: What artists are you feeling the most at the moment outside of Drum and Bass?

A: We played five festivals over five nights back home for New Year’s which was sick and one of the highlights was we got to see this Australian band called Tame Impala and they were fucking amazing! Other than that we also saw Radiohead who is our joint favourite artist of all time and outside of that I’ve been listening to heaps of hip-hop. Danny Brown’s album was one my favourite from last year and I’ve been into the Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky albums so we’ve even been producing a bit of hip hop!

Q: Well we’re excited to hear that! We know you both are skaters/surfers, what was the first skateboarding trick you ever landed?

A: Haha um ollies!?

THuuN: That’s a cop-out!

A: Haha ok! Manuals! Definitely fell on my ass a lot!

Q: We found out one of the weirder things you’ve done was eat tomato and peanut butter on toast, when was the last time you ate that?

A: Haha you guys are like fucking Nardwuar or something! Probably like six months or something, I love that shit! Get some multi-grain toast and make sure the peanut butter is hot so the tomato sinks in a bit!

Q: Well we definitely have to give that a try! Thank you for the interview and we can’t wait to hear you smash it tonight!

A: Thanks a lot!

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