I recent caught up with Fred V & Grafix as Goggles drops and asked them to talk us through…
FV&G: The EP is our Hospital debut solo release so we wanted to make it as varied as possible, especially since we haven’t had any tunes released for about 9 months! We tried to give each of the tunes their own unique character. ‘Basilisk’ and ‘Goggles’ are especially different to anything we’ve made before and have a bit more of a raw sound to them. ‘Games People Play’ and ‘Denmark Road’ are more like our previous releases but less sample based. ‘Basilisk’ is definitely the darkest tune we’ve ever made! The intro piano riff was inspired by Muse as was the main bassline. The second drop with the live bassline was inspired by Rage Against The Machine. Whenever we play it out we do live air guitar on stage.
‘Goggles’ is probably the weirdest tune we’ve made and we’ve been really pleased with the reactions it’s been getting. The drums are quite house-y with a lot more low-end in the kick drum then we’d usually have. The grime-y bassline was inspired by Wilkinson but it plays an unusually happy melody which hopefully makes it stand out. There’s also a music video for this one which features lots of girls in swimwear. Sexy.
DB: Would you say that the more you produce, your confidence and awareness grows?
FV&G: Yes, hopefully the EP is a good example of this. ‘Basilisk’ comes to mind as one tune that we never would have been able to produce a few years ago and the original bassline was written over a year ago. ‘Games People Play’ is hopefully a good example of us trying something different but expanding on our original liquid sound. The use of the distorted lead guitar sound is something we haven’t tried before and we’re pretty pleased with the result.
DB: How did the linkup with Hospital come about?
FV&G: We’ve been sending tunes to Hospital for years and trying extremely hard to get their attention. The one thing the label always pushes for is originality so we started experimenting as much as possible. Eventually post-rock inspired ‘Find My Way’ was released on the 15 Years of Hospital compilation which also led to our first meeting during which we were offered an album deal, which we signed immediately.
DB: There’s something about the soul of D&B, something that, when it gets its claws in, it grabs you forever. So what was it about D&B that caught you and made you think ‘let’s do this.’
FV: For me I think High Contrast’s second album is what did it for me. The two tunes that come to mind are ‘Lovesick’ and ‘Brief Encounter’ – they’ve both got so much soul and the use of sampling is amazing.
G: Pendulum’s Hold Your Colour album is what got me into D&B and still stands out as one of my favourite albums.
DB: and what are some current heroes of D&B?
FV&G: Wilkinson is probably our favourite producer at the moment; each release never fails to impress us. He’s also the nicest guy in the world.
DB: I know you guys love a broad range of music, so that leads to my album session question: which album session would have loved to have been present at?
FV: I’d love to see how Brian Eno works with Coldplay, I love the production on their newest album.
G: I love the guitar sound in Foals’ second album, Total Life Forever. Would be great to work with those guys in some way.
DB: What is keeping you in love with D&B, and what is cooking for 2013?
FV&G: We love hearing how so many producers are really pushing the boundaries within the genre, and more and more we can hear new drum & bass that’s influenced by some really far out stuff. This is what spurs us on to really progress in our music, and focus on our originality. We’re now very much in album writing mode, and really trying to make this the best material we’ve ever written – so this most likely will be an exciting year for us!